Academic Advising in Arts and Science
Academic advisors support you, our undergraduate students and provide guidance on academic planning, course registration, and navigating opportunities that complement your academic and career goals. Academic advising facilitates student development and is an integral part of your educational process at MU. Our ultimate goal is to help you attain the most from their experiences at MU.
Typically, you will meet with your advisor at least once during the semester to discuss your academic plan and before you register for the next semester’s schedule. Advisors are also available to discuss matters beyond registration, including opportunities to broaden your academic and career-readiness experiences with study abroad, internships, undergraduate research, service learning, as well as participation in campus and community organizations. Advisors can also help you to navigate the vast array of campus resources available, such as tutoring, career services, and support for health and well-being. Whether you want to talk to your advisor about your goals and future plans, or challenges you are experiencing, advisors are here to help!
Use this guide to understand your role, as well as your advisor’s, in this collaborative relationship.
Your Advisor’s Role
Take the initiative to seek support as often as you need it. It's up to you to schedule (and attend) your appointments.
Your advisor will be available to you on a regular basis and respond to you in a timely manner.
Monitor your progress
Become familiar with and track important deadlines, requirements, and policies that affect you.
Your advisor will help you interpret or find answers to university policies, procedures, and requirements.
You’re in charge of leading your advising appointment. Check your degree audit, plan out your questions, talk about your goals.
Make suggestions & connections
Your advisor will explain the pros and cons of different options, give you some suggestions, and make appropriate referrals.
Your advisor can only help you if they understand your interests, goals, struggles, and concerns. Be willing to open up.
Provide a supportive environment
Your advisor will be non-judgmental and keep your information confidential (unless there are special circumstances).
Your advising appointment is only half of what you need to do. You need to follow through on your “homework.”
Your advisor will actively stay up to date through professional development opportunities and training.
Understand that the final decision is up to you. Your advisor is here as a guide, and will challenge you to make independent decisions.
Help develop independence
Your advisor will challenge you to take initiative and provide a supportive environment for you to develop your decision-making skills.
Meet with Your Advisor
Academic advisors are available to meet with you! For the Fall 2020 semester, we are following campus protocols to keep our students and advisors safe. Advising appointments will be offered over Zoom, where we can screen share and look at advising plans and documents together. We have been using Zoom for advising appointments since March, and find it’s a great way to connect with students and share information.
We understand that some students may want to request an in-person appointment, which is possible. Please start with your academic advisor if you would like to meet in person, though be aware that depending on health and social distancing circumstances, you may need to meet with another advisor -or- in another advising space to ensure safe distancing. (Many of our advisors do not have offices that accommodate campus social distancing requirements.) Most students schedule appointments with their advisors in MU Connect, and you can consult this full list of majors and advisors in the College of Arts and Science.
Registration Information for Current Students
- Each semester, you will be assigned an enrollment date for the upcoming term. For Spring registration, it’s typically late October – November. For Summer and Fall registration, it’s typically late February – March.
- You can check your enrollment date and time in myZou around two weeks before the enrollment period opens up. Your enrollment date and time is the earliest you can register for the upcoming semester. Planning and enrolling as soon as you are able to will maximize your course options!
How to Enroll
- You will register for your classes in myZou. A laptop or computer is recommended when you are registering for classes.
- Schedule planner, which you access in myZou, is a helpful resource to help you search for classes and build your schedule. The University Registrar has helpful resources online for the registration process.
Prepare for Your Advising Meeting
You should plan to meet with your advisor at least once each semester to discuss your academic plan and upcoming semester’s schedule. Read below for some helpful information to get prepared!
- Schedule a meeting with your advisor. A full list of majors and advisors in A&S can be found here. Your advisor’s name is also in myZou, in your Student Center, as well as in your MU Connect network.
- Make sure to read emails about registration from your advisor! They have helpful information about courses, scheduling advising meetings, and departmental opportunities.
- Your advisor will not register you for your classes – you will do that outside of your meeting with them. They will provide guidance and answer your questions about what you should take. Be prepared with a list of questions to make the most out of your time with them!
