Advising FAQs

Frequently asked questions about advising in the College of Natural Sciences for undergraduate students

Answers about Advising

Who is my academic advisor?
Advisor assignments are typically complete by the second week of a given semester. Unless your status changes (met entry-level, different major, or entered second academic year), your advisor assignment should remain the same. 

How do I make an appointment with my advisor?
You can make an appointment with your advisor by calling your assigned advising center. Plan ahead! It can be difficult to get an appointment during peak advising times (first week, week of Q-drop, registration).

  • Center for Entry-Level Advising: Students can make an appointment using the link provided by their academic advisor. Please email your academic advisor to request their appointment link. You can find the name of your academic advisor here. If you do not have an assigned advisor, please call 512-471-3796 for assistance.
  • Links to all other advising sites (Biosciences Advising, Chemistry Advising, CNS Honors, Computer Science Advising, Human Ecology Advising, Math, Physics & Astronomy Advising, Texas Interdisciplinary Plan Advising and UTeach)  and their contact info can be found here.

How can I prepare for the meeting with my academic advisor?  
It is important to view existing resources to be fully prepared for the meeting with your academic advisor. Consider visiting UT and CNS resources pages, such as CNS Degree PlansUT Course Schedule, and the Interactive Degree Audit (IDA).

The IDA allows students to view how coursework applies to any given degree. Be sure to input a specific major and major-option (do not use entry-level audits) and the correct catalog year (usually when you entered UT).

How do I meet entry-level requirements? 
All CNS majors require a set of courses to be completed in order to meet entry-level requirements. To find out more about entry-level requirements, visit the Entry-Level Process portion of the Center for Entry-Level Advising site.

Can I enroll at UT and ACC (or another institution) concurrently?
You must meet with your academic advisor to submit a petition for concurrent enrollment.

How do I know if a course will transfer?
The Office of Admissions has an Automated Transfer Equivalency (ATE) website that allows you to input either the UT or other Texas institution course number to determine if a course will transfer.

How do I accept AP credits?
Due to financial and academic reasons, it is recommended you speak with a CNS advisor prior to accepting AP credit. You can view the credits earned for specific AP scores and read about how to claim AP credits.

How do I calculate my GPA? 
You can find a GPA calculator on the registrar's website at the following address:

How do I transfer to another or college or school at UT Austin?
Each college/major at the University of Texas has unique internal transfer requirements. Many also have internal transfer sessions that discuss the entrance requirements for internal transfer.  Some of these sessions are mandatory for program admission.

Can my academic information be shared with others?
Academic information is split into two categories: directory and non-directory. Directory information that can be shared with others includes your name, address, major field of study, enrollment status, and other general information. Non-directory information is covered by FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974) that protects the release of most educational records.

Be aware that CNS advisors cannot share information protected by FERPA without a release signed by the student.

Answers about Registration

What is the UT Math Assessment?
CNS assesses prerequisite math placement through the UT Math Assessment. This assessment is required as a prerequisite for precalculus and calculus enrollment.  The necessary UTMA score will vary depending on the course.  Prerequisite requirements for precalculus and calculus courses can be found on the Math Prerequisites page.

What is the Chemistry Assessment?
CNS assesses appropriate knowledge of chemistry through the Chemistry Assessment in preparation for CH301.  

How do I register for classes?
In order to register for classes, you must first meet with your academic advisor. You can check your registration time and date by visiting your RIS (Registration Information Sheet).

How are my course registration dates determined, and do I need to claim all my credit-by-exam courses?  
The registration times for continuing and readmitted students are based on Progress Toward Degree (PTD) percentage determined by a special degree audit that runs on the 20th class day of the current term for assigning registration times for the next term(s). Generally, it is recommended for students to have claimed credits and submitted transfer coursework by the 12th class day to allow time for the credit to be picked up by the degree audit (it is not guaranteed that submitting and claiming credits during this timeframe will result in them being included in the 20th class day audit process). Additionally, claiming every credit-by-exam course that you’re able to DOES NOT guarantee an earlier registration time. Consult with your academic advisor if you are unsure about which credit-by-exam courses to claim.

Where do I find the advising worksheet?
An advising worksheet can be useful for some students. Note: Students on grade contract (academic probation) are not eligible to complete an advising worksheet to remove a registration hold.

What if I cannot register for a specific class?
The advisors in Center for Entry-Level Advising cannot help you register for a class that is waitlisted or closed. We recommend you visit the department of the course to inquire about availability. For example, if you are attempting to access a biology course, you will need to speak with the Biology Instruction Office.

How do I Q-drop a class?
Q-drop may be initiated via the online Academic Change Request System. For more information on Q-dropping a course and its procedures, please visit here. If you are unsure of whether or not to Q-drop a course, a conversation with your instructor and academic advisor is recommended.

