Advising and Academic Resources


What students ultimately take away from their four years at Yale largely depends on the careful planning they apply to their programs of study. It would be premature—and unrealistic—for beginning students to map out a fixed schedule of courses for the subsequent four years, yet it is advisable that they think ahead and make plans for the terms to come. There will be time and opportunity for students to revise such plans as their academic ideas develop. 

Yale College does not prescribe a set program of study, in the belief that students who select their own courses are inevitably more engaged with them. As students shape their educational goals, it is important that they seek informed advice. For incoming students who have not yet developed relationships with academic advisers on campus, Yale College furnishes a constellation of advising linked to the residential colleges. As students progress in their studies, usually by sophomore year, they select as their adviser a member of the faculty in an intended or potential major to guide their course selection.

In addition to these advisers, students often seek advice about academic matters, internship and research opportunities, student life, study abroad, and post-graduation options from other offices on campus, including the Center for International and Professional Experience, the Health Professions Advisory Program, the Office of Career Strategy, the University Libraries, the Yale College Dean’s Office, and the cultural centers.

Residential Colleges

There are fourteen residential colleges: Berkeley, Branford, Davenport, Timothy Dwight, Jonathan Edwards, Benjamin Franklin, Grace Hopper, Morse, Pauli Murray, Pierson, Saybrook, Silliman, Ezra Stiles, and Trumbull. Leading each one is a resident head of college; and in each college a resident dean advises students on both academic and nonacademic matters. Associated with the head and the dean as fellows of the college are about fifty additional members of the University drawn from different departments and schools, many of whom serve as advisers to first-year students in the college. In addition, a group of seniors in each residential college, known as first-year counselors, serve as peer advisers to first-year students. Additional information about advising resources in the residential colleges can be found on each college’s website and the Advising Resources Website.

Academic Departments

In each academic department and for every undergraduate major, a director of undergraduate studies (DUS) oversees the curriculum, placement matters, and advising resources for the major. In small majors, the DUS also typically serves as the primary adviser for all students in the major; in large majors, other members of the faculty often assist the DUS in providing advice for students. Much information about course placement and prerequisites, as well as requirements for each major, can be found in Chapter III. Additional information about advising resources and faculty in a department or program can be found on the relevant department’s website.

Academic Resources

Center for Teaching and Learning

The Yale Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) provides an array of teaching, tutoring, writing, and technology-enabled learning programs distributed across the University. The Center supports student learning and provides opportunities for students to develop as teachers, mentors, and leaders. Additionally, the Center houses the Academic Strategies program, which provides information, workshops, and individual mentoring to Yale College students on the skills central to active, empowered learning. More information is available on the Center for Teaching and Learning Website.

Writing tutors and writing partners

The Yale Center for Teaching and Learning provides several ways for students to get help with writing. The most important of these is the presence of a writing tutor in each residential college. Tutors meet with students on a one-to-one basis to discuss rough drafts of work in progress, research techniques, revision strategies, or other matters relevant to effective writing. Tutors can help with any writing project: senior essays, course papers, graduate school and fellowship applications, or anything intended for publication. The Writing Partners, another resource, are undergraduate and graduate students who offer drop-in help to students at any stage of writing. Finally, the CTL Website offers information on using sources effectively and avoiding plagiarism.

Science and Quantitative Reasoning Tutors

Tutoring programs for science (SC) and quantitative reasoning (QR) courses are offered through the Yale Center for Teaching and Learning. The CTL provides quantitative reasoning and science tutoring for every field in Yale College. Many courses provide their own Course-Based Peer Tutors (CBPTs) who can help students as they work on problem sets or study for exams, and who can review returned assignments. Information about CBPTs is available on the course syllabus and Canvas Website. If a particular course does not have a CBPT, or if a student requires more help, the Residential College Math/Science tutors offer drop in hours during which any science or quantitative reasoning topic can be addressed. Finally, students who need more individual attention can apply for small-group tutoring. More information on all of these programs can be found at the CTL Website.

Center for Language Study

The Center for Language Study (CLS), provides resources for students of foreign languages and for language courses. The CLS also provides support for nonnative speakers of English through its English Language Program. For undergraduates enrolled in a foreign language course, the CLS offers peer tutoring in the target language. For students in Yale College and in the graduate and professional schools, the CLS offers specialized language programs such as Directed Independent Language Study (DILS) for the study of languages not taught at Yale, and the Fields program for discipline-specific language study at advanced levels. For professional school students, the CLS offers courses in language for special purposes, such as Spanish or Chinese for medical professionals. All language learners at Yale have access to CLS facilities, including its study rooms, distance facilities, and flexible learning spaces. For more information, including hours, a list of resources, and information about Yale’s foreign language requirement and placement testing, see the Center’s Website.

Resource Office on Disabilities

To ensure that all students have an equal opportunity to make the most of their Yale education, the Resource Office on Disabilities facilitates individual accommodations for students with disabilities, and works to remove physical and attitudinal barriers to their full participation in the University community. The Office provides technical assistance, information, and disability awareness training to any member of the Yale community. Services include, but are not limited to, classroom and special testing accommodations, visual materials in alternative formats, and loans of special equipment. The required first step for students with a disability is to contact the Resource Office on Disabilities to initiate the process of obtaining disability-related accommodations. Registration with the Resource Office is confidential.

Every term, students are required to submit an electronic Course Accommodation Form within ten days after registering for classes. At any time during a term, students with a newly diagnosed disability or recently sustained injury requiring accommodations should contact Sarah Chang, Associate Director. All students with disabilities are encouraged to contact the Resource Office on Disabilities to schedule a meeting with staff at 35 Broadway (rear entrance), room 222. Inquiries can be made by mail to Resource Office on Disabilities, Yale University, P.O. Box 208305, New Haven, CT 06520-8305, or by phone at (203) 432-2324. Additional information is available on the Resource Office Website.