Academic Support Services

Division of Student Services

Welcome to Reed!

Your academic journey begins this summer. Please take the time to invest in your own success by doing a few things before you arrive and in preparation for meeting with your academic adviser.

Read the Iliad before you get to campus

You'll attend a Humanities 110 lecture on your first day of class, so be sure to come prepared. Orientation is a busy time, full of important information, meeting new people, and settling into your space. Don't miss out on activities or experiences because you're still doing your summer reading.  

Check out this fun infographic about death in the Iliad.

Decide if you should take a placement exam

Placement exams help determine which courses are appropriate for your experience level, and successful completion of a placement exam enables you to skip the introductory course in some departments. You will not receive credit for courses you place out of, so there's no reason to take a placement exam unless you intend to enroll in the relevant class(es). If you're hoping to place out of first semester Greek, Latin, German, French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Physics, Economics, or Music Theory, you'll need to take the relevant placement exam(s) before classes begin. Placement exam results last for your entire Reed career, so you are encouraged to take the relevant placement exam(s) now (while the material is fresh), even if you don't expect to take the course until later in your Reed career. 

All of the placement exams are offered during Orientation, but the German exam is also available online over the summer, and you are encouraged (but not required) to do that one early, if applicable. Your results will be available before your advising meeting. Click here for more information about the German placement exam. This year's placement exam information can be found in the Orientation schedule.

Complete your forms in IRIS

We know you have a lot of forms to complete, but each and every one is important. A complete list can be found here. A few pertain most directly to your academic life. They are:

  1. Student Academic Information Release Form: Decide with your parents whether or not they will have access to your grades.
  2. Academic Questionnaire: Tell us your academic interests so that we can match you with an appropriate faculty adviser. (It's perfectly ok to be undecided or have multiple areas of interest, but you can use this form to give us some help in finding a good match for you.)
  3. Letter of Introduction to Your Academic Adviser: Share a little more information with your adviser-to-be.
  4. Notification of Documented Disability (if applicable): Disability Support looks different in college than it might have in high school. If you have a documented disability (physical, psychological, attentional, or learning) get connected with this office early to learn about resources and accommodations.

Get ready to meet with your adviser!

During Orientation, you'll receive an email* notification of your adviser assignment and appointment time. All advising appointments will be on Thursday, August 25. It is very important that you show up to your advising meeting on time and with a sense of where your academic adventure will start. Before meeting with your adviser, you should prepare a tentative schedule for both fall and spring semesters. Immediately after this meeting, you'll register for classes.

We don't expect that you'll have a four-year plan, but you should know which classes you might want to take as a first-year student (besides Humanities 110). It's also a good idea to tell your adviser which majors you are considering, whether or not you'd like to study abroad, and to share a little about your academic hopes and fears.

Keep in mind, many majors require that you get started in that department right away in order to graduate on time. You'll need to select classes (and labs, conferences, etc.) that don't conflict with each other. Not all courses are open to first-year students. Fortunately, there are several online resources to help you plan:

*The email with your advising information will go to your Reed address, as will all of the official correspondence you'll receive during your years at Reed, including notes from faculty and staff. You can set up email forwarding if you prefer to check email under a different account, but be sure to read (and reply!) to the emails that go to your Reed address.

Upcoming Workshops


The Academic Resource Center and academic support services staff are located in the Dorothy Johansen (DoJo) House.

David Gruber
Assistant Dean of Students for Academic Support

Helen Scharber
Quantitative Skills & Academic Support Coordinator