The staff of your residential college is your central advising resource throughout your time at Princeton. The dean, director of studies and director of student life work together as an advising team to address academic and nonacademic issues.
Your dean and director of studies will oversee your academic progress during all four years here. This is true whether you’re living in Butler, Mathey, or Whitman colleges (the “four year colleges”), or if you’re a member of Forbes, Rockefeller, or Wilson colleges. As a general rule, the directors of studies guide freshmen and sophomores, and the residential college deans work more closely with juniors and seniors.
During freshman and sophomore years, faculty advisers handle much of the primary premajor advising; deans and directors of studies work closely with students who have more complicated situations or plans. Don’t be shy about getting to know your director of studies and dean — talk with them about your intellectual passions, ask them questions about coursework and consult with them to find appropriate academic resources.
The third member of the college advising team is your director of student life, who can counsel you on a wide range of personal issues and is a member of the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students. Your director of student life will assist you if you find yourself having a medical crisis or family emergency, or need help navigating University Health Services. Your director of student life also supports your personal, social and cultural development.
In Princeton’s “advising community” model, students have several kinds of advisers — faculty, peer and professional staff — who collaborate to help with everything from planning your courses to managing the inevitable periods of stress. If you are uncertain about which adviser to consult, simply ask and you will be referred to the correct person.