Dornsife First Year Advising is located in Grace Ford Salvatori Hall (GFS) 320. Click here to review detailed directions on how to find GFS and our office!

Click here to read the 5 things we recommend all students do to make sure you have a successful first year!

The Dornsife Student Experience

Hear directly from current and former Dornsife First-Year Advising students on their advising experience, their advice for fellow first-year students, and what they love about their majors in USC Dornsife!

Sophomore, Health and Human Sciences BA

T. Whittaker

“My first year advisor my freshman year really helped me get settled with my major. When I first came in, I was all over the place, but my First Year Advisor Lisa Perkins helped me make sure I was confident in my major in Health and Human Sciences. She encouraged me to try classes outside of my major to discover new interests; now I know I want to declare a double-major in Data Science. Everyone in the advising office is so nice and it’s been wonderful getting to know such a helpful and welcoming community!”

Freshman, Biological Sciences BS

G. Ordonez

“My first semester was great! I made lots of friends and had engaging conversations with them. After a few weeks, I adjusted to the college curriculum. My study tactics have improved already, and while reviewing and studying for exams, I still found the time to explore LA through hikes and more. Next year, I want to keep expanding and growing my scope, in college and in life.”

Graduate, Political Science & English BA

C. Valenzuela-Peterson

“Advisors helped me with my course schedule each semester, making sure I take classes that keep me on track for graduation and connecting me to a variety of interesting classes, internships, extracurricular organizations, and special programs. They also helped me with big decisions, like taking a leave of absence and studying abroad. To students meeting advisors for the first time, don’t be nervous! Get to know them as they are nice people who want you to succeed. Advisors will know how to help. And keep an eye out for their emails!”

Junior, Psychology BA

Z. Robertson

“The shift from being a freshman to a sophomore had a huge impact on me. As a freshman, I was mostly focused on transitioning from high school to college. My sophomore year is when I realized that I had a strong interest in psychology and helping improve the mental health of my community. It made me realize that my career choice is up to me–even though a fancy B.S. is nice, my old major was not my passion. My advice for rising sophomores boils down to this: Take the time you need to explore your career interests and fall in love with them. Also, do not be afraid to put yourself out there! For all my fellow introverts out there, there are many opportunities for us here. I mean, hey, I’m currently an RA and did research through the Gateway Scholars Program at USC. But, if that’s a step too far right now, try going to an event on campus as a start.”

Senior, Philosophy Politics and Law BA

L. Nicholson

“My favorite thing about my major is how many options for unique classes there are. In my capstone course, we have all taken such a wide variety of previous philosophy classes and thus we are all coming in from a unique standpoint. I never really thought that I would find philosophy interesting, but it’s quickly become one of my favorite subjects. I wish I had known as a first-year student that it was okay to not know where your life was going to take you – I felt as though by ‘picking a major’ I was picking a career path and a future, not something that interested me. It’s okay to not know or to change your mind. Don’t be afraid to try new things!”

Junior, GeoDesign BS

T. Wardsworth

“My favorite thing about the GeoDesign major is how multi-faceted it is. The disciplines (spatial sciences, architecture, and public policy) really spread into multiple careers, so I see it as an advantage to have all these insights within one major. Something I wish I had known as a first-year student is picking a major is not a binding contract, and it will not be the end of the world. As someone with multiple interests, I felt I had to choose one or the other; luckily I found an interdisciplinary major that was suitable for some of my passions.”

Senior, Environmental Studies & Anthropology BA

C. Sverdrup

“My favorite thing about the ENST major is that it opens up countless doors to career paths related to the environment and sustainability. It truly allows you to choose your path. I wish I had known about all of the clubs, extracurriculars, and experiential learning opportunities available to me as a first year ENST student.”

Junior, Biological Sciences BS

J. Goodman

“I love the different electives to chose from within engineering and business. I wish I had known as a first-year student that you don’t need to cram all hard sciences into the first two years.”

Junior, Applied and Computational Mathematics BS

A. Chen

“Go to career fairs and all the events because you can always get something from it.”

Dornsife 2023-2024 FYA Newsletters

Read our 2023-2024 Dornsife FYA Newsletters here, including campus resources, student spotlights, helpful tips, and more!

  • In this edition:

    • Explore & More Advising
    • How to Find Your Advising Appointment
    • Resource Highlight: Campus Study Spaces
    • Student Spotlight: Roommates

    Click here to read!

  • In this edition:

    • FYE Kickoff Social Recap
    • Pre-Registration Advising
    • Major and Minor Fair
    • Resource Highlight: Navigating Imposter Syndrome
    • Student Spotlight: Healing Homesickness

    Click here to read!

  • In this edition:

    • Major and Minor Fair Recap
    • Career 101 Seminar
    • FYE: Thriving Through Your First Year
    • Pre-Registration Advising
    • Resource Highlight: La CASA & Student Equity and Inclusion Programs
    • Student Spotlight: Study Survival Strategies

    Click here to read!

  • In this edition:

    • Career 101 Recap
    • FYE: Thriving Through Your First Year
    • 1-2 Unit Electives
    • Resource Highlight: Forging Faculty Connections
    • Student Spotlight: Mental Health Tips for Finals Season
    • We’re Hiring! Dornsife Advising Administrative Intern

    Click here to read!

  • In this edition:

    • Thriving Through Your First Year Recap
    • First-Year Experience Passport
    • Advising Advice: Adventures in Research
    • Student Spotlight: First-Year Reflection
    • Resource Highlight: Local Winter Wonderland
    • First-Year Survey

    Click here to read!

  • In this edition:

    • Meet Your Major Social
    • First-Year Experience Passport
    • Explore & More Advising
    • Academic Advising Calendar
    • Midterm Toolkit
    • Scholarship Opportunities
    • Career Fair

    Click here to read!

  • In this edition:

    • Meet Your Major Social Recap
    • Mandatory Pre-Registration Advising
    • Pre-Registration Info Session
    • Dornsife Tutoring & Academic Resources
    • Student Org Spotlight: Literary Society
    • Freshman Finale

    Click here to read!