Academic Advising

Yale College urges all members of the faculty to make themselves available to advise students.

In the first year, a student receives academic and other advice from a member of the faculty or professional staff who is a fellow of the student’s residential college. The residential college dean assigns students to these "college advisers" on the basis of the student’s declared academic interests or other factors. The college adviser is expected to provide holistic, whole-person guidance for our students beyond the mechanics of selecting courses and signing schedules.

A college adviser has on average three advisees, with some accepting fewer and some accepting more.

In addition to a college adviser, first-year students are advised within their residential colleges by the residential college dean and first-year (peer) counselors. Each dean may be responsible for up to 125 first-year students, while each first-year counselor (“FroCo”) is generally assigned between 10–15 students.

First-year students have the option of remaining with their college adviser through the sophomore year or, at their discretion, electing a new college adviser—a faculty member—as early as their second term of study at Yale. College advisers may thus serve from between one and four terms.  

Because of the requirement-heavy and sequential nature of the STEM majors, students interested in majoring in those subjects are encouraged to elect the relevant director of undergraduate studies or his or her designee as the sophomore-year adviser. Similarly, non-STEM students who have decided on a major in their first two years may choose to elect a new college adviser in that field or the relevant director of undergraduate studies.

Advising in the junior and senior years relies on advising systems in the academic departments. Most students majoring in STEM fields declare their major in their first or sophomore year and thus hasten the process; students majoring in subjects other than STEM fields may declare their majors as late as the beginning of junior year.

Refer to the Advising Resources website for more information on college advising or contact Dean Risa Sodi, the Director of Advising and Special Programs. Contact the residential college dean or head of your college if you are interested in becoming a college adviser.