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First-Year Students

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Academic advising is the process where you obtain the critical information you need to make thoughtful decisions about your college career, such as deciding upon your major or solving any roadblocks you may encounter along the way.

Academic advising is the process where you obtain the critical information you need to make thoughtful decisions about your college career, such as deciding upon your major or solving any roadblocks you may encounter along the way.

Your assigned academic advisor knows that your freshman year is a very exciting time and one of great change. As a result, we want to help ensure your first year is as memorable as possible and assist you in your overall success at UT.

Be sure to use this resource to get the most out of your academic advising experience!

It is our hope that at the conclusion of your four years, you will appreciate the importance of academic planning, that you will understand the importance of enhancing your degree with cocurricular/extracurricular and inter/intracultural experiences, that you will know your responsibilities as an educated citizen of UT and of a democratic, diverse, and global society, and that you will value the educational process and learning across the lifespan.

Preparing for Your Advising Appointment

  1. Review your DARS.
  2. Review First-Year Student Resources
  3. Review the Undergraduate Catalog
  4. Review the Academic Advising Syllabus

Scheduling Your Advising Appointment

To schedule an appointment with an academic advisor in our office, simply log into your account and click on the “GradesFirst” link found in the advising section of your home page. Once in the “GradesFirst” system, click the “Appointments for Advising or Other Academic Help” button and follow the prompts from there. Click on this handout to schedule an advising appointment to view detailed instructions on using the online system.

You may also call 865-974-4483 (the Arts & Sciences appointment line) or stop by 313 Ayres hall to schedule an appointment.

Our office is open Monday – Thursday from 7:30-6:00 and on Friday from 7:30-5:30. We are closed on weekends and holidays.

During Your Advising Appointment

Follow this helpful guide to assist you during your advising appointment:

  1. Be on time for your appointment!
  2. Talk to your advisor about your career and personal goals. With your advisor, review your academic progress on your degree checklist.
  3. Talk to your advisor about your successes and any challenges you may be facing this semester, such as problems with your adjustment or transition to college, outside responsibilities, or your performance in classes.
  4. With your advisor, discuss campus resources that will be of particular help to you, such as
  5. With your advisor, review the Art & Sciences and General Education curriculum.
  6. Ask your advisor about pertinent University Policies and Procedures. Be sure to ask specifically about:
  7. Ask your advisor about using DARSweb (Degree Audit Reporting System) and how it will assist you in following your degree progression. You will access your DARS through MyUTK.
  8. Be sure to ask your advisor to refer you to appropriate web sites, specifically A&S departments or colleges, to assist you in your major research.
  9. With your advisor, be sure to check the Undergraduate Catalog for course descriptions and pre-requisite and co-requisite courses.
  10. Ask your advisor about specific pre-requisites courses for your desired major.
  11. With your advisor, review the academic program guide for contact information and introduction to the major.
  12. Be sure to tell your advisor if you completed AP or IB exams in high school. Your advisor can check to ensure the credit is reflected on your academic history. If it is not on your academic history, ask your advisor what you need to do next!
  13. Ask your advisor for an academic plan for the next two semesters and/or degree plan/checklist. Be sure to talk to your advisor about alternative course options.
  14. If you transferred course work from another institution, be sure to ask your advisor about the petition process.
    • This link will help you and your advisor prepare appropriate petitions (Arts & Sciences or General Education)
    • If you have lingering questions, be sure to contact your advisor, or you can email, call 865-974-4481, or stop by 313 Ayres Hall for assistance at the counter.
  15. Be sure to encourage continued communication with your advisor, and ask your advisor about establishing preliminary contact with faculty in your desired major.

Following Your Advising Appointment

Now that you have met with your academic advisor, be sure to:

  1. Review your academic plan.
  2. Reflect upon your appointment to ensure your academic and career goals are in line with the plan you and your advisor developed.
  3. Register for the classes you and your advisor discussed during your appointment.
  4. Discuss course alternatives with your advisor should you need to adjust your academic plan.
  5. Follow up with all referrals and recommendations. Your advisor will expect that you have done so and will likely ask you about this the next time you meet, so be prepared!
  6. Maintain contact with your academic advisor throughout the semester.
  7. Be sure to email your advisor additional questions or reflections as they arise.
  8. Schedule a follow up appointment with your advisor should your academic goals change.
  9. Take the strong interest inventory or another career assessment, such as the TypeFocus, and follow up with an appointment with a career counselor to discuss your results!
  10. Further explore ways to get involved at UT!