Advising is an ongoing conversation between students and faculty central to the Middlebury experience, lasting from the earliest days of the first-year seminar to the selection of a major to the planning for graduation and life after college.
In the classroom, in the office, over lunch, or while chatting along the walkways around campus, Middlebury College faculty foster students’ independence while helping them plan their futures. Students work individually with faculty to develop multiyear strategies that reflect their diverse interests, strengths, and academic goals.
All first-year students are advised by the instructor in their first-year seminar, a course selected the summer before their enrollment. When students declare their major, they also select an advisor from the faculty in that major.
Declaring a Major
Following first-year seminars, students begin to explore the possibilities for declaring a major. For some students in their second or third semesters at Middlebury, selecting a major advisor is more difficult than selecting the major itself; those students are encouraged to work with the department chair or program director until they have further experience in that major and find a faculty member best suited to their interests and needs.
Students may select their major at any time after the first semester; they are required to declare their major no later than the end of their third semester. Sophomore year is also a good time to begin planning for study abroad.
By junior and senior years, most students are involved in intensely collaborative work with faculty in their majors who may or may not be their advisors. Through the guidance of those mentors, as well as the resources provided by the Center for Careers and Internships, students prepare to leave Middlebury with a strong and supportive foundation.
Many juniors also plan to study abroad, and they should begin exploring that process during their sophomore year.