Academic Advising

All students at Reed have an academic adviser who is also a member of the faculty. New students are assigned an adviser for their first year based on the information they submit about their academic interests, balanced with faculty availability; some students will have an adviser in an area of interest, while others may have an adviser in a field somewhat different from their expressed interests. Reed is a small community and all faculty understand the curriculum, so your adviser will have access to the knowledge and resources to help you make a good plan for your first year. 

As each student’s academic career progresses, they may stay with their initial academic adviser (if that adviser is in the area that the student is focusing on), or switch to a new adviser who can help them dig in more deeply to a certain department or area of study. (When faculty go on leave or sabbatical, their advisees are reassigned to another adviser.) It is quite normal for a student to have two or sometimes more advisers over the course of their Reed career. 

You can expect that your adviser will:

  • help you plan your academic schedule each semester;
  • discuss your academic interests (majors, minors, international experiences);
  • provide guidance on how to fulfill major and graduation requirements;
  • help you access your grades and decide how much information about your academic progress you need;
  • help you identify resources for life after graduation (jobs, graduate school, etc.);
  • support you at decision-making points or during moments of academic difficulty; 
  • maintain timely communication (respond to your messages within a day or two on weekdays). 

Your adviser will expect you to:

  • maintain timely communication (respond to your adviser’s messages within a day or two);
  • share your academic interests and goals;
  • familiarize yourself with distribution and major requirements;
  • track academic calendars and deadlines;
  • proactively communicate and share concerns or needs.

It’s generally a good idea to work with your initial adviser through your first year at Reed. The end of your first year is a good time to think about whether an adviser in another area of study, or a different faculty member in the same department as your adviser, might be more helpful to you. If you do decide to change your adviser for any reason, the process is simple.

Finally, keep in mind that advising on non-academic matters is available from many offices and programs all around Reed! If you have questions or concerns about non-academic topics, your adviser can help you find resources, or you can use the Student Hub to quickly connect with the relevant office(s). 

Here are some other helpful tools for finding information about academics, the academic calendar, and other support resources at Reed:

  • More information can be found in the Academic Advising Handbook.
  • The Student Hub can help advisees and advisers navigate resources at Reed.
  • The academic calendar is your one-stop guide to all key dates each year, including add and drop deadlines and holidays. A link on the right-hand side of the academic calendar will let you add the academic calendar to your Reed Google calendar.