Advising Timeline

  • Participate in pre-major advisor workshops in April.
  • Meet with your peer advisor(s) to discuss your how you will work with one another in advising your incoming freshmen.
  • Develop a familiarity with online resources and campus offices. Virtually everything you need to know can be found through For Pre-Major Advisors page on the College website.
  • Develop a familiarity with Advisor InTouch (AIT) to view student records, enter notes and use the Academic Planning Worksheet.
  • Prior to talking with your advisees, familiarize yourself with the material on Compass, the primary guide for incoming students throughout the summer and review their Advising Questionnaires and the Registration Tutorial.

Early June

  • The College Office communicates to the freshman class about next steps for academic advising and planning.
  • Students engage with Compass, the primary guide for incoming freshmen throughout the summer, where they complete the Advising Questionnaire and view the Registration Tutorial.

Mid to late June

  • Review advising materials on the For Pre-Major Advisor page and information on your freshman advisees via the Advisee List which includes links to their Advising Questionnaire and their Math Diagnostic scores.
  • The Advising Questionnaire helps you understand your advisees' interests and goals. The questionnaire must be completed prior to the first advising appointment. You cannot lift the registration hold in Advisor in Touch until the student watches the videos and completes the questionnaire.
  • The Math Diagnostic score is based on an online placement exam that incoming freshmen take to help determine the math course most suited to their current abilities and academic ambitions.
  • Begin to have discussions with your advisees. Be accessible in person, by telephone, Skype or via email. Students will be given SAS email addresses in the spring—this is the first contact for students, and we strongly encourage making arrangements for phone or in-person conversations. Each of your advisees must have at least one meaningful discussion with you before their final registration hold can be removed.

June - August

  • Freshman Advance Registration
  • Continue to meet or speak with your advisees. Remove registration holds during this summer Advance Registration period so students may submit their course selections via Penn InTouch.
  • Check in with your advisees once they receive their fall schedules in Penn In Touch. Most students will not receive all of their first course choices during Advance Registration. Now is the time to help them make schedule adjustments based on available courses and what is appropriate for their academic goals and interests.
  • August 25 - 29: New Student Orientation
  • Peer advisors guide students through College NSO activities.
  • Meet with advisees before the end of the Course Selection period (Sept. 18th) to make sure that they have full and appropriate schedules (course registration can be viewed via Advisor InTouch) and answer any questions.
  • Meet with advisees as necessary throughout the semester to discuss academic direction as well as difficulties. If students encounter problems, make appropriate referrals directly to support services or to the College’s CaseNet team.
  • Reach out to advisees a week before the drop and withdraw deadlines to see how they are doing and remind them of the drop and withdraw deadlines.
  • Meet with advisees individually during Advanced Registration (October 31 - November 13) to discuss their performance in fall courses and their course selection for the spring. Remove registration hold so students may submit their course selections via Penn InTouch.

In guiding your advisees towards course selection for the fall, please keep the following in mind. Some students will feel an impulse to "get requirements out of the way," packing their sophomore fall with courses chosen from various requirements lists. If these courses are also chosen with an eye towards a potential major, that can be fine, but it is worth reminding the advisee that requirements can always be fulfilled later. The third semester is a crucial time for trying out any course or field that a student has considered, but not yet studied. It is the last full semester before the major declaration in the spring, and exploration should be a priority.

  • Check fall grades of advises via Advisor InTouch and contact any advisees who performed poorly, and have them meet with you individually. Meet monthly with any students on probation. For questions about academic probation, contact an advisor in the College Office.
  • Reach out to advisees a week before the drop and withdraw deadlines to see how they are doing and remind them of the drop and withdraw deadlines.
  • Meet with advisees in individual sessions during Advance Registration to discuss course selection for the fall, progress toward degree requirements and major selection. Remove registration hold so students may submit their course selections via Penn In Touch.

As students enter their second year in the College, they need to begin to narrow their choices for a potential major. Some will remain dedicated to the major they decided on when they first came to Penn. But many will be unsure, having changed direction as a result of courses taken. The advisor/advisee relationship becomes even more important at this critical stage.

  • Meet with returning students during the Course Selection period (Sept. 18th), or at least be accessible to those students who have rethought their plans over the summer. Advisees may be referred to the College Office if a change of advisor seems appropriate or as a supplement to the pre-major advisor.
  • Meet monthly with students who were placed on probation at the end of their first year.
  • Meet with all students individually prior to Advance Registration to discuss progress toward selection of major and how they plan to structure the rest of their undergraduate program. Be sure that the students’ Academic Planning Worksheet on Advisor In Touch is accurate and up-to-date. Remove registration hold so students may submit their course selections via Penn In Touch.
  • Assist students in identifying research possibilities and refer them to the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships.
  • For students interested in study abroad, refer to Penn Abroad.

This is the semester when student should declare a major. Advisors meet with students right before and during Advance Registration to discuss long-term academic plans including the major, reflect on their first two years at Penn and explore co-curricular options. Students will then go to the department to declare the major.

  • Meet monthly with students who were placed on probation at the end of their fall semester.
  • Reach out to advisees a week before the drop and withdraw deadlines to see how they are doing and remind them of the drop and withdraw deadlines.
  • Assist students in identifying research possibilities and refer them to the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships.
  • For students interested in study abroad, refer to Penn Abroad.
  • When students come for the Advance Registration meeting, update the Academic Planning Worksheet and change its status to “Official” so the student can finish the major declaration process with his or her major department. This major declaration process needs to be done before the end of spring Advance Registration. The student’s major department will remove the registration hold so students may submit their course selections via Penn InTouch.

Note: To make a worksheet official, click on the “Select Action” pop-up menu in the Worksheet section of the main Advisor InTouch page. From this pop-up menu, select “Status Change.”