Undergraduate Academic Advising at the University at Buffalo is delivered through a network of professional advising centers. All students are assigned an Academic Advisor based on their major and special program affiliation if applicable.
Students can view their advisor in Navigate or via the HUB Student Center. A complete listing of advising offices by major can also be found by using the Advising Directory.
Advisors offer a personal connection to the university and assist students with a full range of services, resources and support. Generally, students first engage with academic advising prior to or during Orientation as well as part of Academic Day/Welcome Weekend. Future meetings with an advisor are scheduled by the student, in which students are encouraged to meet with their advisor early and often—at least once a semester until graduation.
Academic advising is an integral part of the university’s commitment to helping all students complete their undergraduate degree in four years. Advisors across campus guide students in all aspects of the university’s Finish in 4 initiative.
In addition to reviewing the Information for Parents we recommend you browse the entire Undergraduate Academic Advisement website.
Academic Advisors are Expected to:
- Discuss the educational and career objectives suited to the student’s demonstrated abilities and expressed interests. The advisor helps the student understand the relationships among the courses, programs, undergraduate research opportunities, internships, study abroad programs, and other academic experiences provided by the university.
- Assist the student with understanding the academic and administrative processes of the university and the nature of its academic programs. The advisor also seeks to understand each student’s particular concerns regarding academic progress.
- Assist the student in planning a course of study that will lead them to degree completion in a timely manner, and give advice about courses and adjustment of course loads. The advisor will inform the student about the prerequisites for subsequent courses in the student’s program.
- Provide clear and accurate information.
- Refer students to other resources when appropriate.
Ultimately academic advisors strive to help students become independent, self-confident decision makers, able to solve problems that arise in pursuit of their educational goals.
Students are Expected to:
- Be actively engaged in seeking the academic and career information needed to meet educational goals.
- Adhere to the behaviors and actions that are critical to making timely progress toward a degree.
- Acquire the skills needed to assume final responsibility for course scheduling, program planning, and the successful completion of all graduation requirements.
- Become knowledgeable about the relevant policies, procedures, and rules of the university and academic programs.
- Be prepared with accurate information and relevant materials when contacting the advisor.
- Consult with their advisor at least once a semester to select courses, review the accuracy of the Academic Advisement Report, check progress towards graduation, and discuss the suitability of other educational opportunities provided by the university.
- Make satisfactory academic progress.
- Read UB email and use MyUB to access important university resources.
By accepting responsibility for their education, students enhance the development of their academic, social, and career goals.
UB students can select from over 100 undergraduate degree programs and more than 60 minors (4-6 courses in a discipline), derived from about 80 different academic disciplines.
Options exist for joint majors, double majors and double degree programs. Students can also create (with faculty approval) their own major through the Special Studies program.
Other options include taking graduate courses for graduate credit or for undergraduate credit, doing research, or taking a semester, year, winter, or summer session study abroad.
A number of combined bachelors/masters degree programs are available too. These programs allow students to complete both degrees and save a year as they start taking the graduate courses in their senior year.
The Undergraduate Degree & Course Catalog is UB’s official reference for academic programs, degree requirements and policies.
Maximizing Undergraduate Education
Involvement in activities such as internships, community service projects, and leadership development programs will greatly complement and enhance students’ overall educational experience. In conjunction with pursuing their academic goals, students should investigate and take advantage of extracurricular activities that provide opportunities for learning, personal growth, and career enhancement.
- Study Abroad during the fall, winter, spring and/or summer semesters.
- Experiential Learning Network (ELN)—a hub for undergraduate students interested in finding challenging research and mentored projects that match their academic interests and career goals.
- Students can become an Orientation Leader, a Diversity Advocate, or UB STAR and share their experiences with other UB students.
- Students can become a Campus Living paraprofessional staff member (Resident Advisor, Community Assistant, or Academic Assistant) and mentor other students and develop leadership abilities.
- Students can participate in programs offered by Campus Living that cover a wide range topics, such as academic skills, life skills, diversity, service, and health and wellness.
Student Clubs and Organizations
Most advising units have mandatory advising for first semester students and students on academic probation. Prior to registration each semester students are strongly encouraged to meet with their academic advisor to discuss registration for the next term and ensure that they are progressing toward completing their degree in a timely manner.
Review of progress for all undergraduate students takes place during the middle of each academic term. Instructors indicate to undergraduate students how they are progressing in their courses by providing each student with a mid-term grade available in their HUB Student Center. While these are not final grades nor do they predict final grades, an “MU” (Midterm Unsatisfactory) or any grade below a “C” means there may be concerns about attendance, inadequate preparation for class, study skills, adjustment issues or poor performance on tests. Students are encouraged to promptly follow up with their instructors and advisors where performance is less than satisfactory.
Academic Standards Review
To maintain academic standards and determine eligibility for continued enrollment, financial aid, and participation in university activities, the University at Buffalo regularly reviews the academic records of all undergraduate students. This review addresses the quality of the student’s studies as measured by the student’s course grades. An explanation of Academic Good Standing, Academic Warning, Academic Probation, and Academic Dismissal can be found in the undergraduate catalog. Academic review is conducted at the end of each fall and spring semester, in which email notifications are sent to students not making satisfactory progress at this time.
It is important for parents and students to understand how Academic Progress impacts Financial Aid Eligibility.
The university guidelines for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) and eligibility for federal financial aid can be found on the Office of Financial Aid website.
Progress Towards Graduation
The communications sent to students to help them stay on track for graduation include reminders about:
- Meeting with their academic advisor.
- Course registration start, end and resign dates.
- Resolving Holds that may prevent a student from registering for classes.
- Dates to review their mid semester grades in their HUB Student Center.
- Having completed 60 credits to apply to their major.
- Having completed 90 credits and need to file an application for graduation.
In addition to these communications academic advisors check students’ progress towards completing their degree requirements, academic standing (grades), and address any concerns with their academic progress during advising appointments.
Our goal is to help your student be successful at UB. Below are tips to help students get off to a good start and stay on track.
- Attend all classes.
- Are actively engaged in their educational experience.
- Develop good decision making skills including selecting an appropriate major based upon their interests/skills.
- Use the Navigate app to help connect with a full range of UB resources.
- Meet with their academic advisor at least once a semester.
- Know the important dates and deadlines each semester.
- Limit work hours.
- Know how to use UB resources including the Undergraduate Degree & Course Catalog, MyUB, HUB Student Center, and UB Learns.
- Know when to ask for help.
- Strive to complete their college degree in four years.
What is FERPA?
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education. For further information about FERPA review the U.S. Department of Education FERPA Information.
UB complies fully with FERPA and its treatment of student educational records.
Due to FERPA, academic advisors cannot disclose student information unless a student submits a FERPA Information Disclosure Consent Form (UBIT name and password required). A student may also revoke this access at any time by submitting a new form. Further information about FERPA Information Disclosure Consent can be found on the Registrar website.
Communication is Important!
Prior to beginning at UB, parents and students should have an open discussion regarding expectations of students sharing their academic progress/grades reports. It is important for families to make a plan for discussing mid-semester and final grades and to discuss how and when students will share updates about what’s going well, what’s not going well and strategies for success.