Academic Advising & Info

A variety of academic advice and counsel is provided to students during the course of their undergraduate education.

First-Year Students & Sophomores

In the first year each student is assigned an academic advisor from the faculty or staff. This person is the student’s academic advisor until they declare a major in the spring of Sophomore year.  The primary mission of this program is academic advising, which means: exploring the intentions that each student has in structuring his/her first and second year; defining the values of a liberal education that are most important for each student; encouraging students to see the connections between the courses they are taking and other aspects of their life at Williams; ensuring that the divisional requirements and limits on early concentration are met; finding answers to the many questions first-year students have; and, being alert and available when signs of academic difficulties arise.  The Dean’s Office coordinates this advising program, reviews the academic progress of individual students, and–when appropriate–calls students in to discuss their situations.  Students are also encouraged to discuss major options and requirements with faculty members from departments and programs in which they have an interest before declaring a major.

Students interested in medical, dental, and veterinary schools should consult with the health professions advisor during their first year to decide upon course selection.

Information for Faculty on First-year Advising

Juniors & Seniors

In their junior and senior years students are advised by faculty in their major departments or programs. Each department and program determines its own advising system for its majors, although chairs are regularly available for consultation.

Career Advising

Students interested in medical, dental, and veterinary schools should consult with the health professions advisor during their first year to decide upon course selection. In planning for other professional or graduate education, students should consult departmental advisors, the Career CenterAcademic ResourcesFellowships or the Dean’s Office.

Study Away

Advising of Williams students wishing to study elsewhere in the junior year is coordinated by Tina Breakell, Director of International Education and Study Away.  Special orientation and information meetings are held during the fall semester for new students and for students wishing to study abroad. Orientation and counseling of international students is arranged by the International Student Advisor Ninah Pretto.

All Students

Additional programs of academic assistance are also available through Academic Resources. Any student who desires extra help in a particular course that he or she is registered may request a tutor who has been recommended by the respective departments to the Academic Resources office; costs of this tutoring are covered by Academic Resources. Students seeking to enhance their writing skills in any course may take advantage of the Writing Workshops. Trained and supervised by a coordinator, student writing tutors provide assistance on papers already corrected and with drafts of papers in any stage of the writing process.

All students are encouraged to take full advantage of these academic resources. For more information about academic assistance, contact the Director of Accessible Education, [email protected] or stop by the Academic Resources office, Paresky 202, x4672. For information on Writing Programs, contact Dr. Stephanie Dunson, Director of Writing Programs ([email protected]).