Getting advice when you need it
Everybody needs advice sometime during college. In our “advising community” model, you will find several kinds of advisers—faculty, peer, and professional staff— ready to help out with everything from planning your courses to managing the inevitable periods of stress.
Your residential college dean and director of studies oversee your academic progress during all four years here. Don’t be shy about getting to know us: talk with us about your intellectual passions, ask us questions about coursework, and let us help you find appropriate resources to ease the transition to college learning.
Over the summer, we will assign you a faculty adviser. If you’re a B.S.E. candidate, your faculty adviser will be a professor in the School of Engineering and Applied Science; if you’re an A.B. candidate, your faculty adviser will be from one of the many departments and programs ranging from African American Studies to the Woodrow Wilson School. All of the faculty advisers are well-trained in the University’s core requirements, know the prerequisites for majors, and can help you think broadly about how to make the most of your liberal education. You’ll meet your faculty adviser early in orientation, and will have an individual meeting together to plan your fall courses.
If you want to talk with someone who has been in your shoes, turn to your Peer Academic Adviser. The Peer Academic Advisers (PAAs) are upperclassmen affiliated with your residential college. You should always feel free to get in touch with your PAAs: they can give you their perspectives on balancing your course-load and extracurriculars, taking advantage of academic resources like the McGraw Center and the Writing Center, and what professors they’ve especially liked.
To get the most out of Princeton’s advising community, YOU need to be proactive. If you want to take full advantage of our advising resources, seek out as many perspectives as you can! Remember: if you have a question, or find yourself confused about something, ask. Don’t worry about asking the wrong person, since we all work together and refer students to each other regularly. And if you don’t know where to start, talk with your RCA, your Peer Academic Adviser, or your Director of Studies—they’ll point you in the right direction.
I am dean of Wilson College, overseeing the academic progress and advising of the amazing Wilsonites. This is my nineteenth year at Princeton: I did my graduate work here, studying realist and modernist novels and focusing on questions of literature and ethics. Before joining the staff at Wilson College, I taught in the Department of Comparative Literature and in the Writing Program, and was director of studies at Rockefeller College. I grew up in Ohio and went to college at the University of Chicago, then worked in Chicago and Brooklyn before moving to the suburbs here in the Garden State. I have two young children, so you'll often see me on campus running after a kid on a bike–stop and say hi!