Advising FAQs


Our office is located in Sherman Hall, B-Wing on the 2nd Floor, Suite 224. Click here for the campus map.

Our office is open from 8:30 until 4:30 every day Monday through Friday when the campus is open.  Our Undergraduate Peer Advisors can answer quick questions at any time. Walk-in advising is available in our office daily and you can also schedule virtual or in-person appointments with one of our professional staff advisors here. 



Degree-seeking students must meet with their Academic Advisor prior to being able to register for the fall and spring terms.   When you meet with your advisor, he/she will talk with you about your proposed schedule, answer any questions you may have and at the end of the meeting provide an electronic clearance that will then allow you to register at a specific time based on the number of credits you have earned.

If you still can’t register after you have advising clearance, you may have a financial hold or an administrative hold.   Follow the instructions in the attempted registration error message or in your myUMBC alerts to resolve the issue.

The Schedule of Classes will be available approximately one month prior to Advanced Registration.  You may visit the Registrar’s Office website for the most recent Schedule of Classes, or navigate through under the topic Classes & Grades.

To learn more about your financial aid options, visit their website to find out who is your assigned Financial Aid Counselor.  If adding a class is absolutely essential, an internship or independent study class may be added for several weeks after the end of the schedule adjustment period.   Check the academic calendar on the Registrar’s website for the exact date.

All new students will attend New Student Orientation prior to the semester you plan to enroll.  On this day, you will meet with your Academic Advisor and register for classes.  New Student Orientation is mandatory and you have the choice of which date to attend. Learn more by visiting their website.

In rare cases, a student may be allowed an exception to drop a course after the published deadline.  To apply for this type of exception, complete the online form on the website of the Office of Enrollment Management Division.  Look for  Exception to Enrollment Policy for complete instructions. Be sure to follow through as quickly as possible because there are time limits for such exceptions.

Students register based on the number of credits they have earned.  Prior to Advanced Registration, students will receive an email with a link to a chart showing which day they can register based on their earned credits. Students are not eligible to register prior to this day/time, and must have already met with their Academic Advisor to receive their Advising Clearance.


Pre-Professional Advising

The Pre-Professional curriculum at UMBC is a set of specific coursework designed to guide you toward meeting the entry requirements of the particular type of professional school you wish you attend.  Students may choose to follow a Pre-Professional curriculum in addition to their academic major but pre-professional courses cannot stand alone as their major. Students who wish to receive a bachelor’s degree from UMBC need to complete an academic field major such as Biology, History, or Chemistry.

Our office has trained advisors who can help students interested in not only Physical Therapy, but Nursing, Pharmacy, Physician Assistant, Dental Hygiene & Occupational Therapy reach their goals of applying to professional school.   Please see Allied Health Website for more information on contacting an advisor in these areas.

Pre-law advising services are open to current students of all majors as well as alumni interested in law school and law-related careers.  Please visit the Pre-Law Advising website or contact Molly Timko at for additional information.

Students who are interested in going to Medical, Dental, Podiatry, Veterinary, or Optometry school are advised by the Pre-Medical and Pre-Dental Advising Office. Click here for more information.

For a comprehensive list of all student clubs and organizations, browse the groups in myUMBC here.  You can also see information about individual Pre-Professional student organizations on our Allied Health Website. 

Students who are pursuing Pre-Professional programs that require you to graduate first from UMBC (such as Physical Therapy) must pursue an academic major in addition to their professional program.   For those programs that do not require a degree, academically strong students may be admitted directly into that program prior to completing their bachelor’s degree at UMBC.   For more information, our Allied Health website.


Majors at UMBC 

To declare your major (or to change your major), you must fill out a Declaration of Major form, available in the Office for Academic & Pre-Professional Advising, the Registrar’s Office, or online here.  Completed forms should be submitted via help ticket. As indicated on the form, a few majors will require an advisor signature from your new major department.

Even though your Pre-Professional program is not a declared major, you can list the program under Major on the Declaration of Major form.   This will allow us to have a record of which program you are following, and it will be listed on your transcript under your academic major.  If you have a declared major, feel free to list your pre-professional program in the second column (where a second major would be entered).

You may list multiple majors/minors/certificates on the Declaration of Major form by entering them in separate columns.  The major you list first will become your Primary Major, the program that you will be earning your degree in and will be listed on your diploma.  Completion of the second major will be entered on your official transcript.


Academic Advisors

All undecided and exploratory students will be advised in our office.   To learn who your advisor is, contact our front office at 410-455-2729.

Start by navigating to your myUMBC account and looking under the topic Advising and Student Support.  Then click on the blue link My Advisors.  You will find either the name of your advisor or a link to a table showing the Advising Coordinators for all departments.  In addition, some departments have provided more detailed information about how advisors are assigned.

The Office for Academic & Pre-Professional Advising primarily advises students who are undecided/exploratory or who are pursuing professional school programs as well as certain students experiencing academic challenges.   However, we can answer general requirements and other related questions from all students. Students who do have declared majors must receive their advising clearance for registration from their academic major advisor.   Students who are interested in changing majors may make an appointment to be advised in our office.   When appropriate, completing an updated Declaration of Major form may become part of that advising session.

Academic Advisors can answer some general questions prior to your enrollment, but you will not be able to receive in-depth individual advising or register for classes without attending New Student Orientation.  During this day you will meet one-on-one with your Academic Advisor and register for classes.

Academic Advisors can make recommendations about specific classes, but only the specific instructor of a course (or their designee) can authorize permission if the class is closed or requires special permission.

Absolutely!   If you have a declared major, we recommend that you meet with that advisor prior to your Pre-Professional advising so that you understand how your major requirements will compare to your professional school requirements.

This depends on your major.   If you have a declared major, you should contact the Advising Coordinator for that department to learn how to switch advisors by visiting Departmental Advising List.   For students assigned to the Office for Academic & Pre-Professiional Advising, you are able in most cases to choose a different advisor when you make your advising appointment.   It is important to note that many times students pursuing Pre-Professional programs are assigned an advisor based on the advisor’s area of expertise and it is recommended that you meet with that advisor.


General Education 

The Modern Languages, Linguistics & Intercultural Communication department works with students to determine their 201 language proficiency.   Their office is in Fine Arts (FA) 463.  Forms and policies can be found online.  For International Students, click here.  For questions about proficiency and high school language levels, click here.

The most up-to-date source for courses with general education designations is the Undergraduate Catalog. You can also search courses by GEP requirement in the Class Search in myUMBC:


Excess Credits 

The maximum amount of credits you can register for during the fall/spring semester is 19.5.   During the winter it is 4.5 and the summer is 16 (a maximum of 8 credits in each of the two summer terms).  Click here to submit an excess credits form.

You should request permission for excess credits as soon as your plans call for a course overload.   You may submit a form even before Advance Registration begins for the upcoming term. Your request must be for a specified set of courses and not blanket permission to take lots of credits as the mood strikes.  Excess Credit forms must be turned in 24 hours before the posted add/drop deadline.

The decision on your excess credits request will be communicated to you in an e-mail from this office.  If you have follow-up questions or concerns, simply reply to that e-mail and you will be contacting the person who knows your case.