Academic advising is both an important and an enriching component of your academic life at UMBC. Advising allows you to sit down one-on-one with a faculty or professional advising staff member and discuss a wide range of topics pertaining to your academic interests and plans.
Here are some FAQs about academic advising.
What is the purpose of academic advising?
Your advisor is there to do these four basic things:
1. help you choose an academic program based on your personal and educational goals;
2. monitor your progress throughout the completion of that program;
3. assist in identifying useful campus resources; and
4. help you understand university policies and procedures.
In addition, you may discuss with your advisor any challenges you have regarding your transition to the academic culture at UMBC. Later on, your advisor can help you identify internships, research opportunities, and other “extras” to enhance your college education. And as you prepare to graduate, you advisor can help you plan for graduate or professional study or entry into a career.
Who is my advisor? How do I get connected with an academic advisor?
UMBC academic advisors are usually professors (faculty members), but some departments also have professional staff specifically trained in academic advising.
If you have declared your major, your advisor will be found in your major department. If you are uncertain about who you advisor is, contact the Advising Coordinator for your department. Here is a link to advising information by department:
The professional advisors in the Office for Academic & Pre-Professional Advising provide advising support to students who have not yet declared a major or are in transition between majors.
What do I do if my relationship with my advisor is not working well?
You may contact your department’s Advising Coordinator and request a change of advisor. If there is a different advisor you believe would be good for you, you may request that individual.
Where do I get specialized advising for pre-health professions or pre-law?
Pre-professional students in medicine, dentistry, podiatry, veterinary medicine and optometry are advised primarily by their major department in conjunction with a dedicated pre-health professions advisor in the PreMedical and PreDental Advising Office.
Pre-professional students in allied health fields (including pre-pharmacy, pre-physical therapy, pre-nursing, pre-dental hygiene and pre-medical technology) also receive advising in their major department, supplemented by pre-health advising provided by the Office for Academic and Pre-Professional Advising.
Pre-law advising is provided by the Political Science Department.
When should I see my academic advisor?
•During mid-semester, prior to advance registration, to discuss course selection for the following semester. This is mandatory for every student at the University, so make your appointment well in advance of your registration time
•Whenever you have a question or concern
What are typical topics for a meeting with my advisor?
•What courses should I consider taking to fulfill the general education requirements?
•How many credits should I take?
•Should I drop or add a course?
•Which concentration or track within the major would be best for me?
•How can I find out more about internship, research, study abroad, graduate school and career opportunities?
•How do I explore alternatives if I want to consider changing my major?
•Should I pursue a minor, certificate or pre-professional program at UMBC?
•What help is available if I am experiencing academic difficulties?
Check out the newly refreshed website of the Office for Academic and Pre-Professional Advising here.
EXTRA CREDIT DISCUSSION QUESTION:
How has your advisor helped you? Please share your stories in the comments section.