In the Admissions Office’s experience, most students from the UK do not have different or unusual transition issues or special advising needs. That said, students can take advantage of the strong support system in place for their academic, personal and social concerns. The Advising Programs Office has a very good website including the Advising Matters brochure.
First-Year (Freshman) Advising
The goals of first-year advising are to help students make the transition from secondary school to uni, and to help sort out their educational experience. All incoming first-year students start out with a network of advisers who serve as the chief initial resources for academic and non-academic advice:
- a proctor (who lives in the dorm and advises on personal, residential, social, and academic matters),
- a freshman academic adviser (a faculty member, administrator, or proctor who helps select courses and explore questions on academic matters,educational goals, summer opportunities, career plans, and extracurricular interests)
- a peer advising fellow (a sophomore, junior or senior student who offers advice and assistance from a student’s perspective),
- a resident dean of freshmen (one of four assistant deans who work closely with proctors).
Second-year (Sophomore) advising
The goals of sophomore advising are to support students as they focus on their academic interests, and to help them make successful transitions into their Houses and their chosen concentrations.
- A sophomore adviser (who is matched with students based on shared interests and helps them choose classes, select a concentration, think about study abroad and fellowships, and make summer plans)
- House Masters (who help set the tone for House activities and are wonderful sources of knowledge about Harvard and the world beyond)
- House tutors and resident dean (who help with a range of academic and personal matters and broad life questions)
- Concentration advisers (who help create an academic path within the chosen concentration.)
Once a student declares a concentration at the end of the third semester, the concentration adviser assumes primary academic advising responsibility for the student.
Advising Network Portal
The portal is an online tool which displays a student’s formal network of advisers in one place, with photos and e-mail links. Students also use the portal to gain access to their course enrolment, placement scores, grades, and other information.