What is Advising Fortnight?

Harvard offers 48 concentrations in four broad disciplinary areas (Arts and Humanities, Engineering, Sciences, and Social Sciences). Choosing a concentration is perhaps the most important academic commitment you’ll make in college, and with 48 to choose from, the task is both exciting and daunting.

In 2006, the Faculty voted to give students more time to consider this decision by moving the timing for declaring the concentration from the end of the freshman year to November of the sophomore year. In passing this legislation, the Faculty also voted to require students “to have a documented advising conversation with a representative from one or more prospective concentrations near the end of the second term of enrollment.” In order to facilitate these conversations the Advising Programs Office, in collaboration with the concentrations to create the unique advising experience that is Advising Fortnight, now a freshman tradition.

Advising Fortnight kicks off with a special Fortnight buffet and concentration fair in Annenberg on Monday, March 31, 6-8pm. You’ll have the chance to speak with advisers from all 48 concentrations as well as the secondary fields. Over the following two weeks, the concentrations will host one or more events, e.g., open houses, faculty and student panels, and interdisciplinary presentations, where you can hear from and speak with faculty, peers, and alumni about not only how the concentration is structured, but what inspires them about their field as well. You’re invited to attend as many individual events as you can (see the Fortnight calendar for the most up-to-date schedule). In addition, the concentrations will offer dedicated Fortnight office hours, in case you have additional questions or would like to speak with an adviser one-on-one.

Once Fortnight begins, members of the Advising Programs Office will be in Annenberg daily to answer questions and provide information. If you have questions in the meantime, please email fortnight@fas.harvard.edu.  

During Advising Fortnight every time you attend a concentration’s event or office hours to learn more about what the concentration offers and how it fits with your goals, you are engaging in an advising conversation. We hope you will have many such encounters on the path to your eventual concentration choice, and we encourage you to attend as many office hours and events as you can!

As you now near the end of your freshman year, you are well poised to reflect on what went into the choices you’ve made at Harvard so far and to consider what truly inspires you as you look to the future. You might already have a particular concentration in mind. Or perhaps you’ve narrowed the choice to a few possibilities. Maybe you’re still completely undecided. However you categorize yourself, Advising Fortnight is packed with enriching opportunities to explore the diverse offerings in Harvard’s liberal arts curriculum.

Think of Advising Fortnight as your gateway to the 48.