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Upperclassman Advising

student getting advising help

From Concentration Selection to Senior Projects

As you progress in your studies, you will benefit from the guidance of advisers in your residence and from specialist advisers in your chosen field.

In addition to a advisers in your concentration, one of the most important go-to resources for you will be the Allston Burr Assistant Dean (ABAD) in your residential House. You will also be strongly advised to continue building your own network of advisers , seeking multiple perspectives on how you can make the most of your time at Harvard.

Sophomore Advising

In sophomore year, your primary adviser in the fall will be a House Tutor who will serve as your Sophomore Adviser. Your Sophomore Adviser will support you through two significant transitions: into your House at the beginning of your third term and into your concentration near the end of your third term.

Your Sophomore Adviser will help you select courses, assist you in planning for your choice of concentration, and help you connect with concentration advisers. Concentration advisers are eager to connect with sophomores, to offer general guidance on their fields and to discuss the specifics of concentration requirements.

Even after you declare your concentration, your Sophomore Adviser will continue to provide you with generalist guidance and support throughout the year, helping you plan for academic opportunities such as research or study abroad, and pointing you to other resources as appropriate.

Concentration Advising

Concentration advising guides you in three phases:

  1. into an appropriate set of introductory courses in your field of study
  2. to advanced work in your field of study
  3. when applicable, through a final project or thesis in your senior year

Once you select a concentration, your primary academic adviser will be assigned to you in accordance with the standard practice of your department. Most concentrations take a team approach to advising, encouraging you to seek advice from a variety of sources, such as the Director of Undergraduate Studies or Head Tutor, the Assistant Director of Undergraduate Studies or Assistant Head Tutor, or the Undergraduate Coordinator.

Note that some concentrations offer House-based concentration advising, either through Resident Tutors who are themselves graduate students in their fields, or through non-resident graduate students whom they affiliate with specific Houses.

Residence-based Advising

Every upperclass House has its own staff of advisers —resident tutors—who are hired for their expertise in particular academic or professional areas. House Tutors provide general advising guidance to students in their entryways. Every House Tutor also serves as the Sophomore Adviser for a small group of students in the House. Every House also has an Alston Burr Assistant Dean (ABAD), who tracks the academic progress of students in residence. ABADs are the senior academic officers in the Houses. Students are encouraged to turn to them for any kind of advising guidance. 

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