Academic Advising Policy

Student advising another student.

A student's program of study is a large investment of time and energy. Good advising ensures that this investment is spent wisely by having students reflect on how they can best match their talents and interests to career objectives and select courses that support these career objectives.

This policy describes the elements of the advising process and the mutual faculty and student responsibilities in this process. Additional interactions between students and faculty advisors are encouraged within reasonable demands on faculty time.

Advising Process

Upon admission, you will be assigned a faculty advisor by the chair or the chair’s designee.

Personnel in the IS office will be responsible for sending faculty an updated list of their advisees with email addresses and other appropriate information as technically feasible four weeks before each semester starts and as needed thereafter.

The student and the faculty advisor are mutually responsible for establishing and maintaining communication. As a newly admitted student, you are encouraged to communicate with your faculty advisors as soon as possible; such communication will generally be made by email or by telephone. A notice to this effect will be included in the admission package.

You must communicate with your faculty advisors before classes start to consider the following issues:

  • Transfer of credits (up to six credit hours of acceptable course work can be transferred).
  • Waiver of a required course — this is rare and must be approved by the lead instructor of the course but should be considered.
  • Your program of study for the first semester.

You are required to have academic advisement in your first semester before registering for your second semester. The purpose of this advisement shall be to discuss the abilities and knowledge you bring to the program, your interests and career objectives, and, on that basis, your plan of study, also taking into account the special requirements for the type of information agency in which you may seek employment. Upon your request, the faculty advisor will meet with you in person at a mutually agreed time, but alternate means of communication may be used.

An agreed-upon plan of study must be signed by the student and the faculty advisor and submitted to the IS office by the student. A duly signed plan of study must be on file in the IS office before the student can register for classes in the second semester and beyond. This provision will be enforced as resources and IT systems at UB permit. Electronic signatures and electronic filing will meet this requirement once the appropriate systems are in place.

Before talking to your advisor, you must review the pre-advisement form (compiled, in part, automatically from your application data and included in the admissions packet), amend it as necessary, and transmit it to your advisor. This entails becoming familiar with the course offerings — both IS courses and other relevant courses on campus as listed in the admissions packet — and making some preliminary selection of courses.

You are encouraged to communicate with your advisor if and when you consider a change in career objectives or in courses you want to take. One opportune time for consultation is before registration, after the class schedule for the next semester is published.

Special Provision for Students Who Start Classes in the Summer

If you begin the MS in Information and Library Science program in the summer, you must communicate with your faculty advisors — by email or other means — before registering for classes or by May 15, whichever is earlier. If you wish to take non-core courses in the fall, you must have a plan of study on file before fall classes start. Therefore, you must meet or communicate with your advisors the week before fall classes start, preferably on the day of orientation. Otherwise, you can meet with your advisors in the middle of the fall semester to develop a plan of study.

Change in Advisor

Occasionally circumstances arise that call for consideration of a change in advisor. A student wishing to change advisors should communicate informally with the faculty member who would be the new advisor and then submit the change of advisor form to the office. A change in advisor must be approved by the chair in order to keep advising loads equitable. If a faculty member leaves, her/his advisees will be notified and assigned another advisor by the chair or the chair’s designate.

Plan of Study

If you were matriculated into the program spring 2017 or after, you will use these plan of study documents:

If you were matriculated into the program prior to spring 2017 and are pursing your degree following the pre-2017 curriculum, you will use a pre-2017 plan of study: