My View of Academic Advising

UMM is committed to developmental academic advising. Caring interaction and good communication is encouraged between students, faculty and staff. Advising is broadly defined to include activities and interaction between faculty and students that will:

  • help students clarify educational goals,
  • inform them of the range and scope of experiences available to them,
  • help assess strengths, weaknesses and exploration of how decisions affect personal and occupational goals.

I view academic advising as a process which changes dramatically over the course of a student's career at UMM. A freshman may need help navigating the tricky waters of registration, prerequisite structure, general education requirements, campus life, or course load issues. However, as the years progress, advising should become less concerned with the administrative details of getting a degree at UMM, and more concerned with the larger issues of life.

The ideal I believe we as a university should strive for is that of a graduating UMM student who requires no advising whatsoever. The university experience will have prepared you to think critically, independently, and gather the appropriate information you need to make your life decisions.

I expect you to:

  • Meet with me at least once each semester.
  • Check your UMM email and post office box daily.
  • Learn to read your APAS and the UMM Catalog.
  • Promptly inform me of changes to your major and any concerns about your program.
  • Make and be responsible for your own decisions.
  • Observe the following deadlines:
    • Cancel or A/F-S/N change
    • Withdraw (W on transcript)
  • Know the requirements for staying in good standing.
  • Attend Advising Events.
  • Know about FERPA - Student Records Privacy.

You can expect me to:

  • Help you clarify your educational goals.
  • Inform you of the range and scope of experiences available to you.
  • Help you assess your strengths and weaknesses, and help you explore the ramifications of your decisions for your future occupational goal.
  • Familiarize you with policies and regulations which might influence your program.
  • Communicate to you what decisions you will have to make at what stages of your academic career. You need to understand how today's decisions may limit possible alternatives later on.
  • Initiate a continuing evaluation of the adviser-advisee relationship. As you develop more clearly defined educational and occupational goals, you may change advisers, perhaps several times. Thus you and your adviser must assess the extent to which the advising relationship is meeting your needs and goals.

Key considerations for academic success

  • Go to class everyday. Get to know your professors.
  • Balance school with the rest of your life. Plan enough study time to do well in your classes.
  • Have good study habits and get academic assistance early if needed. Deal with any difficulties that arise as soon as possible.
  • Understand the impact of dropping classes-academically and financially.

Advising Calender

August. Meet with me at the scheduled session during Orientation.

September. Returning students use this time to touch base with me. Let me know how your classes are going. Be aware of drop/add dates and other deadlines.

October-November. Meet with me to plan for spring semester. Meet with me if you receive academic alerts. Seniors should complete the on-line graduation application and advising survey. Register during your assigned registration time.

January. Contact me if you have questions or concerns about your fall semester grades or if you need to change your class schedule.

March. Meet with me for annual planning - you will review your academic goals and make a plan for the coming year (more details below). First or second year students with fewer than 60 credits must meet with me before registration. Register during your assigned registration time.

April-May. Seniors need to complete the advising survey if you have not done so. Returning students should register for fall semester before leaving campus in May.

UMM Offices

Some particular resources you may find useful are:

Financial Aid

Financial Aid (105 Behmler Hall) is very important to many students who attend UMM. If your grades slip or you fail to complete 75% of your classes, you will be in danger of having your financial aid reduced (you are also not eligible for federal financial aid if you have over 180 credits). Since these requirements for financial aid are a federal government standard, they may change from time to time. You should make it your job to be aware of the requirements for good standing if you are on financial aid while at UMM. If you are planning to drop a course, check with financial aid to see how this affects your situation. The direct link to Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress is on the SAP web page.

Academic Progress

There are also Academic Progress Requirements, which must be met. These policies ensure you are meeting the minimum academic requirements set by the Scholastic Committee to be a student at UMM. If you fall short of the minimum academic progress requirements, you can be put on academic probation or suspension.

You should note that it is possible to be on financial aid probation/suspension, and yet still be in academic good standing at UMM. These are two separate criteria, one aimed at determining your eligibility for financial aid, and one aimed at determining your academic progress.

Spring Annual Planning

What is annual planning? It is choosing the courses you want to take in the future, and ensuring that you meet all the requirements for graduation. What does this mean to you? Depends how far along you are in your studies. Here are the important details.

Some students will need my approval (I email Registrar) to register. If you are a returning sophomore next fall, you will need to plan your next year. If you are a returning junior next fall, you will need to plan your next two years. If you have fewer than 60 credits, or are on academic probation, you will also need to talk with me about annual planning. All of these students need my permission to register. My permission is granted once we have met to talk about your academic plans for the upcoming year(s). It's that simple!

One thing to note, especially if you are a freshman, is that courses are numbered based on the level of the course--1xxx is a freshman level course, 2xxx is a sophomore, 3xxx junior, and 4xxx senior. Higher level courses will expect more from the students, possibly moving at a faster pace, requiring more independence from the students, or more involved work outside of class to complete assignments. As a freshman, it is usually unwise to register for courses above the 1xxx level, even if you have taken all the prerequisites for the course. If you do want to enroll in a course that is at a level beyond 1xxx, I would recommend talking to the instructor of the course and making sure that they feel you will be able to succeed in the course before you enroll.

