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Your academic advisor is a vital member of your support team at UMBC. Your academic advisor is a professor in your major department or a professional, full-time advisor working in your department or college. If you are not sure who your advisor is, please check the following links:

If you have declared a minor, certificate, second major, have financial aid, or are part of a Pre-professional program, you have an additional advisor. Check this page for details.

When should you meet with your advisor?

Anytime!

Your advisor is available anytime during the semester. Although you must meet with your advisor prior to registration each spring and fall semester, you don’t need to wait until then to meet. Generally, the sooner you meet, the better.

What do you discuss with your advisor?

Many things. Here are some possible questions:

  • What electives support my career goals?

  • How do I manage my course load?

  • Is this the right major for me?

  • Which track or concentration within the major is best for me?

  • Should I pursue a minor or certificate in addition to my major?

  • How do I gain experience such as:

    • undergraduate research?

    • become an undergraduate teaching assistant?

    • formulate a study abroad plan?

    • find relevant internship opportunities?

  • How can I better manage my time?

  • How do I plan for my career after my degree?

  • What resource on campus can help with ___________?

Will my advisor help me if I encounter academic or other difficulties?

Yes, your advisor can help in these areas, and can refer you to other resources on campus to help, such as the Learning Resources Center or Counseling Services, depending on the difficulty.

Academic advisors can be your first point of contact for many issues that arise for undergraduate students.

Additional tips:

  • When possible, make an appointment. This gives your advisor a chance to prepare for the meeting.

  • Do a quick self-evaluation:

    • Think about your goals. What are your plans once your UMBC degree is complete?

    • Think about your academic performance. What are you proud of? What are you disappointed in? What will help you improve?

    • What are you other time commitments? How much time to you devote to your studies?

  • Come prepared:

    • Have a topic to discuss and specific questions.

    • Review your degree requirements and progress by reviewing your degree audit and/or transfer credit report.

    • Review the Academic Pathway for your major.

    • If you are going to discuss your schedule, take a list of courses you are interested in.

    • Follow up on any outstanding questions from previous advising meetings.

  • Do your best to keep your appointment but, if something comes up, notify your advisor in advance that you need to reschedule.

  • Take notes.

  • Avoid distractions during the meeting, such as cell phones.

Have questions about advising and registration?

 Find the right person to help.

Credits:

This page is based on advice published in UMBC Extra Credit and by the College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences Academic Advising Team.


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