Advising Resources for First-Year Students

Your Academic Advisor: Until a student declares a major (no later than March 1 of their second year), their pre-major academic advisor is most often their First-Year Seminar instructor. Once a student declares a major, a faculty member within that academic unit becomes their academic advisor. The academic advisor helps students explore the curriculum to discover their interests and to fulfill general education requirements.

Your Student Support Advisor: The Student Support Advisor program supports student success by ensuring they know whom to go to when they need guidance, assistance, or just someone to talk to. Students are assigned a Student Support Advisor prior to their matriculation and remain with their advisor for the duration of their enrollment at Bates.

The First-Year Seminar: Each first-year student is required to enroll in a first-year seminar, a limited-enrollment course specifically designed for first-year students. Seminars represent a broad range of interdisciplinary issues and questions addressed within the tradition of the liberal arts. First-year seminars enable entering students to work with faculty and other students in a small class; they provide closely supervised training in techniques of reasoning, writing, and research; and they foster an attitude of active participation in the educational process. First-year seminars carry course credit toward the baccalaureate degree and are offered only in the fall semester. All first-year seminars fulfill the first-level writing requirement [W1], and may fulfill other General Education (e.g., Mode of Inquiry requirements), major, or minor requirements. Usually a student’s first-year seminar instructor is also their academic advisor. Descriptions of first-year seminars are found in the Courses of Instruction.

The General Education Program: This page provides a helpful summary of the Bates general education requirements, which includes the Major +1, 5 MOIs, and 3 Ws). For a rationale for the program please see either the college catalog or review this PDF about “Exploring the Bates Curriculum.” Students and faculty may find the advising pyramid graphic helpful as it visually depicts all of the requirements of the general education and illustrates how the 5MOIs can be understood as a foundation on which a Bates educational experience may be built.

Recommended Entry Course Page: This page includes information that 1) briefly summarizes the field of study of each academic unit, 2) highlights introductory courses or entry points for students who might be interested in that field of study, and 3) explains how those entry courses also fulfill requirements of the General Education Program (Major + 1, 5 MOIs, 3 Ws)

Credit for AP, IB and A-Levels: Students who wish to transfer credit should apply to the Registrar’s Office. Bates offers credit to students for work done in accredited advanced courses in high school. Different departments and programs treat transfer credits differently. Students should review the information that the Register provides about each type of transfer credit. If a student has questions about their transfer credit, they should consult with the Registrar’s Office.

Language Placement Tests: The distinct language departments at Bates have different approaches to language placement given a student’s previous experience with the language. For more information regarding language instruction and at what level a student might begin their language study at Bates, please click on the relevant links listed below:

Math Placement Tests: The first math course a student takes depends on their background. In most cases, it will be MATH 105 (Calculus I), 106 (Calculus II), 205 (Linear Algebra), or 206 (Multivariable Calculus). If a student has AP, IB, or A-level credit for just MATH 105 (Calculus I), sign up for MATH 106 (Calculus II) or beyond. If a student also has AP, IB, or A-level credit for MATH 106 (Calculus II), sign up for MATH 205 (Linear Algebra) or MATH 206 (Multivariable Calculus). Even if a student does not have official credit, if they have a strong background in Calculus, we urge them to sign up for the next level after what they have completed.  Successful completion of MATH 106 (Calculus II) fulfills any Bates requirements for MATH 105 (Calculus I).  Successful completion of MATH 206 fulfills any Bates requirements for both MATH 105 (Calculus I) and MATH 106 (Calculus II).  This includes the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree.  Please take the non-binding, anonymous math placement exam to further assess which course best suits you. If you have further questions and would like to contact someone, please consult Mathematics Department Contacts.

Chemistry Placement: First-year students who want to take chemistry in their first semester should register for CHEM-107 (any section.) Those students with AP/IB/A-level credit should consult Selecting Your First Chemistry Course.

Center for Global Education: The Center for Global Education is the hub of global learning and cross-cultural engagement for students, faculty and staff of Bates. The Center for Global Education provides advising, programming, and resources for international students and for all students seeking to study off-campus. For an overview of all of the off-campus study opportunities at Bates, please view this video. You can find more information on semester/year off-campus study and Short Term off-campus study on the relevant websites.

Purposeful Work – Exploration and Reflection: It’s never too early for students to engage with Purposeful Work activities as they consider what constitutes meaningful work at Bates and beyond. First-year students should take advantage of professional and peer advisor support as well as job shadows, roadshows, and spotlights through the Center for Purposeful Work for early exploration and reflection. We invite students to make an appointment with one of our professional advisors here via Handshake to start the conversation – the sooner we get to know you, the better we can support you in your exploration.