Frequently Asked Questions

What is an academic advisor?

An academic advisor is a person who helps guide you in making decisions about your academic plan at UT. Advisors can discuss majors, career paths, and other opportunities on campus, such as study abroad or service learning. They are here to help you make your experience at UT the best it can be.

How do I get an advisor?

If you have decided on an interest in a specific college, let’s say the College of Communications, you are advised through their advising center. If you have not yet decided, you are advised at the Arts and Sciences Advising Center. When you attend Orientation, you will have your first advising appointment and develop your first class schedule.

How do I get an advising appointment?

You just call the advising center and set up an advising appointment. It is your responsibility to make that appointment.

Why do I have to be advised?

Academic advising is an important part of the college experience. Advisors help you create an academic plan that leads to the completion of your UT degree.  Advisors are knowledgeable about the university and guide toward resources and experiences that will enhance your undergraduate experience.

How often do I go see an advisor?

Prior to enrolling for the first time at the university, all degree-seeking first-year students and transfer students are required to meet with an academic advisor. Readmitted students must also meet with an academic advisor prior to reenrolling. The following groups of students are required to meet with an advisor during each tracking semester (fall and spring):

  • All students with fewer than 30 hours at UT Knoxville.
  • Students following exploratory tracks.
  • Students identified as “off track” by uTrack.
  • Students on Academic Probation.

All other students are required to consult with an advisor for a substantial conference during a designated semester each year.

  • Students whose ID numbers end in an even digit are required to meet with an advisor during fall semester.
  • Students whose ID numbers end in an odd digit are required to meet with an advisor during spring semester.

What if I don’t go see my advisor?

If you don’t go to see your advisor, the MyUTK system will not let you register for courses until you have that advising appointment.

What do I talk to my advisor about?

You talk with them about your academic plan, coursework, course load, majors, opportunities on campus, study skills, study abroad, service learn, etc. Anything that is affecting your studies and your overall experience at the University of Tennessee is important.

What is a DARS report?

DARS, short for Degree Audit Reporting System, is an automated system that compares student’s completed coursework with the requirements for their degree and produces a report (sometimes called an audit) detailing their progress towards that degree. The report also lists the classes that need to be taken making it a great planning tool for future semesters. All of this information is contained in your DARS report which is available online via MyUTK.

A DARS report can also evaluate different scenarios (degree options like minors, second degrees, changing the degree you are seeking) that you may want to consider. The project is managed centrally from the Office of the University Registrar.

In short, a DARS report (audit) will show:

  • which degree requirements have been met
  • which requirements are incomplete and what has to be done to complete them
  • how transfer courses apply toward requirements
  • the student’s current GPA
  • any exceptions that have been made for a student

Find step-by-step directions on how to access your DARS report.

What is a uTrack report?

uTrack lays out a road map for each major so students can see which academic courses they must successfully complete—and when they must complete them—in order to graduate on time. The system will alert students if they get off track with their course work or grades so they can plan how to catch up or, if necessary, change to a more achievable major.