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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:

  • Developing an academic plan
  • Selecting courses
  • Understanding policies and procedures
  • Enhancing your UMD experience through study abroad, internships, career exploration, etc.
  • Exploring UMD resources and extracurricular opportunities that promote social and emotional growth
  • Reviewing registration blocks

Scheduling an Advising Appointment

You can schedule an appointment with our academic advisors, email or call 301-405-2370

Walk-in Advising Hours

Quick questions, concerns and updates can also be handled during walk-in advising hours:

Advising Policies

School of Public Policy students are expected to complete the General Education Fundamental Studies Math and Academic Writing requirements within the first 30 credits at the University. Failure to complete this requirement will result in a registration block and you will be directed to the Office of the Registrar to register in person.

Advising is mandatory and you should not wait until the last minute to schedule your appointments. The midpoint of the semester is a good time to check in with your advisor regarding course planning. Notification of early registration will be sent out by the Office of the Registrar, but it is your responsibility to find your specific registration appointment time and date by logging on to Testudo.

Advising appointments are scheduled to last 20 minutes. This is to allow enough time for discovery, designing and implementing through intentional conversation. You are encouraged to drive the conversation by bringing a list of topics or issues you would like to discuss.

Exception to Academic Policy Requests

If you would like to request an exception for one of the below criteria, click on the corresponding form.

Academic Exception Form - Level 1

  • Register with credit overload
  • Concurrent enrollment
  • Repeat course at another institution
  • Register for restricted course
  • Permission to drop/withdraw

Academic Exception Form - Level 2

  • Register with a time conflict
  • Drop after withdraw period
  • Drop after schedule adjustment (without a "W")
  • Drop more than one course
  • Drop required English or Math
  • Register after schedule adjustment
  • Register for course third time
  • Register for graduate-level course


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