Academic Advising

Colorado State University is committed to providing high quality advising services to all students.

Undergraduate Students 

Academic advising is a relationship with mutual responsibilities between an advisor and student advisee for consultation, sharing of accurate and complete information, careful listening, critical evaluation, and respectful interchange. Academic advising can be facilitated by either professional staff or faculty. Here-after the term “advisor” will mean any faculty, staff, or academic success coordinator (ASC).  

Advisee (Student) Roles and Responsibilities

Students carry important responsibilities in the advising process. In the interest of successfully completing a degree program, a student must be proactive in finding the necessary resources needed for attaining a degree. In order to contribute to an effective advising relationship, students are expected to:

  • Schedule and attend advising sessions each semester prior to course registration;
  • Understand and use degree resources such as the Degree Progress Audit (DARS), the degree requirements listed in the General Catalog, and the Major Completion map provided in the General Catalog;
  • Clearly articulate, to the best of one’s ability, personal values, abilities, interests, goals, and areas of challenge;
  • Become knowledgeable of all graduation requirements and adhere to institutional policies, procedures, and deadlines;
  • Prepare for each advising session;
  • Follow through on actions identified during each advising session;
  • Act professionally when moving through the advising process;
  • Responsibly evaluate advisor in order to strengthen the quality of advising;
  • Become familiar with the Career Center and other campus resources and use those resources to explore and prepare for careers.

Students should meet with their advisor within the first 6 weeks of arriving on campus, to prepare for registration, and anytime they have a questions or problems they cannot resolve on their own. It is important for students to utilize advisors for assistance with course selection, major information or exploration, career planning, graduation requirements, and campus resource information.

Advisor Roles and Responsibilities

The advisor’s responsibilities include the following:

  • Help students define and develop realistic educational goals;
  • Assist students in creating an academic plan consistent with their abilities, interests, and goals;
  • Assist students in monitoring and evaluating their educational progress;
  • Assist students in identifying the appropriate Career Education Manager;
  • Interpret and provide rationale for institutional policies, procedures, and requirements;
  • Monitor designated educational transactions, e.g. course selection, changes of major, graduation requirements, etc.;
  • Refer student to appropriate campus resources
  • Maintain a confidential advising record for each student;
  • Designate and communicate hours available for advising;
  • Inform students of the nature of the advisor/student advisee relationship.

Where Do I Find My Advisor?

  • Each undergraduate student is assigned an advisor corresponding to their academic major(s). Undergraduate students may locate their assigned advisor in RAMweb. If the advisor assignment is unclear, the student should contact the department that offers their primary or secondary major. For minor advising please use the search function in the General Catalog. Undeclared students (students exploring majors and/or working toward entry into a competitive major) should contact the Collaborative for Student Achievement.
  • In addition to the assigned advisor, students may work with an additional advisor if interested in a professional program such as medicine, law, veterinary medicine, or teacher licensure. Students will also have more than one advisor if completing a double major, minor, or are involved in study abroad, athletics, the Honors Program, or the Community for Excellence. To locate contact information please use the A-Z or the search function on the CSU homepage. 

Advising Resources

In order to get the best from the academic advising experience, students are encouraged to utilize the many advising tools that are available. 

  • The Degree Progress Audit (DARS) is an undergraduate degree audit that shows what graduation requirements a student has completed and what requirements still need to be completed. This audit can be found on RAMweb under Academic Planning and Progress and viewed at any time. 
  • The Course and Graduation Planner is a tool allowing undergraduate students to plan out their semester-by-semester plan through graduation. This tool works well for new first-year, transfer, and continuing students in a designated major. It allows students to add or delete extra semesters and validates against DARS to make sure that all requirements have been met. Students may access this via RAMweb.
  • Major Completion Maps are available for undergraduate majors, concentrations, and options. These Maps show a sample semester-by-semester coursework plan, and identify critical courses and requirements that are essential for timely graduation. Major Completion Maps can be found under each academic major in the General Catalog.
  • The All-University Core Curriculum (AUCC) outlines the general education requirements for graduation. 
  • Advising@CSU has a compilation of resources, policies, and procedures for students.
  • Undeclared students are encouraged to visit the Collaborative for Student Achievement office for additional resources for exploring majors
  • The CSU Career Center empowers students to pursue satisfying careers through the development of individualized careers plans.  

Many resources are available to assist with academic success at CSU. The primary contact for locating these resources is the student’s advisor.  

The following includes some additional items for which students may need to meet with their advisor:

  • Advising code: Some majors require an advising code to register for classes. This is placed on a student’s account in order ensure students connect with their advisor about their academic progress.
  • Registration access times: Registration access times are provided for each student on their RAMweb account based on the number of credits the student has received or whether the student is part of a particular population, such as the Honors Program.
  • Any discussion about University Withdrawal, Planned Leave or other university policies.

Undeclared Advising

“Undeclared” is a special designation for students who have a rich and diverse set of interests that span the CSU curriculum and want to explore all their options. Through the Undeclared advising process students are able to learn about various academic opportunities while keeping their options open as they begin their college experience. Professional academic advisors in the Collaborative for Student Achievement are knowledgeable about the full breadth of academic requirements so as to better assist students in the process of selecting a major. Advisors help students plan their schedules, provide information on career options, and refer students to other resources. Students are encouraged to declare a major by the time they earn 45 credits.

Undeclared students, in the semester where their census-date registration would lead them to achieve a total of 60 or more credits, and any semester afterwards, will have a hold placed upon subsequent registrations, and will be required to visit the Collaborative for Student Achievement office to discuss selection of a major and to ensure they are aware of the possible consequences of delaying this choice. Such consequences may include, but may not be limited to, the inability to graduate within 4 years, and loss of the College Opportunity Fund (after reaching the maximum allowed credits) and possible other financial aid. At this meeting, in order to have their hold removed, undeclared students will sign a document indicating that they understand these possible consequences, and will indicate when they intend to select a major, how long it will take for them to complete this major, or how they intend to gain entrance into a competitive major if that is their goal.

Graduate Students

Advising information for graduate students is available in the Graduate and Professional Bulletin.