Advising Right Now: Assisting Advisees with Choice of Major
Your advisees will need to declare a departmental major this spring. More information about deadlines, procedures, and advising the anxious freshman follow below.
Deadlines and Procedures
- By Friday, April 25: Every freshman is expected to either declare a departmental major or else declare him/herself to be an Undesignated Sophomore. Please arrange to meet with each of your advisees to discuss their Choice of Major decision before this date or very soon thereafter.
- The Class of 2017 Choice of Major selection form is an online, editable, PDF document that will be available for download once the spring semester has begun. Advisees should fill out the form before meeting with you and check-off their intended major, but you can also just print it and fill it out manually when you meet. Both you and the student must sign the form and students submit their signed forms to the Student Services Center in Room 11-120. You needn't make a copy of this form for the student's record, unless you wish to keep a copy.
- If any of your advisees feel overwhelmed by this decision, s/he can take a little additional time to think this decision through.
- The absolute deadline for Choice of Major form submission is May 15, the last day of classes.
Advising the Anxious Freshman
Choosing a major is often fraught with anxiety. Many freshmen are unsure or perhaps are deciding among several majors. Please reassure an anxious student that this is normal.
If a freshman needs additional time, s/he can delay handing in the Choice of Major form until May 15, or choose to be an Undesignated Sophomore.
Undesignated Sophomore Advising
If you have a relationship with the student, you may choose to continue as the student's advisor for first semester of sophomore year. Many freshmen welcome the opportunity to continue this advising relationship.
The Exploring the Major section of the Class of 2017 site is an excellent resource for your advisees as well as for you. There is extensive information on majors and minors at MIT, including a timeline, department links, advice on making the decision, words of wisdom from upperclassmen, and and much more.
Remember, too, that the Undergraduate Administrator or Undergraduate Officer in a particular department is always the best resource for questions, concerns, or information.