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 two and a half 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 should receive an email from your Social Studies 10b tutor and academic advisor by Wednesday, January 11th at 12 noon. If you have not received an email by then, please reach out to Sarah Helmar ( and she will send you that person’s contact information.

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 believe that strong advising relationships are crucial to student’s intellectual and personal development, and we hope you will invest in your advising relationships as much as your advisors do.