Academic Advising

Please contact your college or department for questions related to academic advising. The Counseling Center does not provide academic counseling.

Academic requirements vary depending on the institution you attend. First generation college students often have questions about registering for class, transferring credits, and other general advising questions. Your academic advisor can be a useful resource for you as you navigate through your academic experience. Academic advising is an integral part of undergraduate education. The advisor is your key to learning what is available here for you to use and how to make the most of these opportunities. Too often students wait until deadlines have passed or problems have escalated before seeking help. By planning ahead, you can avoid these problems.

An Academic Advisor will…

  • Inform you about degree requirements and college policies and procedures.
  • Describe course options and useful campus resources.
  • Help you learn better study and time management skills.
  • Review each advisee’s degree audit with the advisee each semester.
  • Help you decide upon a concentration best fitted to your skills, interests, and future goals.
  • Help you plan strategies to achieve your goals.
  • Be aware of non-academic resources at the University of Illinois, e.g., counseling, career services, etc.
  • Help you handle any academic difficulty you may encounter.
  • Be a skilled contact in making the university work for you.
  • Enjoy academic advising.
  • Be a good listener.
  • Provide honest assessment and be realistic.

An Academic Advisor cannot…

  • Make your decisions for you; tell you what you should concentrate in or what classes you should take or plan your schedule for you.
  • Tell you what is a “good class.” What makes a class “good” depends entirely upon your skills, interests, and goals. What’s “good” for one student is not necessarily “good” for another.
  • Help you very much with specific problems or situations if you wait too long to discuss them. Problems don’t go away when you ignore them; they only get worse. Usually there are more options available to correct or improve a situation the earlier you address it.

You are expected to…

  • Take responsibility for the quality of education and your personal effort.
  • Be ready and prepared for each advising appointment
  • Know graduation requirements for the major/minor/etc.
  • Review each new degree audit for accuracy. Know academic advisor’s phone number and/or e-mail address. Have a University e- mail address and check for your incoming e-mail. Make sure your check your University e-mail account and don’t rely on your AOL, Hotmail, Yahoo, etc. for important University of Illinois information.
  • Keep university informed of most recent address and phone number.
  • Be organized and plan ahead.
  • Come in when help is needed rather than wait.
  • Be courteous and prompt for appointments.
  • Have good listening skills and be open to advice.
  • Be open to self-examination regarding interests, aptitudes, etc.

A student should see their Academic Advisor When…

  • Changing from a general admission curriculum to a specific area of study.
  • Wanting to transfer to a different college within the University.
  • They need assistance because they may be failing a class.
  • Experiencing any personal or academic problems that affect a student’s ability to be successful in their academic endeavors
  • At the very least, once in October before registration for the Spring semester, and once in March before registration for the Fall semester.

Useful websites: