Tiger Family Resources: Academic Advising


At The University of Memphis, our vision is that academic advising will empower students, impact decisions, and exceed expectations. Academic advising is one of the ways that each new student can have one-on-one contact with a supportive member of the University community. Each undergraduate student will be required to meet with an academic advisor every semester. This meeting can be an important opportunity to assess the freshman student's adjustment to college.

Freshmen meet with their academic advisor for the first time at New Student Orientation. The first advising appointment is a chance to meet the advisor and get acquainted. In addition, freshmen will plan for the first semester of classes during this meeting. Registration is completed at New Student Orientation.

Future meetings with the academic advisor will help the student clarify academic, career, and personal goals. The relationship with the academic advisor is enhanced by the active participation of the student. Read more about student and advisor responsibility in academic advising.

What is Academic Advising?

The purpose of academic advising is to facilitate the intellectual and personal development of our students, to enhance their academic performance, and to ensure a student's progress toward graduation by striving to: 

  • Facilitate each student's transition into the University
  • Assist students in exploring, selecting and achieving their educational, career and personal goals
  • Support academic excellence
  • Empower student decision making
  • Convey accurate information regarding University requirements and majors
  • Help students understand the University policies and procedures
  • Refer students to appropriate campus resources
  • Develop positive relationships with each advisee

Most students will begin with an advisor in the Academic Advising Center and then once they progress in their major they will be transferred to an advisor in their major. 

Scheduling Appointments

Students are encouraged to schedule appointments with their advisor each semester before their enrollment dates. Students can't register until they meet with and are cleared by their advisor.

It’s extremely beneficial for your student to meet often with their advisor. This helps ensure they are on track and meeting their degree requirements.

Course Catalog

The UofM course catalog is a great resource for your student. The catalog contains...

  • Summary of campus offerings, policies and requirements
  • Descriptions of colleges, schools and departments
  • Degree requirements
  • Course descriptions
  • Sample four-year graduation plans.
  • Honors Program information

Because the catalog is created before the academic year begins, there may be changes. For up-to-date information, students should:

  • Check with their advisor
  • Review UMDegree

Credit Hours

Most courses at the University of Memphis are three credit hours, meaning they meet for about three hours each week. We encourage students to choose their schedule on the total number of credit hours, not the total number of courses. Students need to be enrolled in at least 12 credits to be considered a full-time student. To graduate in 4 years, students should plan to take 15 credit hours in the Fall and Spring semester.

Students should plan for about 2-3 hours of outside study/class preparation for every hour they are in class. If your student is concerned about their academic success at UofM, they should talk to their advisor about how many credit hours may be right for them.

Academic Balance

Most colleges and schools require a combination of the following credits:

  • General education
  • Major credits
  • Elective credits
  • Some might also require a secondary area of study or internship.

Encourage your student to work with their advisor on selecting a balance of these credit requirements. Elective and general education credits can be a chance for your student to take classes that sounds interesting or fun.


Within MyMemphis, students have access to UMDegree that helps your student identify and track their degree requirements for graduation. Your student will use this report for planning and selecting classes.

While degree audits show visual progress toward a degree, they can also provide “what-if” information. This can be useful if your student is exploring options or considering a change of plans.

Transfer, advanced placement or international baccalaureate credit

Encourage your student to talk with their academic advisor about any transfer, advanced placement (AP) or international baccalaureate (IB) coursework they have completed.

  • If your student has taken AP or IB tests, they should have their official score report sent to the Office of Admissions.
  • They should also submit final transcripts for any previous coursework at other institutions.
  • Your student can check their UMDegree to see how their transfer credit applies to their UofM course requirements.