College of the Arts Advising

Tips for MAJOR Success

 Student receiving advising

Who is my Advisor?

Is Advising Required?

Before Meeting with Your Advisor

Your Advising Appointment -- What to Expect

Quick-Links for Additional Academic Support

Who is my Advisor?

Students who thrive in the College of the Arts don't go it alone. While you, the student, are responsible for completing the requirements of your major, there are many people and resources here to help. 

To locate the name of your advisor –

  • Log onto NEST; go into Degreeworks; view Advisor assignment in the top left column of your audit.  If your advisor is not listed, contact your program coordinator or the advising contact person in the Department or School that houses your major.

  • Questions about advising services or advisor assignments may be addressed to:



Is Advising Required? 

Below are guidelines for entering and continuing students:

  • Freshmen students will have their beginning fall semester schedules developed for them, which will be provided during orientation.  (Questions about first-semester schedules may be addressed with the assigned academic advisor.)  Towards the middle of the fall semester, freshmen are then required to meet with their advisor PRIOR to registering for courses for the spring semester.

  • Students with fewer than 30 credits are also required to meet with their advisor prior to registering for courses for the fall semester of their sophomore year. 

  • In both of the above cases, students will need a registration pin, provided during advisement, in order to register for classes. Without this pin, students will be prevented from registering.

  • Transfer students will work with their respective advisor to create a course schedule for their first semester at Montclair State University.

  • Upperclassmen -- While not mandatory, it is strongly recommended that upperclassmen meet with an advisor prior to registering each semester to be sure of staying on track.

Before Meeting with your Advisor

Coming prepared to your advising session will enable you to ask informed questions and gain the best advice that may be most helpful to your academic and long-term goals.  Before your appointment it is highly recommended that you do the following:

  1. Know your program.  It is important to understand the overall scope and curriculum for your program. You should also review the University Catalog which provides additional specifics including how General Education fits in with your BA, BFA or BMus degee. (note: Past catalogs are also online, displaying curriculum in effect from prior years.)

  2. Review your DegreeWorks Audit.  The DegreeWorks Audit is the tool through which the University determines whether you have satisfied all requirements to graduate.  Through the DegreeWorks Audit you can examine: (a) courses you’ve already taken; (b) required courses you've yet to take; and (c) total credits you’ve earned .  The DegreeWorks Audit can be accessed via NEST.   (For more information regarding the DegreeWorks Audit, click here.)

  3. For Undergraduates:  Review the Four-Year Graduation Plan for your major.  The  Four-Year Graduation Plan includes an eight-semester example of courses taken that would fulfill your program’s degree requirements.  Bring this plan to your advising appointment to review how it may apply to you.  Be prepared to ask when the remaining courses you need to take are generally offered (fall, winter, spring, or summer semesters? available every year?) so that you can plan ahead when to take them.



Your Advising Appointment -- What to Expect

Your advisor is here to help you clarify your goals, choose the right courses, track your progress, and make decisions that will help you graduate on time.   Advising services would typically include the following:

  • Reviewing your DegreeWorks Audit to help you learn how to use it
  • Working with you to create an overall course plan, taking into account your degree requirements and when courses are offered
  • Determining which courses taken at other colleges may count towards your major (for incoming transfers)
  • Assistance with choosing courses each semester or selecting a concentration or minor
  • Referral to other college and campus resources, including tutorial services where needed
  • Assistance with processing any necessary academic forms (e.g. credit adjustments, Independent Study requests)
  • Guidance towards registering for classes

For additional help on registering for classes, go to:Registration Information.

Quick-Links for Additional Academic Support

Beyond individual advisement, Montclair State University provides a wealth of services designed to help you succeed.  Below are some to get you started.

Academic-Support Service

What it Offers

University main page for
Student Services

Clearinghouse for many University services for students.

Academic Advising


Resources to support your academic achievement:


Academic Calendar

Key dates including semester sessions, holidays and exam periods.

Academic Policies and Procedures

Policies for Graduate Students

Academic Success and Retention Programs(ASRP)

Links to webpages with specfic University policies and procedures information.

Description of retention initiatives and a
“Road to Graduation” blog.





College of the Arts Career Services and University Career Services

A communications tool containing content relevant to your coursework.


Services include career-planning workshops, internship help, resume guidance and career exploration. 

Center for Advising and Student Transitions (CAST)


Services for freshmen, sophomores and military students, including learning communities, peer mentoring and honor societies.

Dean of Students Office

Services that promote the psychological, physical, intellectual, occupational, spiritual and ethical wellness of students. Includes:

Disability Resource Center

Services for students with physical, sensory, learning, psychological, neurological, and chronic medical disabilities, including Documentation Guidelines for accessing classroom accommodations.

Educational Opportunity Fund Program (EOF)

Services for state residents from under-represented populations who meet income criteria and exhibit potential for high achievement.

FERPA (Family Education Rights and Privacy Act

Four-Year Graduation Plans

Two-Year Graduation Plans

Federal statute that regulates access to student records by individuals other than the student.

Course-sequence examples that would enable students to graduate from their majors in four years.  Two-year plans (for transfer students) are also available for some programs.

General Education and Degree Requirements

Overall degree requirements  for the BA, BFA and B Mus. degrees.

Center for Adult Learning

Programming for non-traditional adult students.

Registrar’s Office

Tel: 973-655-4376


Manages course scheduling; registration; academic records; grades processing; official transcripts; final audit for graduation and certification; curriculum administration; and  the University's degree auditing system.   



Student Accounts

Tel: 973-544-4177

Processes tuition payments, credits, and refunds



Student Guide

Defines student policies, rights, responsibilities, codes of conduct, and complaint procedures.

Tutorial Services

Offers tutoring support in various academic subjects and formats.


University Catalog


Lists curriculum and other requirements for all academic majors, minors and concentrations.

(Curriculum in effect at the time you entered the program may be found in the Past catalogs link.)


Tel: 973-655-4444

Information for all undergraduateand graduate applicants including guidelines for university-accepted transfer credits and credits earned through examination.

NEST Login

Portal to register for classes; access your schedule and DegreeWorks Audit, get grades, and review your financial account.

 Alumni Services

 Benefits for students beyond graduation.