Preparing to Meet with your Advisor

Student Initiative

The goal of introductory advising is to help you become active in exploring your academic and professional interests--to become the architect of your own college experience. Good advising therefore requires initiative from you.  

Faculty members at Middlebury are excellent teachers and take their advising responsibilities seriously. They are informed about general college requirements, and they have the wisdom and life experience to discuss important academic decisions. But we ask them not to make decisions for you, or to do research for you about particular majors and fields of study. When you meet with your advisor, you should be prepared--knowledgeable about the courses, prerequisites, departments, and programs in which you have an interest. That's how to get the most out of your advising sessions!

Your Commons will offer pre-advising, which will allow you to do some of this peparation during orientation, before your individual meeting with your academic advisor.  And the academic forum in Kenyon Arena will allow you to ask questions of various departments and programs.  But it's a good idea to start preparing even before you arrive on campus. Use this website!

Pre-Orientation Preparation 

Use the materials below to learn about the exciting courses our faculty offer and to understand how you will select and register for courses.

Read How to Choose Courses  for tips on arranging a balanced and appropriate schedule.

Review Frequently Asked Questions about advising and course selection.  You can use this list of questions, arranged in the order in which they are likely to come up, as a quick reference guide, or you can read the whole document.  If you read from start to finish, you will know just about everything you need to know to prepare for your meeting with your advisor, and to prepare for your first year!

Refer to the First Year Registration Booklet and Letter, a copy of which you received before registering for your First Year Seminar.  This will continue to be an important resource for you throughout your first year, featuring information about course selection and the curriculum, and listing courses that departments and programs recommend for first Year Students.

To enroll in some Fall courses, or to determine the proper course to take in a particular subject, you may need to take a placement examination.  You can take some placement examinations online, before your arrival on campus. Consult Placement Examination Information to find out what departments or programs have such an examination, and under what circumstances it is required or advisable, as well as when and where to take it and learn the results.

Use the links in this box to begin selecting courses and planning your schedule:

  • Searchable Course Catalog & Schedule Planner. To use this tool, see the  video on schedule planning with the online scheduler and course catalog.
  • General Course Catalog.  Here, courses are listed and described by department, and you can find general departmental policies (requirements for major, AP credit, etc).  Use this version of the catalog to browse.
  • Course schedule for the Current Semester. Courses are listed here by department, with times and locations indicated, but without descriptions.
  • Course Hub  (In some cases, you may find links to course websites or syllabi here.)
  • Bannerweb Use a "Prereq Check" or practice registration under the "Registration" link in Bannerweb to make sure that you are in fact eligible to register for the courses in which you are interested, or to find out what waivers or credentials you need to register for them.* This practice round begins about a week before registration and ends the day before. For instructions on it, click here, and scroll down to "Prerequisite checking round in BannerWeb."