May 2018 First Year Orientation

First-Year Advising

Every first-year student is assigned a faculty or staff member who is plugged into academic life on campus. They will help you navigate the Ursinus culture.

Adviser Assignments

  • First-year students do not register for a major when they enter Ursinus College. They may declare an area of interest, but they are not assigned to a major adviser until they declare a major, usually in the spring of their first year.
  • Faculty members from all the disciplines and academic staff serve as first-year student advisers. Each first-year adviser is assigned roughly ten students who will meet together on a weekly basis throughout the fall semester to help in their transition to life at Ursinus.
  • Students begin the process of planning classes through a meeting with their adviser at spring orientation. Course schedules are then finalized throughout the summer.
  • During August orientation, advisers meet with their advisees to review fall schedules, make any needed changes, and answer any last-minute questions.

Regular Advising Meetings

  • All first-year students are placed in a cohort that meet for 50 minutes with their adviser weekly during the fall semester. This group discusses their transition to college social and academic life, various campus resources, and get more connected to campus and their classmates. Students will often meet individually with their advisers in addition to this group meeting time.
  • Advisers help and encourage students to deal with personal and academic issues of adjustment. Students should contact their adviser as they encounter difficulties.
  • The adviser is a referral resource and can identify appropriate departments or people who could help first-year students in adjusting to the college experience.

Declaring a Major

  • First-year students traditionally declare a major in the middle of their second semester at Ursinus. Students should prepare for this decision by meeting with faculty in their intended majors to find more out about the programs.
  • Students declare their major by meeting with their first-year adviser. Once they have declared their major, they will be assigned a new faculty adviser for the major.
  • All students must declare a major no later than during the spring semester of their sophomore year. Students should be aware that in some departments it is easy to complete the requirements for graduation if they postpone the declaration of the major until the sophomore year. In other departments, the sequential nature of the program may make this more difficult. A careful reading of the First-Year Advising Guide should help students and advisers as they discuss the various options.
Recent First Year Advising Award Winners