GUEST LETTER: Academic advisors are here to help

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Tony De Anda | The Daily Wildcat

Advisor Ashley Rubin virtually helps students with scheduling in the art advising office on Oct. 4. Rubin is one of the advisors for the School of Art. Academic advising is an amazing resource for students to use. 

As you start your University of Arizona journey, you may be unsure who can help you find your path. Your academic advisor is here to help! Every UA student is assigned an academic advisor based on their declared academic plan (major). Read more to learn what your academic advisor can do for you!

What do academic advisors do?

Academic advisors help students select classes; create graduation plans to finish in four years; connect students with resources and internships; research projects, study abroad and more; empower students to make choices about their academic paths; and assist students in post-college planning.

How are academic advisors different from high school guidance counselors?

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Academic advisors offer guidance, recommendations and information, but students are ultimately responsible for making decisions. Unlike in high school, where your guidance counselor may have scheduled meetings with you, students are responsible for seeking out and engaging with their academic advisors. Academic advisors also are not mental health or financial aid counselors (although the UA offers both services).

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Why should I meet with my academic advisor?

In addition to helping select classes, academic advisors can assist you with four-year graduation plans, studying abroad, internships, careers and post-graduate planning. There are so many resources and opportunities at UArizona, that it can be overwhelming but your advisor is here to help. You should reach out immediately to your advisor if you encounter any unforeseen problems. Also, if you have no idea who to contact, your advisor can be a great person to ask. They don’t know all the answers, but they can find out or refer you to the appropriate person.

How do I meet with my advisor?

You can find your academic advisor’s contact information, along with the link to their online appointment scheduler in your UAccess Student Center. Click on “Advising” and then “View Advisors.” When you declare a minor or second major, you will be assigned a second advisor. You can find all your advisors’ contact information in your UAccess Student Center.

Additionally, advisor contact information is located on the Advising Resource Center’s website: advising.arizona.edu. There are many ways to communicate with your academic advisor. You can email them quick questions (e.g., “am I enrolled in the correct Spanish class?”). Please allow at least 48-72 hours for an email response (advisors try to get back to students as quickly as possible, but they can get very busy!).

Most advisors hold drop-in hours for quick questions (e.g., “can we review my schedule for Spring 2023?”). Advisors have times when appointments fill rapidly (especially the first week of classes and during priority registration), so drop-in hours can be a great way to see an advisor quickly. Appointments can be between 15 minutes and one hour, and are best for long-term planning (e.g., “can we create a four-year graduation plan?” or “can we plan for me to study abroad in Spring 2024?”). Appointments can be in a variety of modalities: Zoom, in-person or phone.

When should I meet with my advisor?

We recommend you connect (email, meet) with your major advisor about once a semester. If you encounter any obstacles on your academic journey, reach out to your academic advisor immediately. Advisors can help you explore options and refer you to helpful resources. Academic advisors are here to help; don’t hesitate to reach out!


Allison Ewing-Cooper is the director of Academic Advising and Student Success in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Kami Merrifield is an academic advisor in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.


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