Skip to content Skip to main navigation Report an accessibility issue


In this section, you will learn about:

  • Why is it important to have a relationship with your advisor?
  • When do first-year students typically see their advisor?

Important Contacts:

Role of the Student

Below you will find a list of the responsibilities academic advisors across the UT campus agree are student responsibilities.  Additionally, you will find your advisor’s specific responsibilities outlined in your college advising syllabus.

Students will schedule and attend advising appointments prior to their registration eligibility date.
First-year students have to meet with their advisor before they can register for classes. In order to register on time and have the most course options available, make sure you schedule an appointment with your advisor well before your registration eligibility date.

Students will monitor their own progress, and seek advice from their advisor, so that you stay on schedule toward graduation in four years.
Your advisor is available as a guide to your academic journey at the institution. While they will periodically send out reminders and follow-ups, ultimately you are responsible for your academic progress. Seek their help often to make sure you understand where you are on the path to graduation.

Students will take an active role in your advising session by being prepared to discuss your goals and educational plans.
Your advisor will give you the best advice if they know your plans and interests. You are not just any psychology major. You are a person with dreams, plans, and aspirations. When you come to your advisor with questions and ideas about your future, they will be better able to guide you to the people and resources who will best help you realize your goals.

Students will come prepared to each appointment with questions and/or material for discussion.
Advising appointments should always be purposeful and practical. Prepare for your appointment like you would prepare for class. You will get more out of the appointment.

Students will ask questions if you do not understand an issue or have a specific concern.
It is essential that you understand the material in your advising appointment. Don’t be afraid to stop your advisor and ask them to explain.

Students will understand degree requirements of colleges and majors you are considering.
You should familiarize yourself with the requirements of all majors and minors you are considering. All requirements can be viewed in the University Catalog.

Students will be aware of drop/add deadlines and additional university requirements.
Most deadlines for the university are firm. Make sure you know when they are and what they mean. You can find a claendar of important dates on the One Stop website.

Students will make and be responsible for their own decisions.
Your advisor will not tell you what to do. Their role is to help you realize your options. It is up to you to take responsibility of your educational choices. 

Students will maintain good academic standing as determined by the department and college offering their major.
Your college or major department may have minimum requirements for satisfactory academic performance. Being aware of these and making sure that you are well above them will ensure that you will not fall behind. Additionally, here at UT we use a program called uTrack that notifies students if they are ever off-track from the minimum benchmarks required for their major. This helps ensure that students are making appropriate progress in their intended program of study. If you receive an off-track message from the uTrack program, meet with your advisor to make sure you understand which steps you need to take to get back on track.

Students will silence their cell phones prior to advising appointments.
This is not only respectful to your advisor, but also to your peers who might have the appointment after you. Your advisor’s time with you is precious, please eliminate all distractions for this important conversation that you will have together.

Students will follow-up on referrals and inform their advisor of the outcome of referrals.
Your advisor has many answers, but not all of them. Occasionally, they might ask you to meet with a faculty member or to visit Career Services. Make sure you do this in a timely fashion so that you can bring this information back to your advisor. Discussing what you have learned will help you process your best course of action.

Identifying your Advisor

When do first-year students typically see their advisor?

Every first year student is required to see an academic advisor before they are able to register for the next semester’s classes.  Thus, although you saw an advisor during orientation, you will need to find your advisor this term before registration for the next semester.

Which college should I go to for advising?

Students should go to the advisor(s) in the college, in which, they are enrolled. Your major is housed in one of nine academic Colleges on the University of Tennessee’s campus. The advisors in your College are best suited to help you navigate the specific courses and academic decisions for your major.

It is possible that you might be considering switching to a major in a different College. If so, you may wish to visit an advisor from the college, to which, you are not presently assigned. Please keep in mind that there may be entry requirements for this new major. As a result, the advisor in your prospective College may not be able to fully assist you until your major has been officially changed. It is important that when considering a change that you do not wait until the last minute. Avoid peak registration periods whenever possible.

