All HDFS majors have one academic advisor who will be with you during your time in college.  Students see their academic advisor for many concerns including: academic planning, challenges while in college, career planning, and more. When students aren’t quite sure where to start, contacting their advisor is a perfect first step.

Skip to Advising FAQs

Undergraduate Advising

Barbara Anderson
Academic Advisor

237 Bevier Hall
905 S Goodwin Ave.
Urbana, IL 61801

Barbara Anderson

Advising FAQs


When can I register for next semester?
If you're a continuing student, look for your Time Ticket in the Registration Eligibility section in Student Self-Service client at about two weeks before the beginning of advance registration. This will show the earliest time you can begin using Student Self-Service to make a schedule. You'll need your NetID and password to access your Student Self-Service.

What if I want to carry more than 18 hours of credit?
The UI registration system won't let you sign up for more than 18 hours in a semester (the normal maximum credit load) without the permission of your academic advisor and the dean's office. If you want to carry more, you need to complete the online Overload Request; there's a link to this form available on the ACES Forms and Petitions page. Fill in the appropriate information, then submit the form. You'll receive an email from ACES when you've been approved to add the overload hours.

Please note that even though you can request a credit overload without your advisor's approval, it's smart to check with your academic advisor first to see make sure the overload is a wise choice. Also be prepared to furnish compelling reasons for any request for more than 20 hours in a single semester.

What if I have a hold on my registration?
Your Registration Eligibility page may show you have a hold that must be cleared before you can register. If you have a hold, click View Holds and follow instructions about whom to see, where to go, what to do to remove the hold. If the hold was placed by the College of ACES, go to 128 Mumford Hall. If the hold was placed by the department, contact your academic advisor. If you don't clear the advising hold, you won't be able to register.

What can I do if a course I want is full or reserved?
If you get a registration error message telling you a course is closed, reserved or restricted, contact the department offering the course. They're the only people who can authorize you to register for a course that's already full. If an on-line wait list is available, add your name to the wait list.

If you get a "restricted" message, first check in the Class Schedule to determine whether you meet the academic standing, class standing, major, prerequisite, or other requirements for the course. If you do, or if you want to see if you can get in the course anyway, contact the department offering the course to see if they are maintaining a waiting list. If they are, have them put your name on it. If you get a "consent required" message, contact the college, department, or instructor as indicated to request authorization to register for the course.

Adding & Dropping Courses

When can I add a course to my schedule?
You can add a course at any time after the time shown on your time ticket and before the end of the second week of classes (see the Class Schedule for the date). You may not add a course that will make your credit load greater than 18 hours until you've submitted a request for a credit overload and received approval from the dean's office. Any time you add a course after the first day of class, it's wise to contact the instructor to get permission to add the course and to find out about any assignments, textbook recommendations, changes in meeting time or place, and the like.

How do a drop a course?

For fall and spring terms, as long as you remain enrolled in at least 12 credit hours, you can drop a full-semester course without academic penalty until the end of the eighth week of the term. Part-term courses and summer courses may be dropped without academic penalty until the midpoint of the course. (See the Office of the Registrar’s academic deadlines for specific dates.) Courses dropped by the appropriate deadline will not appear on official transcripts.

Students can use Self-Service system until 11:59 pm Central Time to drop a full-semester course.

Things to consider:

  1. Talk with your academic advisor about your reasons for dropping it and the implications the drop will have for your progress toward your degree.
  2. Make sure you know the required academic hours for any grants (MAP grant especially) or scholarships you have.
  3. If you use financial aid, make sure dropping the class will not impact your funding. Dropping courses after the 10th day of classes can impact your “percent completion rate” that you must maintain to continue to receive aid. You can contact the Office of Student Financial Aid at (217) 333-0100.
  4. Also be aware that dropping to fewer than 12 hours will cause you to be classified as a part-time student, which may have implications for your eligibility for financial aid, student loans, reduced-price auto insurance, private health insurance, and other things that may be tied to your having full-time status.

How do I drop a course after the 8-week deadline?

Talk to your academic advisor about why you want to drop the course after the deadline. If your advisor supports your request, you need a Petition to Drop a Course After the Deadline: fill out the form here.  An assistant dean will review the petition and notify you of the decision within two weeks. You must continue to attend class and complete assignments in the course until you receive permission from the dean's office to drop the course. Permission to drop after the 8-week deadline is not automatic and will be granted only in extraordinary circumstances. Strong reasons for dropping after the deadline include:

  • You haven't attended class because you thought you had already dropped the course.
  • You told your advisor well in advance of the eighth-week deadline of potential problems in the course, but didn't receive any feedback (e.g., assignment grades or exam scores) until after the eighth week and therefore did not drop the course before the deadline.
  • You've encountered extraordinary circumstances, such as serious illness or family emergency, that have interfered with your ability to satisfactorily complete the course.

