UMBC provides several on line tools that are incredibly helpful and strategic with respect to academic planning: Degree Audit, What-if Degree Audit and Academic Pathways. All of these tools are available to you in myUMBC under the topic “Advising and Student Support.”
To help guide students with strategic academic planning, sample four-year academic pathways have been developed for each degree program (major) at UMBC. Students are strongly encouraged, in consultation with their academic advisor, to use the four-year academic pathway as a guide in developing an individualized degree plan based on student's academic preparation, interests and goals. Download a degree plan template as a planning tool and review the academic pathway for your chosen major or for majors of interest if you are still deciding. The pathway is not a prescription, but an illustration of how a degree can be built, course by course, to complete a particular major in four years.
Using degree audit, you can track your progress toward degree completion including university requirements (120 credits, 2 PHED courses, etc., etc.), general education requirements, and requirements for majors, minors, and certificates. Degree audit removes the guessing and the uncertainty in your academic planning for both you and your advisor. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing a long line of “Satisfied” notations on your degree audit report!
You can walk into your advising appointment already knowing exactly where you stand on AH, SS, C, ENGL, and all the other alphabet soup of a degree here at UMBC. So you can talk to your advisor about summer internships, new courses the department is offering, or how to get involved in undergraduate research.
But what if you are having ideas about a different major or perhaps adding a minor or a certificate program? We have a tool for that too! Using what-if degree audit scenarios, you can explore how your completed, in progress, and already-enrolled-for-a-future-term coursework can be applied toward various majors, minors, and certificates offered here at UMBC. Without actually changing your major, you can see how your courses would stack up against the requirements of that alternate or additional major. This makes clear how many additional courses would be necessary and therefore how much longer (or shorter) your path would be to a diploma.
Turn on your academic GPS now!
Spring semester advising and registration is happening right now. Therefore, we strongly encourage you to use degree audit and what-if degree audit scenarios now to actively explore academic possibilities and better understand your graduation path at UMBC. These tools can help you and your academic advisor to plan a course of study that reflects your unique skills, interests, and abilities and allows you to graduate on schedule—whatever your schedule may be.
EXTRA CREDIT DISCUSSION QUESTION
How have UMBC's on-line tools helped you with your academic planning? Share your story or recommendations in the Comments sections below!