Your academic advisor can be an extremely valuable resource, but it helps to be prepared. As advising time approaches, follow these steps for a successful and useful advising appointment.
1. Make an advising appointment. Different advisors have different
procedures, but most advisors will want you to sign up for an
appointment. To sign up for an advising appointment with Dr. Bodwin,
sign up for a 30-minute open block in his schedule at either HA103E or
HA407H. Dr. bodwin will expect to meet you at whichever office you sign
2. Make an advising appointment EARLY. Don't wait until the last
minute. Log in to eServices to find out when your registration window
opens and sign up for an appointment at least 1 week in advance of your
registration. You should ALWAYS try to register as soon as your
3. BEFORE your advising appointment, look at your Degree Audit Report
(DAR) and plan your schedule. You don't have to have everything
completely planned out before your advising appointment, but there are
some things that you probably don't need your advisor to tell you. If
your major requires you to complete Calculus II, you should probably
take whatever math class you are ready for every semester until you
complete Calculus II. Chemistry classes have a similar sequence, at
least for the first 2 years.Gen Chem I, then Gen Chem II, then Organic
I, then Organic II. And those classes all have labs. Your DAR and other
degree requirements can be found in eServices.
Look for class conflicts. If you want to take Calculus, Physics, and
Organic Chem lab next semester, but they all meet at the same time,
you're going to have a bad time. Here's a MSWord version of a blank schedule. Or a .pdf. Prefer MSExcel?
5. Expect some questions. Your advisor will probably ask you what you
want to do with your degree. As a college freshman or sophomore, you
don't have to have your entire life planned out, but it helps your
advisor guide your degree progress if you have some general ideas. If
you're planning to attend medical school, you should be doing
significantly different things than if you want to go into chemical
sales. Your advisor can help you find experiences that will align with
your future career choices.
The most important "Don'ts" for advising:
1. Don't wait! Make an appointment early.
2. Don't avoid eServices! Your should be prepared for your advising appointment. Review your DAR, plan your schedule.
3. Don't show up unprepared!
Your registration window is determined by the number of credits you
have accumulated at MSUM. The more credits you have, the earlier your
registration window opens. Why? As you approach graduation, there are
fewer and fewer classes you still need to take to complete your degree.
If a class fills up, you're often out of luck and will have to wait for
a future semester to take the needed class. Take advantage of your
credits! If you're a senior, but you don't bother registering as soon
as your window opens, there may not be open seats left in the classes
you need after the juniors and sophomores register. Be prepared and
ALWAYS register as soon as your registration window opens.