  Weak reasons (which probably won't be honored) include:

  • You're failing or doing poorly in the course.
  • You're carrying too many hours.

Why won't the registration system let me drop my last course?
The  registration system treats dropping your schedule to 0 hours the same as withdrawing from the university, even if all you're trying to do is remove one course to make room for another in your schedule. If you're in the process of building your schedule, simply add another course before you drop the first one; this will then enable you to drop the first course and add its replacement. However, if you're dropping your last course and not planning to complete the semester, you must visit the ACES Office of Academic Programs in 128 Mumford Hall to complete the process of withdrawing from the university. Staff there will inform you of procedures you'll need to follow to re-enroll for a later semester.

How do I add a course after the first two weeks of classes?
To add a course after the first two weeks, you need permission of the instructor, the department offering the course, and your academic advisor. You also need a Late Course Change Form. Don't assume any permissions will be automatic - be prepared to give good reasons for wanting to add late.

    Taking A Course Credit/No-Credit

    How do I take a course Credit/No-Credit?
    First, talk with your academic advisor to be sure you can take the course CR/NC. If your advisor says it's OK, complete a CR/NC Option form before the end of the eighth week of classes (see the Class Schedule for the date). College office personnel will make the change for you. Your instructor won't be notified of your choice and will award you a grade for the course as though you were taking the course for a grade. You must earn a grade of D- or better to receive credit for the course. The course will be counted in your total credit hours, but not in your grade-point average.

    How many courses can I take Credit/No-Credit?
    You may take as many as two courses per semester (one course per summer session) using the CR/NC grading option. You can apply up to 18 hours of CR/NC grading toward the 126 you need for graduation.

    What courses can I take Credit/No-Credit?
    You may only take open elective courses for Credit/No-Credit (CR/NC). You must take all required courses in your program - any course specified by name, course number, department, college, or area - for a grade. If you are on academic probation, you may not use the CR/NC option.

      Taking a Course for Grade Replacement

      What is grade replacement?
      Grade replacement is a policy that permits you to complete a course a second time and have only the grade from your second attempt at the course count in your grade point average. If you repeat a course without electing grade replacement, your grades from both attempts are computed in your GPA - they effectively are averaged. If you repeat a course and elect grade replacement, the grade from your first attempt at the course remains on your transcript and is flagged with an "R" for "replacement"; only the grade from the second attempt is computed in your GPA.

      Does grade replacement remove the replaced grade from my transcript?
      No, the original grade remains on your transcript, flagged with an "R" to indicate it was replaced by a grade for a subsequent attempt at the same course.

      It is important to note that most graduate programs, including vet schools and law schools, still use the original instance of the course in calculating your GPA even if grade replacement was applied.

      What courses can I take for grade replacement?
      You may request application of this policy for a course in which you are currently enrolled if you previously enrolled in the same course and received a grade of C- or lower; you were not found guilty of an academic integrity infraction the first time you took the course; and the credit, topic, and grade mode are the same for both instances of the course. You may only use grade replacement once for the same course. You may take a maximum of four courses or ten semester hours for grade replacement.

      How do I take a course for grade replacement?
      If you're currently taking a course that qualifies for grade replacement, you may elect to take it for grade replacement by completing a Grade Replacement Form: fill out the form here. You must submit the completed form before the end of the eighth week of classes (see the Class Schedule for the date). No requests for grade replacement will be granted after the end of the eighth week of classes.

        Graduation Requirements

        What if a course I need for graduation isn't offered before I graduate?
        It's up to you to plan your program so you'll be able to complete all your required course work in the time available before you expect to graduate. Work with your academic advisor to build a plan that takes into account that some required courses are offered only in fall or only in spring. A careful plan is the best insurance against finding yourself in a situation where you're unable to meet all your graduation requirements on time.

        If you follow the plan you worked out with your advisor and you later discover that a course you'd counted on taking during your senior year isn't going to be offered, contact your advisor to find a substitute course or other plan of action. Once you've found a substitute course, you need a Petition for Substitution of a Required Course: fill out the form here. Complete the petition and gather documentation to support the substitution, such as the syllabus from the substitute course. The dean's office will contact you with a decision about the substitution within two weeks of receiving your petition.

        Asking to substitute for a required course is equivalent to asking to change your "contract" with the university to complete a prescribed course of study in exchange for your degree. Consequently, substitutions are only approved under extraordinary circumstances, and only after all other avenues have been exhausted.

        Strong arguments for a substitution include:

        • The required course is no longer offered, and the substitute covers similar subject matter or skills.
        • The required course can't be scheduled without conflicting with another required course, and the substitute course covers similar subject matter or skills. (This argument is usually only valid for transfer students nearing graduation.)
        • You completed another course that precludes receiving credit for the required course. (This argument is generally only valid for transfer students.)
        • You're near graduation and were forced by extraordinary circumstances to withdraw from the required course, and the course is not offered during your final semester or year.

