Dear Yale College Class of 2027,
In our first message on May 19, we asked you to consider Yale’s approach to undergraduate education and explained the thinking that underlies our academic requirements. In this week’s message, we describe Yale’s advising resources and placement procedures designed to support your academic exploration and course selection.
In a few weeks, you will discover your residential college, and you then also know the name of one of your principal academic advisers, your residential college dean, who will be in regular touch with you throughout your time at Yale. Your dean also oversees the network of advisers in your college, including first-year counselors (“FroCos”) and college advisers. FroCos are seniors who live among first-year students to provide peer advice. College advisers are Yale faculty or staff members who volunteer to advise first-years and sophomores about their academic and extracurricular interests and aspirations.
From June 12 to August 18, you will be able to arrange peer advising sessions with a recently graduated FroCo. The FroCos receive extensive training and have vast personal knowledge of the Yale curriculum. They can provide a useful first stop for questions that you may have, and they can also refer you to an academic dean for more complicated questions. Advising sessions will be offered 7 days-a-week in the morning, afternoon, and evening, which we hope will accommodate all time zones. You may sign up for an appointment here. We strongly encourage you take advantage of this opportunity.
Two of our residential colleges will be piloting a new advising procedure in which course selection advice from recently graduated FroCo is mandatory and college advising is on an opt-in basis. If you are assigned to one of those colleges, your dean will provide further information over the summer.
In addition to your college’s advising network, you are also encouraged to seek academic advice from departmental advisers, especially regarding questions related to specific courses and prerequisites for majors. Each department has a director of undergraduate studies (DUS) who oversees that department’s undergraduate curriculum and advising, and you will have an opportunity to meet the DUSs at an Academic Fair on August 28.
An important component of academic advising, especially for your first year, is obtaining placement advice in subjects that have multiple entry points, depending on a student’s previous experience. Mathematics, the natural sciences, and languages are notable examples. Be aware that, even if you do not intend to major in these subjects, courses from those fields are prerequisites for a wide range of majors.
Two primary tools provide placement advice:
- High School Math & Science Survey . This survey asks you to self-report your course history in six subjects: biology, chemistry, computer science, economics, math, and physics. Relevant departments then use your responses to place you into specific course levels. (These placements are provisional, and you may adjust your level, if needed, after you arrive on campus). Even if you are not planning to take courses in these subjects, all first-year students must complete the High School Math and Science Survey by 5 p.m. on July 28.
- Online Placement Exams. Yale offers two dozen optional placement exams, in biology, chemistry, math, and many non-English languages, between July 3-31. You are strongly advised to take a placement exam if you have prior study of a field and plan to enroll in it during your first year at Yale. Additional placement exam information may be found here.
Another goal to consider in your first year, and throughout your Yale education, is strengthening core skills that you will use at Yale and beyond. Chief among them is the ability to write clearly and effectively. To help you consider how best to strengthen your writing skills while at Yale, we ask you to complete a ten-minute writing survey about your habits and experience as a writer, the results of which will remain anonymous and will be used only to help improve our writing courses and support systems at the Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning. The writing survey will remain open until August 15.
In subsequent messages, we will explain the timeline and process for registering for courses for the fall term. Please note that you will have an opportunity to rank meeting time preferences for courses commonly taken in the first year (including first-year seminars, and introductory chemistry, English, math, and language courses) from August 8-14. In the meantime, we hope you are having an enjoyable and productive summer.
The Office of Undergraduate Education
UPDATED important information for Yale Health Forms
After accessing the undergraduate student forms, take those forms to your current primary care provider. Please schedule with your primary care provider NOW, as some steps make time to complete. Email your Health Form and Physical Exam to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please upload your immunization records to the Yale Vaccine Portal as soon as you have the completed form. The final deadline for all health materials is August 1st. First years attending Summer Session B should adhere to the immunization deadline of June 28th.
- Please go to New Student Dates and Deadlines for a full list of deadlines.
- Please go to New Student Forms & Tasks for first steps and important resources.
- Residential college, housing, and first-year counselor assignments will be communicated later in the summer.