HPM Students: Academic Advisor Overview

You have been assigned a Harvard Chan School faculty member to be your academic advisor.  The role of your advisor is to provide you with academic guidance, information, and general assistance. You and your advisor must meet at least twice during the academic year (before the start of the fall and spring semesters) to discuss your proposed course of study and any procedural or personal issues relevant to your academic experience at the Harvard Chan School.

The relationship you have with your academic advisor may be one of the most important and meaningful ones you develop during your time at the School.  Or you may find that you develop a stronger relationship with another faculty member.  Whatever happens in your case, establishing and maintaining a good relationship with your academic advisor can be very helpful to you as you navigate your degree program.

We encourage you to establish professional and collaborative relationships with other members of the Harvard Chan School Faculty.  These fruitful collaborations can grow from interactions with faculty in class, at school or social events, or through independent study and research opportunities that may arise throughout the year.

In addition to your academic advisor and faculty members, the Academic Programs Staff in HPM, are happy assist you.  Please feel free to reach out to schedule a meeting with Jen Moltoni (jmoltoni@hsph.harvard.edu). You can also feel free to reach out to the Field of Study Leaders for your specific program:

And, please keep in mind that the MPH staff in the Office of Education are also happy to assist you as you navigate through your degree program (MPH@hsph.harvard.edu).

When will I find out who my academic advisor is?

Students who matriculate in the Fall learn who their Academic Advisors by mid July.  Students who matriculate in the Winter Session learn who their Academic Advisors are by October.  This information will be uploaded into your my.harvard portal and is listed under the “Advising Network” tab.  For example, if you are an MPH student, you will see contact information for your academic advisor, your field of study director, Jen Moltoni (HPM Academic Programs), and Anne Occhipinti (MPH Office).

How do I contact my advisor?

You can reach any member of the Harvard Chan School faculty through the online directory:  http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/faculty/.

Please keep in mind that although MPH and SM students can view their advisors within the my.harvard system, and might like to contact them over the summer and prior to their matriculation, faculty schedules during this time can be a bit tricky.  Feel free to reach out to your academic advisor, however, keep in mind that they might not be able to meet with you until Fall Orientation week.

How often do I need to meet with my advisor?

You should make appointments with your academic advisor at least once each term, before you finalize your course schedule for the fall and spring terms

What if I want to change my advisor?

Students who wish to change their advisor should contact either Jen Moltoni (jmoltoni@hsph.harvard.edu) or  their Field of Study Leader to discuss the reasons for the requested change and to find out how to proceed in making this change.

How do I prepare for a meeting with my advisor?

Make an appointment.  Some things can be handled by phone or email, but a “real” advising interaction is helped by face-to-face contact.

Prepare.  If you plan to talk with your advisor about your academic performance, if you seeking advice about course selection, bring a current proposed course schedule with you (and, if possible, send it to your advisor to review in advance of the meeting); if you want to talk about career opportunities, research ideas, your practicum or other service experiences, bring any relevant information.

Follow-through.  If your advisor refers you to the Career Advancement Office, or the Registrar, or another office on campus, be certain you follow-through.


If you have any questions regarding your academic advisor, please contact Jen Moltoni, HPM’s Assistant Director of Academic Programs and Student Services at jmoltoni@hsph.harvard.edu.