General Advising Information & FAQs for Freshman Advisers

A “Constellation of Advisers”

“Dear Freshman Adviser: FAQs for 2016-2017” (Aug. 17, 2016 email from R. Sodi to freshman advisers)

Fall Semester Check List for Reviewing Course Schedules

  • Course credits for the freshman year
  • Course schedule due date
  • Credit/D/Fail
  • Distributional requirements
  • Language courses
  • Meeting your freshman advisees
  • Small courses or seminars
  • What to do if you are unable to sign your advisees’ schedule on time
  • Writing courses

Freshman Adviser Timeline (September-May)

Freshman Adviser ”Boot Camps”

General Goals of Freshman Advising

  • General Goals of Freshman Advising
  • Goals of the First Freshman Advising Meeting
  • Follow-up Meetings
  • Schedule Signing
  • Some Suggestions for Advising at the Midterm and End of Term

Guidelines for Freshman Academic Advising, including:

  • A Constellation of Advisers
  • General Goals of Advising
  • Goals of the First Freshman Advising Meeting
  • Follow-up Meeting
  • Schedule Signing
  • Check List for Reviewing Course Programss
  • Some Suggestions for Ongoing Advising
  • Helpful Details for Advisers to Remember throughout the Term
  • Distributional Requirements for the Freshman Year
  • Credit/D/Fail Option
  • Deadlines and Academic Options to Keep in Mind
  • Science, Engineering, and Premedical Students
  • International Experience Options

“Help Line” or 432-8427, or residential college deans

Helping Your Advisees Select Courses

How Yale College Explains Freshman Advising to Freshmen

If You’re Not Available…

1. “I’m not available in August for the group advising meeting in my residential college.  What should I do?”

Email the dean of your residential college immediately to alert him or her of this fact, and email your advisees with the same information.  Usually, the dean himself or herself will meet with any “orphan” advisees during that August 29 meeting.

In your email to your advisees, it is advisable to express your regrets and to indicate some days and times immediately after your return when you will be available to meet with them one-on-one to discuss their adjustment to Yale, their short- and long-term goals and plans, and, in general terms, their course selections for this fall.

2. “I’m not available to sign my advisees’ course schedules before the deadline.  What should I do?”

It’s not unusual for an adviser to have a pre-existing commitment on the day that signed course schedules are due.  Emergencies or unforeseen illnesses may also arise.  If you find that you are not be available to sign your advisees’ course schedules before the deadline, contact the dean of your residential college immediately.  He or she will suggest a solution — among them:

  • Your advisees turn in a photocopy of their schedules by the deadline in order to avoid the $50 fine and you sign their schedules the following day
  • Your advisees scan and email you a pdf of their schedules and, if you’re able to scan and sign, you then email the signed schedule to the residential college dean
  • You advisees  email you the list of courses that they’ve selected and you email your approval directly to the dean by the deadline.  Your students then turn in their schedules by 5:00 p.m. on the day of the deadline without your signature, and then you meet with them shortly thereafter to sign a duplicate copy, which they then turn in as well

3. “I’m not available to serve as an adviser this term. What should I do?

  • Please click here and consult the section, “Will You Be Off Campus during Course Selection Period? During the Term?,” for instructions.

Lunches in the Residential Colleges

  • As per the Council of Masters, all freshman advisers — even those not otherwise eligible for lunches in the residential college dining halls (staff members, for example) — are entitled to three lunches per advisee per term.  Bon appetit!

Meeting Your Advisees

My Freshman Advisees’s Names and Contact Information 

My Personal Advising Page

Toward Academic Success: A Guide to Advising at Yale” (pages 1-6 of the Calendar for the Opening Days of College)

Yale Summer Session Advising Resources

YSS has prepared a Resources for Academic Advisors web page covering the topics of meeting requirements and exploring majors; financial assistance; and applications and deadlines.

Academic Calendar

Advice to Freshmen: How to Prepare for Meetings with Your Freshman Adviser

Calendar for the Opening Days of College (lists the main academic and student life events of freshman orientation)

Directors of Undergraduate Study Contact List

Distributional Requirements (chart)

Foreign Language Requirement (chart)

Freshman Adviser Orientation Handouts (from the YCDO)

Other Information

  • Distributional Requirements
  • Credit/D/Fail
  • Deadlines and Academic Options to Keep in Mind
  • Pre-registration and Preference Selection
  • STEM and Premedical Students
  • International Experience Options

Online Course Information (including course evaluations and course demand statistics)

Quantitative Reasoning Courses without Prerequisites


Yale College’s Resources for Academic Advisers web page

Yale University Library’s “Personal Librarian” Program for undergraduates