Academic Advising

Build connections through conversations about your experience, learning and goals.

Knowing  that you have an academic adviser dedicated to your progress and success can sometimes be just the reassurance you need to get engaged, reach out, think differently and feel connected. Your adviser is here to provide you with guidance and support to make sure you are making the most out of your experience at University!

You and your adviser will first meet in your second semester of undergraduate study, and continue to connect throughout each semester.

Why is academic advising important?

Navigating the opportunities and challenges of university can be a lot to think about on your own. Advising meetings are a space for you to share your thoughts on your current university journey with someone who’s been there. Many of you have told us that you want to connect with an academic staff member in your faculty to share ideas, talk about your goals and passions, and work through any challenges. That’s exactly what academic advising is for.

What are the benefits of having an academic adviser?

Your academic adviser will get to know you across the course of your degree, which means that you can:

  • Build a support network with your adviser so you know who to turn to when you need help and where to find specialist resources relevant to you
  • Develop a relationship with someone who is a leader in their field and can inspire you to think differently about yourself and the world
  • Share your university journey and experiences with someone interested in your progress
  • Identify co-curricular opportunities, activities and events to grow and develop your skills, knowledge and networks
  • Gain insights into future career paths and plans that will help you decide what you want to do next
  • Evaluate your personal interests and abilities so you can plan your degree effectively

What do students have to say?

Photo of Yiping

“My adviser is the most encouraging and supportive person. They are always there to listen, and navigating my studies and life at university is a lot easier with their guidance.”

– Yiping, Bachelor of Biomedicine

Photo of Liam

“The meetings were really insightful, and it was great to get a different perspective on my current situation, future plans and learn about the resources and options available to me at university.”

– Liam, Bachelor of Commerce

Photo of Ann-Vu

“I love participating in the Academic Advising Program! It's great to know that you have someone willing to support you all throughout your university career.”

– Ann-Vu, Bachelor of Arts

Who is my academic adviser?

Meet an adviser: Alex Andrianopoulos

Meet an adviser: Alex Andrianopoulos

G'day fellow thinkers. Looking forward to catching up and discussing science, careers, politics, music or whatever you like. I'm a geneticist who studies a pathogenic fungus that infects humans. Happy to help in any way I can.

Your academic adviser will be an academic member of staff from your course, such as a lecturer or professor with experience in teaching and undertaking world-class research in their field. As you complete your meetings, your academic adviser will become a friendly face on campus, someone you can call on for advice, or even ask for a reference at the end of your degree.

Once you have been paired with an adviser in your first year, you will receive both an email and a notification on my.unimelb with some information about their field of expertise and their role at the University.

What will I talk about with my adviser?

In meetings with your adviser, you can talk about whatever you like!  When you and your adviser meet each semester, you’re not limited to just discussing set or formal topics, like your current studies. You can set the agenda to whatever suits your needs, as you get to know your adviser. If you’re not sure what to talk about, reflecting on these questions will help you focus your conversation:

  • How are you finding your studies (enjoyable, challenging, inspiring)?
  • Are you finding university to be what you expected it to be?
  • Do you feel settled here, in class, amongst your peers and your teaching staff?
  • What are your personal interests and passions, and have you been pursuing these at university?
  • Do you feel like you are making the most of your time at university, or are there still things you want to get involved in?
  • Do you have an idea of where you want your studies to take you?

When, where and how will I meet my academic adviser?

Your first meeting with your academic adviser will be in the second semester of your first year at University. Your meetings will be one-to-one with your adviser and will be held on campus or online. After this, you will have meetings for the next three semesters.

Booking your meetings

Selecting your meeting time is a great way to plan out your semester in advance and work around other commitments you may have.

If you are in your first semester at uni and you can’t decide on a time or miss the booking period – don’t worry! We’ll choose a time for you, based on your adviser’s availability. You can always reschedule or cancel this via the Academic Advising page in my.unimelb if you can’t attend or if something unexpected comes up.

If you are in your third, fourth, fifth semester, you will need to book your own meeting to attend Academic Advising.

To book a meeting:

Your first advising meeting

You will start your academic advising meetings in the second semester of your first year. Think of your first meeting as a friendly and casual introduction to a new colleague in your academic space. Here, you can discuss anything you like – you may want to use your first meeting to reflect on your university experience so far and discuss what’s been working (or not!), as well as explore strategies for success with your adviser. If you’re unsure on what to discuss, check out the suggestions above.

