HPM Students – Tips for Working with your Academic Advisor

Each student is assigned an advisor, who is an HPM faculty member.  The advisor’s role is to provide the student with academic guidance, information and general assistance.  Each student must meet with his or her advisor at least twice during the academic year (before the start of the Fall and Spring semesters) to discuss the student’s proposed course of study and any issues or problems relevant to the student’s academic performance.

After meeting to review your proposed course of study, the advisor will approve your courses via the school’s online system.

Your advisor’s signature is required for certain other types of registration actions (e.g., General Petition forms).   If your advisor is not available, the following people in HPM are surrogate advisors for the purposes of signing various forms:

All HPM Students:

Jen Moltoni                 Kresge Room 338 (jmoltoni@hsph.harvard.edu)

Nancy Turnbull           Kresge Room 303 (nturnbul@hsph.harvard.edu)

MPH Students:

Anne Occhipinti           Kresge Room G-29 (aocchipi@hsph.harvard.edu)

A Few Advising Tips:

  • Schedule meetings in advance and let your advisor know what you would like to discuss.  Some faculty members have regularly scheduled office hours but most prefer to schedule appointments through e-mail.  Ask your advisor about the best way to arrange meetings.
  • Faculty members are usually not the best resource on administrative questions. So, if possible, look up your administrative questions in the HSPH Student Handbook, or ask Jen Moltoni in HPM’s Office for Academic Programs and Student Services
  • During the first three weeks of the semester, new students should set up an individual appointment with Jen Moltoni, Assistant Director of Academic Programs and Student Services; so that she can answer any questions you may have and help get your semester off to a great start.
  • If you have a personal, health, or disability-related concern that you need to discuss, the first person to reach out to should be the Office of Student Affairs (Kresge G-4). Please contact the Office for Student Affairs at  studentaffairs@hsph.harvard.edu.  Although students are welcome to discuss these issues with their academic advisor, it is important to understand that they are in no way obligated to disclose this information to anyone.
  • Your advisor is not the only faculty member who can give you guidance and support.  We encourage you to talk with other faculty members, including those in other departments.  Other students are invaluable resources too, particularly for advice on classes.

If you and your advisor are not a good match, you should feel comfortable changing advisors.  Students who wish to change advisors should speak with Jen Moltoni or Nancy Turnbull.