University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
College of ACES
ACES Academic Programs
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Advising and Degree Planning

If you have questions about Academic Policies, see the Student Code, especially Article 3. The Student Code is the authoritative source for rules applying to undergraduate students on the Urbana-Champaign campus. All students should be familiar with the Student Code.

Advising

You can see your advisor's name at the top of your Degree Audit. Then you can search the Campus Directory to find their contact information. Each department has one or more Advising Coordinators, who can answer questions for you, if you can't get in touch with your advisor.

Your advisor is meant to help guide you through your major by helping you explore potential careers, choose classes based on your goals, explore minors that may work for your and your schedule, and help you plan for graduate school or alternate plans. Some forms also require the signature of either your advisor or a departmental advising coordinator

If you would like to change advisor you can visit the ACES Academic Programs office in 128 Mumford Hall.

Planning your Courses

First year students must enroll in ACES 101, which will help them in their transition to U of I. In this course, you will create an eight-semester plan for your degree program. As you move through your college years, you should update that plan each semester so that you keep on track to graduate in four years. Here is a sample X Semester Plan sheet to help you plan your degree.

Find Out More about Available Courses

The Course Explorer will let you know which courses are available by semester. You can also search the Course Explorer, and see the list of approved General Education courses, by clicking the tabs at the top of the Course Explorer pages. To find out which semester a course has been offered historically, find the course in the Course Explorer, and click the "list of terms offered" link in the upper right of the page. If you would like to see all the courses a department offers, see the Courses of Instruction listing in the Academic Catalog.

Transfer Courses

Don't assume that credit earned at another institution will automatically count toward your degree in ACES. See our Credit FAQs to learn about which credit applies, what it applies to, and how to make it apply.

Double Major

If you would like to pursue a second major you should first speak to your current advisor as well as an advisor from the department or college you would like to get your second degree from. You will need to fill out the request to pursue a double major form and submit it to the academic programs office in 128 Mumford hall.

Changing your Major

If you don't feel like your current major is right for you, speak with your advisor about switching to a different concentration within your major. If you'd like to explore other majors in the College of ACES, review that department's website and try to reach out to an undergraduate advisor in that department or ask your current advisor for advice on who to reach out to. If you decide to change your concentration or your major, be sure to review transfer information for current students.

If you want to enroll in a major at the university outside the College of ACES, contact the advising coordinator or department office of the department that offers the major you want to change to and make an appointment to discuss what you need to do to make the change. You can also review transfer information on the Office of the Provost website.

There may be courses you should consider taking while you wait to complete your transfer. Until you are sure you can make the transfer, take courses that work toward degree requirements in your current major. Work with your current advisor to build a schedule that meets your needs.

Tracking your Progress

Each semester you should review your Degree Audit. The DARS shows exactly which courses are required to complete your degree program, and it also shows how all the credit you have earned is counting toward your degree program. If you have taken courses at another institution, they will be included in your DARS. If they aren't, you need to send an official transcript to have the credit transferred.

Keeping Track of your Grades and GPA

If you’d like to keep track of your GPA as you complete your assignments, we’ve created a grade tracking worksheet you can fill out for each class. If you’d just like to periodically check what your current GPA is, you can use this GPA calculator or you can see the effect of grade replacement by using the grade replacement calculator.

Each Illinois student has at least two GPAs, but some have three.

  • Your Illinois or Institutional GPA is the GPA based on courses you have taken for a grade on this campus.

  • If you have taken a course at another institution and transferred it to apply here, those grades and hours have been used to calculate your Transfer GPA. If you have AP test based credit, those un-graded hours are included in the Transfer GPA.

  • Your Overall GPA is a combination of both your Illinois and your Transfer GPAs. Academic Standing is based on this GPA and your Illinois/Institutional GPA.

AP exam or proficiency based credit are not graded and so count as completed hours, but have no grade associated and so do not impact your GPA. Likewise S/U graded courses or courses taken for Credit/No Credit have no grade points and so count as completed hours, but do not affect your GPA.

Your GPA can be found on your DARS Audit, or by logging in to UI Intgrate Self-Service.

Resources for International Students

International students can find many resources on the International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) website related to advising and immigration services. The Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Relations is also provides services and programs to ensure all students feel welcome and supported.