Preparing for Advising Appointment

Advisors want to make the most of the time they spend with students during an individual advising appointment. Here are some tips to help students in making the most of their advising experience:

  • When possible, students should anticipate their advising needs by scheduling an appointment early. This will allow a student the opportunity to get his/her questions answered prior to peak advising times, reducing their wait time for an appointment.
  • Students should bring a list of  their questions or topics they wish to discuss to their advising appointment.
  • Academic advising is more than preparing a schedule for the upcoming semester. Students should feel free to discuss their academic goals/plans with their advisor. To get the most of  the advising relationship, students should get to know their advisor and let their advisor(s) get to know them. 
  • Students should expect referrals to other campus resources from their advisor. UW-Madison is a large campus and their assigned advisor may not be experts in all matters at UW-Madison.  Since advisors spend a considerable amount of time understanding the services on-campus so they can make suitable referrals. Because advisors try to discuss more than course schedules with students, a student's assigned advisor can be also be a great resource as far as navigating the campus.
  • Students should review their  Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS) report and research degree and course requirements before their individual appointment. In general, advisors do not tell students which courses to take. Instead, they provide students with options and/or listen to choices students have made and provide feedback.
  • Students should be sure to print and bring their own DARS report to their advising appointment.