Undergraduate Student Getting Started at UMUC

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First Advising Session

Preparing for Your First Advising Session

Remember to fill out the Advising Worksheet prior to speaking with your advisor.
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First Advising Session

Tips for Your First Advising Session

The following tips will help you prepare for your first advising session.

  • Verify that UMUC has received your official transcript(s)—this includes military, if applicable.
  • Before attending your session, make a list of any questions that you may have.
  • Have a copy of your unofficial transcript(s) available for your advising session.
  • Request your tentative evaluation.
  • Prepare a list of your preliminary course selections. Once the advisor receives your unofficial transcript(s), he/she can complete a tentative evaluation to help you select courses for your first and second semesters.
  • Know your program requirements.

Once you have selected a program, ask your advisor for a Degree Planning Worksheet that corresponds with your program. This will help you track your progress toward degree completion.
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First Advising Session

Choosing an Academic Program

"Which major should I choose?" is one of the most commonly asked questions that advisors receive from students. If you are undecided, consider using the following steps to identify the best major for you:

  • Assess your goals, interests and strengths.
  • Visit the Career Services page on choosing a major.
  • Research and find out what careers are offered in your major(s) of interest.
  • Choose the program that has the best academic and professional options for you.
  • Put your plan into action.

For more information about choosing a major, please see the UMUC Web site. Remember to consult with your advisor before making a final decision on your program choice.

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First Advising Session

Placement Exams

All UMUC undergraduate students are required to meet the university's English and math entrance standards. This can be done by transferring equivalent credit or by taking a placement test.

Our placement testing is done online in a proctored setting. The best time to take your placement test(s) is immediately upon enrollment. There is no cost for taking placement exams at a UMUC testing site; however, if you take the test at an alternate site, you may have to pay a proctoring fee.

Your exam results should be posted to MyUMUC within 48 hours. You cannot enroll in English and/or math classes until the results have been posted.

For more information on testing or using applicable credits to satisfy UMUC requirements, visit our placement exams page.


You must do this within the first semester.
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First Advising Session

Tips for Taking Placement Tests

  • Relax! Arrive early to the test site, acquaint yourself with the environment, and gather your thoughts. Even though the test is online, the system is easy to use and the test is easy to take.
  • Make sure you understand all administrative directions given to you—don't be afraid to ask your proctor to repeat any instructions you may not have understood.
  • When prompted for your Student ID number, type in your Empl ID number.
  • Remember to answer each question as it is presented to you on the screen. You cannot skip the question and go back later.
  • Questions are multiple-choice, so take a few minutes to logically eliminate one or more choices before picking your final response.
  • Remember—there is no failing grade. Just answer each question to the best of your ability.
  • Students can retake their placement exams after waiting at least 30 days.

UMUC provides a Practice Math Placement Test to help you better prepare for the elementary algebra section of the math placement exam. If you have difficulty completing the problems in the practice test, we recommend you consider signing up for Succeed in Math, a free online course to help improve your math skills.
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First Advising Session

Take Refresher Courses for Your Benefit

If you need to improve and brush up on your writing, math and study skills, UMUC offers refresher courses to help prepare you for success in your required and elective courses. Students can voluntarily register for refresher courses or may place into them as a result of their placement exam results.

Suggested Refresher Courses

EDCP 100: Principles and Strategies of Successful Learning

Discover your learning style and attain effective study skills.


Learning to Learn

Take our free, online, self-paced, non-credit course that can help you

  • Identify prior learning and life experiences to help transition to college-level learning
  • Learn to use strengths and skills to set goals for professional development
  • Build confidence in your ability to be successful in your academic goals

For more information, please visit the Bridge to Success (B2S) Web site.


Succeed With Math (SWiM)

Review key math concepts and then apply these concepts to real world applications.

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First Advising Session

Transferring Made Easy

You'll need a total of 120 credits to complete a UMUC bachelor's degree—and our flexible transfer policy puts you well on your way.

UMUC may accept up to

  • 90 credits of combined sources of credit
  • 70 credits from community colleges

UMUC accepts transfer credit from different sources:

  • Regionally accredited two- and four-year colleges and universities
  • Military earned credit
  • American Council on Education (ACE) credit
  • Credit by examination
  • Credit earned outside of the United States
  • Other sources may be considered

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First Advising Session

Transfer Credit Evaluation

Students must earn a minimum of 45 upper-level credits (300 and 400 level) of the total 120 required for the bachelor's degree. An advisor can help you with the process to determine whether any previous coursework is eligible to be accepted as transfer credit. Please visit our Transfer Center to learn more.

Earn undergraduate credit for your previous and current on-the-job learning.

UMUC's Prior Learning Program offers you the opportunity to earn up to 30 credits in a single semester for college-level learning gained through prior work, military service, community service or other activities. Learn More

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First Advising Session

Understanding Your Degree Requirements

Here's a list of key words to remember when reviewing your degree requirements:

  • Pre-requisite: Also called a gateway course; must be completed prior to completing any advanced courses.
  • Co-requisite: Refers to two pre-requisite courses that may be taken at the same time.
  • Lower-level: Course levels 100-299
  • Upper-level: Course levels 300 and above

Course numbers are designated as follows:

  • 000–099: Noncredit and institutional credit courses (do not count toward any degree or certificate)
  • 100–199: Lower level, primarily freshman courses
  • 200–299: Lower level, primarily sophomore courses
  • 300–399: Upper-level, primarily junior courses
  • 400–499: Upper-level, primarily senior courses
  • 500–599: Senior-level courses acceptable for credit toward some graduate degrees

You must complete 45 credits of upper-level coursework in your bachelor's degree program, which includes half of your major and half of your minor (if applicable). You must also complete at least 30 credits with UMUC to meet the residency requirement for your degree, which includes half of your major and half of your minor (if applicable).

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First Advising Session

Select Course for Your First Semester

Now that we have covered preparing for your first advising session, along with taking placement exams and transferring credits, you can begin selecting courses for your first semester.

Once you have completed your Advising Worksheet, you can

  • Contact your advisor for assistance with selecting your first-semester courses.
  • Bring a copy of your worksheet and unofficial transcript(s) to the first advising session if you are meeting with your advisor in person.
  • If you will not meet with your advisor in person, send a copy of these documents prior to your conversation.

select courses
UMUC’s academic year consists of spring, summer, fand fall terms with four eight-week sessions. Summer consists of three overlapping sessions.
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First Advising Session

Know When to Ask for Help

If life's uncertainties cause your academic plans to shift, remember that you can reach out to your peers, instructors, advisors, and other UMUC community members for guidance. Partner with your advisor who can direct you to available student resources.

You can also pace yourself by taking fewer courses during a semester. Whether you are taking courses for career advancement or fulfilling a personal goal, we're here to help.


Don't wait until it's too late.
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First Advising Session

Academic Advising Checklist

VERIFY:

  • Have I satisfied my math and English requirements?
  • Have I registered for my placement exam (if needed)?
  • Have I requested a tentative evaluation of any previously earned credits (if applicable)?
  • Has UMUC received my official transcripts?

TAKE ACTION:

  • Print copies of your unofficial transcripts.
  • Request a tentative evaluation from your advisor
  • Download and complete the Advising Worksheet
  • Request that all official transcripts be sent to UMUC.
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Preparing for Your First Advising Session

Tips for Your First Advising Session

Choosing an Academic Program

Placement Exams

Tips for Taking Placement Tests

Take Refresher Courses for Your Benefit

Transferring Made Easy

Transfer Credit Evaluation

Understanding Your Degree Requirements

Select Course for Your First Semester

Know When to Ask for Help

Academic Advising Checklist