Advising is fundamental to Trinity College's educational mission. The deans in Trinity College and the Academic Advising Center monitor students’ academic progress toward the bachelor’s degree and help them strategically take advantage of the opportunities and resources available to them across the university. Academic advisors, directors of undergraduate studies and faculty also contribute to this process and serve an integral role in shaping undergraduates’ experiences over their four years at Duke.
The Academic Advising Center oversees approximately 200 academic advisors who work with a cohort of first-year students and sophomores until they declare a major. Advisors come from the ranks of full-time faculty members, senior administrators, and staff at Duke.
Academic advisors help first and second-year students adjust to college life by introducing them to Trinity's curriculum and resources, ensuring that each student's academic program has direction and purpose. Advisors also help students develop study skills that enable them to function as independent, self-regulating learners.
The relationship between advisors and advisees is founded upon familiarity and mutual respect. Although each student bears primary responsibility for decisions about his or her program of study and course selection, academic advisors assist students in making informed choices and avoiding pitfalls.
Mission of the Academic Advising Center
The academic deans, staff, and advisors of the Academic Advising Center empower students to:
Trinity students declare their major between the end of their first year and mid-spring of their sophomore year. Once declared, they will work with a faculty advisor in their major department or program. In addition to helping students plan a course program to satisfy major requirements, faculty advisors often facilitate independent study and research within the major, and advise on graduate school and other post-baccalaureate opportunities.
In many departments and programs, students request specific faculty advisors based on mutual interests and/or an existing relationship. Alternatively, the director of undergraduate studies in the major department or program can assign new majors to available faculty based on information provided by students about their interests and goals.
Duke students can take advantage of specialized advising resources and expertise throughout their undergraduate careers. For many students, the first encounter with specialized advising occurs during the summer preceding their arrival at Duke. Academic Advising Center summer advisors are available by phone and email or in person to assist students in selecting courses for their first semester at Duke.
The interdisciplinary focus of many Duke programs and academic opportunities inspires some students to consider designing their own major. Guidance on preparing a Program II or interdepartmental major is available through the Trinity academic deans' office.
Students interested in studying abroad should visit the Office of Global Education to learn more about program options. Global Education staff and academic deans work with students to ensure that the proposed study abroad program is integrated with and complements their major.
The Duke Career Center complements the array of academic advising resources available to Trinity students. There they can explore interests and preferences via the center’s self-assessment instruments, review internship and summer job options, build resume-writing and interview skills, and seek post-graduate employment.