First-Year Advising Booklet: Questions & Answers

About the First-Year Academic Advising Program, the First-Year Seminars, and other things you should know about academic life at University of Puget Sound


We are excited that you will be joining us in the fall. We think you will find University of Puget Sound an intellectually stimulating and exciting place to be. There are many things to do once you arrive on campus, but this publication explains what you need to do to prepare for your academic courses and registration in August. These two tasks—the selection process for one or two of your fall 2017 courses (a first-year advising class and a first-year seminar) and completion of your mathematics placement test—are crucial to laying the foundation of your first-semester schedule. We do not ask nor want you to complete these items in one sitting; please take time to review this material and think about your approach to your first semester at Puget Sound.

To help you get the best start possible, we have a comprehensive first-year academic advising program that will place you in a first-year advising group for the fall term. Most of our advising classes are introductory and designed for any well-prepared entering student, but we do have a few intermediate courses in natural sciences, math, and foreign languages. Students placed in these courses will have completed appropriate preparation during their high school coursework or life experiences. Regardless, the instructor of your advising class will most likely serve as your academic advisor. In a few instances, your advisor may teach a lab section for which you are registered or be connected to you through special programs, such as the Honors Program. Your advisor will serve as your advisor until you declare your major, which is generally done during the sophomore year. Because these classes cover a wide range of topics, you should be able to find one that particularly interests you, be that in the exploration of a potential major or a new area of study that was not available at your high school.

As you begin your work on the university’s core requirements, you will also be enrolling in the first of a two-semester sequence of first-year seminars. The Seminar in Scholarly Inquiry I (SSI-1) will introduce you to the ways scholars approach their intellectual pursuits through deep exposure to a focused seminar topic. These seminars will be offered in a variety of disciplines addressing a variety of topics. The seminars are limited in size to give you and your classmates the chance to be fully engaged in classroom dialogue. Upon successful completion of the SSI-1 in the fall, you will register for the SSI-2 in the spring when you register for the rest of your spring courses.

To place you in the most appropriate advising class and first-year seminar, we need to know your preferences. Please preview your options and express your preferences by completing the online Advising Placement Questionnaire available on your myPugetSound account. Should you have questions about your myPugetSound account, please contact Technology Services at or 253.879.8585. Once in myPugetSound you will find an item titled “Advising Placement Questions” in your To-Do List. Click on that item to complete the questionnaire, telling us more about your plans for Puget Sound and beyond, and to rank your advising class and seminar preferences. Please be aware that preferred advising classes and first-year seminars will fill rapidly, so we recommend that you respond promptly after reviewing these materials thoroughly.

Finally, in order to assist you in selecting an appropriate course to meet Puget Sound’s Mathematical Approaches core requirement, we ask you to complete our mathematics placement test before coming to campus. This placement test is posted on myPugetSound in your To-Do List, with instructions for completing the test included there. All entering students must complete the test online before arriving on campus; however, students interested in chemistry courses are strongly encouraged to complete their mathematics placement test by July 31, as we use information from this exam to advise for appropriate placement in chemistry.