About Academic Advising

What is Academic Advising?

Academic Advisors help students to explore and pursue their personal academic, educational, and career goals.

Academic Advisors do:

  • Provide information about degree and course options and program requirements
  • Help students to explore requirements for further studies in higher education
  • Demonstrate how to use advising resources, such as the academic calendar and registration guides, so students can understand their progress in their degree, what is required for their course of study, and how to schedule classes for up-coming terms, including both on-campus courses and courses taken from other institutions
  • Connect students with departments and faculty members to learn more about specific fields
  • Refer students to additional resources in Student Services and on campus
  • Help students to understand their GPA and academic standing

Students can meet with an Academic Advisor for a wide variety of purposes, including anything from a quick conversation about options for electives to a longer discussion about degree progress or a series of appointments about achieving an education or career goal.

Academic Advisors do not:

  • Make decisions for students
  • Tell students which courses to take, except as required for a specific Major or Minor
  • Talk to anyone about their progress, unless authorized by the student
  • Fill out registration forms for students or complete the online registration process for students
  • Confirm how BU courses will transfer out to other institutions or fit into a degree at other institutions

Please be aware that, while students are encouraged to consult with an Academic Advisor or the Department Chair of their Major, students are themselves responsible for ensuring that all degree, Major, Minor, and other requirements are being met prior to graduation, and all students must complete their own registration and/or degree changes.

What is Mandatory Advising?

New students at Brandon University have a hold placed on their registration until they have seen an advisor to help them choose appropriate courses and understand degree requirements and other useful information. After a student has met with an advisor, the initial hold is lifted. Please note that students cannot register for courses until this hold has been lifted.

What is New Student Advising?

New Student Advising is a program for new students in Bachelors programs in Arts, Science, Physical Education, Fine Arts, and Environmental Science. Students are required to complete a Moodle course to introduce them to concepts such as degree requirements and course selection. Then, each student meets with an academic advisor in Student Services to discuss their specific academic plan. Students also have the option of choosing their courses independently and submitting them to be reviewed by an academic advisor.

When Should I See an Academic Advisor?

You are required to see an academic advisor when you are registering for your first courses. Other times you might want to see an Academic Advisor include:

  • When you are considering making a course change and you are not sure how it will affect your eligibility to graduate
  • When you need help determining entrance requirements for other programs
  • When you want to take some courses at other universities and you want help to find out which courses should transfer

Some degree programs, such as Arts, Science, Phys Ed, Fine Arts and Environmental Science, only require advising for the initial registration.  Other degree programs require advising every time a student registers for a course or changes a course. If you are not sure if advising is required every time or optional, your advisor can tell you.

How Do I Prepare for My Advising Appointment?

Students should:

  • Arrive on time for all advising appointments or notify the office if unable to attend.
  • Bring a list of questions they want answered.
  • Investigate course and program options, both internal at BU and external at other institutions, and be prepared to discuss these options.
  • Share any life factors that might influence course selection and degree completion.