The Catholic University of America

 Student Advising

It is each faculty member’s responsibility to know who their advisees are. To obtain a list of advisees:

Login to Cardinal Station.
Go to “Faculty Self-Service,” “Faculty Center,” then “View my Advisees.”
A list of your advisees will appear.
By clicking on the student’s name,
you can send them an e-mail message.
By clicking on the link to the right that says “View Student Details,”
you can go directly to the student’s online record where you can generate an unofficial transcript and view the details of their academic program.

Advisors should also familiarize themselves with university policies by consulting the Academic Graduate policies on the CUA Policies website.

Incoming students should contact the director of his/her academic area for advice on courses to take their first semester. Once a student is admitted into a graduate program and enters the University, the area director assigns a faculty advisor to assist in the student’s academic and professional development.  As the primary person responsible for assisting the student, the faculty advisor will usually be teaching in the area of the student’s field of concentration. This advising relationship is a shared responsibility in which the advisor and advisee collaborate in planning, implementing and achieving the student’s academic and professional goals.  Some collaborative aspects of student advising are indicated below.

The initial advising meeting should discuss the following:

Program requirements for the student’s intended degree and area of concentration.
Required pro-seminar workshops.
Any prerequisite courses
the student is required to complete, as stated in the student’s letter of admission.
The student “tracking sheet”
and its function as an unofficial record of the student’s progress in the program.
Course selection for the student’s first semester of coursework.
Special attention should be given to scheduling the required core courses in the student’s program.
Foreign language requirements
for the student’s program, including options available for satisfying program area foreign language requirements, and an optimum timetable for satisfying these requirements.

Student Advising Checklist

  • It is the student’s responsibility to take the initiative in maintaining regular contact with the faculty advisor during the academic year.
  • Each student should schedule a meeting with his/her faculty advisor prior to the registration period for the following semester (see academic calendar for the specific dates).  In addition to discussing progress in the current semester and the selection of courses for the upcoming semester, the advisor and student will review and update the tracking sheet.
  • Students must be registered prior to the start of the semester, especially if they have scholarships. Under the current system, scholarship money cannot be disbursed until they have registered and generated a tuition bill.
  • The student and his/her advisor should also discuss preparation for the comprehensive exams, including reading lists and a projected date the student plans to take the exams.
  • In preparation for meeting with his/her advisor, a student should secure an unofficial copy of his/her academic transcript from Cardinal Station.  This transcript will verify that the student’s progress as recorded in the University record accords with the information on the student’s tracking sheet. Advisors can also have the unofficial transcript on screen during the advising session through Cardinal Station.
  • Keep track of student’s GPA to ensure good standing.
  • Check on any unresolved incompletes.
  • Students should always contact their advisors before making any changes in their courses/course-load (e.g. adding/dropping classes, changing to audit, requesting an “incomplete,” etc.).  Both students and advisors should be aware that any changes in courses/course-load may affect a student’s scholarship, visa, etc.
  • Students may sometimes find that they cannot register because there is a hold on their account. This can happen for various reasons, e.g. unpaid tuition bills.
  • Ensure the initiation/completion of all necessary administrative processes regarding the acceptance of the student’s previous degree, if the degree was awarded from an institution other than CUA. 
  • In consultation with the Academic Area Advisor, students may select a faculty member whose academic and research interests are similar to their own.
  • Students writing dissertation/thesis should explore topics early in their program and to continue the discussion in subsequent meetings with their advisors.  MA students should choose between the thesis and research paper options in their first semester.
  • Ph.D. students near the end of the required coursework should begin planning for the comprehensive exams and developing an appropriate reading list.