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October 18th, 2011,
College Advisor Questions

By Noël Rozny
Web Editor & Content Manager

By now the excitement of the first few weeks of school is ebbing and the serious coursework is starting to set in. Midterms are around the corner and semester finals will be here before you know it, which makes now a great time to check in with your academic advisor.

If you’re not sure how many college credits you currently have, what goals you’re expected to complete each semester, or what you need to do to stay on track to graduate, these are all questions to bring to your appointment. While some of the information may be available online, your college advisor is the best person to help you assess your program and make sure you earn your bachelor’s degree on time.

5 Questions to Ask Your College Advisor

Degree Requirements

If you’re a college freshman, now is a great time to get an overview of your bachelor’s degree requirements. Find out exactly how many credits you need to have to graduate and the breakdown of required credits by subject. If you’re an upperclassman, ask for an audit of where you currently stand and how much you have left to go.

Class Clearance

Some schools and universities require special clearance to get into a particular class, especially if it’s full. If there’s a class you need that you’re having trouble getting into, your academic advisor can assist you, or point you in the direction of someone who can.

AP Credits

If you took AP classes in high school and scored well on your exams, there is a chance that those scores might count towards your graduation requirements. Not all schools will automatically give you credit, though, so take your transcripts to your advisor and find out exactly how your AP credits add to your credit profile. Sometimes AP courses will count towards your overall credits, but not specific subject requirements, so now’s the time to find out how they fit into the bigger picture.

Transfer Credits

If you transferred from another college or university, it’s your job to make sure your credits transferred correctly. Compile the course information from your previous school and take it in to your academic advisor for an audit. Similar to AP classes, some of your classes may count, but you may still need to fulfill credit requirements for certain subjects. They key here is to find out for sure and not assume that you’re all set. If you do, you might have a rude awakening when graduation day comes around.

Special Programs

Are you interested in a certain major? How about the honors program at your school? Or maybe you want to study abroad junior year? If there are special academic programs that have caught your eye, don’t wait. Find out from your academic advisor how they work and what you need to do to apply (and get accepted). Some of these programs may have a lengthy or involved application process, so the sooner you get started, the better.