Academic advising is an important form of teaching that takes place outside the classroom. Through a variety of contacts and consultations, academic advisors can help you take full advantage of the phenomenal opportunities that abound at MSU.

What is Academic Advising?

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Additional Resources

Meet Your Advisors

Find Your Advisor

Academic advisors are ready to help answer your questions.

Schedule an Appointment

Department & Program Advisor Appointments

Please set up an appointment to meet with your advisor through the Student Information System.  

Appointments are available in-person or via Zoom video conference. If neither of these options are preferable, or if you have trouble scheduling an appointment, please contact your advisor via e-mail. Your advisor is happy to assist you in any way possible!

Career or Internship Appointments

Career or internship advising in the College of Arts & Letters will continue through phone or Zoom appointments. To schedule a career or internship advising appointment, please visit Handshake. 

How to Schedule and Appointment

  • Click the button below and log in with your MSU NetID and password, and two-factor authentication
  • From the Students homepage, select the “Academic Progress” tile
  • Click the tab on the left, labeled “Advising/Tutoring Appointments”
  • Click “Create New Appointment”
    Category: “Advising”
    Advising/Tutoring Unit: “College of Arts & Letters”
    Reason: Click the ‘magnifying glass’ to bring up the menu, choose your major/minor or program of interest, and follow prompts to set your meeting

(For more in-depth instructions on how to schedule an appointment, visit the SIS Help website)

Preparing for your Academic Advising Appointment​

After you schedule your appointment:

  • Review your requirements and progress – utilize the Student Information System, Academic Programs Catalog, major/program websites to learn more.
  • Write down your questions!
  • Research your future options:  Check out CAL’s Excel Network (experiential learning), the Office of Education Abroad, and the Department of Student Life for opportunities to get involved.

Academic Advising FAQ

Academic advising is an important form of teaching that takes place outside the classroom. Through a variety of contacts and consultations, academic advisors can help you take full advantage of the phenomenal opportunities that abound at MSU.

At its most basic form, academic advising focuses regular attention on your progress towards meeting graduation requirements. But academic advising can also open doors for both personal and professional development.

Advisors are familiar with the full range of University resources designed to provide support for students outside the classroom–such as the Counseling Center, Learning Resource Center, Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities, University Ombudsman’s Office, Office of Financial Aids, and Career Services Network. Advisors are also knowledgeable about University policies and procedures, so they can assist students with a wide range of special problems, such as how to arrange participation in a Study Abroad program or how to withdraw from the University due to a personal emergency.

Two heads are better than one! Students in the College of Arts & Letters have an extraordinary amount of flexibility to shape their own programs of study, and academic advising provides “active learning” sessions with knowledgeable professionals who can help you design a course of study to fit your unique needs, interests, and goals. Each meeting with your academic advisor is an opportunity to brainstorm with an expert about ways to enhance your personal and professional development.

Academic advisors can also alert you to opportunities that you might not know exist–both inside and outside the classroom. Academic advisors can help you examine your academic goals and identify classes and opportunities to help you achieve them. Academic advisors can also serve as an “early warning system” to help you stay on track in meeting degree requirements. In fact, academic advisors thrive at problem solving and can help you tackle virtually any academic issue that may arise; even if they don’t know the answer offhand, they can almost certainly provide a referral to someone who does!

All students in the College of Arts & Letters are assigned to academic advisors associated with their major programs of study. Students in some majors are assigned to professional advisors in their units. In other majors, students are assigned to a faculty advisor experienced in working with undergraduates.

Your advisor is not your parent or your pal, but is a friendly professional–knowledgeable about MSU courses and curricula, and eager to serve as a mentor to undergraduate students. Most advisors in the College of Arts & Letters have advanced degrees and interesting life experiences that contribute to their ability to guide you as you make academic choices.

Some students have more than one advisor, but the advisor associated with the major should be considered the “primary” advisor, since that’s the one who will be responsible for verifying completion of degree requirements. Additional advisors may be assigned to students in special programs, such as the College Admissions Achievement Program (CAAP), Honors College, the Academic Scholars Program, or Spartan Athlete Support Services (SASS). Students enrolled for more than one major have advisors associated with each major.

To identify and find your academic advisor, check the College of Arts & Letters web site or call the Department office that represents your major. The Department office can tell you how to reach the advisor by phone or e-mail and can explain how to schedule an appointment with the advisor. The College Student Affairs Office also maintains a list of advisors for all majors, so you can call 517-355-0366 for assistance in locating your advisor if you prefer.

Be sure to see your academic advisor at least once a year, several weeks before the enrollment periods in fall and spring that allows you to sign up for classes for the coming semester/year. Some students like to meet with their advisors more often–perhaps once a semester–to stay in touch and confirm plans for the subsequent semester.

Keep in mind that your advisor can be a key contact for discussions about any changes in your academic plans. If you decide to drop a class, add a class, or add a major or minor, it’s a good idea to discuss the matter with your advisor so you can prepare for any consequences such a decision might have. In addition, consider talking with your advisor about long-range planning as you contemplate education abroad opportunities, internships, or graduate school options.

Advising meetings are most productive when both the student and the advisor have an opportunity to prepare for the meeting in advance. Ideally, you should schedule an appointment when you need to speak with your advisor, and you should explain briefly in advance (by e-mail or phone message when you make the appointment) what your most pressing concerns are. That way, your advisor can pull your record and review your academic progress before you come for your appointment–leaving you both free to focus on the questions or concerns that prompted the appointment.

If you are unable to keep a scheduled appointment, be sure to go online or contact your advisor to cancel so that the appointment can be offered to another student.

Students should acquaint themselves with the requirements associated with their major by checking Academic Programs, the student information system (SIS), or major checklists. By doing your homework in advance, you can use your advising appointment to discuss the different options you have and work with your advisor to determine the best possible choices.

As you and your advisor wrap up your discussion, you may wish to summarize the key action points you’ve agreed on–such as selecting specific courses for a cognate, beginning foreign language study, visiting Career Services, or applying for the teacher certification option. Ask your advisor when you should plan to meet again–and don’t hesitate to get back in touch sooner if the need arises.

For major changes into the College of Arts & Letters, students must meet with the Academic Advisor for that major. This meeting is to review the major, completed coursework and remaining requirements. Please use the Online Appointment system to schedule a meeting. 

View Arts & Letters Majors