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Academic Advising

academic advising

Academic Advising: Where Do I Go?

Academic advising is provided primarily by advisors in the Academic Advising Center (which includes The Transfer Program) and advisors in academic departments. These advisors are available to answer different types of questions as described below. Advising is essential for your success and you are encouraged to meet regularly with your academic advisor. Most advising is by appointment.

ACADEMIC ADVISING CENTER

Advisors provide general advising and will work with you until you decide on a major.

Academic Advising Center advisors provide assistance in the following areas:

  • Major exploration and decision making
  • General Education and Bachelor Degree requirements
  • Degree Audits
  • Course selection and class scheduling
  • Transfer courses, AP and IB tests as they apply to General Education
  • University policies and procedures (add, drop, withdrawal deadlines, Credit/No Credit)
  • Academic performance issues
  • Preparation for professional school (law, medicine, dentistry)
ACADEMIC ADVISING CENTER AND
THE TRANSFER PROGRAM

450 Student Services Building
Phone: 801-581-8146
advising.utah.edu

 
DEPARTMENTAL ADVISORS

Once you have chosen a major, departmental advisors will advise you throughout the completion of your major requirements.

They provide assistance in the following areas:

  • Detailed information on your major
  • Course requirements
  • Major status and any special admissions requirements for competitive majors
  • Declaration of a major
  • Transfer of courses as they apply to major requirements
  • Courses based on career goals
  • Activities and opportunities to supplement your major
  • Graduation application process
DEPARTMENTAL ADVISORS

Departmental Advising by Major

Note: a premajor is not the same as a major. See your departmental advisor to declare a major.

 
 

There are also times when advising is required for all students.

Work with your advisor to declare your major as soon as possible so you can take advantage of programs and opportunities for declared students.

First Year Milestone Advising

All new freshmen are required to meet with an academic advisor during their first semester at the U. Plan to make an appointment to meet and collaborate with your academic advisor early on in your university career.
New Transfer At the U, we realize that transfer students are at different points towards degree completion. This is why all transfer students are required to attend a Transfer Student Orientation and to meet with an advisor in their area of study before registering for first semester classes.
Second Year Milestone Advising All students in their second year at the U, including transfer students, are required to meet with their major advisor. Meeting with your advisor is crucial to ensure that you are taking the courses and getting important resources you need to make the most of your degree.
Low GPA Students are required to maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA to remain in good standing. Advisors in the Academic Advising Center work with all students whose cumulative GPA drops below a 2.0 in order to strategize ways to improve academic performance.

As educators and problem solvers, we advocate for students as they navigate their personal journey of higher education and attain their academic goals. Through inclusion and connection, we open doors to new opportunities for self-awareness and growth, empowering students to define their roles as citizens within local and global communities.

What your advisor will strive to do for you:

  • Listen attentively to your questions and concerns
  • Respect your unique interests, abilities, and circumstances
  • Help you explore options that support your academic, personal, and career interests
  • Explain degree requirements
  • Clarify information about university regulations, policies, and procedures
  • Assist you in building an appropriate class schedule
  • Refer you to appropriate campus resources
  • Help you learn how to search out answers for yourself

Your advisor will not:

  • Make decisions for you. The choices you make about which courses to take or what to major in must be yours. The results of those decisions will make up your college career and no one else’s.
  • Be your only source of advice and information. While the Academic Advising Center and departmental advisors can provide a great deal of information, there are other offices you will find helpful along the way. They are valuable sources of information and advice.
  • Officially clear you for graduation. While your advisor can help you plan your courses to meet graduation requirements, you are responsible for making sure that you have met all requirements. The Office of the Registrar has the final authority in determining when you have satisfied all of the requirements for your degree.

What you can do:

  • Take responsibility for learning and complying with university requirements, policies, and procedures
  • Be prepared for advising sessions by bringing appropriate documents (i.e. transcripts, degree audit, summary of transfer credit, test scores), making a list of questions and concerns, and planning a tentative schedule.
  • Honestly communicate your unique interests, abilities, and circumstances to your advisor
  • Take responsibility for achieving your success and accept the consequences of your academic and personal decisions
  • Keep up with your academic progress and maintain your own advising file. Keep all documents until you graduate!
  • Meet with your advisor regularly

After reviewing these tips, begin by completing the First Semester Planning Guide with an academic advisor from your major department, or from the Academic Advising Center if you have not yet chosen a major.

  • It is your responsibility to make sure you have completed all necessary prerequisites for your courses. Prerequisites are listed at the beginning of each course description in the online catalog. NOTE: The system may allow you to sign up for a class without having the prerequisites.
  • Do not overload your first semester. Give yourself time to adjust to the University.
  • 12 credit hours (3-4 classes) is the minimum to be considered a full time student (for financial aid, scholarships, insurance, etc.).
  • To complete a degree in 4 years without summer classes, enrollment in 15-16 credits (4-5 classes) per semester is necessary. Discuss an appropriate schedule with your advisor.
  • The number of credit hours does not necessarily reflect the difficulty of a class.
  • Allow enough time to study for each class - usually 2 hours per week for every credit hour.
  • Consider work hours and other time commitments. Take a full time class load only if you will be working 20 hours or less per week.  If working 30 hours, start with 2-3 classes.  If working 40 hours or more, start with 1-2 classes.
  • Consider adding 1 or 2 activity classes in Exercise and Sport Science or Parks, Recreation and Tourism, or other one to two hour elective courses, to achieve full time status without overloading.
  • New first-year students should take lower division courses (1000 and 2000 level) unless your advisor recommends an upper division course (3000 level or above).
  • Writing and math classes are strongly encouraged in the first year, if not already completed.
  • A combination of major and General Education courses typically makes a good schedule.  If you are undecided on your major, take General Education classes and begin exploring majors.  Undecided students should also consider taking UGS 1050: Major Exploration for help with choosing a major.
  • Also consider joining a learning community (LEAP, Honors, Block U, EDPS 2600).
  • If you have completed General Education, take major and Bachelor’s Degree requirement classes. Undecided students can explore majors by taking beginning classes in those departments. Most transfer students will still need to complete Bachelor’s Degree requirements, but be aware that your major may include some or all of these requirements.

All first-year students are required to meet with an academic advisor before registering for classes for their second semester.  Sophomores and undeclared juniors are also required to meet with an advisor.  (See mandatory advising).

Use Graduation Planning Tools

Learn how to run a Degree Audit>>

Learn how to use the Graduation Planning System (GPS)>>

Design The Best Degree For You

How is designing a degree different from choosing a major? Choosing a major is an important part of the process, but it is just one piece of your degree. Choosing a major you are interested in will make it easier to develop valuable skills employers seek, but majors aren’t the only place to develop these skills. You can look to other opportunities for skill development as well. By getting involved with other activities such as service, leadership, learning abroad, internships, minors, certificates, research, and more, you can create a degree that is truly unique.

Use the Planning With Purpose Worksheet>>

Last Updated: 6/25/20