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Undergraduate Advising

Prospective Students

This page includes information for current public policy students. Explore our undergraduate programs.

Your Guide to Academic Advising

Advising helps you maximize your undergraduate experience through a journey of exploration that leads to transformation and informed decision-making about academic and extracurricular opportunities. It is an ongoing process that takes a holistic approach to helping you discover your educational, career and social goals. After goal-setting, we assist you in designing a meaningful action plan. Advising is the collaboration and responsibility of both student and advisor. In the School of Public Policy, advising is mandatory, so you are required to schedule at least one advising appointment per semester. As the first point of contact, you are encouraged to meet with an advisor regularly to help navigate the University and answer any questions that may arise along the way.

Some topics you may want to discuss with your advisor are:

  • Discovering and assessing your educational, career and personal values
  • Setting goals aligned with your values
  • Designing an academic plan to achieve your goals and selecting courses
  • Enhancing your journey through experiential learning (study abroad, internships, research, etc.)
  • Exploring UMD resources and extracurricular opportunities that promote social and emotional growth
  • Understanding policies and procedures
  • Reviewing and removing registration blocks

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Our Advising Team

Declare a Major/Minor

After exploring the Public Policy Major, students who are ready to declare can do so by initiating a change/add of major in TerpsEngage and then by scheduling an appointment with one of our advisors. We also encourage students to explore and declare our minors in Sustainability, Public Leadership, and Nonprofit Leadership & Social Innovation.


As a student, you can expect your academic advisor to:

  • Carefully listen to your questions, thoughts, and concerns
  • Act as an advocate who connects you to other campus resources and services
  • Respect your confidentiality and promote a safe environment to meet any academic, motivational, social and financial challenges to success
  • Track your progress and communicate when it does not meet program/major expectations
  • Respond to you within 24 hours during the work week Monday-Friday by email or phone

As a student, your academic advisor expects you to:

  • Come to advising sessions with an open-mind
  • Accept responsibility for your personal and academic decisions
  • Arrive to appointments on time and be prepared to discuss your academic and personal goals, interests and concerns (if you are 10 minutes late, you may be asked to reschedule).
  • Bring copies of relevant documents (i.e. general education checklist) to discuss with your advisor
  • Be proactive, don’t wait for your advisor to reach out