Academic Advising Take the Lead...We're Here to Help

You’ve got this, but sometimes, you simply can’t figure out the next step or need academic advising. That’s where we come in. We’re here to help you become a mature designer and graduate ready for the world.


Academic Advising in the Center for Student Development

  • Rm. 103C in the Art + Architecture Building (where you’ll have the majority of your classes)
  • Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
  • 865-974-3232
  • The Center for Student Development


Goals + Objectives

  • To foster a campus culture that supports academic advising as a shared responsibility essential to the educational experience and student success
  • To foster a college culture that supports the diverse and evolving array of instruction and execution of the creative design process
  • To assist students in becoming responsible, self-directed learners and skilled decision makers
  • To assist in the development of educational plans that are consistent with students’ personal values, goals and career plans
  • To encourage holistic engagement with the college experience (academically, socially, culturally and professionally) preparing students for a life of learning in a global society

Outcomes + Responsibilities

  • UT identifies three members of an academic advising partnership: You, your advisor and your faculty mentor. Everyone has a role, and each has responsibilities to reach the best outcomes.
  • Learn about UT’s advising policies, responsibilities for student-advisor-faculty mentor partnerships and the learning outcomes of advising by reading our Outcomes + Responsibilities before your first (and second and third…) advising session.


Advising Outcomes + Responsibilities


Schedule Your Advising Appointment

All advising appointments are made via GradesFirst, which you’ll find in your MyUTK account.

Frequently Asked Questions


What is the role of an academic advisor?

An academic advisor is a person who helps guide you in making decisions about your academic plan at UT. They 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. Your role is to come prepared for academic advising meetings.

How do I get an advising appointment?

Appointments are made through the GradesFirst system, found on your MyUTK home page. Or you can call the Center for Student Development at 865-974-3232. It is your responsibility to make that appointment.

Is advising required?

Simply put, yes. It’s required each semester for students with fewer than 30 hours of class credit at UT (and some other categories of students). After that, 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 during spring semester. But you are encouraged to meet with your advisor any time you have academic questions.

What if I don’t meet with my advisor?

If you don’t meet with your advisor as required, the MyUTK system will not let you register for classes until you have that advising appointment.

What is a DARS report?

It’s a very important document! DARS, short for Degree Audit Reporting System, is an automated system that compares a student’s completed coursework with the requirements for their degree and produces a report (sometimes called an audit) detailing their progress toward 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 (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. You should always bring your DARS report with you to an advising meeting.

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
  • your current GPA
  • any exceptions that have been made for you

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