Academic advising is provided by a full-time faculty member within the department. All graduate students are assigned a faculty advisor by the department upon admission to the degree program. It is very important to know who your assigned academic advisor is and to meet with her or him regularly. If you do not know who has been assigned as your advisor, please contact the Chairperson of your department.
Individual academic advising primarily involves assisting students with curriculum planning and course selection, monitoring student progress, and providing information regarding continuing education and/or career options related to the field of study. Your academic advisor will be familiar with the most current degree requirements of your program and with academic policies outlined in the UIS Catalog.
By meeting with your academic advisor at least once each semester, prior to registering for the next semester, you can help to ensure that you are working effectively toward fulfilling degree requirements. Advisors should also be consulted whenever you have questions about academic policies as outlined in the UIS Catalog, or need to file official paperwork that requires departmental approval, such as petitions and the graduation contract. Students may request a change in academic advisor by contacting the department chairperson.
Academic advisers assist students with academic planning; however, students are expected to review the University catalog (i.e., UIS Catalog and Course Descriptions), policies, and departmental handbooks, and to meet regularly with their academic advisors. Although academic advisors are available to provide direction and consultation, you are ultimately responsible for meeting University and Departmental requirements for graduation.
Be respectful of faculty time by being prepared for academic advising appointments. Schedule the appointment in advance. Review the UIS Catalog and Course Schedule before your appointment. Access your academic information via Web for Students and take a hard copy print-out along with you, so that you are prepared to discuss your academic progress to date. Be sure to have paper and a pen along and write down any instructions or information your advisor provides. If you contact your advisor via email, make sure you provide the necessary background information for any questions you ask, and review the text of your email to make sure you have been clear.
You may also find the following resource for graduate students to be interesting and helpful:
- How to be a Good Graduate Student by Marie desJardins of Indiana University