Undergraduate Academic Advising
At the time of admission to UCI every undergraduate student is assigned to the school that offers the student’s selected major. Students who have indicated “Undergraduate/Undeclared” as a major on their UC application for admission and scholarships receive assistance from the Undergraduate/Undeclared Advising Program until they select an academic major.
Jurisdiction over all questions of academic regulations and academic standing rests with the dean or associate dean of the school to which a student is assigned or, in the case of undergraduate/undeclared majors, with the Dean of the Division of Undergraduate Education. Each academic unit provides academic advising for its students and processes requests to add or drop courses, waive or change graduation or other requirements, or change majors. Students are responsible for knowing the governing regulations of the school or program to which they are assigned.
While each academic unit is responsible for maintaining a system that provides academic advising, these systems differ from unit to unit. All advising offices include academic advisors, professionals who assist students in planning their program, selecting a major, and making progress toward a degree. Peer academic advisors (trained upper-division students) assist students in many of the same areas as academic advisors. In addition, they are able to answer questions related to student life issues, providing a student perspective. Students may find contact information for their academic advising offices here.
New students are required to plan their academic programs with an academic counselor shortly after being admitted. New students are sent information regarding group academic advising sessions during the summer prior to matriculation. An academic advisor can help the student determine whether the classes the student wishes to take are appropriate to the student’s level of preparation, whether the proposed classes fit within the student’s educational goals, and whether the classes will help meet some of the requirements for graduation.
Some schools have faculty advisors, where consultation between students and their faculty advisors is mandatory. Regardless of whether or not consultation between student and advisor is required, students are responsible for initiating and maintaining periodic contact with their assigned faculty advisor. The actual frequency of these meetings is determined by the desires of the student, the advisor, and the unit’s governing regulations.
Each quarter, students are encouraged to go to the appropriate academic advising office prior to registration for advice concerning class enrollment.
Peer Academic Advising Program
684 Aldrich Hall
The Peer Academic Advising Program provides valuable services for all UCI undergraduate students. The program provides student-to-student academic counseling based on the academic and personal experiences of fellow UCI students. Peer Academic Advisors (PAAs) are juniors and seniors who rigorously train in academic counseling before beginning work as PAAs. They are found in the academic advising offices of academic units across campus. PAA training prepares them to manage issues related to academic counseling and provides them with a wide knowledge of campus resources available to students, such as the Division of Career Pathways, the Disability Services Center, Financial Aid, Housing, and the Learning and Academic Resource Center (LARC). PAAs can also provide students with information and perspectives that come from their personal experience as successful UCI undergraduates.
During the academic year, PAAs maintain regular office hours in their respective academic units. They assist students with selecting courses to best fit their college and career paths, planning quarterly programs of study, learning about the various majors and minors, information about UCI's resources and opportunities, and simply adjusting to life as UCI undergraduates.
256 Aldrich Hall
Students who enter the University as freshmen or sophomores may be uncertain about which major they should choose and may not feel ready to declare their major or even to identify their interests with a particular school. Such students participate in the Undergraduate/Undeclared Advising Program, which is administered by the Division of Undergraduate Education. The goal of the Undergraduate/Undeclared Advising Program is to help students make the best informed choice of a major that is possible to meet their academic goals. All students at UCI are required to choose their major by the time they reach junior status.
To make a good decision about which major to declare, students should know the range of programs UCI offers and have some experience with them, have a good knowledge of their own abilities and interests, have clear educational goals, and have a sense of their vocational goals and of the academic programs at UCI that will provide appropriate preparation. Students in the Undergraduate/Undeclared Advising Program receive quarterly individualized staff counseling that helps them explore the variety of course offerings on campus, become more aware of their own interests and abilities, formulate sound educational goals, and learn how to prepare for graduate education and/or possible careers.
To assist students in choosing a major, the program offers a course designed to expose undeclared students to a variety of opportunities and resources available to them and to introduce students to the schools and majors offered. In addition, students learn about research and career opportunities within different disciplines.