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Academic Advising

The academic advising process requires building strong, mutually respectful relationships between students and their advisors.

Academic advising at Notre Dame focuses on student development, as well as educational and career goal setting. It is student-centered and responsive to student needs; it involves ongoing and regular contact between the student and advisor. Students who are pleased with the advising process tend to persist. Moreover, student involvement with advisors who offer support, encouragement and expertise adds to student success.

Every student in the Women’s College is assigned a faculty advisor.  First-year students are assigned a faculty advisor who is also their instructor in the first-year seminar, IDS-100 (Perspectives on Education and Culture). These students remain with the faculty advisor until the major is officially declared. Once a student declares a major, she is assigned to a departmental faculty advisor who will guide her throughout her stay at Notre Dame.

Transfer students in the Women’s College are assigned to a departmental faculty advisor upon admission if they are ready to declare a major.  Undecided transfer students are advised by the Academic Advising Counselor.  

Faculty members also play a significant role in advising and mentoring students in the College of Adult Undergraduate Studies and in Graduate Studies programs. In addition, professional staff advisors are available to assist CAUS and graduate students with course selection.

Philosophy of Academic Advising

Notre Dame offers a holistic, developmental advising system. Consequently, the scope of advising is wider than the question of which courses will be taken to fulfill graduation requirements.

Academic advising is viewed as an important responsibility of Notre Dame’s faculty. Departments designate faculty members for academic advising who are extremely well-informed and highly motivated. Each advisor plays a significant role in helping the student set educational goals, plan how to meet those goals and assess progress. The advising process itself is integral to the student’s overall growth and development.

Although advisors play an important guiding role, ultimately, each student is responsible for understanding and meeting the degree requirements for graduation. Frequent advisor contact helps ensure that the student has current academic information and is making optimal progress towards his or her educational and career goals.

In fulfilling its advising responsibilities to students, Notre Dame will provide:

  • a clear delineation of responsibility for academic advising;
  • a high degree of transparency of program requirements and offerings to majors, minors and prospective majors; and
  • regular orientation and best practices training for faculty and staff involved in advising.

Effective undergraduate advising will include substantive dialogue between student and advisor on topics including:

  • student plans for and progress toward achievement of the goals established for general education
  • the choice of a major, the process of choosing a major, and the appropriateness of that choice in light of the student’s personal goals, values and aptitudes
  • student plans for and achievement of the goals established for the major
  • identifying educational and career objectives commensurate with interests and abilities, including areas of growth and development; and student plans for progress toward growth in these areas
  • use of the educational resources available at Notre Dame, including referral to appropriate campus offices and services such as the Academic and Career Enrichment Center (ACE), International Programs, Campus Ministry, etc.
  • consideration of the issues and obstacles that may inhibit the student’s growth and development and referral to appropriate support resources and services
  • articulation of short-term and long-term plans, assessment of progress, and review/revision of goals and plans in all areas of the student’s educational growth
  • knowledge of academic policies and procedures of the University