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Frequently Asked Questions

Academic Advising


What is Academic Advising?

When would it be useful to speak with an Advisor?

Based on where I am in my academic career, what can an Advisor do for me?

What can I expect from an Advisor?

Which Advisor should I see?

When do I need to see a Departmental Advisor?

Where does Pre-Professional advising fit in?


What is Academic Advising?

The purpose of Academic Advising is to help you to formulate and reach your own educational goals, while also making sure that you understand the objectives and requirements of the Arts, Business, Kinesiology and Science degrees. Academic Advisors can help students with:

  • accessing detailed information related to programs, courses, procedures, student services, and academic supports
  • decision-making skills and clarification of life and career goals
  • interpretation of university requirements
  • development of educational plans
  • feedback on students' selection of courses and other educational experiences
  • evaluation of progress toward established academic goals
  • referrals to and use of other university and community support services
  • appeal processes

For more information, see Academic Advising - Mission and Values [PDF].

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When would it be useful to speak with an Advisor?

We advise those interested in coming to university. We respond to you as an individual, and make suggestions related to your goals. We focus on the importance of you preparing for university, rather than parachuting into class in September and "letting it happen".

This preparation may include:

  • picking up missing high school pre-requisites;
  • taking non-credit courses to build up academic skills;
  • beginning to read university level texts prior to beginning your university studies,
  • to develop your vocabulary,
  • increase your reading capacity, and/or become more familiar with a particular university subject.
  • it could also include thinking more about other aspects of your life: financial, non-school roles and responsibilities, work hours and other activities, so that you are realistic in planning for the demands of university course

We explain the application process, what documents to submit, and what you can expect after being admitted.

We advise newly admitted students prior to Registration -- First Year Group Information Session

In this session we give students the Big Picture - the framework for thinking about which courses to choose, Within this framework we discuss what courseload is appropriate in your first year, and strategies for sequencing courses throughout your 3 or 4 or 5 years here as you move towards a degree or work on the requirements for application to professional programs such as Dentistry, Law or Social Work.

We describe the range of degree programs The University of Winnipeg offers: 3-Year, 4-Year, and Honours degrees, as well as the Applied degree programs we offer in collaboration with Red River College. We introduce visual charts to reinforce the verbal and print information available. These visual tools help you imagine possibilities for planning when to take the various degree requirements, and how a Major fits into this. We encourage students to explore unknown waters -- academic subjects new to them.

We focus on practical issues, such as:

  • strategies for sequencing courses;
  • considerations for setting up a timetable;
  • how to register;
  • having alternate course and time tabling choices ready in case a preferred course or section is full.

First-Year Information Sessions are held in May and June.  Phone 779-UWIN (8946) to sign up for a session.

To find out more on first-year course selection, registration and preparation, please visit:
Accepted Student Website

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Based on where I am in my academic career, what can an Advisor do for me?

A. We advise students from their first year through to graduation

Ongoing advising is available for students - you can consult an advisor any time that you have questions or concerns about your program. Some examples include:

  • considering what Major to choose
  • figuring out your general degree requirements
  • dealing with a disappointing grade
  • getting clarification on university regulations
  • considering the impact of a withdrawal
  • trying to make the best use of your electives to further a particular career or personal interest
  • mapping out a way to fit in all the courses you need to graduate
  • figuring out how best to prepare yourself for a graduate or professional degree

We try to strongly encourage students to be pro-active, right from their first year, and contact their professor or an advisor whenever they need more input, and as soon as they sense they need help. We provide information, make referrals, and can act as advocates where appropriate.

B. An Academic Advisor CAN:

  • Describe reasonable options for your circumstances
  • Help you to match available classes to your skills, interests, and goals.
  • Help you choose a concentration area that fits your skills, interests, and goals.
  • Help you handle academic difficulties in a timely manner
  • Inform you about degree requirements and college policies and procedures.

C. An Academic Advisor CANNOT:

  • Make decisions for you.
  • Tell you what classes are "good" or "easy."
  • Tell you what to major in.
  • Solve your problems if you have ignored them for too long.

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What can I expect from an Advisor?

An advisor will listen carefully to your questions and concerns, offer suggestions for how to match available courses and programs to your interests, and most of all, make sure that you fully understand all of your options so that you can make intelligent choices.

A key tenet of advising is that each student is responsible for his or her own decisions. Advisors exist because students can often use some help in making those decisions, and because it's nice to have someone to keep you focused on the bigger picture: on what your education means to you, and on the learning opportunities that sometimes get lost in all of the requirements.

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Which Advisor should I see?

If you look at the department staff list, you may find somebody whose specialty meets your needs. You may have seen a particular advisor for First Year Advising, as a drop-in, or in an appointment. You may want to see this advisor when you can, simply because you're likely to get more personalized advice from someone who has seen you before and who knows something about you besides what's written in your file. Of course, you are not constrained by this. You are free to make an appointment to see any advisor at any time. During peak busy times or urgent situations, if you have difficulty finding "your" advisor free, you can speak with another advisor instead.

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When do I need to see a Departmental Advisor?

You can see the Chair or another Advisor in your Major Department or Program if you are:

  • declaring your Major
  • considering which Major to choose, but need more information about the requirements in a given program before making your decision
  • deciding between different concentrations within the same department (for example:  Botany or Microbiology courses within Biology)
  • making substitutions in prerequisite or program courses
  • choosing cognates (courses that are supplementary and complementary to your Major)
  • mapping out a way to fit in all the Major courses you need to graduate
  • figuring out how best to prepare yourself for graduate school in your discipline

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Where does Pre-Professional advising fit in?

You may want to see an Advisor regarding pre-professional requirements if you are considering applying to programs such as Medicine, Social Work or Veterinary Medicine. Advisors have information about requirements for faculties and schools at the University of Manitoba and other places. Click Pre-professional Programs for more information.

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