Academic advising is not just about scheduling classes. It is an educational process in which the student and advisor are partners in meeting established learning outcomes, working toward academic success, and outlining steps for achieving the student's personal, academic, and career goals.
The student is encouraged to meet early and often with the advisor to develop this partnership. At Butler University, academic advising provides the student with the opportunity to build a collaborative relationship with the advisor for the following purposes:
- To gain assistance in planning the student's educational career
- To learn the skills needed for academic success
- To learn how to access the variety of campus resources and available services
Advisors take time to get to know the student by becoming aware of the student's interests as well as personal, academic, and career goals, and helping the student develop a plan to achieve those goals.
As you prepare for your advising appointment during New Student Registration, you may have many questions. Below are several of the most common issues and responses.
When will I first meet an advisor? ~ Show
You will meet with an academic advisor during the afternoon of New Student Registration. This advisor will be a faculty member from the college or department of your intended major. He or she may or may not become your official advisor.
What happens when I meet with an advisor? ~ Show
During your advising appointment, you and your advisor will discuss which classes are required for your major as well as available options in Butler's Core Curriculum. Your advisor will assist you in determining the appropriate mix of courses for first semester enrollment. This may include an introductory class in your major, prerequisite courses, or Core Curriculum classes. Your advisor will enroll you in the courses selected.
How do I know what classes to take in my first semester? ~ Show
1. Begin by looking at the curriculum guidelines for your major on the department's website. These guidelines will indicate what courses are required to complete your degree and in some cases offer a suggested sequence.
2. Next, learn about Butler's Core Curriculum. These are the classes required of all Butler students no matter the major. For instance, all students at Butler take a First-Year Seminar (FYS) course.
3. Lastly, explore elective courses and courses that connect to a potential second major or minor. The first year is a great time to explore new topics of interest. Review the 2014 Freshman Course Recommendation Guide that has been specifically prepared for New Student Registration. It highlights courses most appropriate for first-year student enrollment, including course descriptions of Core Curriculum classes. As classes are added or updated, revisions and additions to the course catalog will likely occur. You will be notified of any changes to the course listings. Please confer with the advisor you meet with during New Student Registration to review the most up-to-date course offerings.
How many classes should I take my first semester? ~ Show
You must take at least 12 credit hours of classes to be considered a full-time student. Maintaining full-time status is very important to your financial aid, athletic eligibility, scholarships, and insurance eligibility. A typical course load at Butler ranges between 14 and 18 credit hours per semester; the average first-year student will enroll in 15-16 credit hours. For most students, this is about five or six classes. When meeting with your academic advisor, discuss how many classes will be manageable for you in your first semester as well as what is appropriate for your major.
What if I don't know what I want to study? ~ Show
First of all, don't feel alone! Many students enter Butler with an open mind as to what they want to study, and Butler students can even declare an academic major of Exploratory Studies, which helps identify interests and possible disciplines to study. Nearly every major offers an introductory class so you may find one that strikes a chord with you. By exploring a wide range of academic fields and the core curriculum guidelines, you might discover a subject area in which to major, minor, or study as an elective. To support your decision-making process, you can work with an Exploratory Studies advisor who is familiar with all the majors offered at Butler.
Exploratory students are invited to enroll in a unique 2 credit-hour academic and career exploration class (LC 103). Decision-making, self-assessment, academic options, and career planning are foundational concepts in this course.
How do I plan out my schedule? ~ Show
Once you have decided which courses you want to take, use the online course search function to see what time and day specific classes are offered. Be sure that classes do not overlap or conflict with one another. Some students find that charting out the times on a spreadsheet can be helpful. You can also use this printable planning grid to map out a possible schedule. Review the 2014 Freshman Course Recommendation Guide that has been specially prepared for New Student Registration. It highlights courses most appropriate for first-year student enrollment, including course descriptions of Core Curriculum classes. As classes are added or updated, revisions and additions to the course catalog will likely occur. You will be notified of any changes to the course listings. Please confer with the advisor you meet with during New Student Registration to review the most up-to-date course offerings.
Be sure to check out Preparing for Your Advising Appointment for additional tips on planning your schedule.
What if a class I want is closed? ~ Show
Since Butler University is an institution that values small class sizes, this will occasionally happen. It is always beneficial to have several course options chosen before you walk into your advising appointment. Have a list of back-up classes just in case. And, remember, this is just your first year; you will have plenty of time over the next few semesters to take your needed courses.
What if I have changed my mind about my major since I applied? ~ Show
You can contact Butler University's Office of Admission to change your major by submitting a letter in writing or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters by mail should be addressed to the Office of Admission at 4600 Sunset Avenue, Indianapolis, Indiana 46208.
What if I have taken AP/IB/CLEP exams? Will I receive credit? ~ Show
Butler University does offer course credit to students who have taken the Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or College Level Examination Program exams. If you are registering for Butler classes before you take your AP/IB/CLEP exams, or before they are scored and received by Butler, your advisor will likely enroll you in those classes anyway. (NOTE: AP scores typically arrive in July. Be sure that you have requested that your scores be sent to Butler University.) It is easier to drop a class once the scores arrive than to try to add one later.
Students earning AP/IB credit ordinarily have these credits applied to major requirements, at the discretion of the department or as electives fulfilling Butler degree requirements. Credit is not awarded for First-Year Seminar (FYS).
View more information on AP/IB and CLEP credits at Butler University:
Can I take a foreign language even if it is not required for my major? ~ Show
If you have studied a foreign language in high school and would like to continue your studies at Butler, even if it is not required by your major program, you are encouraged to do so. This will enable you to maintain your momentum in the language, and you may even gain a second major or minor by doing so! If you do have foreign language experience, you will be required to take a placement exam to ensure appropriate course placement.
If you would like to begin a new language while at Butler, please do! You will not be required to take a placement exam, but you will start at the 101 level.
What if I need to make schedule changes after New Student Registration? ~ Show
If you need to make changes to your schedule after New Student Registration, and prior to the start of fall semester, contact the faculty member you met with at registration, the department chair, your college's Dean's office, or the Learning Resource Center. Changes can be accommodated after June 20.
If you need to make changes to your schedule once the academic semester has begun, the following applies:
- As a first-year student, you must work with your academic advisor during your first semester. You may complete your own add and drop processes during all subsequent semesters.
- You may drop a course through the first 10 days of classes in fall or spring. The drop period cuts off at 5:00 p.m. on the tenth day of classes.
- You may add a course through the first 5 days of classes in fall or spring. The add period cuts off at 5:00 p.m. on the fifth day of classes.
If your question has not been addressed in this list, contact the Learning Resource Center or bring it with you to your advising appointment. The advisor you meet with will be able to address any concerns you may have.