MajorAdvising

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So you want to major in Computer Science. Great! All you need is to find a faculty advisor and fill out a form.

The form is available from the Registrar's website; it's the one labeled "Major/Advisor Declaration or Change Form". (Not linking directly because it has been known to change.)

The most important thing to consider when picking an advisor is that it is not a big deal. As you will see further down this page, the list of advisor duties is pretty short and "providing advice" is not one of them. This is not because we won't do it, but rather because any member of the department can (and perhaps should) be a source of input to decisions you make related to your major. As a result, choosing an advisor is not worth stress on your part: ask a professor whose class you enjoyed or whose wavelength you seem to share or whose office is closest when you make the decision to declare, and don't be discouraged if your first choice is not available.

Once you've picked an advisor, you'll fill out the form, they'll sign it, then you'll take it to the department chair to sign, and then you turn it in to the Registrar. Congratulations, you're now a Computer Science major.


Once you've declared, here are the advisor's official duties...

- Provide course registration PIN. Prior to earning course credits roughly equivalent to two years of classes, you will need a PIN to register for courses on Banner. Your advisor has this PIN. The idea is that you and your advisor will meet, discuss the classes you plan to take, where they fit into your major and college requirements, and then they will give you the PIN.

- Serve as primary source of contact regarding degree requirements. If you have any questions about the requirements of the Computer Science degree, your advisor will either be able to answer themselves or direct you to someone who will know.

- Sign degree audit form. One semester before graduation, your advisor must sign the College's degree audit form, which testifies that you are on track to complete the requirements for your declared major. This form is also available from the Registrar. After getting the form signed by your advisor, you must take it to the department chair for final approval.

- Provide permission to travel abroad. Before the College will permit you to travel abroad, your advisor will need to fill out an online form attesting to your ability to satisfy the requirements of the Computer Science major despite spending time away from Midd. This is a fairly mundane task for faculty members, so don't spook them even a little by calling it a "recommendation" when you ask them to fill it out.


And your duties as advisee...

- Vary by advisor. Some require regular meetings, especially for students early in their progress through the major. Some require an informal list of courses the student plans to take over the following semesters to meet degree requirements. Be sure to clarify with your (prospective) advisor their expectations for you.