Students who have not declared a major in history may get information about the Department and the undergraduate curriculum from the Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies or any regular faculty member. Don’t be shy. Check your professors office hours and take advantage of them!
Students who are declaring a major in history must choose a faculty advisor at the time they declare the major. All full-time regular faculty in the History Department are available to advise prospective or declared history majors. Most students have taken a class or two with the professor who becomes their major advisor, and feel comfortable discussing future plans with that person.
Once you identify a potential major advisor, ask that professor if he or she is willing and able to serve as your advisor for the next couple of years. If so, make an appointment with your new advisor so you can complete your plans and get the required signature for your Declaration of Major forms.
If you are a transfer student new to W&M or if you feel you do not know any of your professors well enough to ask her/him to serve as your advisor, you can ask the department’s Director of Undergraduate Studies to serve as your temporary advisor.
When professors go on leave, majors should expect to find a temporary faculty advisor for the duration of the absence. Professors can help students meet other history faculty who may be suitable advisors. Also, the Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies can serve as a temporary advisor.
History students are strongly encouraged to meet once a semester with their advisor, even after declaring the major. Major advisors can help history majors with course selection and the pursuit of a particular topical or geographical focus, as well as offer advice on research and career planning.