Advising Hints

What is the role of the academic advisor?

Advising is a cooperative process between advisor and student, resulting in a professional relationship that serves to guide the student in the preparation for his/her chosen field.  This process includes:

  • discussion and development of the plan-of-study (an ongoing and evolutionary process)
  • long-term and short-term scheduling discussions
  • information and guidance in career options and graduate school opportunities
  • academic counseling and support
  • discussions of student progress and development
  • open-ended discussions about "real world" issues outside the classroom

Advisors can also serve as a source on infomation and referral for students, particularly when students are in need of academic support. Some other support options include Office of Student Success, Writing Center, Math Center, Health and Counseling Services, or Career Center).  Many advisors also play a role in writing letters of recommendation for advisees for graduate school job opportunities, or other purposes, though letter writing is certainly not the exclusive domain of the advisor.

What is the role of the student in academic advising?

  • Know the university, college, and major requirements of your chosen field of study
  • Present specific questions to the advisor
  • Prepare for class scheduling sessions by creating a tentative schedule before Scheduling Day
  • Monitor your own progress, keeping in mind the requirements and the plan of study
  • Develop a plan of study with the aid of the advisor
  • Assume responsibility for your own progress and education
  • Take the time for thoughtful self-assessment
  • Be aware of life beyond Millikin and options in terms of class choices
  • Be willing to ask questions and ask for assistance when necessary
  • Take charge of your life

What is the plan of study?

The Plan-of-Study reflects both the intentional nature of the Millikin Program of Student Learning and the variability of individual student needs. The flexible and evolving plan is developed through partnerships between the student and the advisor, and is organized around the learning goals and guided by central values and guided questions. Questions to consider:

  • What am I here to learn?
  • What do I know an want to know more about?
  • Where are gaps in my knowledge--what is weak?
  • What am I curious about?  What seems odd and mysterious?
  • What classes beyond my major can support my learning and development?

What do I do before I go to see my advisor about scheduling classes each semester?

  • Review what classes you will need to take for the next semester. 
  • Note which sequential courses are needed and then what elective options you will have.
  • Consult the schedule of classes online for the upcoming semester on MU Online.
  • Prepare a tentative schedule including second option choices
  • Sign up for a time to meet with your advisor on Scheduling day.

What do I do if I don't get into classes that I want?

First, go the professor of the class and ask if you can be signed in. If the class is overbooked, then go back to the list of courses and look for another course that meets your criteria within your Plan of Study. Discuss your new option with your advisor.

What are the language requirements?

Speak to your adviser concerning level placement for a language if youhave had experience with it already through high school courses. Yourhigh school transcript has been evaluated and a level placement has beennoted on your academic file.

All B.A. students must demonstrate proficiency to three college semesters of a single modern language. Students may demonstrate proficiency by successful completion of a modern language course numbered 223 or above, or by passing a proficiency exam administered by the Department of Modern Languages. Note: Students placed at the 300 level must either complete the course or take the proficiency exam.

B.F.A. students may take language courses as part of their International Cultures and Structures two course requirement.  You do not have to take two semesters of the same language. Language courses are options that you may choose to fulfill this requirement.

How is math placement determined?

Math placement is determined by your math subscore of the ACT or SAT exam. A sheet has been placed in your Advising file that notes your level of placement.

Math placement rules are as follows:

ACT Math Score Range

Corresponding COMPASS Score

Math course

 16 or below


MA 087 (Basic Mathematics)

17 or 18


MA 091 (Basic Algebra)

19, 20, 21


MA 098 (Intermediate Algebra)



Any math class numbered above 106 for which the student meets the prerequisites.

What constitutes "quantitative reasoning" in University Studies?

Students complete a minimum of three credits in quantitative reasoningas part of University Studies. Any three or four credit math course numbered above 106 qualifies as a Quantitative Reasoning course. In order to enroll in a Quantitative Reasoning course, students must have an ACT math subscore of at least 22.

For all other students:

ACT Math Subscore or SAT Math Subscore

Must Complete This Course Prior to Quantitative Reasoning

 ACT math subscore is 16 or below
SAT math subscore is 449 or below

Complete MA 087, MA 091, and MA 098

ACT math subscore 17, 18
SAT math subscore is 450 to 499

Complete MA 091 and MA 098

ACT math subscore 19, 20, or 21
SAT math subscore is 500-559

Complete MA 098

In addition to mathematics classes, students with an ACT math subscore of 22 above may also use Philosophy213 (Critical Thinking: Logic) or Psychology/Sociology 201 (Statistical Methods in the Behavioral Sciences) to fulfill the Quantitative Reasoning requirement.  Music Theory 111 and 112 also will satisfy the requirement.