Academic Advising

Academic Advising

Academic Guidance for Professionals in the Making

Your academic advisor is here to promote your personal and academic development - to work with you to reach your professional goals. Acting as a mentor, they are typically here for you both in the office and in informal settings like student clubs, learning community activities and even in the classroom. Every major in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has dedicated academic advisors and they each structure their advising activities in unique ways to best serve the students in their.

In addition to providing you with guidance and help with registration, your academic advisor is well positioned to connect you with the wealth of people and programming within the Iowa State community that can be useful to you. The better your advisor knows you and your goals, the better able they are to help guide you to the opportunities that will help you best reach those goals. Similarly, when you encounter challenges to your goals, letting your advisor know can help connect you to solutions more quickly.

Making the most of your Iowa State experience usually starts with your academic advisor. The following are resources to help you in your academic planning, but it all starts with your academic advisor.

View academic advising mission statement

Degree Planning

Getting started

For those just getting started at Iowa State, or those getting started in a new major, understanding the course requirements of your major is a starting point. The Iowa State University Course Catalog outlines every academic program at ISU and describes coursework including four-year completion plans. In addition, many academic majors include four-year plan documents on their departmental websites that offer an alternative, concise layout of their programs.

Additional resources for getting started:

Choosing courses

As you review your academic plans, you will begin to notice references to courses that fulfill graduation requirements outside of your specific area of study. The following lists are used by you and your advisor to choose courses.

Approved Course Lists

In addition to your plans, your advisor may describe a tool called a degree audit. A degree audit is simply a report that shows your progress toward earning your degree.

Degree Audits

Register for classes

Finally, as you consult with your academic advisor about the courses you would like to register for and develop a plan, your next step may be to register for classes. Majors may handle this process differently, but many students find the schedule of classes and the class schedule planner tools helpful.

  1. Schedule of Classes - Look up the availability, days and times of courses you are interested in and add it to your schedule planner.
  2. Class Schedule Planner - Places courses you select into a weekly calendar view to visualize what your course schedule would look like.