Most students are not assigned a specific academic adviser. Based on your needs, you may choose to work with one or more advisers in various offices around campus. Your ideal educational team will include both general and college and department advising.
General advisers (UAA Advising, Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity Counseling Services, Student-Athlete Academic Services (SAAS), and the University Honors Program) have expertise spanning the whole university (e.g., "How do I choose a major?; I'm thinking of majoring in something in the natural sciences; I'm struggling in my classes"). Until you declare a major you might primarily work with general advisers. They can explain requirements and procedures and help you plan for your major. They'll discuss with you how you can match your own interests with opportunities at the UW, and how you can integrate your academic and career plans.
In addition to general advising, each of these offices offer specialized advising services. UAA Advising offers advising services to second-year students, preprofessional students, and students who are struggling academically. Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity Counseling Services offers advising, counseling, and other student services to EOP, TRiO SSS, and CAMP students. Student-Athlete Academic Services offers advising and other student services to student athletes. The University Honors Program offers advising and other student services and opportunities to honors students.
College and Department advisers, on the other hand, have specialized knowledge of their specific area of the university (e.g., "What kinds of research projects can I assist with in the chemistry department?; What special opportunities are available in my drama department?; How can I prepare for a career or further education in my field?"). As you start to narrow down your choice of majors, you will want to meet with the college and department advisers for those majors for program planning and, in many cases, preparing your application for admission to the major. College and department advisers can introduce you to the opportunities available in each program, including internships, undergraduate research, scholarships, new and one-time course offerings, and special events. Once you declare a major, you will meet primarily with that department's adviser to plan your program of classes, stay connected with your academic community, and prepare for graduation and beyond.
Other Kinds of Advising
The UW has many people who are here specifically to help you make the most of your college experience.
- The Counseling Center provides personal and career counseling, and also offers study-skills workshops.
- TThe Career Center can help you with career planning and searching for a job. They offer many workshops and career fairs.
- Financial Aid advisers can provide information about the types of financial aid available and how to apply.
- Student Fiscal Services advisers can talk with you about money management, tax issues, and any questions about tuition and fees.
- International student advisers provide assistance with navigating the F-1 and J-1 student visa benefits and restrictions.