After your first meeting

Congratulations on completing your first year at University! Your second year is a pivotal opportunity to refresh, rethink and refocus on what’s important to you. Your adviser can be a great sounding board for you as you make decisions about what areas of study really excite you, what’s not quite what you thought it would be, how you really want to spend your time, and what skills, networks and knowledge you want to develop.

Frequently asked questions

  • How will I know who my academic adviser is?

    Academic advisers come from a range of academic divisions, including faculties, graduate schools and research institutes. Academic advising is linked to a specific undergraduate degree program, so your adviser will be a lecturer, professor or researcher from the same, or similar, discipline to your area of study. Your faculty will take care of the matching process for you and provide information via email and the Academic Advising page in my.unimelb.

  • I have never met with an academic outside the classroom before – what if I feel nervous?

    It’s natural to feel a little nervous when meeting someone for the first time. Academic advisers are excited to work with you, to help you to feel connected and supported through your degree. They have all been students, just like you, and have navigated some of the challenges of the university environment. While the classroom is central to your experience at Melbourne, meeting an academic outside this setting is a great opportunity to learn from them beyond the usual tutorial experience, and for you to share your own experiences and knowledge with them.

  • How will I know when to meet with my academic adviser?

    You will meet your adviser for the first time in the second semester of your first year. You will schedule your first meeting with your adviser using the booking system in my.unimelb! You will then receive confirmation via email of when and where this  meeting will take place and you will also be able to see it on the Academic Advising page in my.unimelb.

    After your first meeting, you will meet with your adviser once per semester for the rest of your degree. You will receive an email at the start of each semester instructing you to book a time for the advising meeting that doesn’t clash with your lectures and tutorials or other personal commitments.  Once you complete the booking, details of the meeting will be confirmed via an email. Meeting details will also be available on the Academic Advising page in my.unimelb and visible on MyTimetable

  • What will we talk about?

    These meetings are spaces to have honest and open conversations with your adviser about really anything you like! It’s a great opportunity to share your experiences and reflect on your student journey. To give you an idea, here are some topics that you could discuss:

    • How you are adjusting to life at the University of Melbourne
    • How to make the most out of your university experience and the opportunities that are available to you beyond the classroom
    • University services that can provide academic and personal support to you
    • General study planning and tips, academic progress and achieving goals
    • Professional goals, capstone and subject options, career readiness
  • Do I need to prepare for my meetings?

    Arriving to your academic advising meetings prepared will help you get the most out of the conversation and build a meaningful relationship with your academic adviser. To help you get started, you can find some topic suggestions above, under “What will I talk about with my adviser”

  • What if I am running late to my meeting?

    If you’re running late, please let your adviser know immediately via their email. It is an expectation that you will attend your academic advising meetings. As a busy student, you will have demands on your time that you need to prioritise. Academic advisers have a lot of professional responsibilities, so it is important for you to make every effort to attend your meetings and be on time.

    If you know in advance that you will be unable to attend a scheduled meeting, please reschedule or cancel via the Academic Advising page in my.unimelb.

  • How long will I have my academic adviser for?

    You will start meeting with your academic adviser in the second semester of your first year and will continue to meet with them once per semester in the second and third year of your degree.

    In some specific circumstances, your academic adviser may change during your degree. If this happens, you will be notified as soon as possible via email, along with details of who your new academic adviser is.

  • Can I stay in touch with my academic adviser after the program finishes?

    If you wish to maintain the connection with your adviser beyond the program, for example, to stay in touch after you graduate, you are more than welcome to! Some students continue to catch-up with their adviser in person, while some prefer to check-in a few times a year over email. We recommend you discuss how you wish to keep in touch directly with your adviser during or after your final meeting in your third year.

  • Why is my adviser taking notes during the meeting?

    Advisers may choose to take brief notes about your meetings to help them keep track of key topics discussed. Only your adviser can see notes they take about your meetings and any notes taken will not be connected to your student record.

  • Are meetings confidential?

    Meetings with your adviser are designed to support your growth and development, and are a safe space for you to discuss goals you might want to consider, and any challenges encountered. There may be some cases when an adviser needs to disclose information to help you receive the best help and support you need.

  • What happens if I miss a meeting?

    If you know in advance that you will be unable to attend a scheduled meeting, please reschedule or cancel via the Academic Advising page in my.unimelb.

    It’s never too late to meet with your adviser – they are there to support you across the whole of your undergraduate studies. If you miss a meeting, we recommend reaching out to your adviser by email to see if they are available to reschedule later in the semester. You can find their contact details in my.unimelb.

    At the start of your next semester, you and your academic adviser will have another opportunity to book a meeting time and discuss your goals and challenges.