- If your advisor’s calendar is full, go ahead and schedule an appointment for the soonest you can meet with them. Make sure to read the information they send to your Mizzou email about upcoming courses and other helpful information. You should still register for your classes as soon as you are able. You can always make changes after you meet with your advisor, but get in classes early to maximize your options!
Helpful Planning Resources
- Departmental advising worksheets and eight-semester plans from the University catalog
- Degree Audits – compare what you have taken with your degree requirements. Look at your degree audit carefully, and notify your advisor if you see something that doesn’t look accurate. This resource should be used in combination with an advising conversation. (Note: individualized majors, including Interdisciplinary Studies and General Studies do not have degree audits.)
- Graduation plans that your advisor has made with you
- A&S Science requirements for BA, BS, BFA, BGS, BM degrees (note – University requirements changed in Fall 2019, so make sure you are reviewing information that is correct for your catalog year).
- Do you need to take an Arts and Science course? See this helpful guide with instructions about how to filter A&S courses.
- MU’s General Education requirements – you can read an overview of the requirements or search the list of approved, general education courses.
Advising Support Center
For academic advising and academic planning questions, you should start with your academic advisor. There are other services to assist you in your academic planning, and the advising support center in 107 Lowry Hall helps students with the following:
- Declaring a major or minor/certificate in A&S
- Filing a graduation plan
- Final graduation checks before the last semester of enrollment
- The A&S commencement ceremony
- Re-enrollment in an A&S major
- Appeals for the following enrollment issues (use the links below for submitting your appeal):
- Changing the grading option to S/U
Zoom drop-in hours are available each weekday. Open Zoom and "Join a Meeting" with "Personal Link Name" coasadvising to talk to a staff member during any of the following days/times:
Mondays and Thursdays: 10 am – noon
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays: 1 pm – 3 pm.
Please note: Zoom drop-in hours will not be available between December 21st through January 1st. Normal hours will resume starting January 4th.
Adding or Changing a Major or Minor
If you are a student currently in the College of Arts and Science wanting to change/add major:
- You have fewer than 60 hours, email A&S advising with your major change/add;
- Changes/adds to Biology, Economics, English and Political Science will need to contact the departmental advisor before a change can be made
- You have more than 60 hours, you will need to file a graduation plan. In order to do this, contact the advisor in the department you are wanting to change/add to start the graduation plan process
If you are a student currently in another School or College at MU wanting to change/add major in Arts and Science:
- You have fewer than 60 hours, initiate a transfer of division request with your major change/add;
- Changes/adds to Biology, Economics, English and Political Science will need to contact the departmental advisor before a change can be made
- You have more than 60 hours, contact the advisor in the department you are wanting to change/add to start the graduation plan process
If you are a student wanting to change or add minor in Arts and Science:
Contact the advisor for the minor to learn about the requirements. The declaration of minor is filled after you have completed 60 credit hours, and minors are awarded at the same time as the degree. This list that has all minors at MU, and the list of available minors in A&S can be found here.
Degree Program, Minor, and Certificate Requirements
All A&S degrees require a minimum of 120 degree-applicable credit hours, and a structure that is comprised of:
- A&S foundation requirements, which includes MU general education
- Courses in the major
Your plan of study will follow the requirements in place for your catalog year. If you have more than one major, you will need to meet with your advisor for each major to discuss degree requirements and how to maximize your general education and major courses. A&S also offers a wide range of minors and certificates, which can be more flexible and a good way to complement your major.
All students are strongly encouraged to meet with their advisor at least once each semester to evaluate their progress towards degree completion, as well as discuss co-curricular opportunities. You will receive an official review of your graduation plan when you complete 60 credit hours, which also sets your expected graduation term, as well as a final graduation check before your last semester of enrollment.
Four-year plans are available for students to use as a guide, but keep in mind that that your plan may vary. In order to evaluate your progress towards degree requirements and plan for future semesters, the following resources below are also available.
Degree Programs—An Overview of Majors, Minors, and Certificates
- Degree audits Are you on track to graduate?
- General Education Program requirements
- Degrees, Majors (D.P.), Emphasis Areas, Minors, and Certificates
- Arts and Science Majors
- Degree Worksheets (for students starting MU prior to Summer ’19): track your courses and requirements
- Degree Worksheets (for students starting MU Summer ’19 or later): track your courses and requirements
Dates & Deadlines
Registration dates and deadlines for each semester are published on the Registrar’s Office web site. Students typically enroll in late October-November for the Spring semester, and late February-March for the Summer and Fall semesters. Registration is completed by students in myZou, and more information can be found here on how to register.
