An advisor is a faculty member in your major who will advise you and be your mentor at UIS.  Your advisor can help you select courses, find an appropriate AST, choose a minor, learn about career opportunities, select a graduate school, improve your study skills, etc. You should meet with your advisor before registering for your first semester, and during each subsequent semester.

Admissions counselors in the Office of Admissions can also help with many administrative matters, but they cannot adequately advise you on academic matters regarding your major.  New SOA students select or are assigned a faculty advisor when they choose their major. (Call the Program office if you don’t remember who your advisor is.)  You may change advisors at any time by sending in a form available from the program office.

SOA Specific Requirements

Petitions, Waivers, Exceptions, etc.

The academic policies of SOA and UIS are designed to cover most cases, most of the time, but sometimes exceptions are necessary.  For such exceptions or waivers of policies, you will need to submit a student petition.  After you pick up a petition form in the program office, you should fill it out, being careful that it clearly explains what you want and the reasons that this makes sense.  Then, before submitting the petition, call your advisor or, if necessary, make an appointment to explain the circumstances.

Petitions are necessary to:

  • waive a course requirement or substitute another course
  • take more than 18 semester hours (eight in summer)
  • have a course from another college accepted toward your degree
  • waive academic suspension, etc.


“WPIs” – With Permission of Instructor forms

WPIs are required to register for occasional classes.   By requiring a WPI we can insure that some places in the course are saved for SOA majors.


You may select either the letter grade or credit/no credit grading option for most SOA courses. In the letter grade option:

  • A = excellent
  • B = good
  • C = fair
  • D = marginal, but passing
  • U = unsatisfactory
  • I = incomplete (given at the faculty member’s option when
  • equested by a student)
  • In the credit/no credit option:
  • CR = credit (equivalent to a C or above in the letter grade option)
  • NC = no credit (below C)

Students planning to attend graduate school or who want a “traditional” transcript to present to employers should take most courses under the letter grade option; however, if you feel that you learn better under the reduced pressure of credit/no credit grading or want to try out a new subject without risking your GPA, feel free to select the credit/no-credit grading option.  You may change your grading option from letter grade to CR/NC or visa versa until eight weeks from the end of the semester.

Withdrawing from classes: If you are registered for a class but stop attending it, you must formally withdraw from the class, even if the deadline for getting a refund has passed.  If you stop attending but do not formally withdraw from a class you will still get a grade – usually a “U” or a “NC.”