advising center handbook

Welcome to the Occidental College Advising Handbook!

Welcome to the Occidental College Advising Handbook! This resource is intended to provide students and their faculty advisors with information and guidance related to Occidental’s academic program. While this document is focused on advice for new first-year students, new transfer students and continuing students may find it to be useful as well. 

The information and four-year plans listed for each major in the Advising Handbook reflect the current year's requirements. It is important to know that departments sometimes make changes to their major and/or minor requirements. Students must complete the requirements that are in effect at the time that they declare their first major. 

An Important Note about the Catalog

The Advising Handbook is not intended to replicate or replace the information provided in the Catalog. The Catalog remains the official location for all academic policies and requirements and serves as the contract between Occidental College and each student. The requirements you need to fulfill are determined by your catalog years:

  • Students must complete the  degree and core requirements found in the Catalog that was in effect the year they started at Occidental. 
  • For major and minor requirements , students should refer to the Catalog from the year in which they declared their first major.

Visit the Catalog

Academic Resources

Advising Center

Location: Johnson Student Center 134

Phone: 323-259-1341


While faculty advisors are the primary source of academic advising at Occidental, the Advising Center is an additional resource for students on routine academic matters, including questions about academic policies and procedures, tracking Core Requirements, placement exams, transferring credit from other institutions, and so on. Advising Center advisors also frequently meet with students who are undecided about a major or minor and wish to discuss the various options, and it’s a good first stop for students who aren't sure which office or faculty member to talk to regarding a specific program or objective.

Visit the Advising Center web page for the current hours and other helpful information!

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Pre-health Advising

Location: Hameetman Career Center

Director: Kat Wang (

Phone: 323-259-2665

Webpage: Pre-Health Advising

The Office of Pre-Health Advising (OPHA) at Occidental College provides information, resources, and in-depth advisement to students and alumni who are interested in matriculating to professional graduate programs in various health professions. To receive regular updates on pre-health events and opportunities, students can sign up for the Pre-Health Digest by though the link on the Pre-Health Advising page

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Pre-law Advising

Pre-Law advising is provided by Professor Marisol Leon.

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The Library (at the Academic Commons) is the place where expertise and resources—human, print, electronic, spatial, and technological—come together. It is a primary node in Oxy's intellectual network, staffed by research/resource savvy professionals.


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National and International Fellowships

Location: Hameetman Career Center

Director: Jennifer Locke (

Phone: 323-259-2742

The National and International Fellowships Office provides individualized advising appointments for students and alumni to help them identify sources of external funding (through foundations, governments, organizations) relevant to their short and long-term interests and goals. The office also works closely with students on their application materials and proposals, provides interview preparation, and conducts mock interviews for the fellowships that require them.

Fellowship opportunities exist for first years, sophomores, juniors, seniors, and alumni. Fellowships fund a wide variety of activities: language learning, independent research, leadership training, research assistant opportunities, academic experiences, study abroad, graduate training/programs/school, professional development/work experiences, teaching English, and public service opportunities. While some programs require a high GPA, many others value effective leadership and involvement as much as or more so than grades.

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Peer Learning (Tutoring)

Location: Academic Commons and Johnson Hall

Occidental offers support for most subjects through our peer advising (tutoring) programs. The Subject Advisers are available in the Academic Commons on the ground floor for all academic disciplines offered at Oxy and Language Advisers are available in Johnson Hall for all languages taught at Oxy. 

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Writing Center

Location: Academic Commons (Ground Floor)

Director: Prof. Julie Prebel ( )

The Writing Center offers students from all disciplines two types of support to work on their writing: peer-to-peer, drop-in consultations with knowledgeable Writing Advisers and appointments with Faculty Writing Specialists from the Writing and Rhetoric department. For more information, visit the Writing Center webpage.

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Academic Mastery Program

The Academic Mastery Program (AMP) provides challenging workshops for students enrolled in general chemistry, organic chemistry, introductory physics, cellular and molecular biology, and basic calculus courses. These workshops are led by upper-level students and provide an opportunity to test knowledge and skills in the context of new and challenging problems. The workshops provide a time to work intensively and collaboratively with other committed students in an atmosphere that is demanding yet relaxed. Information about these workshops is provided in the relevant courses at the beginning of each semester.

Scientific Scholars Acheivement Program


The mission of the Scientific Scholars Achievement Program (SSAP) is to support the development of a diverse body of individuals who will advance and enhance STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) professional fields in an endeavor to meet the complex and evolving demands of a culturally heterogeneous society.

SSAP provides tutoring in introductory and gateway STEM courses and encourages collaboration among classmates. All questions and learning styles from students are welcomed and encouraged in our program. Through educational and social events, SSAP aims to build community between faculty and students studying math and science at Occidental.

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Contact Advising Center
Johnson Student Center

First floor, Room 134