Boston College academic advisors are committed to helping you identify your interests, choose a major, and fulfill the requirements for graduation. Here’s an overview of how the advising process works in the College of Arts and Sciences; for more details, see our Advising Guides.
The advising process at BC begins before you enter the University. At Summer Orientation you’ll meet with an assigned faculty advisor from the College of Arts and Sciences to discuss your academic interests, degree requirements, and how to register for classes. In addition, staff members in the Academic Advising Center are available for consultation and advisement throughout the summer. In most cases, your Summer Orientation Advisor will not continue to advise you in the fall.
All first-year students are assigned a pre-major advisor at the beginning of Fall Semester. You will meet your advisor during Welcome Week at a luncheon hosted by the Academic Advising Center, and you will remain with that advisor throughout your freshman year.
You should plan to meet face to face with your advisor at least twice each semester. Your advisor will help you to think strategically about your long-range academic plans, encouraging you to keep your options open so that you’ll be able to take advantage of opportunities like study-abroad programs, research grants, or internships.
As much as possible, students are matched with an advisor on the basis of shared intellectual and personal interests. Your pre-major advisor might be your instructor in an Honors Program course, a Cornerstone Seminar, a Courage to Know course, an advising section of Perspectives, or an advising section of the First-Year Writing Seminar. If you are not enrolled in one of these advising seminars, your academic advisor will be a faculty member or senior administrator who works under the aegis of the Academic Advising Center.
In your sophomore year, after you have declared a major, your department will assign a faculty member to be your major advisor. Major advisors are the best source of information about your major, so get to know your advisor and be in touch when you have questions or concerns. If you do not know who your major advisor is, check the BC Portal or ask a departmental administrator.
Advising In Second Majors or Minors
Even if you have a second major or a minor, you will only have an assigned advisor for your first major. Some departments have designated faculty who advise second majors or minors; all departments have a director of undergraduate studies who can also serve in this role. If you have an interdisciplinary minor, you should consult with the Director of the Interdisciplinary Program for advising.
If You Can’t Get in Touch with Your Advisor
Academic Advising Center staff members are not substitutes for your individual advisor, who knows you, your academic record, and your hopes and plans. But if you can’t reach your own advisor and need a quick answer to “how do I . . .” or “who can help me with . . ,” feel free to contact the Advising Center.
Making the Most of Advising
Touch base with your advisor frequently, especially early in the fall semester as you explore your interests and see how your fall courses are going. The more your advisor knows about your interests and concerns, the more he or she can support you. Early planning can open opportunities, identify issues early, and solve problems. So take advantage of your advisor’s knowledge and interest!
The Degree Audit
Every year in mid-fall, your advisor will receive your Degree Audit and your access code to register for spring classes. You must schedule a meeting with your advisor during the advising and registration period to discuss your plans for spring and to receive your access code. It’s your responsibility to arrange a registration advising meeting with your assigned advisor, so be sure to do so!