Guide to Princeton Advisers
As a Princeton student, we hope that you will be challenged and engaged by your academic work. We also recognize that finding your path through the curriculum can be complicated, so the university provides many advising resources to help you gain the most from your Princeton experience. You'll be happiest with your advising when you advocate for yourself: seek out a range of perspectives as you are making your decisions, and take advantage of the many different sorts of advisers available to you.
Your Faculty Adviser
Your faculty adviser will be your primary source of academic guidance for your freshman year (BSE) or freshman and sophomore year (AB). Your adviser is a faculty member who knows not only his or her field, but also the general requirements of a Princeton undergraduate education. Your faculty adviser can help you navigate the Princeton curriculum, plan according to your own ambitions, and take advantage of special opportunities. You’ll meet with your adviser each term before course enrollment, but for the best advising experience, make sure you see your adviser at other times of the term too. Take advantage of your adviser’s office hours and advising meals at Rocky: share how you’re doing, benefit from your adviser’s experience, or just chat informally. Your adviser will be happy to see you!
Peer Advisers, Interactors & RCAs
Your peer advisers are outstanding juniors and seniors who have volunteered to serve as advisers to first- and second-year students. They are excellent sources of advice about good classes and professors, managing your course-load and extracurriculars, and taking advantage of academic resources. All Rocky freshmen and sophomores have a peer academic adviser affiliated with your RCA zone: this senior will be available to give you advice and help you find support when needed, and can also help you meet upperclassmen in fields that interest you. BSE students also have Peer Interactors who work with their freshman faculty advisers; these juniors and seniors will help you acclimate to life in the E-Quad.
Your Dean and Director of Studies
During your four years at Princeton, your dean and director of studies will oversee your academic progress and provide non-departmental academic advising. In general, Dr. Levine advises freshmen and sophomores, and Dean Avens advises juniors and seniors. Your faculty adviser or dep rep should be the first stop for routine academic questions, course-change approvals, etc., but don’t hesitate to contact your dean or director of studies for more complicated situations. We’re also here to help when you need academic support: we assign peer tutors, authorize Dean’s Date extensions, and can advise you on all non-departmental academic concerns.
Associate Dean for Undergraduate Affairs at SEAS
Dean Peter Bogucki, the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Affairs, is an invaluable source of advice for engineers. Dean B. oversees the BSE faculty advisers, and can answer questions about the BSE curriculum and opportunities. He also initiates any degree changes between AB and BSE.
Each department has a faculty member designated as the undergraduate departmental representative (or “Dep Rep”), who oversees the undergraduate program. They can answer questions about major requirements, course placement, and prerequisites, and approve summer transfer courses for the department. After you join a department, your dep rep will be your overall departmental adviser.
If you’re uncertain whether you have adequate prerequisites for a course, or would like a little more information about the course requirements, contact the professor. Most are happy to hear from students interested in their courses! Once you’re in your classes, remember that your professors and preceptors are your best sources of help for course-specific questions: all instructors have office hours, and they are vastly under-used by most undergrads. “I should have gone to office hours more” is a regret that many seniors voice!
There are many resources to help you think ahead about professional options. The Office of Health Professions Advising provides information on preparing for medical school and other health-related fields. Students usually begin fulfilling pre-med requirements in the fall of freshman year, especially if they intend to attend medical school directly after Princeton, so we recommend that you consult with Health Professions Advising early in your freshman year to begin planning. Your faculty adviser and some peer advisers will also be able to advise you on the basic pre-med curriculum. Pre-law and business school advising are housed in the Office of Career Services, which is also a great resource for information on all other career options and how they relate to your academics. Finally, the Program in Teacher Preparation Program at Princeton not only advises students on careers in education but trains students to become certified K-12 teachers. A good description of these offices can be found on the advising site of the Office of the Dean of the College. (top)