Orientation Information

Everything you need to know about your first semester at Columbia!

What is the College Advising Center?

The College Advising Center provides you with information, guidance and support to create and implement an integrated educational and professional plan in the arts and media fields.

  • Student / Advisor Expectations

    What can you expect from us?

    We will help you plan for graduation:  Clarify degree requirements and help monitor progress toward completion

    We will help you interpret academic policies: Assist in understanding institutional policies and procedures necessary to navigate the college

    We will refer you to on-campus resources: Connect you with appropriate offices, faculty and staff on campus when additional assistance is needed

    We provide a respectful environment where you can express yourself and voice concerns: We support you through your academic career through responsive listening skills, confidentiality, sensitivity and respect

    We are responsive and timely: We are accessible through appointments and walk-ins and respond to emails and phone calls in a timely manner


    What is expected of you?

    Meet with your Advisor: Meet with your Advisor: Schedule an appointment with your advisor or see them during their drop-in time, confirm or declare your major, plan your degree.

    Understand your Advising Tools: The Advising Guide is a checklist of all requirements. The Four Year/ Transfer Plans are a semester by semester breakdown of suggested courses. When you meet with your advisor, we will make sure you understand these tools and how they work.

    Check your official Columbia email and use an online calendar: Make note of course Add, Drop, Withdrawals deadlines

    Become an active member of the Columbia community: Join a student organization, attend major events and network

    Be proactive, not reactive: Use your resources, understand requirements, and take responsibility for your decisions

  • Visiting the CAC

    The College Advising Center is located at 623 S Wabash, Suite 300

    Phone: 312-369-7645

    Email: collegeadvising@colum.edu

    Website: https://students.colum.edu/academic-services/advising

    You are required to meet with your advisor during your first year at Columbia.

     All students have an assigned advisor in the CAC

    • Your assigned advisor is listed on your Academic Record in MyColumbia.
      • MyColumbia > Students Tab > Academic Record > Academic Advisor
    • You can view a Bio of your Advisor on the CAC website under STAFF


    Making an appointment with an advisor

    • You can call our Front Desk at 312-369-7645 or
    • You can make an appointment in MyColumbia
      o MyColumbia> My Bookings > Scroll down to College Advising – SSC > College Advising Center Appointments


    You can also see your advisor or an advisor for your specific major on drop-ins

    Your advisor has a weekly drop-in time either in the Advising Center or in your Academic Department. If there is more than one advisor for your Department, you can see anyone who advises that major.



  • First Year Goals for Success

    Meet with your Academic Advisor at least once in the first year.

    Get to know Faculty in your major, (and we can help you make those connections). These are the industry professionals who are happy to mentor and advise you, both in class and for the rest of your career!

    Earn at least 30 total credit hours, and at least 12 Columbia Core credit hours.

    All students should be enrolled in Writing and Rhetoric in their first semester. If you encountered confusion with this during the Registration Prep course in Canvas, please ask an advisor what course to choose today.

    Understand your degree requirements. While planning for your Columbia Core, major, minor, we’ll help you maintain a balanced schedule that keeps you on track for timely graduation.

    Organize transfer credits. Understand how transfer credits are applied to the Columbia Core, College Wide Electives and Major courses.

    Major Declaration. All Columbia students must declare a major by the time they have earned 45 credits. Transfer students with 45 credits or more will need to make this declaration at the end of their first semester at Columbia. Certain majors may only be declared via selection by the academic department. Students interested in these majors must follow guidelines set forth by the respective academic department. 

  • MyColumbia Tools

    During each advising appointment, your advisor will use tools in MyColumbia to prepare for and guide the meeting. These are our favorites in the Students tab:

    • Advising Guide – The Advising Guide is a list of courses required for your degree. While the opening screen will default to the major you currently are, you can adjust the pull-down menus to play with different scenarios. This can be particularly helpful if you’re considering a change in major or adding on of a minor
    • Academic Record – This link will direct you to your unofficial academic transcript. Here you will see final grades of all courses taken at Columbia College Chicago. Transfer credit is included at the top of the list. Students can also find the name of their Academic Advisor, their semester and cumulative GPAs, as well as number of credits completed.
    • Course Schedule – This is a list of all of the courses offered at Columbia College Chicago in a given semester (You can change the semester you’re viewing by Setting the Options at the bottom of the screen.), which can be helpful if you want to see what is being offered before course registration begins.
    • Search Criteria Screen – If you click this button (located in Register for Classes and the Course Catalog links), you can filter through all of the courses offered. You can search by section status (open vs. closed), or even number of credit hours.
    • Faculty Comments – Can’t remember what was discussed at an advising meeting? Click Faculty Comments for a running tab of communication of your campus network. Advisors will make notes on each meeting or phone call we have with you, so feel free to refer back to this screen for a refresher.

    We encourage you to explore these tools on your own. Sometimes you can get the answer to a question without having to wait for an appointment with an advisor!

  • Follow us!

    Find us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

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Parents click here to download the Academic Success presentation given at Orientation.