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A Culture of Care >> Read Smith’s plans for the summer and fall 2021 semesters.


Working with an adviser is an essential part of a Smith education.

Entering students are assigned a liberal arts adviser (LAA) who will help you think through your course program, explore a variety of fields as you consider your major and offer advice about Smith's many options.

How to Choose an Adviser

By the end of your sophomore year you will declare a major, and then you will ask a faculty member to be your major adviser. Most students ask a professor who has taught a course that they have taken.

If you don't know whom to ask, talk to the chair or director of your potential major or program about who might be a good adviser for you. If your LAA is in the field you want to continue in for your major, you can ask your LAA to continue as your major adviser, or you can change to someone new; it's up to you.

Role of Advisers

Both your LAA and your major adviser will help you:

  • register for classes
  • take full advantage of all of Smith's resources (concentrations, minors, study abroad, etc.)
  • guide you to other faculty who share your interests
  • navigate Smith's systems

Your adviser will be a continuing resource for you during your time at Smith, so we recommend that you build a strong relationship by meeting throughout the year, not just at registration time.

If Your Adviser Is Unavailable

If your adviser is unavailable, you may contact your class dean, or, if you have declared a major, the chair of your department, to obtain signatures or get more general advice.

Remember there are many people available on campus who can advise you: faculty inside and outside your field, staff and deans. Smith is full of people who have a wide variety of training and experience who are interested in students. Take advantage of their wisdom and experience by talking with as many people as possible about your interests and ambitions.

Changing Advisers

If you want to change your adviser, please fill out the Change of Major/Minor Advisor form, get the proper signatures and take it to the class deans office.