How do I know who my advisor is?

Each college assigns advisors a little differently. Be sure to visit and contact the appropriate advising office to find your advisor.

Role of the Advisor

The following are responsibilities that academic advisors across the UT campus agree are advisor responsibilities. Additionally, your advisor’s specific responsibilities are also outlined in your college advising syllabus.

Advisors will be accessible to you during reasonable hours
Most advisors on campus work an 8am-5pm work day. During this time, your advisor will have a schedule with regular staff meetings, administrative work time, lunch, and other student appointments. The best way to find out when your advisor is available is via GradesFirst on myUTK. Get to know your advisor and advising office to understand when it is best for you and them to meet.

Advisors will understand and discuss with you the curriculum, graduation requirements, and university policies
College curriculum, course requirements, and policies change over time. When these changes occur, your academic advisor learns about them and how they may impact students in their major. When you meet with your advisor each semester, they will make you aware of any changes pertinent to your academic studies.

Advisors will help you define and develop realistic goals and discuss the link between academic preparation and career opportunities
Your advisor has likely seen students who have excelled academically and professionally and also those who have struggled. A large part of their role is offering advice on the plans you have for your academic future. You will get the most out of the experience if you are honest with your advisor and with yourself about your plans and preparation.

Advisors will assist you in planning programs of study, both short-term and long-term, that are consistent with your abilities and interests; such as course load, academic background, program demands, and employment or personal commitments
You are unique. As such, your advisor is here to assist you the specific needs and interests you have regarding your academic career. When you are creating your academic goals, they will consider both your personal needs and their knowledge of the college/university to best advise you on how to meet your goals.

Advisors will refer you to other services, departments, and specific individuals as special needs are identified
Your advisor knows a lot about the university. If you have a question or need assistance with something beyond the scope of their expertise, they can direct you to the appropriate people and services on campus to best help you.

Advisors will help you identify special needs and acquaint you with services and programs provided by the college and the university
Advisors are well-connected to the faculty and initiatives in your college and the university. If there is an opportunity on campus that could aid you with your goals, your advisor will advocate that you check it out.

Academic Deadlines

It is important to familiarize yourself with the University’s deadlines concerning academic policy. If you are planning to make changes to your course schedule, you often have to complete certain actions within a specific amount of time. This page will give you an idea of some of these deadlines.

Add/Drop Deadline

Prior to the add/drop deadline, students can change their course schedule without consequence. This deadline generally falls in the first two weeks of the term. Prior to this date, students can change their schedule via myUTK without incurring a W on their record. Following this date, student’s schedules are locked in. At that time, no new classes can be added and any classes dropped reflect on the transcript as a W or withdraw. Students are only allowed 4 withdraws during their career at UT. If you are considering dropping a class after the add/drop deadline, it is highly recommended that you talk with your advisor.

Withdrawing from courses:

The following additional regulations relate to dropping classes after the drop deadline:

  • Students are allowed four drops during their academic career (until a bachelor’s degree is earned).
  • Students holding a bachelor’s degree who return to pursue a second bachelor’s degree are allowed four additional drops.
  • Students pursuing more than one major or degree simultaneously are not allowed additional drops.
  • The W grade is not computed in the grade point average.
  • After the 84th day, no drops are permitted.

Courses may be dropped on the web ( Failure to attend a course is not an official withdrawal and will result in the assignment of an NC grade.


Keep in mind that there are multiple sessions in each academic term.  For instance in the fall semester, courses can be scheduled for full session (all 15 weeks of the semester), first session (the first seven weeks of the semester), or second session (the last seven weeks of the semester). Any time you are making a change to your courses it is important to know which session they are being offered. Deadlines may differ depending on the session in which your course is offered.

Additional Academic Deadlines are posted on the One Stop Site. Make sure you are aware of these dates and the policies behind them.