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When & Why to Meet With Your Academic Advisor

Your academic advisor is your partner as you navigate college. You can connect with them to discuss how to navigate the University and explore your academic and career goals. Typical conversation topics may include exploring majors and careers, planning for registration, or identifying personal goals connected to your academic life. Your advisor will also navigate you to resources on campus that can assist you with things like social adjustment, personal concerns, study skills, major/career uncertainty, etc.  

Who is your advisor? You are automatically assigned an academic advisor in your college when you enroll at the university. To find out who your assigned advisor is, see the "academics" tab at MyU.umn.edu

It's important to understand that each college at the U of M handles advising differently. Some may require that you come in to be seen each semester, while others may not have mandatory advising but still strongly encourage frequent contact with your advisor. Be sure to understand the expectations of advising in your college. 

Regardless of your college, aim to check in with your advisor every semester. Be sure to plan ahead to schedule an appointment before your registration time since those appointments fill up quick! 

  • Fall Semester Classes - Registration starts in April
  • Spring Semester Classes - Registration starts in November
  • Summer Semester Classes - Registration starts in March

View your specific registration date and time by clicking on the "Registration" tab in MyU: Academics

Learn More about Academic Advising

Search for Classes & Make Your Schedule

Schedule Builder

Use Schedule Builder as a tool to explore courses, plan, and refine your course schedule. You can explore all available courses or filter courses by subject or liberal education requirements. Remember, creating schedules in Schedule Builder does not register you for classes.

When you are ready to register, use the Send to Shopping Cart button to move your classes to the MyU Shopping Cart and complete all the registration steps.

Try Schedule Builder

APAS (Academic Progress Audit System)

Use your APAS (Academic Progress Audit System) report to find your progress towards your degree requirements. APAS also explains what you will need to complete your declared degree program(s) or explore requirements for different majors.

How to View Your APAS

Other helpful links for searching for and choosing classes:

Undecided on Your Major?

The U of M has more than 140 majors! Even if you know what you want to study, it is helpful to consider all of your options. The Center for Academic Planning & Exploration (CAPE) is an office on campus that helps students explore majors and has a range of services and resources to help explore - such as major profiles, 1-1 coaching, drop in peer coaching, the Major Network, a 1-credit exploration course, workshops, and more. 

CAPE Website

"My advice for other first-generation students is to advocate for yourself. Speak to your professors, advisors, and college department for any resources that you need. To be a first generation means that our unique experiences makes us different. Navigating the academic world will be hard when you are the first but you are paving the way for many others."

- Musab, first-gen undergrad student

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Renting Used Textbooks and Course Materials

Renting used books is really common. Not only is it cheaper than buying new books, but you often can get books with text highlighted and annotated, which, for some students, can make studying easier.

The University of Minnesota Bookstore offers textbook rentals on some textbooks and course materials. To find out if a textbook is rentable, search the book on the bookstore website and it will have a "Rent New" and "Rent Used" price next to it. Read through the rental agreement before completing your purchase. Rental textbooks have a sticker on the back with the rental return deadline and are able to be returned via mail for online and distance students. 

For more information about getting textbooks and course materials from the UMN bookstore, review the Course Material FAQ page here.

You can also rent textbooks through other websites, such as Chegg.com, Amazon and other websites.

Ways to Get Free Textbooks and Course Materials

There are a few ways to get free textbooks, but most of them require a little planning. 

  • Check out your books from the UMN library or your local library.
  • If your books aren't available in the library, use Interlibrary Loan (ILL) to request a copy and have the library deliver it to the most accessible campus library for you. Requests can take up to two weeks for ILL, so do this as soon as possible. 
  • If you are waiting for a library request, ask your professor if there is a copy you can borrow. 
  • Ask friends who took the class before you if you can borrow their textbooks. Make sure to check the edition or version. 

Buying New Textbooks and Course Materials

You can purchase your textbooks through the University of Minnesota Bookstore or through various online websites. It is helpful to search across a few different websites to compare prices, but check to see delivery times and when you will need the books and course materials in your syllabus.

