Spring Semester Check List for First-Year Advisers

► Have you checked your advisees’ fall grades?

► Have you contacted your advisees to set up meetings during shopping period?

► Will you be available to sign your advisees’ schedules? Do you know what can you do if you are not able to sign your advisees’ schedules?

► Are you aware of the distributional requirements for first-years?

► Do you know what is required for a first-year to be in good academic standing?

The answers to these questions are below!

Distributional requirements for first-years

  • At the end of first year (after two terms of enrollment), students must have enrolled in
    • at least one course credit in two of the three skills categories (QR, WR, or foreign language)
      • Scroll to the bottom of the page for information about, and lists of, WR and QR courses
  • Distributional Requirements (chart)

Meeting your first-year advisees

Multiple distributional designations

Although some courses may carry more than one distributional designation, a single course may be applied to only one distributional requirement. For example, if a course is designated both HU and SO it may be applied toward either the humanities and arts requirement or the social science requirement, but not both. Similarly, if a course is designated QR and SC, it may be applied toward either the quantitative reasoning requirement or the science requirement, but not both.

A course with multiple distributional designations, once applied toward one distributional requirement, may subsequently be applied toward a different distributional requirement. During the summer after each academic year, the University Registrar’s Office optimizes the use of each student’s completed courses toward fulfillment of the distributional requirements.

Requirements for academic good standing for first-years

  • at the end of the first term, a student must have earned at least four course credits
  • at the end of the second term, a student must have earned at least eight course credits

What to do if you are unable to sign your advisees’ schedule on time.  If you are unable to sign your advisees’ schedules because of inclement weather, illness (yours or theirs) or another legitimate reason, this is what you and your advisees should do:

  1. Your advisees turn in an original copy of their schedules on time, on the appointed day, to their residential college dean’s office (or to the dean’s administrative assistant).  Such schedules are considered to have been turned in on time and no late fines are levied.
  2. Your advisees then obtain a photocopy of their schedules from the dean (or the A.A.).
  3. Your advisees then have one week to obtain your signature on the photocopy of their schedules.
  4. Any schedule turned in after one week is considered late, with two consequences for the student:
    1. A fine of $50 is levied;
    2. The Credit/D/Fail option is rescinded for that student, for that semester.

If you find yourself unable to sign your advisees’ schedules, it would be a courtesy on your part to apprise the dean of your residential college of that situation, including the names of your advisees in your phone call or email.

See also the Yale College Program of Study, “Deadline for submitting schedules” (“It is the student’s responsibility to obtain all necessary signatures, except that of the residential college dean, before the schedule is due. In the rare instance that the student’s adviser is unavailable before the deadline, the student should nonetheless submit the schedule on time, and take a copy to be signed by the adviser and submitted to the dean as soon as possible. If the student does not submit a copy of the schedule signed by the adviser within one week of the deadline, the student will be subject to the fines and restrictions described under paragraphs 3 and 4 below”).

WR and QR courses

WR Courses Many second-semester first-years take a WR course, either to fulfill their “skills” requirement or to build on courses taken in the fall semester. Some first-years may find that they have selected a course for its content or instructor, and said course also happens to carry a WR designation. Most WR courses also carry “area” designations (Hu, Sc, or So); Registrar’s Office software “optimizes” students transcripts once a year, selecting from among the various designations they have accumulated in such a way as to allow them to fulfill as many distributional requirements as possible.  See “Multiple distributional designations,” above.

Information about WR courses recommended for first-years is available through the Center for Teaching and Learning.

QR Courses What appears above under “WR Courses” applies to QR courses, too.

Information about QR courses for first-years and QR courses without prerequisites is available through the Yale College Science and Quantitative Reasoning Center,