What Advising Is
You still might be unsure about what advising actually is. But let's start with what advising isn't:
- Advising isn't course selection. While registration and course selection is something we'll help you with, it's only a tiny piece of the conversation.
- Advisors aren't guidance counselors. In high school, you probably had a guidance counselor. And maybe your guidance counselor made a schedule for you, or told you exactly what classes to take and when to take them. College is different. Here, you get to make those decisions. But you have an advisor teaching you how to make those choices.
- Advisors won't register you for classes. Nor should you want us to. You get to register online so you can build a schedule that works best for you.
- Advisors don't know the answer to every question. But we'll definitely help you find the right answer by directing you to the right person or office.
Now, here's what advising is:
- Advising is teaching. Advisors are here to educate you about Suffolk university, and about making the most of your college experience.
- Advising is a process. In order to give you good advice, we need to get to know you. And that means engaging in productive conversations and developing a rapport so that we can learn about you and you can trust our advice.
- Advising is planning. A big part of our job is helping you to create your best possibly pathway to graduation. And that means more than just course planning. It means figuring out how to choose a major, where to study abroad, or how to balance work, school, and life successfully.
- Advising is a partnership. We won't make decisions for you, but we will help you figure out how to make the decision yourself. We know you're faced with tons of choices every day. We'll help you create the path that's best for you.
- Advising is your responsibility, too. We can't force you to visit your advisor. And why would we want to? Instead, we want to educate you about why advising should be a key part of your academic experience.
What We Do
As academic advisors, our role is to guide you through your academic journey. We do this by listening, engaging in conversation, answering your questions, and helping you design a plan that incorporates your academic, personal, and extra-curricular goals.
And remember, we're here to help. So here are some of the things we'll help you with.
More About Advising
If you're struggling in a course, have general concerns about your academic performance, or are worried about your progress toward graduation, schedule an appointment with an advisor to discuss ways to get back on track. And, if you're thinking about dropping or withdrawing from any courses, visit us first.
We will help you map out your degree requirements, semester-by-semester, to make sure you are on track for graduation. We will also help you plan for course sequencing issues, semesters studying abroad, internship opportunities, and part-time jobs.
College is the first step toward building your professional resume and preparing your for a career.
We will help you navigate your academic experience at Suffolk, while also building your personal and professional resume and connecting you with campus resources.
A few suggestions to help you get started:
- Try clubs and organizations that will complement your interests or help you test careers options.
- Review the Career Development Center's website for great Job Search Resources.
- Participate in the Job Shadowing program.
- Conduct Informational Interviews with professionals in a field that interests you to learn about the profession first-hand.
- Attend on campus Career Fairs to meet and set up interviews with potential employers and test out your networking skills.
If you are interested in getting a jump on graduate school or accelerating your undergraduate degree, learn more about the combined undergraduate/graduate degree programs offered at Suffolk.
Interested in a career in law, healthcare, or any other post-graduate opportunity? Our pre-professional advising can help put you on the right track.
Major and Minor Exploration
We know that choosing a major can stressful, challenging, and often confusing. But it doesn't have to be. If you are undecided about your major, start by have a conversation with an advisor. We can discuss with you the best ways to explore the different majors available at Suffolk. Also, check out these steps to help you get started.
Change of Major, Minor, or Advisor
Thinking about changing your major? Have a conversation with an advisor about making this change and how this will affect your degree requirements and graduation timeline.
To officially make the change, complete the Change of Major form [PDF] and submit it to your NEW major department (example: If you are changing your major to Accounting, bring this form to the Accounting department).
Double majors are more structured and require more planning. If you are double majoring, or you are thinking about adding a double major, set up a planning appointment with an advisor to discuss your options and graduation timeline.
Registration is only a tiny piece of the advising conversation, but we understand that it can sometimes be stressful. The best way to make registration a stress-free experience is to plan ahead.
- Meet with your academic advisor to plan your upcoming semester schedule.
- Check the academic calendar to see when 'Pre-registration Schedule Building' begins.
- Create a wishlist on your MySuffolk portal.
- Have a back-up plan in case your first choice classes fill up.
- Resolve any registration restrictions that might block you from registering.
- Check your MySuffolk portal for your assigned registration day and time.
Registering for Excess Credits
If you're hoping to take more than the maximum credits allowed per semester, fill out the online excess course petition form to let us know why. You may be required to meet with an academic advisor to discuss your request.
- Fall and Spring Sessions: students may take up to 17 credits as part of a normal full-time course load.
- Summer Sessions: students may take a maximum of 16 credits during the entirety of a summer semester, but may not exceed 8 credits in any one or combination of the following sets of summer modules: Module A, Module 1, and Module 3; or Module A, Module 2, and Module 3.
Taking Courses at Another University (& Transferring the Credits)
If you're hoping to take courses at another university during the summer or winter session, fill out this online request form to let us know where and why. You may be required to meet with an academic advisor to discuss your request.
Participating in a travel experience is a great way to explore different cultures and add a new area of interest to your resume.
- Start the Conversation: Talk to an academic advisor if you're interested in studying abroad. We'll help you figure out if and when travel will fit best with your academic program.
- Understand the Basics: Attend a study abroad info session to learn important application information.
- Choose a Destination: Decide where you want to go.
- Start the Application: Meet with a study abroad advisor to discuss the application process one-on-one.
- Choose the Courses: Schedule an appointment with an academic advisor to figure out which courses you'll take abroad, and how those courses will transfer back.
Choosing your study abroad courses often requires multiple appointments so start the process early. The study abroad application can take awhile but it's worth the work.
We encourage you to begin planning early for your summer break. You can take classes here at Suffolk to accelerate your degree progress, or to catch up with your coursework, if you fell behind.
Speak to an advisor about making the most of your summer break.
There are all different kinds of transfer credit.
You may have transfer credit from tests you took in high school (Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate), or from courses you took at a different university or while studying abroad. Transfer credits don't affect your G.P.A., but they do affect your graduation timeline.
- If you transferred from a different university, meet with an advisor to discuss how your credits transferred to Suffolk and how these credits will apply to your Suffolk degree.
- If you're a freshman, you may also have transfer credits. Bring these questions to your advisor to make sure you're getting credit for everything.