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Academic Advising

What is Advising?Advising and YouStatement on DisabilitiesFAQs

What is Academic Advising?

Academic advising is an educational process that, by intention and design, facilitates students’ understanding of the meaning and purpose of higher education and fosters their intellectual and personal development toward academic success and lifelong learning (NACADA, 2004). Academic advising should be ongoing throughout your college career. It helps you to clarify your personal, educational and career goals and to understand how your courses fit into your goals for the future.

How Do I Get My advisor?


Declared Majors

  • Your Primary Advisor is a faculty or departmental advisor within your school or college
  • Your Secondary Advisor (for major exploration and additional support) is within University College

Additional Advising Programs for Specific Student Populations

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Advising and You

At the core of advising lies the fact that there are aspects of life you need to learn to do on your own – this is one of the ways in which your educational environment has changed. Unlike any other time in your educational career, your courses are not given to you, your schedules are not built for you and you are not told what it is you are going to study. Rather, you are given the responsibility and authority to decide and execute all of these things on your own, with academic advisors as your mentors and guides.

Academic advising, when done well, is a shared experience – a trust-based relationship in which you and your academic advisor both bear some responsibility.

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Statement on Disabilities

Any student with a documented physical, sensory, psychological or learning disability requiring academic accommodations should make arrangements through the Disability Resource Center (Webster Hall, Rooms 100, 973-655-5431).

Unlike in high school, you must self-disclose your disability and begin this dialogue with the DRC – they will not approach you first to discuss accommodations.

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Advising Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I’m taking the right classes?

Your Degree Audit (Degree Works), found in NEST, tells you what classes you still need to complete in order to fill your General Education requirements, majors, minors and certificate programs. This essential document can seem intimidating at first but don’t ignore it! If you need help understanding it, talk to your advisor.

Where do I go if I have AP credits and/or transfer credits that I need to be evaluated?

You can bring an official copy of your transcript or score sheet to Red Hawk Central, located next to the Panzer Athletic Center.

Where can I find a description of a class?

The University Catalog of Courses in NEST has descriptions of all the classes offered at Montclair State.

Where can I find IMPORTANT deadlines for students?

The important deadlines for students are located on the Important Dates page.

What’s a major and am I required to have one?

A major is the primary focus of your academic career. Majors can range from 33 to 94 credits. At least one major is required, and you may have the option of declaring two majors.

What’s a minor and am I required to have one?

A minor is a series of classes you want to focus on, but on a smaller scale than your major. Minors range from 18 to 24 credits. Minors are NOT required. You may be able to declare more than one minor, if interested.

How do I register for next semester?

As a first-year student, it is mandatory that you meet with your faculty/departmental advisor (if declared major) or with your University College advisor (if pre-major) prior to registration to plan your schedule for the following semester. You will also receive a Registration/Alternate PIN that will allow access to registration.

What are prerequisites and co-requisites?

Prerequisites are classes or other requirements necessary to complete BEFORE taking another class. For example, you must take WRIT 105: College Writing I, before taking WRIT 106: College Writing II.

A co-requisite course is a class you must take AT THE SAME TIME as another class. For example, EAES 201: Understanding Weather and Climate, has a listed co-requisite of either WRIT 105: College Writing I, or HONP 100: Honors Seminar in Great Books. You can figure out whether a class has a pre- or co-requisite in the University Catalog of Courses found in NEST.

Confused? Just talk to your advisor and they can walk you through it all.

How do I withdraw from classes?

Students will be permitted to withdraw courses through NEST with a WD through the ninth week of the semester. Even if you have a hold on your account, you may still WD from a course by going to Red Hawk Central, located next to the Panzer Athletic Center.

How do I get an “IN” (incomplete) for my course/s?

In order to receive an “IN” for a course, you need to discuss your situation and reasoning with your professor. Your professor makes the final decision. If approved, you both must complete an Incomplete Contract. In most cases, incomplete coursework must be completed within six weeks after grades have been posted.

A class I need is closed! What should I do?

Depending on the situation, a number of options may be available to you. If no seats are available in any section of the class, you may be able to ask the professor of a section for a “permit.” This will allow you to register for the course even though it is full. Alternately, you may be able to choose another required class and wait to take that particular class another semester. Finally, it is recommended that you keep checking NEST – this class may open as students change their schedules or drop courses.

I have a problem with my final grade. How do I advocate for myself?

Faculty typically have the final say about grades in their classroom and the grading structure in the class is detailed in the course syllabus. If you think the professor miscalculated a grade, take a look at our formal Grade Grievance Procedure.

First, you must try to work it out directly with your professor. If this doesn’t work, further steps and options are available to you. Your advisor can help you figure out what to say if you are unsure how to address your professor about this issue.