How Often You Should Meet With Your College Academic Advisor

  • Students should aim to meet with their assigned college academic advisor at least once a semester.
  • You may need to meet them additional times for questions about your courses, major, and graduation.
  • Before a meeting with your college advisor, always be prepared and be ready to ask questions.

A college advisor talking to their student.

All colleges assign incoming students an academic advisor. Your advisor will work with you during your entire college journey to help you make the most of your classes and ensure you’re on track for your graduation date. You should aim to meet with your college academic advisor at least once a month.

What is an Academic Advisor in College?

An academic advisor in college is assigned to every student at the school. Each advisor will work with dozens if not hundreds of students to ensure they’re on track for success at the school. Sometimes these advisors are teachers who work in your major’s department, so they understand exactly what’s in store for you in your classes.

Academic advisors can also help students decide on a major, choose classes, better understand their strengths and weaknesses, decide on a career, and develop plans for studying and coursework.

How Often Should You Meet with Your Academic Advisor?

How often you should meet with your advisor depends on your individual needs, but you should plan on working with them at least once a semester.

1. At Least Once a Semester

All students no matter their year of college should meet with their academic advisor at least once a semester, usually when it is time to create schedules for the following semester. This is to ensure you are taking the right courses for your major and general education requirements. They can also advise you on classes if you are unsure what to take. Some schools require you to meet with your advisor before you can even sign up for a class.

If you’re designing your own major or taking dual majors, you may have to meet with them more regularly.

2. When You Have Issues with Your Classes, Minor, or Major

If you are having trouble in a class or with a professor, you may want to meet with your advisor to discuss the next steps. They can advise you on how to best handle the situation.

Some courses may also require your advisor to sign off on you taking them. This could be difficult classes outside your major, advanced courses, or other extenuating circumstances.

In addition, you should schedule a meeting if you are thinking about changing your minor or major. They will likely have to help you sign off on the change.

3. When You’re Getting Ready to Graduate

You should prepare to meet with your advisor during your senior year of college to ensure you are on track for graduation. You will also likely have to submit paperwork showing that you took all required courses for general education, your major, and your minor. The advisor may have to sign this paperwork acknowledging that you met the requirements to graduate with a bachelor’s degree.

Making the Most of Your Meetings with your College Academic Advisor

1. Come Prepared

If you have a meeting coming up with your academic advisor, you don’t want to go in fully unprepared. Come in with a list of classes (and times) you’re interested in taking. If you have questions you know you want to ask, write them down so you don’t forget. And if you’re thinking about switching your major or minor, you may be asked about your new plans, so be sure you know how to answer these questions.

2. Ask Questions

If you are unsure about your course schedule, your workload, or graduation requirements, ask! These meetings are for your benefit. If you have any concerns or questions, now is the perfect time to bring it up. Your academic advisors are here to help you during your college education – don’t ignore them!

3. Reach Out Over Email When Necessary

Do you have a question about your goals or courses outside of your semester meeting that isn’t pressing? An email, rather than a meeting, may be a wiser choice. Academic advisors are usually professors, too, and have busy schedules.

Meeting regularly with your academic advisor is always a good idea as it will help ensure you’re taking the right courses and on track to graduate on time. Oftentimes these meetings are mandatory to make your new schedule, too, so don’t skip them! To make the most of the meeting, go in prepared with a list of questions.

Choosing the right major can be difficult, and while your advisor can help you, you need to research on your own, too. Our Major Search tool lists thousands of majors available throughout the United States and details what you can expect in the classes, career options after graduation, and the best colleges and universities for each major. Get started for free right here!