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. Entering students should not map out a fixed schedule of courses for the subsequent four years, but they should 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. 

Students have four years at Yale to explore a range of academic subjects and interests. They should think about those areas that interest them most. They should also take the time to learn about other fields that will broaden their horizons.

During the first year, students should consider the following suggestions:

  • Take an introductory course or two in areas of special interest that might lead to the pursuit of a certificate or a different major. 
  • Fulfill one or more distributional requirements by taking a course in another broad area of the university (humanities, social sciences, sciences).
  • Develop skills in writing and/or quantitative reasoning.
  • Consider learning a new language.
  • Consider taking a course in a field that is both intriguing and never before studied.

As students shape their educational goals, they should seek informed advice. For incoming students who have not yet developed relationships with academic advisers on campus, Yale College offers summer advising sessions and a constellation of advising linked to the residential colleges. As students progress in their studies, they may 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. Staff at the University Libraries, the Yale College Dean’s Office, and the cultural centers are ready to support students in a variety of endeavors, and the staff in the Study Abroad Office, Fellowship Programs Office, the Office of Career Strategy (including the Health Professions Advisory Program), and Yale Summer Session is available to provide focused advising.

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 other members of the University drawn from different departments and schools, many of whom serve as advisers to first-year students and sophomores in the college. In addition, a group of seniors in each residential college, known as first-year counselors, serves as peer advisers to first-year students. Additional information about advising resources in the residential colleges may be found on each college 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 to students. Much information about course placement and prerequisites, as well as requirements for each major, may be found in Chapter III. Additional information about advising resources and faculty in a department or program may be found on the relevant department website.

Academic Resources

Yale Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning

The Yale Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning (the Poorvu Center) 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. Located in Sterling Memorial Library, the Poorvu Center includes community study space and a media studio. More information is available on the Poorvu Center website.

Writing tutors and writing partners

The Poorvu Center provides several ways for students to get help with writing. Each residential college has its own dedicated writing tutor. Tutors meet with students to discuss rough drafts of work in progress, research techniques, revision strategies, or other matters relevant to effective writing. Tutors offer free one-on-one help with any writing project: senior essays, course papers, applications, or anything intended for publication. The Writing Partners, another resource, are undergraduate and graduate students who offer a student’s-eye view of writing and revision. Operating out of the Poorvu Center in Sterling Library, Writing Partners offer in-person, drop-in writing support daily. Students may also meet with Writing Partners online on select mornings and evenings. Finally, the Poorvu Center website offers writing handoutsmodel papers, a list of student publications, a guide to writing with Turnitin, and information on using sources effectively.

Stem tutoring & programs

The Poorvu Center provides quantitative reasoning (QR) and science tutoring (Sc) for most relevant fields in Yale College. Several courses provide their own Course-Based Peer Tutors (CBPTs) and Undergraduate Learning Assistants (ULAs) who may help students as they work on problem sets or study for exams, who may review returned assignments, and who are there to provide more support for students with difficulties. Information about CBPTs and ULAs is available on individual course syllabi and the Canvas website. If a particular course does not have a CBPT/ULA, or if a student requires more help, the Residential College Math/Science Tutors offer drop-in hours that cover most science and QR topics. Finally, students who need more individual attention, in courses without CBPTs or ULAs, may apply for small-group tutoring. More information on all of these programs may be found on the Poorvu Center website.

Office of Educational Opportunity

The newly created Office of Educational Opportunity, launched on July 1, 2023, helps students more easily access the programs and resources that can foster their success at Yale. This office oversees and plans programs for Academic Strategies, FGLI Thrive, STEM Navigators, and the Disability Peer Mentor Program. For questions about any of these programs, contact Karin Gosselink, Assistant Dean for Educational Opportunity in Yale College.

Academic Strategies Program

The Academic Strategies Program provides information, workshops, and individual mentoring to all undergraduate students to help them thrive as students at Yale. Strategies discussed include time management, cultivating faculty mentorship, managing a heavy reading load, exam study strategies, and more. Peer academic mentors are also available to help individual students develop and adopt skills central to active, empowered learning. Students may request to be matched with a mentor by emailing Faculty and staff also may directly refer students to Lynda Paul, Associate Director.

FGLI thrive for First-generation/lower-income students

Students who identify as first-generation and/or lower-income (FGLI) can find guidance and community through our FGLI Peer Mentorship Groups and explore our FGL supports through the FGL Community Initiative, a partnership between the OEO and the Office of Student Engagement. FGLI Peer Mentorship Groups offer peer support for first-year and sophomore FGLI students. Biweekly sessions expose students to key academic, extracurricular, and pre-professional resources. FGLI Thrive also organizes information sessions and events for the wider FGLI community. Students sign up in early September; for more information, contact Joshua Faires

STEM Navigators

STEM Navigators is a light-touch mentoring program that helps inform students about success strategies and opportunities in STEM. This program is designed to help first- and second-year Yale undergraduates negotiate their early STEM courses, research, and other opportunities. Each week, participants receive an email from their STEM Navigator mentor that highlights STEM-related activities and advice. Students may also request to meet one-on-one with their assigned mentor. For more information, contact Karin Gosselink.

Disability Peer Mentor Program

The Disability Peer Mentor Program offers students with disabilities and neurodiverse students peer mentorship and access to professional learning support. It offers academic and other support programming for students with disabilities, including physical disabilities, learning differences, temporary disabilities, chronic illness, mental illness, and sensory disabilities. Students can meet with our staff Learning Specialist, Geoffrey Canales, to discuss how to adjust their existing learning strategies to the demands of pursuing college-level work with a disability. We also offer support groups for students with ADHD and chronic illness and one-on-one peer mentoring through the Disability Peer Mentor Program. For more information, or to refer a student to disabilities support, please contact Geoffrey Canales

Center for Language Study

The Center for Language Study (CLS), provides resources for language study at Yale. The CLS also provides support for speakers of other languages through its English Language Program. For undergraduates enrolled in a language course, the CLS offers peer tutoring in the target language. Students who seek to demonstrate advanced- or native-level proficiency in a language not taught at Yale may contact the CLS for a proficiency assessment, ideally during their first year. 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 website.

Student Accessibility Services 

To ensure that all students have an equal opportunity to make the most of their Yale education, the Student Accessibility Services Office (SAS) facilitates individual accommodations for students with disabilities. SAS promotes equitable access to education and student life for students with disabilities and fosters a campus environment of belonging, inclusion, and respect. Students requesting accommodations should complete an Accommodation Request form to initiate the interactive process. Engagement with SAS is confidential. Generally, a student requiring reasonable accommodations needs to renew accommodations with SAS at the start of each term and should complete this step as soon as their schedule is finalized. At any time during a term, students with a newly diagnosed disability or recently sustained injury requiring accommodations should contact SAS to discuss accommodation options. SAS may be reached at or by phone at (203) 432-2324.