Pre-Major Advisors are assigned to students to support their transition to Tufts and to encourage intellectual curiosity. Pre-Major Advisors are available for conversations around and questions about academic interests. Students report that their Pre-Major Advisors are helpful in the following ways: friendly, accessible, knowledgeable, supportive, and provide connections to useful resources.
- Show up on time for advising meetings, contact advisor in advance if you need to reschedule.
- Come to appointments prepared with questions or concerns, and be sure to share your academic and personal goals with your advisor.
- Read and understand the Tufts University Student Code of Conduct.
- Maintain open lines of communication with your advisors, deans, and professors. Respond to emails and phone calls in a timely manner.
Be an engaged participant in your education.
- Familiarize yourself with the Bulletin, including graduation requirements for your intended area of study as well as general academic policies and procedures.
- Be aware of relevant dates and deadlines on the academic calendar.
- Read and understand the Tufts Academic Integrity Policy.
- Know who your pre-major advisor and academic dean are.
- Know when to ask for help (professors, Academic Resource Center, deans, advisors, etc.).
Acknowledge the many contributing factors to your academic success at Tufts.
- Take care of yourself physically, mentally, emotionally and know when to ask for help.
- Actively engage in campus life.
- Explore your interests and passions.
- Build relationships in and out of the classroom with those who can help you meet your educational goals.
- Be open to new ideas, experiences, and people.
Changing your Pre-Major Advisor
In extenuating circumstances, students are allowed to request a change of their Pre-Major Advisor. It is not appropriate for students to request a change of Advisor solely because their Advisor is not a faculty or staff member in their intended major.
For Arts and Sciences Students, If you have been assigned to the Course Based Advising program, and wish to drop this course you will do so during registration at Orientation. In such cases your Advisor will not be changed.
Majors and Minors
Declaring a major or minor is a big decision, one that can feel a little daunting at times. Try these three steps to help see things more clearly.
1) Talk About It
Within in the Tufts community, you have a wide network of people to talk to about your interests and plans. It doesn’t matter where you start, but strike up a conversation!
- Talk to faculty members in various department about the real-world applications of a particular major.
- Meet with your Pre-Major Advisor, Senior Academic Advisor, or Advising Dean to discuss majors, minors, or special programs and how they fit with overall University requirements.
- Ask upper-class students about a particular major and the research, internships, and study abroad options available.
- Attend events such as Major Exploration Expo and Majors Week.
- Explore majors through the Career Center, or see one of their Advisors.
- If you’re an Engineering student, attend the weekly seminars and colloquia offered by departments within the School of Engineering (and announced in the weekly email newsletters), and ask speakers about their interests, research, and work. Also be sure not to miss E-Week events in February. If you missed the Engineering Student Panel during Orientation, be sure to watch it to see upper-class engineers discuss how they determined their majors:
2019 Engineering Student Panel
2) Consider the Curriculum
Arts and Sciences students have a lot of freedom to explore different academic disciplines in their first and second year. Take some time to reflect on the classes you take, and consider which ones got you really excited. Try to identify what you enjoyed about a particular course. Are there more courses like it that you could take? Do they fit into a particular major or program?
Engineering students take a number of pre-requisite and introductory courses in their first year, declaring their major in the spring semester. While you’re fulfilling early requirements in the first and second year, ask yourself what you enjoy about a particular course. Try to identify your strengths, and look ahead to courses you might take if you pursue a certain major. Be aware that because most Engineering majors share common coursework during the first two years, it is often possible to change your major after you’ve declared it, especially before your junior year. It is also often the case that a specialized course can map usefully to different degree sheets. Your Pre-Major or Major Advisor, Senior Academic Advisor, or Advising Dean can help you think about mapping courses to different degree sheets if you consider switching your major.
3) Investigate Your Post-College Options
It's also important to consider what your choice of major will mean beyond your time at Tufts. A single major can lead graduates to hundreds of different careers and work environments. Taking the time to do a little research about your post-college options will help you map your Tufts experience.
- Explore the variety of career paths associated with a major.
- Find out about what Tufts Alumni have done with their majors by consulting the Tufts Career Networking Group on LinkedIn.
- Connect with a Career Center Advisor to explore majors and developing career goals. (Engineering students have a Career Center Advisor, Robin Kahan, specifically dedicated to helping them explore their post-college options.)
- Both Arts and Sciences and Engineering students work with the Office of Pre-Professional Advising at Tufts to prepare for careers in health and legal professions. Through one-on-one appointments, workshops and programs of interest, get help planning your curriculum, find internships, and work through the application process.
When you are ready to declare a major you will work with the Registrar.