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 Find a Major Adviser
In your third or fourth semester (during sophomore year), you should declare your major(s). Individual departments offer what are called “presentations” typically in each semester—generally October and April. Attending the presentation of the major will help you to consider whether a particular field is right for you, and will address how to approach finding a new “major adviser” based on their expectations. Some departments may have a central process for matching students to advisers, and other departments may suggest you reach out to appropriate faculty members who are available to advise. Explore the different departments at Smith.
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. Our faculty members are your primary academic advisers, yet there are many others who can help. Smith is full of people who have a wide variety of training and experience who are interested in students.
If you want to change your adviser, go the Registrar's Office webpage to fill out the Change of Major/Minor Adviser form, get the proper signatures and take it to the class deans office.