Advising

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When students arrive on campus for their term at Yale, many people will be ready and willing to offer advice about academic choices. It is our hope and expectation that a student will make use of Yale’s many advising resources to plan their program of study. It is in the nature of a liberal education to ask questions and students have an important role to play in seeking advice.

Y‐VISP Academic Adviser

A Y‐VISP academic adviser is a Yale committee member (either faculty or staff at Yale) who has volunteered to talk with a student about their academic interests and aspirations. He or she can offer general guidance about constructing a sensible overall schedule for a students time at Yale, help them think through larger questions and plans, and direct them to relevant resources. Please note that the primary purposes of these conversations are to provide general advice about acclimating to Yale’s academic culture and to give students an opportunity to become acquainted with a member of the faculty or administration. Specific questions about particular courses or requirements should be directed to the relevant academic department or to the students residential college dean.

A student and their adviser should meet at least twice before course schedules are due. Meetings usually take place either in the adviser’s office or in the students residential college, perhaps over a meal in the dining hall. A student does not need to go to these advising meetings with a settled plan; it is perfectly appropriate for a student to be considering six to eight courses during course selection period (“shopping period”). Conversely, even if a student has a clear idea about which courses they want to take, they should be receptive to the advice and suggestions an adviser offers. A student should be aware that they will likely need to address specific questions about courses and requirements to faculty affiliated with the relevant academic department or to their college dean. If they have any difficulty finding answers to a particular question, their adviser or college dean can guide them to the right source of information. Toward the end of course selection period, a student should schedule one more meeting with their adviser to secure their adviser’s signature endorsing the students program of study for that term.

Finally, advisers are also available to meet throughout the term about any matter a student may wish to discuss.  The amount of contact a student has with their adviser depends largely upon their interests and initiatives. We particularly encourage a student to arrange a meeting with their adviser around midterm to discuss how their courses are going, and if they are a full academic year program participant again toward the end of the fall term as they begin to think about the spring term.

Y-VISP Peer Liaisons

Y-VISP Peer Liaisons are full-time Yale College undergraduates, whose role is to support the Y-VISP students during their academic year at Yale.  The Y-VISP Peer Liaisons participate in and manage various aspects of the Y-VISP orientation, in an effort to ease the students’ transition to Yale. During the academic year, Y-VISP Peer Liaisons will host regular Y-VISP dinners in the residential colleges, hold frequent study breaks, and will coordinate many Y-VISP programs that take place on- and off-campus. The Y-VISP Peer Liaisons will provide general feedback about academics at Yale, based on their experiences with the undergraduate curriculum (Y-VISP students should contact their academic adviser or dean for specific academic advising), as well as advice concerning how to navigate Yale’s social scene and extracurricular activities.

Other advising at Yale

Residential College Dean

A residential college dean is someone to whom a student may always turn for academic and personal advice. The dean can answer questions about academic requirements and connect a student to other advising resources on campus. The college dean lives in a residential college and also has an office there. He or she supervises the advising networks within the college. If a student has a question to which they cannot find an answer, or if a student needs advice they cannot find elsewhere, they should consult their dean.

Resident Fellows

Resident fellows are Yale faculty or staff members who live in apartments in the residential colleges or on the Old Campus. They work with the college masters and deans to provide supplemental oversight and support for students.

Peer Liaisons

In addition to the Y-VISP Peer Liaisons, there are still more Peer Liaisons at Yale.  These other (non-Y-VISP) Peer Liaisons are upperclassmen who help connect students to the programs and services of Yale’s cultural and community resource centers, including the Afro‐American Cultural Center, Asian American Cultural Center, Chaplain’s Office, Latino Cultural Center, LGBTQ Resource Center, Native American Cultural Center and Office of International Students and Scholars. These student leaders also help first‐year students adjust to life at Yale and encourage each student to be an engaged, responsible, and proactive citizen on campus.

Departmental Advising 

Each academic department has a director of undergraduate studies (DUS), with whom a student can discuss the department’s course offering and major requirements. Contact information for each DUS is printed by department in Yale College Programs of Study (the YCPS, or “Blue Book,” which students will receive when they arrive), and a separate list of DUSes is also posted on the web. Large departments may also have departmental representatives in the residential colleges; the YCPS lists the names of these representatives.