48 Questions to Ask an Academic Advisor

You made it through your first year of college! But as you head into your sophomore year, you realize you still have a lot to learn. One of the most important people on campus who can help you navigate your way through the next few years is your academic advisor.

Your academic advisor is there to help you plan your course schedule, connect you with on-campus resources, and answer any questions you may have about your academic career. Although they’re always happy to help, advisors are usually very busy, so you must make the most of your time when you meet with them.

To help you get the most out of your advising sessions, we’ve compiled a list of important questions that can help you when you speak with your academic advisor.

48 Questions to help you get the most out of your conversation with your academic advisor:

  1. What are your office hours?
  2. When is the best time to come see you?
  3. What classes do I need to take to graduate?
  4. What’s the difference between a major and a concentration?
  5. How do I declare/change my major?
  6. What’s the difference between taking a class for a letter grade or passing/failing?
  7. I’m struggling in a class. What should I do?
  8. What resources are available to me if I’m struggling academically?
  9. What advice do you have for students who are struggling academically?
  10. Am I on track to graduate in four years?
  11. If not, what do I need to do to graduate in four years?
  12. I’m interested in studying abroad. How can I get started on that?
  13. Are there scholarships available for me?
  14. I’m having personal problems. What resources are available to me?
  15. What opportunities are available for me to get involved on campus?
  16. Who are my professors and how can I contact them?
  17. What are my professor’s office hours?
  18. When is the last day I can drop a class without it appearing on my transcript?
  19. How do I withdraw from a class?
  20. Can I get credit for an internship?
  21. I’m interested in X major/minor/program. Who should I talk to about this?
  22. I’m thinking about taking a semester off. What do you guys think about this?
  23. I’m having trouble balancing my course load with extracurricular activities jobs/etc. What should I do?
  24. I’m not sure what classes I need to take to graduate on time. Can you help me plan my remaining semesters?
  25. Are there any fellowships, scholarships, or other opportunities available that I might be eligible for?
  26. Who can I turn to if I’m having personal difficulties that are affecting my academic performance? (For example, financial problems, mental health issues, etc.)
  27. Am I on track to graduate with honors? If not, what do I need to do to make that happen?
  28. Can you provide me with information about graduate school/professional school options?
  29. What internship opportunities are available for me?
  30. I’m interested in [X] extracurricular activities/clubs/sports. How can I get involved?
  31. Do you have any advice on how I can balance school work and my personal life?
  32. I’m having trouble motivating myself to do work. Do you have any advice for me?
  33. I’m feeling overwhelmed right now. What can I do?
  34. What are the best learning strategies for someone like me?
  35. What’s the best way for me to get involved in leadership positions on campus?
  36. Are there scholarship opportunities that I might be eligible for?
  37. Do you guys have any recommendations for mental health services on campus?
  38. Who are the faculty members in my department and what are their areas of expertise?
  39. How can I get involved on campus outside of academics?
  40. What types of research opportunities are available in my department?
  41. How much time should I spend on schoolwork outside of class each week?
  42. Can you help me find a job or internship?
  43. What financial aid options are available to me?
  44. What are the deadlines for applying for financial aid?
  45. How do I appeal my financial aid award package?
  46. I’m not sure what I want to do after I graduate. Do you guys have any suggestions?
  47. Who can write me a letter of recommendation and how many should I have?
  48. When should I start thinking about graduate school and my career after graduation?

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is academic advising important?

Academic advising is an important part of every student’s education. It provides students with the guidance and support they need to make the most of their college careers.

Academic advising helps students develop academic goals, plan courses, find resources on campus, and overcome academic and personal challenges that may arise along the way. By providing this important support and guidance, academic advisors help students reach their full potential in school and beyond.

Therefore, students must take advantage of academic advising to achieve their goals and be successful in all areas of their lives.

What skills should an academic advisor have?

The most important skills that academic advisors should have include strong communication and interpersonal skills, the ability to manage his/her time effectively, and a deep understanding of his/her students’ individual needs and goals.

In addition, academic advisors should be able to actively listen to their students and provide thoughtful guidance based on their feedback and suggestions. Overall, successful academic advisors must be able to work closely with students, build strong relationships with them, and help them achieve their academic goals.

What is the objective of an academic advisor?

The primary goal of an academic advisor is to help students navigate the complex world of higher education. They provide guidance and support, as well as information about academic requirements, degree requirements, and resources on campus.

Advisors work closely with students to develop a plan to help them achieve their academic goals, and they also serve as a source of encouragement and motivation throughout the student’s time in school.

Whether a student is struggling with courses or simply wants to explore different majors or career paths, an academic advisor can be a valuable resource that enables students to succeed both inside and outside the classroom.


Meeting with your academic advisor is a great way to stay on track with your degree requirements and chart a course for your success after graduation. By asking your advisor thoughtful questions, you can ensure that you’re making the most of your time with him or her and identifying potential hurdles in your academic career before they become problems.

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