Selecting A New College Adviser

Yale students may select a new college adviser at any time after their first term of enrollment.

► Click here for a change-of-adviser form

Selecting a New College Adviser

We hope that you have meaningful advising conversations with your college adviser. Yale students may remain with their current advisers  for up to four semesters (i.e., through the end of the sophomore year or until a student declares a major, at which point the director of undergraduate students [DUS] in that major, of the DUS’s delegate, becomes the student’s adviser).

Many students find it useful to select an adviser in a field of interest. The sophomore year, in fact, is normally a time of refining one’s ideas about a plan of study or a major. Your current adviser might be the best person to help you with your goals, but you might also feel that you would benefit from a faculty adviser familiar with the preparation needed for a particular major or someone who can speak to your academic or other interests.

Some first-year students  opt for a new adviser for their second term of enrollment — the earliest they may do so — because

  • they’ve clicked with a faculty member — perhaps their instructor — during their first term
  • they have a good idea of a potential field of study and seek to be advised by a faculty member in that field 

► Note: Regardless of whether your original college adviser was a faculty member of a staff member, your new adviser must be a faculty member. Most faculty members welcome the opportunity to advise undergraduates. You might select:

  • a faculty adviser from a major that interests you 
  • a faculty adviser whose course you took this year  
  • a faculty adviser you particularly like or with whom you already have an advising relationship

► Note (advising for students who declare a major): Once a student declares a major, the DUS or the DUS’s designee becomes the student’s official adviser, replacing the student’s college adviser (since an undergraduate student may have only one adviser at a time). Students are encouraged to take this into consideration before declaring a major.

procedure for changing advisers
  • introduce yourself to your potential new adviser in person or by email and ask — based on a course you took or a shared interest — if the faculty member will serve as your adviser
    • you might also speak to the faculty member after class …
    • … or make an appointment, or drop in during office hours
  • print the change-of-adviser form; obtain your new adviser’s signature; and submit it to your residential college dean’s office
  • inform your current adviser that you’ve opted for a new adviser and thank them for their service. You can find your current adviser’s name and email on your Degree Audit page
Also keep in mind
  • Students planning to major in a STEM field should consult the director of undergraduate studies (DUS) about advising in that field
  • A student’s initial college adviser may be a faculty or staff member; however, if you opt to change advisers, the new adviser must be a faculty member
  • You may change advisers no more than once per term (unless by permission of your residential college dean)
  • There’s no deadline for submitting a change-of-adviser form