There are circumstances, at times, where students need special approval to register for their courses.
Late add: If students cannot add a course during the add/change period for a semester, they may receive approval to add a course provided they been attending and have instructor approval. A late change to registration (late add) form can be completed with the student’s academic advisor, or in 107 Lowry during the open, drop-in hours. Students must provide written verification (e-mail is appropriate) they have been attending class and the instructor approves the late add for the course.
Problems, readings, ensembles, performance courses: Students may receive approval to add, with instructor permission, these courses through the fourth week of the semester.
Re-registration after class cancellation: If students’ classes are cancelled for non-payment during the semester, they will need to request approval to re-enroll from their instructors, including confirmation that they have been attending class. Students may have the late change to registration form approved by their advisor or by a advisor during drop-in hours in 107 Lowry Hall. Please note that advisors cannot approve these forms without written permission from instructors and verification they have been attending class.
Course and Term Withdrawal
- Your instructor may assign a W or F when you withdraw from a class. A W does not affect your GPA; an F does. You should contact your instructor to verify which grade they will assign. Make sure you understand how your withdrawal will impact your term GPA. Your professor does not sign your withdrawal form.
- Consider how withdrawing may impact your financial aid and time to completing your degree.
- If you could complete the course with the required minimum grade, consider staying in it! Talk to your instructor and academic advisor about the best option for you. The Learning Center has some great resources online to help you prepare for finals.
- If you decide to withdraw from one or more courses (but not all courses), you will need to use the withdraw form. If you decide to withdraw from the term you will need to switch to term withdrawal. To begin the process visit the University Registrar to login in.
- Remember your advisor is here to help you after the withdrawal deadline! Schedule a meeting with your advisor to discuss your semester schedule, academic plan, academic recovery strategies, and more.
The semester after you have completed 60 hours of college coursework, you must officially file a graduation plan in your major. The graduation plan provides an important checkpoint and helps articulate your remaining degree requirements. In addition, we will set your expected graduation date when you file your graduation plan.
You will receive an email notifying you it is time to file your graduation plan early in the Fall or Spring semester in which you are eligible. There will be a registration hold placed for the next semester’s enrollment, which will be removed once you meet with your academic advisor and the graduation plan is filed. Be aware of early registration dates and file your graduation plan early so you can start planning for your upcoming semester!
HOW DO I FILE MY GRADUATION PLAN?
- Make an appointment with the advisor in your major to discuss your graduation plan and anticipated graduation date.
- Obtain the departmental advisor’s approval on your graduation plan. Your advisor will review the course and GPA requirements for your major, discuss your remaining requirements, and help you establish your anticipated graduation date. If you are not making progress towards your major requirements, then your advisor will discuss parallel plans with you.
- After you meet with your advisor and your advisor approves your graduation plan, they will submit the graduation plan to Arts and Science Advising Support Services. Your grad plan will be reviewed and your anticipated graduation date will be officially recorded in myZou. You will be contacted after your graduation plan is filed and made aware of any changes that must be made to your plan.
WHAT IF I WANT TO PURSUE A MAJOR OUTSIDE OF THE COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCE?
- If you want to major in something outside of A&S, this is called a transfer of division.
- Check with the division to be certain you have completed the requirements for their major, as well as their requirements to transfer divisions. Each school and college may have different requirements, so it is important to reach out, be proactive, and learn more about what you need to do to declare a major.
- If you are unsure which major you should pursue, we recommend you work with an advisor in the Discovery Center. The Discovery Center is the home for exploring students, and students across campus considering a change in major or in need of assistance in determining new options.
- To officially declare a major outside of A&S, submit a request to transfer divisions. Your request will require processing time, so be sure to submit it as soon as possible. The deadline to transfer divisions in fall is November 15 and in spring is April 15.
To be on the Dean's List in Arts and Science, a student needs a 3.0 cumulative GPA and a 3.0 most-recent-term GPA, and must have completed at least 12 graded hours in the most recent term.