Honors Advising and You

The Campuswide Honors advising system is an important resource for honors students, but it is up to you to use it to fullest advantage. It is designed to provide a comprehensive support network for all students in the Collegium. Within Honors, there are four full-time Honors advisors and four Honors Peer Academic Advisors (PAAs) available for appointments or drop-in advising in the Student Excellence Center, 508 Science Library. They are the experts on Honors. The full-time advisor are available for walk-in or scheduled appointments M-F 9-4. Office hours for the peer advisors change each quarter and a schedule is posted on the peer advisors’ office door, on their website, and on bulletin boards outside the Honors office and by the Locus. Please watch the video Meet Your 2021 – 2022 PAAs! for a message from the PAAs.

For major- or school-specific concerns, each academic unit (i.e., Soc Sci, Humanities, Bio Sci) has a designated Honors counselor as part of its advising unit, as well as its own peer academic advisors. A few schools also assign faculty advisors to their lower-division students. Faculty teaching in Honors classes may also sometimes function informally as faculty advisors. And, when a student’s research experience begins, their research advisor will become an additional faculty advisor/mentor. It is important to get to know the Honors advisors, your Honors peer advisors, and your school Honors advisor, and to develop a working relationship with them. Together, they know UCI’s policies and procedures, resources, and opportunities. They are aware of the graduation requirements for each school and major, and can assist with curriculum planning, problem-solving, referrals, and recommendations. Please see the page Strategies for Success from Honors Advisors & Faculty for helpful tips from Honors advisors and faculty for succeeding at UCI.

Because Honors students have priority enrollment during the initial enrollment period, they should get into the classes they need, as long as they meet the prerequisites for the courses and register on time. Honors students are strongly encouraged to meet with their honors advisor and school advisor at least once a year; winter or spring quarter is a good time for this. Also, if you are filing a petition or substantially revising your academic plan, then you must meet with them.

Campuswide Honors, the schools, and other campus offices (such as the Division of Career Pathways) also offer an array of services, events, and workshops you will find helpful. These include career and job fairs, assistance with career exploration, and workshops on topics such as how and when to apply to graduate and professional schools, test preparation, interview practice, how to get strong faculty letters of recommendation, and how to prepare a high-caliber personal essay/statement of purpose.

Please remember… NOTHING is automatic at UCI. Your academic success depends to a great extent on the priorities you set in place, the decisions you make, and the resources and opportunities you utilize. You have the sole responsibility for your academic records and must initiate all adds, drops, or changes to your class schedule and transcript. You are also responsible for knowing the policies, procedures, requirements, and important dates and deadlines which apply to you. “No one told me” will not work here; you are responsible for knowing or double checking things with the appropriate sources. Deadlines, requirements, and policies do vary from major to major and school to school. They may also sometimes differ from what is listed online. For example, deadlines and policies are included on WebSOC and in the General Catalogue, the Registrar’s Office website, and your school’s website. Ask if you are not sure which is correct or relevant. Some specific information about your responsibilities as a student at UCI and in Honors is included on the page Nothing is Automatic.

School academic advisors are here to help with questions dealing with major and program planning. They also know about their school’s honors programs, honor societies, major related student organizations, internship and scholarship opportunities, interesting faculty research, who you might talk to about research and graduate opportunities, campus resources, and much more. We hope you will take the time to get to know them. Avoid the rush times (first, second, sixth, eighth, and ninth weeks of each quarter are particularly busy), and make appointments in advance whenever possible. Try sending an email to them first, outlining what you need, and remember to mention that you are a Honors student when making an appointment. Always notify the appropriate staff/faculty person IN ADVANCE if you are unable to show up for a scheduled appointment. And please do not expect that advisors and faculty can or will drop everything for you at the last minute. They won’t, so plan ahead!

Good luck in your studies here at UCI! These can be the most exciting, challenging, and productive years of your life. If you have any questions/problems, or just want to say hi, come see us. We also respond to e-mail and phone calls.