Frequently Asked Advising Questions

What is academic advising?
The purpose of academic advising is to help you develop an educational plan and eventually reach your specific educational goals. This process also involves helping you understand the objectives and requirements of the bachelor's degree.

When should you meet with an advisor?
You should meet with your advisor whenever you have questions about your academic choices or your educational plan or need help with understanding the requirements of your major or degree. All degree-seeking undergraduates are required to meet with an advisor prior to actual registration for classes. 

An academic advisor is someone who can:

  • Help you plan an educational program based upon your interests, talents and goals.
  • Assist you with learning better study and time-management skills.
  • Review your selection of classes to make certain that they are appropriate choices leading toward your particular degree or major.
  • Answer your questions about taking summer classes.
  • Explain your major and minor requirements.
  • Suggest options for changing your current major.
  • Inform you about various college or university policies and procedures.
  • Help you decide whether to drop or add a course.
  • Explain your General Education requirements.
  • Suggest ways you can correct an academic deficiency.
  • Talk about next term’s schedule.
  • Refer you to a personal or financial counselor.

How will the university know when you have chosen a major?
Do not be worried if you do not have clear idea of a major during your first year on campus. This should be a year of exploring courses you are interested in and taking your time to learn more about what you like and don't like. Don't rush the process! Talk to faculty from various areas to answer your questions. Ask the career services staff for information about the careers you are interested in. Visit with the advisors in the Advising Center as to requirements for various majors and study your catalog.

Once you decide upon a major, you will need to file a "Declaration of Major" form with the Advisement Office to change or declare your new major.

Are you required to have a minor, and how do you declare one? You are not required to have a minor, but you may want to enhance your resume with one or two. Schedule time to talk to an advisor and refer to the catalog for specific requirements of the minor you are interested in. You may declare a minor by completing a form available at the Registrar's Office or Advising Center.

When and how can you make a course schedule change?
You can call your faculty advisor or call Academic Advising at 630-844-6870 to schedule an appointment to make the change. Or, you can stop in the Academic Advising office in the Crouse Center for Student Success when you are on campus to see if an advisor is available without an appointment. It is important to remember that all additions to your schedule must be done prior to the second week of classes.

What are the catalog and course schedule bulletins used for?
The catalog provides you with information about the requirements of all majors and minors as well as General Education requirements. It is also the source of much other information relating to rules and regulations that will govern your academic program while you pursue your degree at AU.

The course schedule bulletins provide you with important information on courses you can register for each term, as well as information about dropping and adding courses, tuition charges, billing dates and registration policies. This is also the place to find out what courses apply to General Education requirements, who is teaching a certain class, and when and where a class meets.

Note: Confidential information will not be given online. All advising questions are answered by Crouse Center student interns.