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The Academic Advising Center

January 2013 Newsletter

Akua Sarr photo

Dear A&S Class of 2016:

Greetings from Stokes Hall, the new home of the Academic Advising Center!

Welcome back to campus for the start of the second semester. We hope that you will take the time to stop by our new location in Room 140S Stokes Hall.  We now share space with the Office of the First Year Experience and we see this as an opportunity for more collaboration and a community where all first year students can come to discuss their academic and personal goals.

Please be sure to note the important information in this memo about second semester deadlines, and about procedures to follow if you are considering certain academic options.

Akua Sarr
Associate Dean and Director


January 14

January 21



Classes begin

Martin Luther King Day – No Classes

January 23 Wednesday

Last date for undergraduates only to drop/add a course or to declare a course pass/fail on-line.  Please note: freshman can only take a 6th course pass-fail.

February 15 Wednesday Last date for undergraduates only to drop a course or to declare a course pass/fail in their Associate Dean’s Office.
March 4
March 8
Spring Vacation
March 28
April 1

Easter Weekend—No classes Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Monday (except for any class beginning at 4:00 p.m. and later)

April 15


Patriot's Day—No classes

April 16


Last date to withdraw from a course or from University

May 3
May 6


Study days—No classes for undergraduate day students only

May 7
May 14

Tuesday (noon)

Term Examinations—Posted grades available online

May 20



Adjusting Spring Semester Course Schedules: 

Some students, for whom the fall semester didn't go as well as expected, have received official warning letters as a result of the academic review process which occurs at the close of each semester.  If you have received such a letter, or if you found yourself consistently struggling during the fall in one or more courses, please consider your second semester choices carefully, before you press ahead in any field in which you've encountered significant difficulty.  Remember that you may not continue into the second half of a sequential course (in language, for instance, or in mathematics or chemistry) if you have failed the first course in the sequence.  Please consult your faculty advisor, and please take advantage of the help that department Undergraduate Directors and members of the Advising Center staff stand ready to offer, as you rethink your plans and your schedule for the spring term.

Even if you did not fail or do poorly in a course during the fall term, you may be thinking anew about whether you want to move ahead in a field or a program in which you'd originally believed yourself interested.   Now is the time to make changes, to explore new possibilities, or to test further interests you developed during the fall semester.  If your plans remain uncertain, you don't want to close off options ultimately to pursue a field or program in which you've long had at least tentative interest.  So, again, consult your advisor and the Undergraduate Director in the appropriate department(s), and "think twice" before interrupting a course sequence in language, philosophy, or mathematics, that you intend to fulfill a proficiency or Core requirement.  But don't shy away from making a change if that seems the appropriate thing to do.  And especially don't shy away from trying something new!

Course loads, closed courses, and overloads:

All first year students are expected to carry 15 credits per semester.
Please be absolutely certain that you are enrolled in the university's normal and expected course load before the January 23 deadline.  If you are seeking admission to a closed course or are hoping to secure an override, register for a full course program by including the course you will take if you cannot gain admission to your first choice, and then drop that course by January 23 if you are granted an override or are admitted to your first-choice course from a department wait-list. 

Some students believe that they want to attempt six three-credit courses in the spring semester.  Only students who meet the requirements to overload (3.0 average in at least 15 credits) are eligible for an academic overload.  If you meet the eligibility requirements you need to meet with a member of the Academic Advising Center staff prior to January 23.  Late requests will not be approved.

Major “Wipe-Out":

The College of Arts and Sciences expects that students will choose their undergraduate majors only after experiencing the university.  For that reason, and because majors declared when students applied to the university, or when they sought admission at registration to particular courses may not reflect students' long term interests, all major declarations are removed from the records of freshman students in A&S at the end of January in the spring semester

In the spring semester, freshmen have three choices: 

(1)    to re-declare their "original" major by emailing with their name, Eagle number, and their choice of major;

(2)     to declare a different major, also by emailing with their name, Eagle number, and their choice of major;

(3)     remaining undeclared, in which case they need not do anything.  

Advisors expect to discuss your choices with you, and Undergraduate Directors in the academic departments and members of the Advising Center staff welcome your questions, as well.  Note that all members of the Class of 2016 will continue to be advised by their Pre-Major Advisors throughout the spring semester and will register for the fall semester with their Pre-Major Advisor.  

Students who elect to declare a major this spring will be assigned an advisor in their major department during the summer and will be advised in their major when they return to begin the fall semester.  If you are not yet certain of your major, you are in good company:  last year, over half the freshman class remained undeclared at the end of freshman year, and over 1/3 remained undeclared at the start of their sophomore fall semester. 

It may be January, but . . .

. . . it's time now to develop plans for the coming summer.  The Career Center is holding its annual Internship Fair (Wednesday, January 23 from 4 -7 pm AND Thursday, January 24 from 10 am – 1 pm in the Heights Room, which is located on the 2nd floor of the Lower Dining Hall); it's a great way to gather information about the wide range of internship opportunities available, especially in the Boston area. 

The first of this semester's Professors and Pastries programs will be offered on Wednesday, January 30. "Suddenly It's Summer," sponsored jointly by the Advising Center and the Career Center, is a resource for students who are considering options from summer travel and study abroad, to internships, or employment.   

The second program, Cultural Diversity,” will be held on Wednesday, February 6.  It will include faculty and local area experts who will be ready to talk about a variety of possibilities, ranging from how to work with existing political or social agencies to influence or shape policy, to how to identify and address "new" needs through government, private or nonprofit sector initiatives, or volunteer efforts. 

On Wednesday, February 20th will be “Nations, Societies, and Organizations:  How to Rule, Run, and Study Them.”

These Spring Professors and Pastries will be held from 3:30 – 5:00 pm in S139 Stokes Hall.

Best wishes for a successful semester!