Use the ISBN to search for the textbook to make sure you have the correct edition and version for your course. You can check in with your professors to see if the newest edition is required for your class, because sometimes older editions are less expensive and the newest edition may not be required for class. If your professor hasn't updated the textbook list through the bookstore and hasn't made a syllabus available, you can reach out to them directly to ask for a list of books to order them in time for class. 

Search through the University of Minnesota Bookstore for you textbooks or by searching in MyU on the My Classes page for your textbook list and compare prices from what is offered here to other booksellers online. 

Free Software and Subscriptions for U of M Students

Did you know there are many kinds of software that are available to students at no charge? You can download Microsoft Office 365 Pro, Wolfram Alpha Pro, JMP Pro and JMP Genomics, and Esri ArcGIS at no cost and set yourself up for success this semester.

"My advice for other first-gen students is to never be afraid to ask for help. In my undergraduate program, I was so scared to ask questions out of fear I would be found out and that the University would figure out they made a mistake letting me in. I thought everyone else knew what they were doing except for me... when that couldn't have been further from the truth! Ask as many questions as you need to and ask for help whenever and wherever you can!"

- Samantha, first-gen graduate student

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Utilize the Academic Success Centers

Asking for help is an important part of being a successful student. In fact, the most successful students ask questions, get help, and utilize resources like peer tutoring and writing support.

Take Advantage of Instructor Office Hours

Office hours are regularly scheduled times each week where students can meet with their professor or teaching assistant to ask questions to better understand the material and build relationships with professors.

Office hours are an opportunity to show your professor how hard you work in their class while also getting focused help on where you are struggling. If you make a few of these visits in the beginning of the semester, it’s easier to talk to your professor when there’s a problem or you need help.

Also, the relationship you may make with your professors can pay off in grad school recommendations and job references!

If your professor's office hours are during another class or commitment, you can reach out to your professor to ask if there is a time when you can schedule an appointment for office hours. 

Accessibility, Disability, and Accommodations Help

The Disability Resource Center (DRC) works in collaboration with the University community to ensure access for all students. Students with disabilities may request accommodations to address barriers they anticipate or are presently experiencing through the DRC. If you are currently a University of Minnesota student or are taking U of M courses, you can make an initial appointment by calling 612-626-1333.

An accommodation is a modification that is made to a course, program, service, job, activity, or facility that minimizes disability-related barriers to allow equitable access while maintaining the essential requirements. The following are some examples of accommodations:

Disability Resource Center (DRC)

Studying on Campus

Study Space Finder

If you need a study spot on campus, you can use Study Space Finder, empty classrooms, computer labs, or designated study spaces. Download the UMN Study Space mobile app to your iOS or Android device.

Study Space Finder

Group Study Rooms

Group study rooms in the Libraries can be reserved online.

Reserved a Group Study Room

Study in General-Purpose Classrooms

General-purpose classrooms are also available for individual and group study when not being used by a class or event. Check out the Classroom Search for more information on classroom features and availability.

A QR Code is posted outside all general-purpose classrooms. Scanning it with your mobile device will bring you to today's schedule for the building.

Classroom Search

Technology, Printing, and Media Support

Public Computer Labs on Campus

There are several public computer labs across campus available to all students. Each residence hall also has a computer lab.

See an overview of computers, wireless access, printing, copying, software, and more from the Libraries.

Public Computer Labs

Free Printing at MCAE

The MCAE Main Suite located in Appleby 140 offers students the ability to print for free up to $20 worth. Are you interested in FREE Printing? 

Register with MCAE to Print for Free 

Get Technology Help

Technology Help is your first point of contact for hardware, software, and internet support (and more!). You can contact Technology Help for assistance even if you are not on campus.

Technology Help

Loanable Media Equipment from the Libraries

Cameras, tripods, microphones, hard drives, DSLRs, and other media equipment are available for checkout from the libraries. No reservation is needed; equipment is available on a first-come-first-served basis.

Checkout from the Libraries

Media Project Support

Get media and technology help with your class projects. Media consultants can help you organize your project, develop a story, decide on equipment, give video and audio pre-production advice, and answer specific questions about editing software.

Media Consultants

"Don't be afraid to ask your advisors or professors for advice on navigating college! It is difficult when you do not have siblings or parents to offer guidance, and professors and advisors only want to see you succeed."

- Olivia, first-gen undergrad student