What is Advising

Who in the College can I contact for help?
Who is my Association Dean and Faculty Advisor?

When you enter the University of Virginia College of Arts & Sciences, you are:

  • Placed in an advising Association, each of which has an Association Dean who advises on academic matters.
  • Assigned a faculty advisor with whom you usually remain until you declare a major at the end of your second year.

Association Deans provide broad academic support to students in the College of Arts & Sciences. Every student in the College, by virtue of their placement in an Advising Association, has an Association Dean. Your dean can advise you on academic matters, help you to think broadly about your long-term plans, and connect you to the appropriate support services at the University. They are committed to your academic success. If your Dean does not know the answer to your question, they will connect you to the person or office who does.

All the College Association Deans have offices in Monroe Hall, where the undergraduate advising offices are located. Each Association Dean schedules regular office hours in Monroe Hall and the College staff will be happy to arrange an appointment with you. To schedule a meeting with your Dean, you can call the undergraduate advising office main phone at (434) 924-3351 or visit 101 Monroe Hall (M-F, 8-5) and the College staff will gladly assist you.

Additionally, on every weekday during the semester, Monroe Hall hosts walk-in advising hours from 2:30-4:00pm. Feel free to drop in and chat with the Dean of the Day during those hours. No appointment is necessary.

How are Advisors Assigned?

Faculty Advisors are assigned to new students in a number ways. Nearly one-third of the College's incoming class is assigned an advisor through the COLA Program (College Advising Seminar courses) in which the instructor becomes the student's advisor. This gives students a chance to take charge of their advising experience. College Arts Scholars and College Science Scholars are assigned an advisor in their department of interest and also each take a first-semester together. All other students are assigned to an advisor based roughly on their area of interest. This information is pulled from the Student Information Form which is completed in the summer prior to matriculation. At the end of the second-year students declare a major and are assigned to a new advisor from their major department. Students with two majors have two advisors.

General information for advisors may be found here.

Online Calendar

During peak advising times of the semester (the first two weeks of the fall semester, early November for spring course selection and early April for fall course selection) an online calendar is available to students, Faculty and Major Directors. Faculty can use this site to create an online calendar; students can login to schedule an appointment. In addition, DUPs can manage and communicate with majors from this site.

Note: Students who wish to change their advisor may do so by seeking out another Faculty member and asking them to complete the Change of Faculty Advisor Request Form.

The Edward L. Ayers Advising Fellowship

The Edward L. Ayers Advising Fellowship was established by the generosity of a 2007 graduate who appreciated the College’s initiatives under Dean Ayers to enhance interactions between faculty and students. Creating this recognition was an opportunity both to honor the former Dean and to commend a faculty member who expresses such dedication toward undergraduates, recognizing their needs for guidance, especially in their years as underclassmen. Faculty are selected by the Director of Advising and are appoined for a term of two academic years. At the end of the term they are awarded $1000.00 in research funds.

Past Recipients

2017 Ed Murphy, Astronomy
2015 Gweneth West, Drama
2013 David Vander Meulen, English
2011 Lisa Russ Spaar. English
2009 Janet Herman, Environmental Sciences
2007 Paul Freedman, Politics

Other Sources of Academic Help

There are many other great sources of academic help for students. Sources include, but are not limited to, faculty teaching classes, graduate student teaching assisitants, resident's life staff, Directors of Undergradate Programs (DUPs), Foreign Language Coordinators, student peer advisors from OAAA, ULink, Transfer Student Peer Advisors, etc. Click here for a more complete list.

Definition of Advising

"Academic advising is a developmental process which assists students in the clarification of their life/career goals and in the development of educational plans for the realization of these goals. It is a decision-making process by which students realize their maximum educational potential through communication and information exchanges with an advisor; it is ongoing, multifaceted, and the responsibility of both student and advisor. The advisor serves as a facilitator of communication, a coordinator of learning experiences through course and career planning and academic progress review, and an agent of referral to other campus agencies as necessary."
(From Winston, Jr. R. B., Enders, S. C., & Miller, T. K. (Eds.) (March 1982). Developmental approaches to academic advising. New Directions for Student Services 17 and the NACADA website.)