The individualized major requires that you have three faculty advisors with expertise in the areas that are included in your plan of study. Faculty serve as expert guides to the fields that you wish to study. Faculty can help you choose the most appropriate courses and serve as mentors as you explore options for internships, study abroad, research, graduate school, and your future professional life
Criteria for Faculty Advisors
Below are a few rules about faculty advisors that you should keep in mind.
- Faculty advisors must be from at least two different departments.
- Your primary advisor must be from a department in the college granting your individualized major degree (either CLAS or CAHNR).
- They should be full-time faculty with one of the following titles: “Professor,” “Associate Professor,” “Assistant Professor,” or “Professor in Residence.” Note that you can find an individual’s title using the UConn phone book or the department website.
- You may include an adjunct or visiting professor as a second or third advisor if his or her department permits and she or he plans to be at UConn as long as you.
- You may not include a graduate student or professional staff in your advisory team.
- It is a good idea to have at least one advisor from each school or college represented in your plan of study.
How to Find Faculty Advisors
Most plans of study have two or three disciplines that are well-represented; choose faculty from these disciplines.
- Use the department website to identify faculty whose expertise matches your interests.
- Use Dynamic Class Search to identify faculty who teach courses included in your plan of study.
- If you have already taken a course with an instructor whose expertise is relevant to your major theme, then it might make sense to ask her or him.
- If you are building the major on the foundation of a minor (e.g. neuroscience, film studies, crime and justice), then one of the faculty associated with the minor may be a good candidate.
How to Contact a Faculty Advisor
A good first step is to contact her or him via email. Write a brief message explaining that you are creating an individualized major on a theme that relates to her or his academic expertise. Ask if she or he has time to meet to discuss your application. If you are far enough along in preparing your application, attach a draft of your statement of purpose and plan of study to your email.
- If office hours are posted on the department website and fit your schedule, you can propose meeting during them.
- Otherwise, include in your email several blocks of time during the week when you would be available to meet.
Be sure to bring your plan of study and statement of purpose to the meeting!
Responsibilities of a Faculty Advisor
During your meetings with potential faculty advisors, you may get questions about their role in your individualized major. You can find the answers on our website’s Advising an Individualized Major page.