General Information for Freshmen
The University of Illinois Springfield focuses not just on preparing students for a specific occupation but also on developing people who can function effectively in a world in which cultures, economies, politics, environments, and individual human lives are increasingly connected.
General education is the “liberal arts” part of your education as an undergraduate student at UIS. We are excited about our general education program which will prepare you for life-long learning and engaged citizenship. Your general education hours combined with your major or majors, your minor or minors, and your electives to comprise your college coursework.
Whether you are a first year student, sophomore, or upper division student, it is important that you stay on track with your general education requirements. As a UIS student, you are responsible for understanding and meeting your general education, program, and graduation requirements. The Advising Center, Admissions and Registration offices work together to assist you in doing so. Additionally, the Advising Center staff in conjunction with the Career Development Center staff can assist you in developing your educational and career goals.
We urge you to be proactive in contacting us and following through on advice. The Undergraduate Academic Advising Center phone number is 217-206-7471.
We are very interested in your success here at UIS and look forward to witnessing the positive contributions you will make as a member of the UIS student body.
When should I meet with my Undergraduate Academic Advisor?
Freshman will start working closely with the Undergraduate Academic Advisors at their summer orientation on campus. During orientation, the Undergraduate Academic Advisors will help you determine your first-year fall schedule and register at orientation. The Undergraduate Academic Advisors will contact you following orientation if any schedule adjustments are needed.
As a First-year student, you need to meet with your Undergraduate Academic Advisor prior to registering in November and in April. Contact the Office of Advising Services, Information, and Support at (217) 206-7471, located in Brookens Library 472 to schedule a visit. A hold will be placed on first-year students, and you will be unable to register in November and April until you have met with your Undergraduate Academic Advisor.
The Undergraduate Academic Advisors also work with transfer students who have general education deficiencies and are undeclared majors. They are available to assist those students in designing course schedules and exploring major options.
If I am a Capital Scholar Honors student, who is my advisor?
If you are a Capital Scholars Honors student, the Honors program will assign you an advisor. Contact Karen Barker to learn who your academic advisor is and how and when to meet with him or her.
When should I meet with my major faculty advisor?
When you declare a major, you will be assigned a major advisor by your major program. When you learn who your major advisor is, please contact him or her and ask when, where and how often, he or she would like to meet with you for advising. Major programs differ on how and when they wish to work with students, so it is important to communicate early with a representative from your program major to learn the most accurate information about your major course of study and to maintain open lines of communication.
Should I declare a major now and how do I do that?
The earlier you declare a major, the more focused your academic experience can be. Declaring a major early also helps keep you on track to graduate in a timely way. Declaring too early, however, can lead you to change majors multiple times. The Undergraduate Academic Advisors are available to sit down with you and help you think through your academic goals. When you are ready to declare a major or a minor or to switch majors or minors, please complete and submit the Change of Curriculum Form
I want to work out a potential four-year plan for myself. Where do I start?
It helps to be prepared before you meet with your Undergraduate Academic Advisor or your program major faculty advisor. First-year and sophomore advising guides and a list of general education requirements are available to you on the UIS General Education website. Your program major can provide you with your upper level major requirements and when they will be offered. By combining your gen ed requirements and major requirements, you will be able to determine your course options at UIS. In addition to reading about the requirements and fleshing out your plan, we recommend that you meet with an advisor prior to registering for courses, and first year students will be required to meet with an Undergraduate Academic Advisor prior to registering for courses. When you meet with an advisor, please come prepared with an idea of the classes you need and want.
Who takes Comparative Societies courses?
Only freshmen (students who bring in fewer than 30 hours of college credit) are responsible for Comparative Societies courses. Freshmen should take one Comparative Societies course (3 hours), either a Comparative Societies Humanities or a Comparative Societies Social Science. Exceptions to that policy are rare and should be handled by the Undergraduate Academic Advising Center.
Students who transfer to UIS with 30+ hours and CAP Honors students are NOT responsible for Comparative Societies courses. They may take the courses, but space is limited and freshmen should be given first priority.
If you have questions about the Comparative Societies courses or these policies please contact the Office of Advising Services, Information and Support at firstname.lastname@example.org or the Office of Undergraduate Education at email@example.com.
What can I expect from the Office of Advising Services, Information and Support?
Check your UIS email account for updates, communication from the Office of Advising Services, Information and Support (firstname.lastname@example.org) and important deadlines. The Undergraduate Academic Advisors will help you understand the academic and administrative processes of UIS and will strive to understand each advisee’s concerns affecting academic progress. Whether you are a first-year student, sophomore, or upper division student, it is important that you stay on track with your general education requirements. As a UIS student, you are responsible for understanding and meeting your general education, program, and graduation requirements. The Office of Advising Services, Information and Support, your major faculty advisor, and Admissions and Records work together to assist you in doing so. Additionally, the Advising Center staff in conjunction with the Career Development Center staff can assist you in developing your educational and career goals. We urge you to be proactive in contacting us and following through on advice.
Who is responsible for my plan of study?
You are! You assume final responsibility for course scheduling, program planning and successful completion of graduation requirements. Maintaining a positive relationship with your Undergraduate Academic Advisor and with your program major and/or minor advisor(s) is key to meeting this responsibility.