Advising in Your First Year
As you begin your journey as a Berklee student, you will work with an assigned academic advisor to map out your goals and learn to navigate your new academic environment.
The academic advising team has created an advising syllabus to help first-year students stay on track with their process at Berklee.
First Semester Advising
In your first semester, all students will be assigned an academic advisor, and those students taking the Entering Student Seminar (LENS) will also be assigned a student academic mentor. During this timeframe, you and your advisor will discuss a wide variety of topics, including:
- your transition to Berklee and Boston,
- academic and community offerings,
- using academic planning resources, and
- creating your second semester schedule.
Second Semester Advising
You may be wondering, "Which major is right for me?" or "When will I declare my major?" At Berklee, students should declare their major during their second semester so they can start the major in their third semester. The best major for you is dependent on a number of factors. Your second semester is an excellent time to make an appointment to:
- discuss potential majors and learn about the major declaration process,
- address academic concerns from the first semester and create plans for future and ongoing success, and
- create an academic plan for your third semester.
Third Semester and Beyond
In your third semester, you will begin to meet with your major advisor in addition to your academic advisor. Your major advisor is housed within the major department and acts as a primary source for questions about major-related curriculum and detailed information regarding course content, while your academic advisor will continue to work with you on core music, liberal arts, and general academic concerns.
A printable copy of this checklist can be found on page three of the advising syllabus.
- Review the entering student schedule information.
- Receive your first semester schedule, and check it against the first semester schedule to make sure you have all the necessary classes.
- Attend your assigned time slot during the schedule advising event to review your schedule and ask questions about credits.
- Attend the schedule completion event if you are missing any classes, have placeholders, or have too many classes.
- Familiarize yourself with the academic advising website, the resources listed, and the online appointment booking page.
First Semester Checklist
- Make an appointment with your academic advisor to get to know one another and find out more about the opportunities available to you at Berklee.
- Attend the majors/minors fair, and begin thinking about what majors appeal to your interests, skills, and values.
- Take time around midterms to reflect on how things are going, and connect with your academic advisor if you need additional academic support.
- Prepare for second semester registration by attending a registration workshop.
- Go online at your designated registration time, and select your second semester courses.
Second Semester Checklist
- Connect with your academic advisor to discuss potential majors and the declaration process for your intended major(s).
- Meet with Career Services to explore the career options tied to your potential major choice.
- Take time around midterms to reflect on how thing are going, and connect with your academic advisor for additional academic support.
- Declare your major.
- Meet with your academic advisor to plan your third semester schedule.
- Go online at your designated registration time, and select your third semester courses.
You can meet with an academic advisor during a 10-minute drop-in session to discuss quick topics relating to your academic status. An academic advisor is available on a first-come, first-served basis during our daily drop-in hours (login required).
You can schedule a time with your academic advisor for a 30-minute appointment (in person or via phone) by visiting our appointment page (login required). These longer meetings allow for you and your advisor to go much more in-depth into your academic progress, schedule planning, goal setting, and more.
Academic Advising is located at 939 Boylston Street, second floor (accessible via 921 Boylston Street, Genko Uchida Building, third floor). Students can also reach us at 617-747-6535.
- Students can accurately identify their responsibilities in the academic advising relationship (login required).
- Students understand how to schedule an appointment online with their assigned academic advisor (login required).
- Students locate answers to academic policy questions using the Student Policy Handbook.
- Students use their degree audit to create an accurate academic schedule.
- Students understand how to use the major grids as a resource for academic planning.
- Students understand the difference between general academic advising and major advising.
- Students utilize their assigned academic advisor as a part of their academic support system.
- Students declare their major by the end of their second semester.
Prior to your time at Berklee, you most likely met with a high school guidance counselor or another professional who assisted you through the primary education and college preparation process. Academic advisors differ from high school guidance counselors in a few key ways.
High school guidance counselors:
- often take responsibility for scheduling appointments with students,
- assist students with both academic and personal concerns,
- often contact parents directly when academic concerns arise, and
- lead students in decision-making, and might make decisions for students regarding classes and schedules.
On the other hand, in college:
- it is the student’s responsibility to schedule an appointment with the assigned academic advisor;
- academic advisors are available to help with academic issues, and personal counselors are available to help with personal concerns;
- academic advisors must protect each student's right to privacy, as guaranteed by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA); and
- academic advisors collaborate with students and challenge them to make wise decisions by discussing options, providing resources, and asking questions that encourage critical thinking.