If you are a returning senior in the fall, you do not need my permission to register. However, if you would like to meet with me to talk about your senior year I would be glad to discuss it with you.

If you are a current senior who is going to be graduating this spring--make sure your APAS will have no minuses on it by the time you finish your current courses. If you've planned carefully in the previous years, this will not be a problem.

The things to keep in mind as you do your annual planning are the following:

  • I will not pick courses for you. I am here to help you, but I want you to have thought deeply about your planning before we meet. UMM offers many diverse opportunities, and I want you to seek out the ones that appeal to you.
  • Learn to read and understand your APAS (Academic Progress Audit System). It shows what requirements you have met, and more importantly, what requirements you still need to meet in order to graduate. You will have to turn every minus into a plus before you graduate.
  • If you are unsure about exactly what to take, refer to the four year plan for your major.
  • Make sure you are meeting General Education Requirements.
  • If you have transfer credits from another institution, or AP credits, make sure they are being properly applied in your APAS.
  • Deal with any errors on your APAS immediately! They will not fix themselves, and sometimes they aren't errors. For example, if you mistakenly think something should be a plus but it really is a minus, you need to know that as soon as possible so you can incorporate that minus into your planning.
  • You can use the Graduation Planner to help you keep track of your course plan for graduation.

Career Planning

You should check out the Academic Advising Homepage. It has many useful resources for you, from four year plans for all majors to pre-professional guides.

Also of interest is the Career Center. If you are undecided as to your major, you should start here and see what sorts of jobs people are able to get with different majors. Think carefully about what you want to do with your life-this may not be easy, and probably never ends! You need to decide what your professional goals are, and how you can go about meeting them.

If you are a deciding student (meaning you are still deciding on what to major in at UMM), there are many useful resources collected together on the Advising website.

The internet is a powerful collection of information--if you are interested in a particular career choice but want to learn more, an hour on the internet can prove extremely informative.

For the potential mathematicians reading this, The American Mathematical Society (AMS), The Mathematical Association of America (MAA), and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) have a wonderful webpage on Mathematical Sciences Career Information. The Archives and Career Profiles are particularly helpful, in my opinion, since they show how real people got the career they did. These profiles are autobiographical, and contain some extremely good advice! You might also check out the Young Mathematician Network. To learn more about actuarial sciences as a career, visit Be an Actuary.

If you are interested in a summer Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) program in mathematics, check out the article Is An REU For You?. You may also with to explore the NSF REU Site, and the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) has a list of Academic Year Programs and summer REU programs and more information useful to undergraduate mathematicians on this website.

Pre-Engineering Transfer to UMTC

If you are considering transferring to UMTC College of Science and Engineering (CES) after your sophomore year at UMM I encourage you to check out the information on Transfer from Within the University. Transfer is competitive, and I want to highlight two passages:

  • Primary review factors include completion of appropriate prerequisite courses and the applicant's technical grade point average. Other factors include a student's progress toward their intended degree, the applicant's cumulative grade point average and grade trends.
  • Most successful applicants to the College of Science and Engineering have a 3.2 or higher technical grade point average (technical GPA).

More information about transfer to CES, including transfer student profiles, can be found on the page Transfer Admission Requirement for College of Science and Engineering.

The Mathematics Major: 2013-2015 Catalog

Prerequisite Structure: This is meant as an overview; in cases where there is a discrepancy with the catalog the catalog is assumed to be correct. Consult the catalog for more specific prerequisite information. Printer friendly (pdf) image of prerequisites.

flowchart of math prerequisites

To get a math major you will need the following:

To get a math major and prepare to obtain Secondary Education teaching licensure, you will need the following:

  • all courses coloured gold,
  • the three courses with the green border,
  • a course with significant mathematical application outside the discipline,
  • Four credits from CSci:
    • CSci 1201, or
    • CSci 1301.
  • Secondary Education has additional course requirements for admission. These requirements are found on this web site.
  • sample five year course plan for math major seeking Secondary Education Teaching Licensure.
  • Note that Geometry and History of Math are offered in alternating years, so it is very important you take them when they are offered!
  • Many of the Gen Ed requirements are met by taking specific courses which are required for licensure. Plan ahead.

Some students may get a major other than mathematics and licensure in math--the required math courses for licensure are listed here (note the required courses for licensure are not enough to get a math major).

The important things to keep in mind as you set up your course schedule are the following:

  • Required courses may not be taken S-N unless offered S-N only.
  • You need 120 credits to graduate
  • You need 60 of these credits as Gen-Ed credits
  • You need to meet the specific Gen Ed requirements (easy to do, but make sure you do!)

Office Hours Sci 1380:
Drop-in Office Hours (no appointment needed) are listed on google calendar.

UMM students may sign up for an appointment using google calendar.


(I do not use voicemail)

The views and opinions expressed in this page are strictly those of the page author. The contents of this page have not been reviewed or approved by the University of Minnesota.