Advising

Advising in the English Department

English invites concentrators to pursue questions fundamental to culture and literature, within and across historical periods and geographic boundaries, over a vast range of imaginative writing. We study—we can help you study (and also write)—fiction and nonfiction, poetry and drama, games and comics, TV and film, epic and comedy, tragedy and devotional writing, lyric introspection and public argument. That help comes primarily in our course offerings, but also through advisers and our advice.

Every English concentrator has a faculty adviser, a member of the English department faculty who meets with you regularly, helps you choose courses, helps plan your path through the concentration, and listens to your ideas.

Normally, when you choose English, you’ll be assigned an adviser from among the members of the English undergraduate council (faculty members who have special responsibility for undergrad education). At that point and at any time throughout your Harvard career, you can pick another faculty adviser who best represents your own interests: normally (but not always) that will be an adviser who already knows you from coursework or from office hours.

We encourage you to meet with your adviser regularly, not just at times when it’s required! Your adviser—like all our faculty—has regular weekly office hours when you can make an appointment or just drop in. (Your faculty adviser may become your senior thesis adviser, if you write a senior thesis, or else help you find one.) Good advising can extend beyond your course selection and your coursework to your broader array of interests, within literary studies and outside it, through your college career and beyond.

Additional Advising Resources

Harvard College also has resources for academic advising in general:

The Advising Programs Office is charged with coordinating, supporting, and facilitating academic advising programs for all undergraduates and, as such, works with students, faculty, the Freshman Dean’s Office, the Houses and other Harvard College and FAS offices on all aspects of pre-concentration and concentration advising.

The Academic Resource Center supports students in developing reading strategies, time management skills, and metacognitive approaches to learning through consultations, workshops, academic coaching, peer tutoring, and skills-based resources.

The Office of Career Services supports all students and alumni of Harvard College and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in exploring and making effective career choices.

Undergraduate Program Office Hours & Contact Information

If you are a first year or sophomore interested in studying English, please reach out to any of our advising program staff to discuss your interests and options: 

Stephanie Burt, Director of Undergraduate Studies
Barker Center 270; burt@fas.harvard.edu
Office Hours: Wednesdays, 5-6pm and Fridays, 10:30am-noon EDT and by appointment
Email in advance to obtain Zoom meeting link
Academic advising for concentrators and prospective concentrators

Beth Blum, Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies
Barker Center 015; bblum@fas.harvard.edu
Sign up for advising appointment here
Academic advising for prospective concentrators

Leah Whittington, Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies
Barker Center 275; lwhittington@fas.harvard.edu
Sign up for advising appointment here
Academic advising for prospective concentrators

Darcy Frey, Director of the Creative Writing Program
Lamont 406; frey@fas.harvard.edu
Office Hours: Fridays 3-5pm and by appointment
Email in advance to obtain Zoom meeting link
Academic advising for the Creative Writing Program

Lauren Bimmler, Undergraduate Program Administrator
Barker Center 159; lbimmler@fas.harvard.edu
Office Hours: Generally available between 10am-4pm, M-F
Email with any inquiries or to set up a Zoom advising appointment
Requirements and general advising for concentrators and prospective concentrators, and study abroad

Henry Vega Ortiz, Undergraduate Program Assistant
Barker Center 158; henryvegaortiz@fas.harvard.edu
Office Hours: Generally available between 10am-4pm, M-F
Email with any inquiries or to set up a Zoom advising appointment
Requirements and general advising for concentrators, prospective concentrators, and secondary field