We are excited to welcome you to the University of Iowa!

Old Capitol with flowers in the spring


Orientation Advising Appointments will be virtual in 2021. You will be preparing for your Orientation Advising Appointment by carefully following the steps in your Orientation Tile in MyUI and working with your Orientation Leader, including have a group meeting with them the day before you meet with your academic advisor. In turn, your advisor will also prepare for meeting you by reviewing information about you, such as your degree audit, any AP and/or transfer credit you’ve reported, and other information.

You and your advisor will make a great team to set you up for success!

orientation advising accordion

Each student is assigned a specific academic advisor, based on the student’s primary major, in which the advisor has substantial training and expertise. Academic advisors are well-versed in the things that are most important to new college students—such as common transition concerns, exploring University resources, understanding the General Education Program, and learning about the requirements for your major. We are a kind, caring team of professionals who truly enjoy working with students, especially students new to the University! Your advisor is here to support you and looks forward to connecting with in your Orientation Advising Appointment! 


Before you start looking for classes, you must understand the basics of a University of Iowa degree and other critical content. The following videos will help


Shortly before your Orientation Date, your advisor will review your academic records, including your placement test results and any AP and/or transfer credit you reported. Your advisor will guide you in choosing the most appropriate courses. They will share materials that they have prepared specifically for you, based on your major, degree audit, and academic records. The materials they provide will help you better understand and navigate course options and prepare you for your Orientation Advising Appointment, so review those materials and the videos and handouts below carefully. You will be notified that your advisor has sent materials in email sent to your University of Iowa account.  

Schedule Builder is the University of Iowa’s tool for searching for courses, building schedules, and registering for classes. These videos will teach you how to use it. If you have any questions, contact your Orientation Leader. 


About a week before your Orientation date, you will be emailed a link to schedule your Orientation Advising Appointment. This will come to your University of Iowa email address, so again, be sure to regularly check your email. 

Please carefully review the following videos, which will help you prepare to meet virtually with your academic advisor with the goal of a smooth registration process. 


a parent and student at graduation

The relationship that you have with your academic advisor is one-on-one, between you and your advisor. Your advisor will be in your corner to help however they can! Your Orientation Advising Appointment is the beginning of that relationship. We strongly encourage you to navigate this process on your own, as you begin to take a more active role in your academic choices and other decisions! Your advisor will expect that your Orientation Advising Appointment will be just the two of you.

That said, advisors know that parents, family members, or others in your life may be interested in being involved in your education as well.  Part of the change from high school to college is that there is a federal law that protects the privacy rights of students – the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.  In advising, this means that academic advisors are not allowed to share personal information about their students with anyone who is asking, including parents, without the consent of the student.

So, if you would like others to be present or within listening distance of your Orientation Advising Appointment, you must complete the Student Record Consent that says you give your consent.

You might still have some questions and action items as discussed with your academic advisor. 

If your advisor has asked you to do something, such as have final transcripts sent, please ensure you are taking those steps. You may also want or need to make some final tweaks to your schedule, and the video below will help you understand how to do that.  

Advisors will still be available for the rest of the summer, and email is the best way to first reach out with your questions. A habit that all successful college students must develop is regular checking of their University of Iowa email. When your advisor needs to contact you, they will do so via email, so be sure to monitor your inbox this summer. You might hear about resources, opportunities, and other ways to make connections to campus, so be an avid email checker to stay on top of things. 

We hope you feel by now that your relationship with your advisor is supportive and ongoing, so whenever you have a question or concern, reach out to them! 



At the Academic Advising Center, we want to provide students with the tools and resources necessary to navigate the University and make informed decisions. Your student’s academic advisor is committed to helping your student make a successful transition to the University, explore their interests and possibilities, develop an appropriate academic plan and engage in educationally meaningful experiences.  

As students transition to college, parents and families experience a transition as well. In college, parents and families will find that their student is their best source of information since the student is the one pursuing the degree and the one with the relationship with faculty and staff. We know that parents and families are an important part of a student’s support team and we want to offer some ways for you to help: 

  • Ask your student if they check their University email regularly. The University email account is our primary mode of communicating with students, so it is important that students check this email regularly.  Students will miss out on important information if they are not checking this account. 
  • Ask your student what they have done to problem solve when they run into challenges. As early as during the orientation experience, your student may have questions or face a situation where they need more information.  Encourage your student to think through their support system at the University (even though it is still in development). Who could they contact – Admissions? The Office of Student Financial Aid? Their advisor?  This is a skill that we will help them build during their time with us – knowing their support team and giving thought to who might be able to help in a given situation. If you solve everything for them, they miss out on developing this important skill.
  • Encourage them to contact their advisor. We will do our best to communicate with your student to let them know when it is time to schedule an appointment, but it is up to them to follow through and make the appointment. We appreciate if you ask about their experience with their advisor to ensure that they are taking advantage of this help. Students get out of advising what they put into it and we want to help them as much as possible.
  • Follow us on social media!

We post timely messages for students about things that might be of interest to them. You might be interested in what we are posting and sharing.