Pre-Major Advising for Faculty

Pre-Major Advisors are assigned to students to support their transition to Tufts and to encourage intellectual curiosity. Advisors are available for conversations around and questions about academic interests but are not expected to know all the answers. Students report that their pre-major advisors are helpful in the following ways: friendly, accessible, knowledgeable, supportive, and provide connections to useful resources.

If you are a new Pre-Major Advisor, we ask that you attend advisor training offered. Advisor training sessions are held at the end of the spring semester and throughout the summer. We will contact you in advance of the trainings to sign up.

If you are a returning pre-major advisor, we hold refresher sessions in late spring semester and over the summer to answer questions, alert you to curriculum and policy changes, and to share resource information.

Want to be a Pre-Major Advisor?

  • School of Engineering faculty can contact Jennifer Stephan directly to inquire about Pre-Major Advising for incoming engineering students.
  • Arts and Science faculty should review the options below and contact Carmen Lowe for additional information. 

Pre-Major Advising Options for Arts and Sciences

In each of the options, the faculty or staff member continues to advise the students until they declare a major, usually by the second semester of sophomore year.

Advising Plus Options

Course-based Advising Program (CAP)

This option is designed for faculty members who teach a fall semester course (can be a course in any discipline) that is appropriate for first-year students. You choose how many advisees you wish to have in the course, and your advisees are pre-enrolled. Both faculty and students report that this arrangement fosters positive advising relationships as you see your advisees regularly in class and are able to assess their cognitive skills and study habits.

Special Topics Courses

The faculty member teaches this course over and above the normal teaching load, and the students in the class consist only of the advising cohort. Faculty may elect to teach topics outside their area of professional expertise or to use the semester to pilot new course material. Thus, students and their advisor are matched by something in common, namely the seminar topic. Students receive 2-3 semester hour units on a pass/fail basis. This model enhances group advising and allows for class time to address common interests.

Advising Through Explorations or Perspectives Seminars

A faculty or staff member advises a group of students enrolled in an Explorations or Perspectives seminar through the Experimental College. There is no teaching responsibility for this option, and the advisor benefits from having the upper-level peer leaders who teach the course maintain regular interaction with students. Each seminar is a semester-long course designed and taught by two upper-level students on a subject of their choosing. Carefully selected, trained, and supervised by the Experimental College, the peer leaders will work with you during Orientation, and will meet with each student prior to registration. This generally makes your individual advising meetings more streamlined. Seminars have 14 first-year students each.

Individualized Advising Option (formerly Host Advising)

This option consists of a one-on-one relationship between student and advisor. Advisors are assigned students that they see individually, by appointment. Advisors support students in their transition into Tufts and encourage intellectual curiosity. They are available for conversations around academic interests but are not expected to know all the answers. Advisors can access or refer students to additional resources that will help them explore their interests such as pre-health, pre-law, International Relations, etc. 

Summer Commitments

Advisor assignments will be sent to advisors and advisees by early August. Advisors are asked to send an introductory email to students as soon as possible and to answer any questions via email/phone, as available. Advisors are expected to meet with their advisees for a group meeting the Thursday of orientation weekend and for individual meetings the Friday of orientation weekend. Advisors who will be unable to fulfill this commitment should contact Carmen Lowe well in advance so that arrangements can be made for their advisees.

Advisor training sessions are offered July and August. New advisors are required to attend one of these sessions. Ongoing trainings will also be offered during the fall and spring semesters.