Advising Preparation

Follow the steps below to make sure you are ready for your advising meeting!


  • Check your Bobcats email every day.
  • Know your advisor’s name and department.
  • Review the coursework for your major. Helpful sources of information: the university catalog, the registration schedule, the Semester Course Schedule (available in PAWS), DegreeWorks, and the four-year academic plan for your major.
  • Be mindful of the academic calendar. It’s your responsibility to schedule an appointment with your advisor during the pre-registration period!
  • Write a list of questions or topics to cover with your advisor.
  • Mark your calendar with the day and time of both your advising appointment and your registration time assignment.
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor to discuss registration well ahead of your registration time. Advisors’ calendars fill up as it gets closer to registration time.
  • Plan your schedule for the upcoming semester. Make sure you mark off any times that are already set for you, such as work.
  • Check midterm grades through PAWS.

The Advising Appointment

  • Be on time.
  • Help your advisor help you. If you’re having trouble with a specific course (or with all of them), be prepared to talk about it openly, and be open to your advisor’s suggestions for using the Learning Center, Writing Center, or other resources.
  • Discuss courses for the upcoming semester and listen carefully to your advisor’s recommendations. Check the prerequisites for all the courses you want to take in advance, so that there are no surprises when it comes to planning your schedule.
  • Ask questions about your progress toward meeting your core requirements, major prerequisites, and requirements for your major (and minor or second major, if applicable). Review your progress toward graduation.
  • Carefully consider the balance between your outside responsibilities (work, family, etc.) and your academic course load.
  • Discuss plans for graduate/professional school, or beginning a career.
  • Be sure that you understand how to register through PAWS.
  • Attention seniors: Be sure to complete the Undergraduate Application for Graduation form before the deadline listed on the Registrar’s website. The application must be submitted to your advisor and the department chair for approval and then to the Registrar’s Office.


  • Register as early as possible. Set an alarm to wake up before the start time if that is not your usual routine.
  • Let your advisor know if you are unable to register for any of your preferred courses or the suggested alternatives.
  • Use waitlists strategically, and check your email at least once a day — preferably more frequently — in case a seat opens. Remember that being on a waitlist does not guarantee a spot in the course, so it is highly recommended that you register for backup options in advance.
  • Verify your schedule in PAWS before the semester begins, in case any details changed unexpectedly. It’s also a good idea to have a printout or a picture of your schedule for your records.