Harvard offers 49 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 49 to choose from, the task is both exciting and daunting.
The Faculty voted in 2006 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, created 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 28, from 5pm to 7pm. You’ll have the chance to speak with advisors from all 49 concentrations as well as the 8 unaffiliated secondary fields.
Over the following two weeks, each concentration 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, advisors, and peers about the structure of the concentration and the intellectual community you will be joining. You’re invited to attend as many individual events as you can (see Events). In addition, the concentrations will hold office hours during Fortnight, in case you have additional questions or would like to speak with an advisor one-on-one.
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. (To learn how to document your advising conversation click here.) 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.
Think of Advising Fortnight as your gateway to the 49.
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