Module 4 – Advising & Registration

College 101

Navigating the college enrollment and registration process can be somewhat intimidating. As you learn about this new chapter in your life, don’t let a few challenges stand in the way of your educational goals. The tips and information in this module will help you to understand how to register for your courses quickly and stay more informed.


Degree or Not Degree, That is the Question…

You don’t need to be officially accepted into a degree program to take courses are UAF. However, fully admitted students receive academic and course guidance and are eligible for financial aid. Both help keep students on track and reduce time to graduation.

Whether you have been accepted to a degree program or not, it’s important to know some college lingo. Check out “College 101-Defined” to learn the latest.



Advising / Course Selection – Each degree student at UAF must obtain academic advising prior to enrolling in courses for the following semester. An advisor keeps students on track toward their degree and helps them understand other university degree requirements. Information about advising can be found here.

Associate Degree – An undergraduate academic degree awarded to students who complete 60 credit hours (typically two years).

Baccalaureate Degree – An undergraduate academic awarded to students who completed over 120 credit hours (typically four years).

Coursefinder / Class Search – Students can search for courses they want to take through UAF’s Coursefinder or through the Class Search menu at UAOnline.

Credit Hour – A standard measure that gives weight to the value and time (or contact hours) invested in an academic course of colleges and universities across the country. At UAF, one credit represents satisfactory completion of 800 minutes (one hour per week for the entire semester).

CRN – A Course Reference Number is a five-digit number that identifies a specific course in each term. It will be used to register for courses next semester.

Degree Plan / Degree Works – A road map for which courses a student needs to take to complete their degree requirements. Degree Works (available at UAOnline) is a digital road map which shows not only the courses a student needs to complete but also the history of which have already been completed.

Drop / Withdraw – Students can drop a class with a full refund within the dates (usually two weeks) specified in the academic calendar. If students are having academic difficulty or determine other circumstances might impact their performance in a course, they can withdraw. Withdrawing results in a “W” on the transcript, and no refund is provided. Information on dropping or withdrawing can be found here.

Fee Payment / Drop for Nonpayment – Once enrolled in a course, students become responsible for the costs of that course. Students must pay for their tuition and fees (fee payment) each semester they enroll. In some terms, the university may drop for not paying.

FERPA –  The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act regulates how education records are handled by institutions of higher education and when the institution can and cannot disclose personally identifiable information.

GER –  General Education Requirements (math, English, communication, etc.) must be completed within each degree by each student. Sometimes UAF’s GERs are referred to as Core Requirements.

LMS – A Learning Management System is a software application use in the administration, reporting and delivery of online asynchronous or synchronous courses (see the definition below). At UAF, we use Blackboard as the Learning Management System. If you take an online course, the course will be delivered through Blackboard.

Online / Distance Learning – A delivery mode for various university courses. All UAF eCampus courses are asynchronous, meaning courses are delivered online without the constraints of time and place. Other distance courses (i.e., audio, teleconference) are synchronous courses that require a specific meeting time.

Placement Testing – These tests assess a student’s current abilities in math, reading and writing. Based on these scores, the student “places” in the corresponding course, which provides students much greater possibility for success. Here are helpful links to Placement Testing:  ALEKS

Payment Plan – Students who will not be able to pay their full account balance by the deadline for tuition and fee payments should set up a payment plan. Payment plans allow you to pay your balance in three installments during the semester.

Prerequisite – Course prerequisites indicate what previous preparation (i.e., previous courses) a student needs to enroll in another course. The UAOnline system will block registration if the student has not taken the appropriate prerequisite course.

Proctor – If students are taking online classes, instructors may require their exams be proctored. A proctor is someone who oversees an examination in place of university faculty or staff. Find proctor information here.

SAP  – A student must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress toward their educational goal to be eligible for student financial aid. Information on SAP is available here.

Undeclared (General Studies) – Many students are admitted to UAF in the General Studies program. This means they plan to take courses and find an interest, major and career field at a later time. The Academic Advising Center advises all General Studies students.

Wait List – When a course is filled to capacity, it is listed as “closed.” Some courses offer a wait-list option to allow students to wait for a space (in priority order), in case one becomes available. Further information is available here.

The Degree

To earn any degree at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, you must satisfy various sets of requirements. These are broken down into the following:

General University Requirements  – These outline the number of credits needed, how many are upper division (300-400 level), what the grade point average requirements are, etc.

Degree Requirements – Depending on the degree type (associate / bachelor), students will have specific requirements that need to be met.

Major Requirements  – Depending on the major, students will need to take specific discipline-related courses (i.e., engineering majors take courses related to engineering). Review the catalog for specifics.

Stay on Track

As the video points out, getting your degree in the least amount of time will save you a bunch of money. Here are some quick tips:

  1. Complete 15 credits each semester to graduate on time.
  2. If life got in the way this semester and you didn’t complete 30 credits this year, pick up a summer course (eCampus or face-to-face). There are also short intensive course options offered during Maymester.
  3. Enroll as soon as registration opens. Courses fill up very quickly (especially the GERs).  
  4. They say 80 percent of success is just showing up. Make sure to go to your first class or log in to Blackboard on the first day.
  5. Other tips can be found here:  Staying on Track.

Prior Proper Planning…

Degree students can prepare to register for the next term’s courses by contacting their academic advisor. Advisors will ensure the selected courses fit into the student’s degree plan and meet university requirements. Prior to meeting with their advisor, students should follow this checklist:

  1. Review the General Education Requirements and specific degree requirements.
  2. After logging in to UAOnline, select “DegreeWorks and Electronic Degree Audit’ under the “Student Services & Account Information” tab. Review the degree requirements to determine the outstanding courses still needed.
  3. Once students have an idea which courses to enroll in, they will review the list with their academic advisor.
  4. After reviewing the course wish list, advisor’s will grant permission to enroll at UAOnline. In some special circumstances, online students can register through UAF eCampus.
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Academic Advising

As part of UAF’s commitment to keeping you on track toward your degree, academic advising is required for students accepted into a degree program. These trained academic advisors (specific to each college/school) not only know all university, degree and program requirements, but can also help with adding and dropping courses, creating degree plans, taking placement exams, finding helpful resources and much more!  All UAF advisors have a service attitude and work to help each student no matter what their situation.

Find your academic advisor here. If you enrolled in an online degree, contact the eCampus Academic Advisor at or by calling (907) 455-2060.


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UAF New Student Orientation

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