responsibility for the shape of their education and defining life goals. They will need to be aware of registration-related deadlines, keep appointments with their advisors and come to advising sessions prepared with questions and issues to discuss.
Pre-major Advising
During their first years at Penn, prior to declaring a major, students have the opportunity to develop a relationship with an adult representative of the University to whom they can turn for guidance. Pre-major advisors help students to successfully make the transition from secondary school to college. They can clarify policies, procedures and degree requirements and help students plan their undergraduate program. They are also available in moments of crisis.
Students will be in a position to declare a major and know how they wish to structure the rest of their undergraduate program by the second semester of their sophomore year.
Peer Advisors
Peer advisors are upper-class students specially trained to help with choosing courses and registering for the first and second semesters. They can help to schedule appointments with pre-major advisors during advance registration and to find the answers to questions about degree requirements, academic support services and University procedures throughout the first year.
Assistant Deans for Advising
Assistant deans for advising can help to clarify the College’s degree requirements, policies and procedures. They also supplement the advising of faculty pre-major advisors regarding special academic programs or during the summer, if the assigned advisor is not available. They also assist with leaves of absence, locating resources on campus, absence from class and general academic problems. Most assistant deans for advising are located in the College Office, the academic home office for College students in 120 Logan Hall. Advisors for the Benjamin Franklin Scholars Program have offices in the ARCH Building.
The Help Desk
The Help Desk in the College Office is available on an email or walk-in basis for quick questions about routine  academic procedures.
Major Advising
Once students have declared their major, they will be assigned a major advisor. This may be the undergraduate chair, director or another faculty member in the department or program. This advisor will assist in planning the major, identifying research opportunities in the major and discussing fellowship and post-graduate opportunities in this academic field. Students should still speak with a College advisor periodically to discuss their overall progress toward the degree as well as special academic options and
Academic Options
Double Major
Students wishing to complete more than one major in the College of Arts and Sciences may do so by applying for, and completing the requirements for, each major. At least 18 different courses must be taken in fulfillment of major requirements. All other degree requirements must also be completed. Some students find that it takes more than eight semesters to complete a double major. Students interested in doing more than one major should consult with an academic advisor.
Vagelos Scholars Program
This program offers Penn’s most motivated young scientists an opportunity to begin intensive course work and research in their first year. Vagelos Scholars major in chemistry or biochemistry and complete a second major in any other natural science with the option of a master’s degree. The program requires and funds summer research. Students enter the program in their first semester.
Individualized Major
While most College students are encouraged to choose one of the more than 50 departmental or interdisciplinary majors available in the College, it is recognized that there are students who find that the standard majors do not satisfy their intellectual interests.
The individualized major offers an opportunity for exceptional, creative, self-motivated students with a g.p.a. of at least 3.5 to explore innovative and multidisciplinary fields of knowledge. One of the most important goals of the individualized major is to foster a closer relationship between the student and the faculty advisors. With scholarly mentorship, students design an academic research project from its inception, through a coherent set of courses and the different stages of research to the writing and rewriting of a high quality thesis. Students interested in proposing an individualized major should expect that designing it will take considerable effort and time as well as imagination.
Although College students are not required to complete a minor, students may choose to complete one or more minors. In this way, students can pursue secondary areas of