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 or master's degree.

How can I reach an advisor?
All students regardless of program, level, or location can email with any academic advising questions they may have.

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 new students are required to meet with an advisor prior to registration for classes.

An academic advisor is someone who can:

  • Help you plan an educational program based upon your interests, talents and goals.
  • Review your selection of classes to make certain that they are appropriate choices leading toward your particular degree or major.
  • 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.
  • 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 Crouse Center for Academic Advising 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 Crouse Center for Academic Advising 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 Crouse Center for Academic Advising.

When and how can you make a course schedule change?
If you have access to online registration via Self-Service, you can add/drop course online via Self-Service. If you do not have online registration access or you need further assistance, you can call (630-844-6870) or stop by the main office of the Crouse Center for Academic Advising (Eckhart Hall 310) to schedule an appointment with your advisor. Or, you can stop in during the center’s drop-in hours (Fridays, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. during fall/spring, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. during summer). It is important to remember that all additions to your schedule must be completed prior to the second week of classes, or the second class meeting (for courses meeting once per week).

What is the catalog 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.