Course Selection vs Career Advising

What you should expect from your advisors...

Course Advising 

Your nonmajor advisor is the faculty member initially assigned to you when you join the College of Arts & Sciences, as all of our students come in undecided on their major. This peron can guide you on what courses you should take each semester, but they cannot do it without your help.  Let your advisor know your interests.  Let them know what courses appeal to you and why. It is also helpful to share your thoughts on potential majors and careers because these play a big role in your course selection. For example, some majors, especially in the sciences and math, have multiple requirements and must be taken in sequence. Majors in these fields must be carefully planned. Other majors are much more fluid and allow more choices during the freshman year.  And there are “distribution requirements” required of all majors in each college that must be completed for the Bachelor of Arts (BA) and the Bachelor of Sciences (BS). It is also possible pick up a minor or a second major. Distribution requirements, major fields of study, minors and double majors are listed in the catalogue and your advisor can help you navigate these issues to create a plan that works for you.  Just ask!

In all cases, the final responsibility for meeting both major and nonmajor requirements rests with the student.

Career Advising

Your advisor can also help you choose a major and think about a career.  Set up a meeting with this in mind and let your advisor know your intentions for the meeting. Before the meeting think about what interests you – what do you like doing, what challenges you, what comes easily?  What courses did you enjoy in high school and why? What are your hobbies outside of class?  What would you like to spend your time doing? Begin your meeting with a conversation about these issues. Your advisor may not know a lot about a field or area that you are considering but he or she can help you clarify your thoughts.

In addition, all undergraduate students can utilize the Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD) for career mentoring. The College of Arts & Sciences has a dedicated CCPD liaison, Andrea Skimbo, who is skilled in career management and would love to meet with any student needing career guidance.