Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need an advisor?

Prior to registering for classes, students must meet with their academic advisor to ensure that they're taking courses that fulfill their requirements. If you wish to register online, you must receive a registration PIN from your advisor.

Besides assisting you with course registration and planning, academic advisors are able to assist when you have questions about academic policies and procedures; or when you need help locating other helpful resources on campus.

Why should I go to the Academic Advisement Center and what can the advisors in the Academic Advisement Center do for me?

Often, students come to Western uncertain about what major they want to explore, so they are matriculated as "Exploratory Studies Students." If you have not yet declared a major area of study, you are considered an "Exploratory Studies Student," and you can drop by the Academic Advisement Center in Higgins Hall 214 or call 203-837-8397 to make an appointment to meet with one of the professional staff advisors.

 The professional staff advisors in the Academic Advisement Center are available to:

    • Assist you in selecting and registering for courses that meet both general education requirements and allow you to explore various fields of study that may help you decide upon a major area of study
    • Provide accurate and up-to-date information about programs and services as well as policies and procedures at the University
    • Assist students in assessing academic strengths and interests that will lead to the declaration of a major
    • Refer you to other academic departments and university services

Do I have to do anything before I see my advisor? Is there anything I should bring with me?

Because successful academic advisement depends upon the relationship between you and your advisor, you should:

  • Make an appointment to see your advisor when you have questions or need assistance. Appointments ensure that the advisor is available and that s/he can devote a block of time entirely to you
  • Arrive on time to your appointments with your advisor. If you cannot keep your appointment, call to reschedule.
  • Bring your program sheet, a recent copy of your transcript and a list of any questions you may have. Being prepared will save time for both you and your advisor.

When and how should I make an appointment to see my advisor?

You should make an appointment to see your academic advisor when you want to plan for your next semester, when you have questions about academic policies and procedures, or when you need help locating other helpful resources on campus. And a few words of advice: Don't wait until the last minute to schedule an appointment. If you plan ahead, you will have more choices of required courses available to you, and you will be far less stressed out! Also, you can be sure that your advisor will have time to devote to you and your concerns.

You can make an appointment with your advisor in three ways: by phone, via email and/or in person.
What is a "program sheet"? How do I get one?

All matriculated students should have a program sheet, which outlines courses you must take to fulfill your academic requirements. As you take courses at the university, you and your advisor will work with the program sheet to indicate your progress and determine which requirements you still need to fulfill. Think of your program sheet as a “roadmap” towards your academic goals.

Students should have received a program sheet from the Admissions Office if they transferred credits to Western from another school. This program sheet will indicate courses that will be taken at Western and those already completed.

If you are new to Western, you may pick up a blank program sheet in the Admissions Office, department chair’s office, faculty advisor’s office, Registrar’s Office or at the Academic Advisement Center.
How can I get a copy of my transcript?

You can get an unofficial copy of your transcript by logging onto Click on “Student Services” and then “Academic Transcript” to download your records. An official copy of your academic transcript can be obtained through a written request from the Registrar’s Office. Please log on to, for more information

Do I have to see my advisor to register for classes, even if I know what I want to take?

Yes. You must schedule an appointment to see your advisor prior to registration to ensure that you’re taking courses that fulfill your requirements. Also, you will need your advisor’s signature on a course selection card or your advisor’s PIN for online registration.

Can I just call the Academic Advisement Center and get my registration PIN over the phone, or stop by and pick it up?

Sorry - Advisors can't simply hand out PIN's prior to a consultation regarding your course schedule. Although, ultimately, you are responsible for your own educational decisions, it is the advisor's obligation to help you stay on the right track.

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