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 first-year advisers on the basis of the student’s declared academic interests or other factors. A first-year ("college") adviser has on average three advisees, although some have as few as one or as many as five.

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-years, while each first-year counselor (“FroCo”) is generally assigned between 10-15 students.

Students in the Class of 2020 are advised by sophomore advisers. Only faculty members from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences or deans in Yale College may serve as sophomore advisers. 

Beginning with the Class of 2021, students will have the option of remaining with their college adviser during the sophomore year or, at their discretion, elect a new college adviser — a faculty member — in their second term of study at Yale. College advisers may thus serve from between one and four terms. The college advising system was introduced in fall 2017 to broaden the scope of advising, shifting it toward more holistic, whole-person guidance for our students, and away from more transactional conversations. Additional information about the college advising system may be found on the Advising Resources Website.

Because of the requirement-heavy and sequential nature of the STEM majors, students interested in majoring in those subjects are encouraged to select the relevant director of undergraduate studies or his or her delegate as sophomore advisers. Students majoring in subjects other than the STEM fields may declare their majors as late as the beginning of junior year, at which point they make use of the advisory systems established by the various departments.

Refer to Advising Resources for more information on first-year and sophomore advising, or contact Assistant 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.