January 2021

TO:                 Social Studies Sophomores
FROM:           Anya Bassett, Director of Studies
RE:                 Welcome to Social Studies!

Welcome Back for the spring term! We are excited that you are concentrating in Social Studies and we look forward to working with you over the next 2-1/2 years.


All Social Studies students are assigned an academic advisor in Social Studies. Students start with the person who is their Social Studies 10b tutor and remain with that advisor unless that person leaves Social Studies or the student asks to be reassigned. I reassign students who need new advisors each summer, making every effort to assign students to advisors with whom they have already worked or who share their intellectual interests.

You need to meet with your academic advisor at least once during shopping period to get acquainted (or reacquainted), discuss your experience at Harvard so far, and discuss requirements, your focus field and plan of study, and course selection for this term.

Following this meeting, your advisor will “release” your advising hold so that you can register for classes.

In preparation for your first meeting of the year with your academic advisor, please write a short essay describing your academic interests and providing information your advisor should know in order to do a good job advising you. If you are new to this advising relationship, offer details about yourself (your background, interests, work habits). If you have already worked with your advisor, provide an update, including information that your advisor may not already have (changes in your family situation). Please list any questions or concerns you have, and answer the following questions: What are you goals for this semester? How do you hope to grow and change?

Please send your essay to your advisor via email by 8 p.m. the night before your first advising meeting. I hope that this assignment will help structure your first advising conversation and facilitate good communication between you and your advisor.

We encourage you to stay in close touch with your academic advisor throughout your time in Social Studies. We pride ourselves on strong advising relationships and we think they will be even more important this year.

Junior Tutorials

This spring (2021), we expect to have more junior tutorial spots open than usual, as so many juniors are on leave. Sophomores are welcome to take one of their two junior tutorials now, and I encourage you to consider doing so, as we expect that spots will be tighter next year.

Junior tutorial Canvas sites will be published by Wednesday, January 13th at 9 a.m. Most junior tutorial leaders will be holding synchronous shopping events between January 13th and 19th. Times and Zoom links will be on each Canvas site and also on our website. Lottery forms are also available on our website and are due on Tuesday, January 19th by 11:59 p.m. Tutorial lists will be emailed to students on Wednesday, January 20th by 4 p.m.