UAF International Programs & Initiatives

Academic Advising

Undergraduate Student Academic Advising

Before you can register for classes, you will work with an academic advisor to help you design an academic study plan. Degree programs at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, like at many U.S. universities, are very flexible. Students have a lot of freedom in deciding which courses they can take to meet their degree requirements. Determing which courses you should take to meet the degree requirements is a collaborative process between you and your academic advisor. For example, to graduate with a bachelor's of science degree in biological sciences, you'll be told that you need 20 elective credits in biology (and 10 of those credits can be from chemistry, with proper permissions). An academic advisor will be able to help you determine which biology course would help you best meet your personal or professional goals, and also help you get the permissions you need if you want to use chemistry courses to meet graduation requirements.

The link below on "How to Earn a Bachelor's Degree" gives an overview of what you need to consider in developing your academic plan. If you are like most students — either from the U.S. or from abroad — this is confusing! It is extremely important that you work with an academic advisor to build your academic plan, and that you speak to your advisor regularly throughout your time at UAF (you will be required to meet with your academic advisor before registering each semester). Your advisor will help to make sure you are on the right track to graduate!  You cannot register without the permission of an advisor.


Your academic advisor will be a professor or staff member who is associated with your academic major. You should contact the department directly to schedule a time to speak with an advisor, or make arrangements for advising by e-mail. When contacting the department, let them know that you are a newly admitted student, and that you would like to know who to work with as an academic advisor. If you are currently a "General Studies" student, meaning that you have not yet chosen a specific major, your advising will be through the Academic Advising Center. International Programs & Initiatives provides academic advising only for J-1 exchange students.  Your academic advisor contact information is included on your admission letter.

NOTE:  The academic advisor for exchange and study abroad students studying at UAF is the Study Away Advisor.  You should already be receiving course selection and registration information from her.


Graduate Student Academic Advising

In general, if you are an admitted graduate student, you will have already been in contact with a faculty member who will serve as your advisor. Your graduate advisor, along with the rest of your graduate committee, will work with you to develop a comprehensive study plan that will outline the specific requirements (within the general university guidelines) for completing your degree. Please visit the Graduate School website for more information. The Road Map to Graduation may be helpful in understanding the role of your advisor and committee in developing a study plan.