Academic Advising


Student Academic Advising Handbook [PDF] 

Major Declaration Form and Guidelines

Pitzer Course Catalogs

Pitzer Career Services 

Associate Dean Phil Zuckerman
[email protected]
Scott Hall 110
(909) 607-4495

Office Hours
Contact via e-mail
Consultation Hours by Appointment

The College acknowledges the wide diversity of student interests, abilities, needs, and styles. We expect that each student, together with a faculty adviser, will create a coherent program of study in accordance with the College’s Educational Objectives.

Academic advising is considered an integral function of the teaching role of faculty members. Each student entering Pitzer College is assigned a faculty adviser. Students are encouraged to consult frequently with their advisers concerning the formulation and development of their academic programs.

Beyond officially designated academic advisers, students are encouraged to consult with other faculty members as well. The faculty represents a wide range of expertise, and members of the faculty will be glad to talk with students about their fields of interest. In conjunction with the Center for Career and Community Services, one faculty member of each field group is designated as the graduate school adviser.

Prior to midterm of the second semester of the sophomore year, students will choose a major adviser and begin discussions regarding the major. Students must complete a Major/Educational Objectives form and submit it to the Office of the Registrar no later than midterm of the first semester of the junior year.

Advising Program for Students

Your relationship with your academic adviser goes far beyond formal approval of course enrollment selections. In addition to helping you select courses, the relationship you develop with your adviser should allow for easy discussions of issues such as setting goals, time management, balancing academics with other parts of life, adjusting to the academic rigors of Pitzer College, and more. In short, you should have discussions with your adviser about how to achieve and maintain academic success at Pitzer.

Informal Academic Advice from Pitzer Faculty

“Take initiative. Don’t let someone else determine your life. Strive to be independent.”

“You don’t have to do everything in your first year. There’s time.”

“There’s not that much time. Four years go by quickly. Plan ahead.”

“Try to build many dimensions of diversity into your program, every semester!”

“There are a huge number of really interesting, free events here every week – concerts, speakers, films, art shows, etc. You should make the effort, since you won’t have this sort of opportunity once you leave Pitzer. Look particularly at the programs of MCSI (Pitzer), the Scripps Humanities Institute, and the Atheneum (CMC).”

“The material in the textbook and the material in the lectures will not be one and the same as they were in high school. Take notes in class.”

“Talk often with your academic adviser and your professors.”

“Take note of the final exam times in courses that have them, especially if you live a long way from Claremont and will need to buy a plane ticket home in advance.”

“Good decisions depend on good information. Go see your academic adviser.”

“Read the Pitzer College catalog in your first year.”

“Professors are not responsible for your learning: You are.”

“No class is really closed. If a course is closed, try PERMing into it, or just go to the first class session. Many professors would rather enroll someone who shows interest by appearing on the first day, as opposed to no-shows who pre-registered last semester.”

“Know what is required for graduation. Find out when and how often key courses are offered.”

“It is always good to get a second opinion regarding advice on key issues, especially if the first opinion came from a fellow student.”

“If your classmates seem sure of their futures while you are not, you should know that 1) they are not sure, and 2) it is not good to be too sure too soon.”

“If you’re having problems with a class, go and talk to the professor. That’s why s/he is there. Also talk with your academic adviser, and with Academic Support Services in the Office of Student Affairs.”

“If you are not having problems with a class, go and talk to the professor. This is why you are at a small liberal arts college.”

“Give yourself the flexibility and the time to adapt to Pitzer and Claremont.”

“Don’t worry (too much) about being uncertain with regard to your major or career. Enjoy the chance to explore. Challenge yourself.”

“Don’t wait until the last minute to do the readings or study for an exam; get a good night’s sleep beforehand.”

“Don’t take more than one or two courses in a semester from the same professor, or even on the same topic.”

“Don’t take all introductory courses in the same semester; vary the style of courses – an “intro”, a topical seminar, etc.”

“Don’t load all of your courses on two or three days. Spread your courses out through the week.”

“Some courses (intro) are taught every year. Some courses are only taught once or twice, perhaps by a visiting professor. If you are interested, take these NOW.”

“Your professors will not be hanging around the campus all day, every day like in high school. Go to see them during their posted office hours, or make an appointment in advance (usually by email).”

“Think twice about a double major. They really limit your ability to take courses in a broad range of areas.”

“Are you avoiding any academic subjects? Why? Think about the possibility of taking a course “Pass/No Credit”. Take a chance. You might discover a new interest.”

“The best major is one that interests you intellectually.”

“Buy your books and write in them. Reading is a dialogue between you and the text.”

“Put your name in your books. If you leave it somewhere, you will get it back.”

“You will have more freedom than you are used to. Enjoy it. But don’t do anything irrevocable without giving it careful thought.”

“Studying abroad is a good idea.”

“Double check your progress toward graduation with your academic adviser and the Registrar.”

“Take a variety of classes. Think about subjects related to a possible major, subjects related to a possible career, subjects you know nothing about, subjects you find challenging, and subjects you find interesting.”

“Find the ideal place for you to study.”

“Make sure you have balance in your life. You should be intellectually, physically, socially, and spiritually stimulated. Stay healthy and eat right.”

“Do not fall behind. College classes move quickly, so trying to play catch-up almost never works. Skip that party and stay caught up.”

“Seek help – going to talk to professors, to help sessions, or to tutoring is showing that you are clever enough to take advantage of what is offered.”