First Year Advising
Freshmen choose their courses under the guidance of a faculty adviser, either in the AB or the BSE program. Freshmen will be assigned an academic adviser shortly before the start of term, and will meet with him or her the day before classes start to pick a group of classes that are appropriate for each student’s academic goals and interests. Freshmen in the AB program typically continue with their faculty adviser through the sophomore year, although changes are sometimes made based on student preference as well as advisers’ schedules for students in the sophomore year. BSE students receive a new faculty adviser at the end of freshman year, when BSE concentrations are declared.
In addition to the assigned faculty advisers, the residential college offers students a number of additional sources of support and advice when picking classes and negotiating other academic decisions. Our college peer advisers are available to talk with you about academic issues, and our RCAs and Resident Graduate Students are also good resources to consult when you have questions about classes, majors, or other things related to your academic work at Princeton.
Advising for Upperclass Students
The Dean of the College's website proposes an excellent Sophomore Action Plan - check it out! But sophomores in the A.B. program continue to meet with their college-affiliated academic advisers, as well as making use of the college's director of studies and dean.
The main source of academic advising for juniors and seniors in the A.B. program, and for sophomores, juniors and seniors in the BSE program, are departmental advisers and Departmental Representatives. (Dept. Reps are basically the “undergraduate program director” for the department, although in larger departments, two or more faculty members may serve as “Dept. Reps”, or the tasks may be split into “junior-year” and “senior-year adviser” roles, or other configurations.) Check each department’s webpage for the most up-to-date listing of the faculty taking on those roles.
Remember that your Residential College Dean and Director of Studies are also essential resources for the following areas of academic support, regardless of your class year:
- Planning your courses, declaring a major, and troubleshooting academic difficulty
- Approving “Dean’s Date” extensions or incompletes – including those for independent work
- Changing concentrations
- Approving peer tutoring (when it goes beyond the Frist Study Halls)
- Pre-approval of courses away from Princeton for transfer credit ( the link is here: https://odoc.princeton.edu/resources/approval-course-taken-another-institution on the Dean of the College's website)
- Allowing a senior to drop beneath a three-course load for one term of their senior year.