Do I qualify for the one-time exception (OTE) policy?
Undergraduate students who may not have urgent, substantial, non-academic reasons will be allowed to drop a single class or withdraw from the University after the deadline to drop or withdraw for academic reasons under the provisions of the One Time Exception (OTE). The OTE may be invoked only once during the student’s entire undergraduate career regardless of college the student was enrolled in at the time the exception was allowed. It is the responsibility of the student to verify if they have an OTE available prior to submitting their request.

General Provisions

  1. The OTE does not apply to students in the Graduate School, the College of Pharmacy, the LBJ School of Public Affairs, the School of Law, or the School of Information.
  2. For CNS summer sessions and terms, there is no option to OTE, as the Q-drop deadline is through the last class day for each respective summer session or term.
  3. A student must request the OTE from the student's dean's office by the last class day.  Request must be submitted via email to by 11:59 p.m. by the last class day. Include your name, UT EID, and state that you are requesting to drop a course using your OTE. Please include your course number and unique number with the subject: “OTE Request, UT EID.” 
  4. Any drop or withdrawal allowed under the OTE will be subject to the same academic and financial aid rules governing other drops or withdrawals taken during the semester.

Provisions for Drops

  1. A student may not drop a class in which a final grade has been assigned. This will be verified by the student’s dean’s office with the instructor of the course.
  2. A student may not drop a class if there are any pending investigations of scholastic dishonesty for the class in question; this will be verified by the student’s dean’s office with the instructor of the course.
  3. Drops allowed under the provisions of the OTE will be considered academic drops and will count toward the 6-drop limit. Students who have reached the 6-drop limit are not eligible to use the OTE to drop a course.

Provisions for Withdrawals

  1. Students who are requesting to use the OTE for a withdrawal will be allowed to withdraw regardless of current grades in classes.
  2. A student must request the OTE Withdrawal from the student's dean's office by the last class dayRequest must be submitted via email to by 11:59 pm on the last class day
    • Include your full name, EID, and your intent to request a withdrawal for the session with your OTE, subject: “OTE Request to Withdraw, EID.”
  3. Any drop or withdrawal allowed under the OTE will be subject to the same academic and financial aid rules governing other drops or withdrawals taken during the semester.
  4. Pending scholastic dishonesty will be verified by the student’s dean’s office with the Dean of Students Office.  Withdrawal will not be approved if there is a pending scholastic dishonesty case.
  5. Per University policy, withdrawals require a meeting with a non-academic counselor.
  6. To schedule an appointment with a Non-Academic Coordinator, please use the bookings links listed on the Non-Academic Coordinator webpage.

How do I create a degree audit?

  • Go to IDA.  Log-in with your UTEID and password.
    • To create a new audit, select the "Create" option from the IDA's main menu.
    • Under "All Degree Plans" at the bottom of the page, select Natural Sciences to view all degree plan options.
    • From the list, select your major.  Be as specific as possible - do not run an audit that says "entry-level," these audits contain incorrect information.
    • Once you select your major, you are prompted to choose a catalog.  Your catalog dates coincide with the dates you started at UT (or with dates you attended at another Texas public institution - post high school).  For example, if you arrived at UT as a freshman in fall 2010, you will choose the 2010-2012 catalog.  If you transfered to UT from UTSA, and you were taking courses at UTSA in 2009, you have the option to utilize the 2008-2010 catalog.
    • Once you select your catalog, review your request information and click "Submit Audit."
    • Click OK to create your audit.
    • Under the main menu, select "View an Existing Degree Audit."
    • Click on your audit, and select the "Detail" view option, which provides the most comprehensive review of your degree requirements.
    • Compare your degree audit to a degree plan, checking off courses you have completed.  Your remaining coursework can serve as a registration guide or planning tool for creating a time line to graduation.
    • After you have registered each semester, rerun or create a new audit to see if your courses will apply to your degree as you expected.

Answers about Probation

Why are students placed on academic probation?
Students with a cumulative UT GPA of below 2.0 are placed on academic probation. Academic probation provides the student with a chance to raise his or her GPA to avoid dismissal.

Where can more information be found on probation and dismissal?
The chart below displays the criteria for university dismissal. Students in the College of Natural Sciences are subject to the Table of Scholastic Standards, but also fall under the terms of the CNS grade contract. More information can be found here, and you can access the CNS grade contract here.

Table of Scholastic Standards

Total College Hours Undertaken
UT Austin GPA for Scholastic Probation
UT Austin GPA for Scholastic Dismissal
Below 15
Less than 2.0
Less than 1.50
15 - 44
Less than 2.0
Less than 1.70
45 - 59
Less than 2.0
Less than 1.85
60 or more
Less than 2.0
Less than 2.00