Departmental Advising

In August and September, a number of activities will help you get the academic year started. For example, you will have the opportunity to hear faculty presentations at in-person or Zoom meetings; to sign up for courses, discussion sections and laboratories; to receive your placement in economics, chemistry, math, and physics, and to receive the results of any placement exams you took over the summer; to consult directors of undergraduate studies; and to attend orientation sessions led by the Health Professions Advisory Program (for premed students), the Center for Language Study, the Center for Teaching and Learning, and other academic resource centers.

Each academic major has a director of undergraduate studies (DUS), with whom you may discuss the departmental curriculum, course offerings, and major requirements. Contact information for each DUS is printed by major in Yale College Programs of Study (the YCPS, or “Blue Book”), and a separate list of DUSes is available on the Yale College Web site. Large departments may also have departmental representatives assigned to the residential colleges; the YCPS lists the names of these representatives.

When a student declares a major, the DUS in the student’s major becomes the student’s academic adviser. The DUS also replaces the student’s college adviser (from the first and/or sophomore year) as their primary adviser.

A particularly important opportunity to gather information about academic programs, especially for first-year students, is the annual Academic Fair. Directors of undergraduate studies and faculty members from most academic programs and departments make themselves available to offer you guidance about courses, placement, and prerequisites for majors. The Academic Fair provides excellent opportunities to gather information and advice from a broad range of sources, and you are strongly urged to drop in on as many sessions as you can.