Theatre majors are advised by members of the theatre faculty. As soon as you declare your Theatre Major, a departmental advisor is assigned to you. The University requires you to meet with that academic advisor once a semester until you have 30 credits, and once a year after that. Beyond that, how often you meet with your advisor is entirely up to you. During your meetings, you and your advisor will discuss course selection for the upcoming semester, plan for future semesters, review all College and Department requirements, and consider post-graduation plans. Your advisor’s job is to help you make an academic plan – they are not there to make that plan for you. At the end of the day, YOU are responsible for making sure you are taking the courses you need to graduate, and that you are getting the most from your university experience. That being said, your advisor will be of great assistance to you in laying out your plan, addressing problems, identifying opportunities, and negotiating the complexities of the system.
To make the best use of your academic advisor, do the following:
- Schedule your required appointment with your advisor at least 1 week before your registration date. (You can find your registration date on your My UTK page.) Don’t wait until the end of the semester, or the classes you want will be full.
- Come prepared with an idea of what you would like to do for the next several semesters, including thoughts about special projects or semesters abroad. You would do well to have a draft plan sketched out in writing.
- Get familiar with your DARS (Degree Audit Reporting System) and visit it often. This is your best tool to avoid those painful, senior year surprises: “What do you mean I need three more social science credits or I can’t graduate this term?”
You have a choice about how to use your advisor. You can choose to go to your advisor only when you need to be cleared for registration. In that case, your advisor will check your DARS, make sure there are no red flags for graduation, and send you on your way. Alternatively, you can choose to share your specific interests, dreams, and post-graduation goals with your advisor. In that case, s/he will be much better able to help you devise a unique path to meet those interests and achieve those goals. If you give your advisor an opportunity to get to know you as an individual, the advice you will get from them will likely be more useful.
The Department of Theatre is committed to making a student’s experience as a theatre major personalized and rewarding. Students should not hesitate to contact their advisors.
Questions about departmental advising should go to Casey Sams, Director of Undergraduate Studies: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also visit the College of Arts and Sciences Advising Website