The beginning of the semester is often plagued with uncertainties – will I get into the class I’m waitlisted in? Will my books arrive on time? Am I taking enough units to graduate? Will my class count towards my major requirements? Who do I talk to if I have a question? The good news is that the College of Letters & Sciences Advising Department is a great place to voice your concerns and get your questions answered.
This blog post will primarily focus on how the College of Letters & Sciences Advising Department can best help you, but will also briefly discuss what other advisers do on campus so you can be sure you get the information you need from the best source. Our office is often a good place to start if you have a question but don’t know who to ask — if we are not the proper department to handle your question, we will happily point you in the right direction.
The two main advisers that L&S students typically encounter are Undergraduate Major Advisers and College Advisers. Major Advisers are specific to their department and are essentially experts in anything related to declaring a major (or minor) and completing major requirements. Questions such as the following are best answered by a Major Adviser: What do I need to do to declare the major? Can I take this specific class to satisfy two parts of my major requirement? Major Advisers are also great resources for students who are still deciding what major is best for them as they can share helpful information about professors, classes, events, and even past graduates in the department.
College Advisers, on the other hand, have a broader focus. In a nutshell, they help students understand requirements and move through the process of graduating in the College of Letters & Sciences. College Advisers are there from your first day at Cal all the way through graduation.
L&S College Advisers perform many tasks for students at all stages in their academic careers. They keep students informed of important deadlines, provide help with course selections (especially those that fulfill the Breadth and Essential Skills requirements), perform degree checks, process appeals, and serve as a starting point for students who have general questions. L&S College Advisers are also there to assist if students ever run into any sort of academic difficulty and need help getting back on track.
The L&S Advising Department also has a wonderful team of Peer Advisers who can answer quick questions and offer general peer support for students throughout the semester. One way that Peer Advisers reach out to students is by going straight to them – we can be found conveniently located in the Resident Halls in the evenings starting this week (week 4) through week 10. Be sure to check out the Peer Adviser schedule to find out when and where we will be stationed throughout the week.
Peer Advisers can lend a hand with schedule planning, provide course and professor recommendations, and explain general campus policies. You can also count on us to share in the woes and joys of being a student at Cal – let us know if you’re struggling, or if you have something to be proud of – we give free hugs and high-fives too!