The best questions to ask your academic advisor

January 03, 2023 · 4 min read · By ASU Online
Need answers about enrollment, classes, graduation and more? Here are some of the best questions to ask your academic advisor during your college journey.

Your academic advisor is an important part of your college support system. They're there to help you chart your academic path, overcome any obstacles to learning and celebrate your successes as you pursue your education.

From the moment you’re enrolled at ASU Online, you'll be assigned an academic advisor through your degree program. Here's all the information you need to connect and the list of best questions to ask your academic advisor.


Your academic advisor's role in your educational journey

Though you might meet more frequently, it's important to set up a virtual meeting with your academic advisor before the start of each semester.

ASU Online offers thousands of courses. While selecting the right courses for your learning goals might seem daunting, your academic advisor is there to help you understand, plan for and select each semester's classes to ensure you cross all major requirements off your to-do list so you can graduate on time.

Additionally, your advisor can provide a comprehensive overview of your education and suggest useful courses you might not have considered. They can also assist you with choosing a major concentration, if your major offers one, minors and electives.

The ASU Online student services team is ready to help you succeed

ASU Online students receive personalized support from a variety of specialized team members. While your academic advisor may not be the one to assist you with a certain question, they can connect you with the right member of the student services team, such as your success coach (and vice versa).

They can also connect you with the Success Coaching Center, which offers individual coaching sessions on stress and time management, career exploration and more. They can connect with you via phone calls, text, email, Zoom and Slack.

Helping you set your pace and achieve your goals

Attending higher education online provides you with the ability to learn at your own pace, on a schedule that best fits your lifestyle. Your advisor will take the time to listen to your goals and understand how your studies fit in with your other commitments and responsibilities.

Beyond the basics, your academic advisor can help you strategically stagger the most time- and energy-consuming courses to ensure you're not stretched too thin during a given semester. If you have a job, or are a parent or caregiver, your advisor can guide you so that, while your coursework may be challenging, you can still keep up with life's demands.

As you progress in your degree program, you can turn to your advisor for tips and guidance as you prepare for midterms and final exams and as you begin looking for internships to gain work experience in your field.


Helpful questions to ask your academic advisor

The Arizona State University advising staff encourages students to ask as many questions as they need. As you prepare for a meeting with your academic advisor, consider asking these helpful questions to guide you towards success.

Course questions

  • Are there any courses I can take that will help me fulfill two areas at once (“double dip”)?
  • Are there any required prerequisite courses I should be planning to take for my minor or major?
  • If I want to graduate by a certain date, what's the best plan to get me there?
  • How would adding a minor or certificate fit into my degree plan?
  • What is the process to add a minor/certificate?
  • How do I find out how many elective credits I need?

General academic questions

  • What is the academic calendar and how do I access it?
  • What academic success resources are available to me?
  • What is a general elective credit?
  • What is the difference between a lower and upper division course?
  • How can I find general studies class options in the class search?

ASU extracurricular questions

  • Are there any student organizations that align with my major that I can get involved with?
  • Is there an internship required for my degree? 
  • How do I find an internship?
  • When and how should I start planning for an internship? 
  • How can I prepare for an internship?
  • When and how should I start planning to study abroad, and do I have courses that can be fulfilled that way?

Advising process questions

  • How often should I meet with you as my advisor?
  • What is my responsibility in the advising process?
  • In addition to my scheduled appointments, are there additional advising opportunities?

Students who are further along in their college career might ask questions such as:

  • I am feeling overwhelmed by courses and it's affecting my mental health. What are my options and resources now and how can I build a more balanced schedule next semester?
  • I am not doing well in a course — what are my options?
  • Is my goal of graduating by my chosen date realistic, based on my current pace?


Marching toward graduation and beyond

As you head into the final semester of your program, your advisor will verify that you've completed all the requirements needed to graduate. Together, you can brainstorm your next steps, whether that means furthering education or applying for jobs within your field. Throughout your academic career, your academic advisor is here to listen, encourage and guide you.

If your academic advisor hasn't yet reached out to you directly, log into My ASU and click on "Academic Advising" in the Academic Support Team box to get connected.

The first-year checklist for online college students

Heading into your first year of online courses? Take a look at our top tips on how to prepare for a successful semester.


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