Your faculty adviser is your primary source of academic guidance and approves your course selection and course changes. As an experienced teacher and scholar, your faculty adviser can give you good advice on how to navigate the Princeton curriculum, take advantage of its opportunities, and achieve academic success. You will meet with your adviser during orientation and then throughout the year at key advising periods, but take the time to speak with him or her at other moments to share how you’re doing, benefit from his or her wisdom, or just chat! Your adviser will be happy to see you!
Peer Academic Advisers
Peer academic advisers are friendly, wise juniors and seniors who provide an informed student perspective on selecting classes and successfully navigating academics at Princeton.
Peer advisers are integral members of each zee group, along with your RCA and RGSs. There you will get to see them throughout the year and ask them any of your academic questions. Your first year, you will be exploring a wide variety of subjects, and your peer advisers will all be broadly knowledgeable about the Princeton curriculum, its special academic opportunities, and how to handle challenges and succeed here.
Some peer advisers are also paired with your faculty advisers when you meet with them to choose fall courses in September. In addition to providing a student perspective, their fields of study are frequently complementary to those of your faculty adviser, so they may be able to provide different insights into particular areas of interest to you.
Most peer advisers serve in both roles, and you should feel free to contact any of them when you have a question relevant to their specific fields or academic experiences. You will see all of them around Butler and at the advising fairs conducted in September, November, and April, before you choose courses for the upcoming semester.
Your Dean and Director of Studies
Your dean and director of studies oversee the advising program at Butler. They are excellent sources of advice on all matters, and they can also approve your course changes when your faculty adviser is not available. In addition, they are responsible for assigning peer tutors for courses not covered by the McGraw Center, approving summer courses, and authorizing Dean’s Date extensions, course deficiencies, changes of concentration, and changes of degree between AB and BSE. Dr. Lazen works most closely with first-years and sophomores and Dean Stirk works most closely with juniors and seniors, but they work together as an advising team and both follow your progress through all four years. So, if you can’t reach one, you should feel free to speak to the other!
The Associate Dean for Undergraduate Affairs at SEAS
The Associate Dean for Undergraduate Affairs at the School of Engineering and Applied Science, Peter Bogucki, oversees the BSE faculty advisers and is an excellent source of advice on all matters relating to the BSE program. Dean Bogucki initiates any changes between the AB and BSE degree (though you can always consult with other advisers before seeing him) and he signs summer course approvals for BSE students after they have gotten departmental approval for the course.
Departmental Representatives (or “dep reps” in Princeton lingo) are the faculty members who oversee undergraduate study in their departments. If you have any questions about departmental courses or major requirements, they will be happy to help you. Once you choose your major, the dep rep of your department usually becomes your principal adviser.
If you are thinking about taking a particular course, the best source of information about it is probably the instructor. So don’t hesitate to contact him or her to ask a question about course content, requirements, or enrollment. Professors are always pleased to hear of a student’s interest in their class!
There are an array of resources to provide you with pre-professional advising.
- The Office of Health Professions Advising provides information on preparing for medical school as well as other health-related fields. Normally, students begin fulfilling pre-med requirements in the fall of first year, especially if they intend to attend medical school directly after Princeton, so we recommend that you consult with Health Professions Advising early in your freshman year to begin planning! Your faculty adviser and some peer advisers will also be able to advise you on the basic pre-med curriculum.
- The Center for Career Development is a great source of advice on all careers, including pre-law and business school advising.
- The Program in Teacher Preparation at Princeton not only advises students on careers in education but trains students to become certified K-12 teachers.
A good description of these offices can be found on the advising site of the Office of the Dean of the College.
In surveys given to graduating seniors, study abroad consistently ranks as their most rewarding experience as Princeton students. Yes, Princeton offers enough amazing opportunities on its campus to fill at least eight semesters, but spending a semester or two (or at least a summer) abroad will enrich your studies and life experience in truly special ways. Because of Princeton’s requirements, especially independent work, study abroad may require some advance planning, but the Office of International Programs will be happy to help you with this, along with departmental representatives for your current or potential departments, your dean and director of studies, or your faculty adviser.
Resident Graduate Students
Ten friendly graduate students from a variety of departments live in the Butler dorms and would be delighted to share their wisdom and perspective as experienced students.
Your RCAs are also great sources of academic counsel, and if they can’t help directly, they can point you in the right direction!