Tips for a Successful Appointment

Making the Most of Your Time

Let your advisor know the purpose of your visit so that he/she can be better prepared for your appointment. Your advisor won’t know if you want to discuss class scheduling, research opportunities, preparation for graduate school or something else, unless you tell him or her what’s on your mind.

  • Write down your questions and concerns and bring that list with you to your appointment. Allow room on that sheet for you to write in the answers.
  • Keep a folder with all your “official” papers in it and bring it to advising appointments. Your folder should include material of importance to you and:
    • A copy of important dates (e.g., last day to drop a class without a grade, first date of eligibility for early registration for the upcoming semester).
    • Any worksheets or checklists you and your adviser have been working on. It’s helpful to always have on these sheets a space for the date on which they were most recently updated.
    • Your current degree audit, if available.
    • A current resume that includes classes taken and extracurricular experiences. You would be amazed at how many of the things students do that would make them attractive to a graduate or professional school or to an employer are not included on a resume just because the student forgot about them.

Personal Issues to Consider

  • Consider your outside obligations (work, practice schedules). Don’t try to do too much.
  • What time of the day are you at your best? Can you avoid times of the day when you are less attentive?
  • Note that some classes are only offered at certain times. Prioritize these classes first. In other words, build the rest of your schedule around these classes.
  • Talk to friends about instructors, course formats. They are good sources for this kind of information. Do remember, however, that your friends won’t always like or dislike the style that works for you. Use their opinions while making your own decisions.
  • Consider more than the title of a course. Read the description and be especially careful to note the prerequisites.
  • Think about where classroom buildings are in relation to your other classes. Can you make it on time?
  • Classes can “change” after you register (room location, instructor, writing intensive status). Always check your schedule on myZou before classes start so you have the latest information.

Class Schedule and Registration Appointments

If the purpose of your meeting with your advisor is to discuss degree progress and selection of classes for the upcoming semester, attention to the following list will ensure a more productive discussion.

  • Know the earliest date of your registration eligibility and see your advisor well in advance of that time. Your date and time to register is available in the myZou student center in the “Manage Classes” section.  Click on “Enrollment” in the left navigation menu, then “Enrollment Dates” and select the term to see enrollment dates for that term.
  • Check myZou student center “Notifications” tile and navigate to “Holds” to see if you have any holds on your registration. Do what you need to to remove the hold so you’ll be allowed to register.
  • Develop a list of course possibilities to discuss with your advisor based on your degree requirements, interests, and goals.

Questions for Your Advisor

  • Each major may require specific courses: don’t assume all students need to take the same courses.
  • Keep in mind that there are often several courses that will meet the same requirement. Use the tools/resources your adviser provides to know your options.
  • Be aware of limits (i.e. skills credits, applied courses, courses outside of MU, S/U courses).
  • Know how each course is counting for you (Is it an elective? Is it counting as an upper level humanities?)
  • Don’t take the same course twice. Learn about duplicate credit (did you have dual credit from high school? AP credit?).
  • Always check prerequisites (courses you should have successfully completed before enrolling in another courses) in the course description.
  • Be careful with Writing Intensive (WI) designation. Always check your schedule (available via myZou) just prior to the beginning of the semester because the Writing Intensive (WI) designation can change.
  • Remember the Schedule of Courses gets updated regularly. Check back often to see if new classes/sections are being offered or previously listed classes are cancelled.