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The Academic Advising Center

Freshman Year Advising Guide

The Academic Advising Center at Boston College is committed to helping you navigate your academic program successfully. Here are some suggestions for making the most of the advising experience as a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences. For more information, contact the Academic Advising Center.

The First Meeting

When you meet with your advisor for the first time, come prepared with:

  • A list of the classes you would like to take, with several back-up choices in case your first choices aren’t available;
  • Questions regarding classes and majors;
  • Your long-term academic plan.

Topics for Discussion

Be prepared to talk about the following subjects when you meet with your advisor.

Your Future

As a first-year student, you don’t have to be certain about your career path—but you should start thinking about it. Before you meet with your advisor, identify your interests and try to envision where you’ll be in the next four years and beyond.

The Core

Core courses may help you decide on a major or a long-term interest, but their deeper purpose is to broaden your perspective. Acquaint yourself with the Core requirements, and discuss with your advisor when and how you might fulfill them. Some questions to ask yourself:

  • Do I understand the Core requirements?
  • Which parts of the Core should I pursue first?
  • Which Core classes have I placed out of with my AP or IB scores?

Course Registration

Find out when the undergraduate registration period begins and ends, and prepare for your pre-registration advising meeting by considering the following:

  • Will any of my courses have a discussion group, and do I need to register for that separately?
  • If there are multiple sections of the same course, will the course vary with each professor, or does each professor teach the same material?

Extracurricular Interests

Your advisor may have suggestions about extracurricular activities that would support your academic and long-term interests. Here are some questions to ask your advisor:

  • What opportunities are available to students with academic interests similar to mine?
  • What non-academic extracurricular opportunities are available to me?

Your Major

Be prepared to talk about potential majors and minors. If you have a major in mind, you might ask your advisor:

  • What are the requirements for the major I’m considering?
  • In what order should I take the required courses?
  • How do I add, drop, or change my major?
  • How do I declare a minor?

Advanced Study Grants

Advanced Study Grants provide funding for you to pursue your interests and goals by designing and completing a project of your own. Some questions to ask your advisor:

  • What are advanced study grants?
  • What different kinds of advanced study grants are available?
  • How do I apply for one?