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Northwestern School of Communication

Advising & Support

The Office of Undergraduate Programs and Advising (OUPA)  supports undergraduate students in the School of Communication (SoC) as they navigate the curricula of the school and prepare for life beyond Northwestern University.

OUPA recognizes that students are complex, multifaceted individuals. Our mission is to assist students in identifying their academic and creative interests while facilitating their pursuit of the knowledge, skills, and experiences that will allow them to explore these interests in depth. Our office's values are the same as the SoC's values. We encourage serious play.

Academic Advising

SoC academic advisors and External Programs, Internships and Career Services (EPICS) professionals contribute to the vibrant, creative, and intellectually engaging community of our school through their support of students' access to academic, co-curricular, wellness, and career resources.

SoC academic advisors are members of the faculty in one of the school's five academic departments; EPICS professional staff supports students enrolled in the school's undergraduate and professional programs.

Academic advising plays a significant role in how we support SoC undergraduates. Students who are accepted as incoming freshmen or transfer into one of the six SoC majors join an advising cohort of peers in their major and are assigned to an academic advisor who will advise them until they graduate.

Academic advisors hold regular advising hours each week and meet with students by appointment.

  • First year students meet their academic advisors during Wildcat Welcome and are required to meet with them at least once each academic term during their freshman year.
  • Transfer students join a class-year cohort and meet their academic advisors as a part of their transition into the school.

Academic Guidance & Support

Academic advisors serve as resources for students, providing guidance regarding course selection, degree progress, University policies and procedures, campus resources, professional development opportunities, and personal goals.

Academic advisors get to know and build relationships with SoC students. They help them to articulate their goals, identify their strengths and interests, and emphasize opportunities to learn and grow in different kinds of environments: the classroom, lab, studio, on stage, abroad, in internships, and with members of an alumni community deeply invested in their success.

In addition to providing career coaching and professional development support for SoC's five professional programs, EPICS professionals work closely with undergraduate academic advisors.

SoC academic advisors and EPICS professionals proactively assist students in assessing, defining, and achieving their fullest personal, academic, and professional potential by encouraging them to seek and pursue their unique passions.

OUPA Portfolio Highlights

  • Academic Advising
  • Curricular Support
  • Career Exploration and Development
  • Wellness Support & Referrals
  • Experiential Learning Opportunities
  • First-Year and Senior Seminars
  • Credit-bearing Internship Opportunities

OUPA Advising Goals

  • Support students in planning and completing a program of study that meets their educational goals
  • Foster students' participation in close communities of peers and faculty engaged in shared areas of academic inquiry and creative activity
  • Facilitate students' integration of knowledge and skills learned across multiple courses and encourage them to engage in projects that draw on interdisciplinary perspectives
  • Encourage students to participate in career development programs and internships as tools for exploring career options, developing relevant experience, and establishing strong professional networks
  • Provide accurate, current information on undergraduate curricular programs, School and University policies, procedures, and academic requirements
  • Assist students with enrollment transactions and program changes (ex: declaration of minors and modules, interschool transfers, term leaves)
  • Maintain a shared system of notes and documentation to track and support student progress
  • Serve as liaison to selected academic departments and schools as assigned; work with department chairs, program directors, and administrative staff to ensure accuracy and consistency in communication of program requirements