Advising

Welcome!  To help my advisees I am here gathering essential information for planning an academic career and registering for classes.  Many resources are available on the UMW Advising website.

REGISTRATION  You can learn all about the proper procedure on the registrar’s webpage, where you can find this handy guide.  Below follows a minimalist view of the process.

CHOOSE COURSES  The academic catalogue gives minimal information about this process.  To do this intelligently, you should go to Banner and perform a Degree Audit and/or a What-If Analysis (this handout is still useful to help you with that).  A degree audit is useful for figuring out what GenEds you have already completed or received credit for; if you have already declared a major, it can tell you how far along you are with that process and what courses you need to take to complete the degree.  A what-if analysis does the same but for majors you are considering declaring.  If you have no major and wonder how much work it would take to complete one, do a what-if analysis; likewise, If you are already majoring in X and you wonder how much work it would take to major or minor in Y, do a what-if analysis.  It is worth noting that the degree audit and what-if analysis are not official transcripts or definitive guides, and there is no substitute for having a major advisor review your progress.  Once you know what classes you need, see what classes are actually being offered.  Here’s a list of Open Classes as well as the Schedule of Courses.  Make sure the times don’t conflict; and make a good list of courses that serve GenEd, major, minor, and life goals.  Keep plenty of backup choices in case you don’t get the class you want.

SEE YOUR ADVISOR  Always come to an advising appointment with a proposed schedule in hand and a good rationale for why you have chosen these courses.  Good, or good enough, reasons include, “this class satisfies GenEd/major/minor/life goals.”  Your advisor will have to lift the advising hold on your registration.  A pre-registration advising period is set aside on the academic calendar each term.

VERIFY WHEN YOU ARE TO REGISTER  This requires you to first verify the number of credit hours you have earned to this point on Banner; at the bottom of your unofficial transcript you should be able to find your total number of hours earned.  Then find the registration windows for the Fall 2017 semester.

MAKE SURE THERE ARE NO HOLDS ON YOUR ACCOUNT  If you have a balance with student accounts, there will be a hold on your registration.  Make sure this is taken care of before your registration window.  And as noted above, if you have not seen your advisor, there will be an advising hold preventing registration as well.

REGISTER FOR CLASSES AT THE APPROPRIATE TIME  Actual registration happens in Banner.  I would be certain to be at a computer and ready to register 10 minutes before your window opens.  I hate to ever recommend missing class for non-emergency reasons, but to get the classes you want, I would probably do it myself.  It’s that important.