First-year students are assigned a pre-major advisor. These advisors are faculty members from departments across the university, and they will work with you from the time you set foot on campus until you declare a major. Through regular check-ins each semester, they ease the transition into academic life at Tufts, fielding all your questions about course registration, distribution requirements, and choosing a major. Two options for pre-major advising are listed below.
Developed over 25 years ago by students in the Experimental College, the Explorations program consists of seminars designed and taught by two upper-level students (who also serve as your peer advisors). In addition, a pre-major advisor is assigned to each group. Explorations topics have covered everything from pop culture to bioethics, including courses on Human Rights in the Digital Age, Science Fiction & Fantasy in Literature, and Futurism. In addition to advising and learning, the groups develop a sense of community beginning on your first day of orientation.
Individualized Advising Option
The Individualized Advising Option is the most traditional advising option, providing students with a pre-major advisor and two orientation leaders who are available during orientation and throughout the year for academic advice and counsel. Some first-year students find this program works well with their academic schedule as it offers a great deal of flexibility.
Once you decide on your major, you will choose a major advisor in your department or program who will guide you through the process of fulfilling course requirements and perhaps completing a senior capstone or thesis. Your major advisor may also prove invaluable to helping you find relevant internships and research opportunities. If you plan on continuing your education in graduate or professional school, your major advisor can be of great help in that effort, too.
Faculty Seminars provide students with an opportunity to get to know their advisor in a classroom setting. Some professors elect to step outside their academic department and organize a seminar on a topic of great personal interest. Other faculty members will select topics within their primary disciplines; for example, one of our political science professors taught “Law, Minorities, and Others,” which explored functions of the law and legal decisions and their effects on minorities and underrepresented groups. No matter what the topic, you will find faculty eager to share their favorite subjects to encourage you to learn and possibly develop your own sense of passion for the subject.
Student Success Advisors
In addition to their pre-major advisors, all first and second year students have access to advising through the Office for Student Success and Advising (OSSA), based on their program of study: BA, BS, or BFA. With a particular focus on underrepresented student groups, OSSA supports the transition of all students by exposing them to the range of Tufts' curricular and co-curricular opportunities, increasing students' awareness of University resources for support and engagement, and acquainting students with the relationship between personal development and academic achievement.
If you are interested in pursuing one of the health professions after graduation, you'll work with pre-health advisors who will offer information, advice, and support to help you plan your curriculum and find health-related internships. They can also help you work through the application process for medical, dental, veterinary, and many other health professions graduate schools. As a supplement to Tufts academic advisors, pre-health advisors are here to work with you one-on-one, as well as to offer workshops and programs for pre-professional students.