Office of Academic Advising
364 Oregon Hall
The University of Oregon offers undergraduate students a choice of more than 2,000 courses. Out of these courses individualized programs emerge, reflecting each student’s special interests, goals, and aspirations. Translating these goals and interests into courses, majors, and minors requires careful planning. For this reason, students must seek the assistance of academic advisors and may not complete their first term’s registration without discussing options with an advisor.
The importance of program planning cannot be overemphasized. A sound academic program indicates a growing intellectual maturity and sharpening of focus. A poorly planned program demonstrates the lack of clear direction.
The faculty advisor provides the student with an intellectual framework in which intelligent planning and decision-making can be completed, so students are strongly urged to consult advisors regularly. The university considers advising an extension of teaching and regards it as a primary responsibility of faculty members, who schedule time each term especially for advising.
Students who have declared majors are assigned to faculty advisors in their departments. The Office of Academic Advising coordinates advising for students who have not declared majors and for those interested in law and health professions. See also Academic Advising under Undergraduate Studies in the Academic Resources section of this catalog.
General Principles in Program Planning
- To earn a degree in four years (twelve terms), students should average 15 credits a term. In planning a term’s studies, students should anticipate that each credit requires at least three hours a week for class meetings or homework
- Each term’s schedule should be planned to include the university bachelor’s degree requirements and requirements for the major. Major requirements are listed in this catalog under the academic department headings. Students who have not selected a major should spend some time exploring possible majors
- Students should read the course descriptions in this catalog and the notes in the class schedule to learn course pre- or corequisites
- Many university major disciplines and courses require competence in mathematics. Mathematics should be started in the first year
- A second language, whether required or elective, should also be started in the first year if possible. Students planning to study abroad on an international exchange program during the sophomore or junior year should achieve competence in a language early
- Each student should prepare a four-year model program of courses and discuss the program with the assigned departmental faculty advisor
- New students might want to explore some special curricular programs: Freshman Interest Groups, Transfer Seminars, Freshman Seminars, College Scholars, and Faculty Perspective Seminars. These programs should be investigated early in the first year
- Sound planning is necessary to design a program that combines courses demanding extensive reading, daily exercises, laboratory work, and lengthy papers
- Planning might also include the use of university resources for improving skills in reading, computation, note taking, test taking, and writing
Academic Majors, Minors, and Careers
University of Oregon undergraduate students must complete at least one academic major to graduate. A minor is another way to focus studies toward career and interest areas. Inquiries about minors should be directed to specific departments. Faculty advisors in the respective departments are the best sources of information about majors and minors.
The Professional Distinctions program provides a focused academic skill area that complements the major through an internship, development of a professional résumé, and special workshops. This program is described in the introduction to the College of Arts and Sciences.
Hendricks Hall, Second Floor
Setting clear and achievable goals for the college years is very important. In addition to selecting a major before the end of the second year and participating in internships or volunteer work, it is also important to identify the skills and the knowledge you are interested in strengthening and creating a plan to achieve that goal.
Identifying a Career
Although the availability of employment is important in choosing majors and careers, it should not be the only consideration. Students should determine if their strengths are being used and developed in the major field they have chosen and if their interests lie in that field. Assistance in determining both strengths and interests is available to students from a variety of sources at the Career Center.
Career Assessment Program. The program uses inventories to clarify interests, skills, work-related values, and work environment preferences. A counselor interprets the results.
Gathering Career Information
Students can find information about careers in the following resources:
Career Resource Area. The career resource area has information on a multitude of career areas organized for easy exploration. The Career Center’s website provides links to career resources and opportunities, internships, and full- and part-time jobs.
Career Connections Program. This career exploration course is a unique opportunity for students to be meet with professionals in career fields of interest to the student. Through informational interviews and networking opportunities, students learn about the job and gather advice about how to succeed in the field. The course also addresses résumé and cover letter writing and interviewing.
Go Intern! Program. This program (formerly the Career Development Internship Program) offers students academic credit for engaging in supervised, preprofessional, career-related learning experiences. Students gain professional experience, develop skills, explore career fields, and contribute to the goals of their internship site, all while earning credit.
Career Fairs and Events. The Career Center brings representatives from local, national, and international companies and organizations to career and internship fairs throughout the academic year. Attending career fairs, employer presentations, and industry panels can clarify for students specifics about potential careers and employer expectations.
Workshops. Career Center workshops are available to students and alumni. Topics include résumés and cover letters, interview skills, and choosing a major, among others. Dates and times are posted on the Career Center website.
Direct involvement in a part-time job, class project, internship, or practicum can provide insight into potential careers. These experiences strengthen skills, improve employment potential, and help to confirm career direction. The Career Center can help students to facilitate these experiences.