First-year students are assigned a pre-major advisor. These advisors are faculty members or professional staff 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.
Advising Plus: Tufts Signature Advising Programs
This option allows you to take a semester-long course with a faculty or staff member who will also serve as your Pre-Major Advisor; or to take a course that is student-led, and all students enrolled are advised by a faculty or staff member. Over 50 courses are typically offered.
There are four categories: the Course Based Advising Program (a traditional class taught by a Tufts faculty member), Special Topics Classes (a special class taught by Tufts faculty or staff), Explorations Seminars (see below), or Perspectives Seminars (a class on visual media taught and designed by upper-level Tufts students).
The Course Based Advising Programs or Special Topics Classes 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 in the Special Topics Class. Other faculty members will select topics within their primary disciplines. 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.
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 that they meet with as part of a one-on-one relationship, scheduling appointments for course registration and as needed throughout the semester. 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.
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.