        The following are weak arguments for substitution and probably will not be honored:

        • You're near graduation and the required course is not regularly offered during your final semester or year. (You should have planned ahead!)
        • You're failing or doing poorly in the required course.
        • The substitute course doesn't cover subject matter or skills similar to those in the required course.
        • Another student successfully petitioned to make the requested substitution last year.

        Obviously, planning ahead is the key basis for making an exception. If you've worked with your academic advisor throughout your undergraduate years to craft a plan of study, your petition for substitution is more likely to be approved. Likewise, a request for a substitution made before you take the substitute course is more likely to be approved than one you make after the fact.

        What do I need to do to graduate?
        To receive a degree in either HDFS undergraduate concentration, you must:

        • Complete at least 126 hours of eligible course work.
        • Complete all courses prescribed in your program.
        • Have at least a 2.0 average for all course work, including work transferred from other institutions.
        • Meet the UIUC residence requirement by completing at least 60 hours of credit at UIUC and at least 40 hours of credit in courses numbered 300 or higher.

        How can I track my progress toward my degree?
        You also can find your current progress report (often referred to as a degree audit or DARS audit) by following instructions at the DARS audit link This audit is updated daily, so it includes all information as of the day before you access it. Your progress report offers a detailed breakdown of which graduation requirements you've met and which courses you took to meet them. It also shows which graduation requirements you still need to meet and, where appropriate, which specific courses you must take to meet them. Your audit will show how any courses you took at another institution were counted toward your UIUC graduation requirements, as well as how you stand with respect to the residence requirement, the hours of credit earned in College of ACES and major courses, and the total hours of credit required for graduation.

        What should I do if I think there's a mistake in my degree audit?
        First, remember that your web audit is only updated once each day (generally about midnight), and any changes in your registration or awarding of transfer course credit occurring since the day before won't show up on the audit. Your audit also will not show credit earned at other institutions or while studying abroad if that information hasn't yet been posted to your UIUC academic record. Also look carefully at the audit to make sure a course you think should count toward a graduation requirement isn't being counted toward some other requirement. Finally, make sure any missing credits you're looking for don't exceed limits on independent study, CR/NC, or other hours that you're allowed to count toward the total needed for graduation.

        If you still think there's an error, or if you want to change which requirement a course counts toward, take a print-out of your audit to the College of ACES office in 128 Mumford Hall and explain your concern to one of the records officers there. The records officer will explain your audit for you, and if they agree there is an error they'll see that it gets corrected.

        If you're not sure whether there's an error in your audit, or if you want help interpreting it, contact your academic advisor. You can also get help with your audit by contacting Barbara Anderson, the HDFS advising coordinator, at

        How many hours of internships or independent study can I take?
        You may take as many hours as you like in independent study and related courses (including HDFS 294, 295, and 396, as well as similar courses in other departments). However, you can count only 12 hours in such courses toward the 126 hours needed for graduation. So if you complete, say, 4 hours in HDFS 294 as a research assistant, 6 hours in HDFS 396, and 4 hours in AGCM 295, only 12 of the hours will count toward graduation. All 14 hours completed will be counted in determining your full-time status and your grade-point average, however.

        What's the “residence requirement” for graduation?
        To earn an undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois, you must earn at least 60 hours of UIUC credit, including at least 21 hours of credit in 300-level or 400-level UIUC courses.

        How do I get proficiency credit for a course?
        You can earn credit in many introductory courses (and some more advanced courses) by getting a high enough score on a proficiency examination. To learn more about the most common UIUC proficiency exams, go to, or check with the department offering the course you want to earn credit for to learn about exam schedules and other requirements.

        What's the “language other than English” requirement for College of ACES students?
        To earn a degree in a College of ACES major, you must complete either:

        • Three or more years of the same foreign language (a language other than your primary language) in high school or
        • A third-semester UIUC non-primary language course (or its equivalent at another institution)

        So if you completed at least three years of a language in high school, you don't need to take any more language courses to meet this graduation requirement. But if you completed only two years of any language in high school, you'll need to complete a third-semester course here at UI or an equivalent course at a community college. If you took a language placement test before coming to UI, those results will determine which language course you should take first. In many cases, you'll need to start with the second-semester UI course before you can enroll in the third-semester course you must complete before you'll be able to graduate. If you can't remember what UI language course you placed in, contact your academic advisor or the ACES Academic Programs office in 128 Mumford Hall (333-3380).

        Be aware that if you met your non-primary language requirement by completing three or more years of the same language in high school, you cannot earn credit for first- or second-semester courses in that language. For example, if you took three years of Spanish in high school, you cannot earn any graduation credit for SPAN 122, a second-semester course. You can, however, earn credit for SPAN 103 or any higher level SPAN course, or for introductory courses in another language.

        If you want to take courses in a different language from the one for which you took the placement exam, or if it's been more than a year since you took a UI language placement exam, it's a good idea to take (or re-take) the exam to get a reliable guide to which course you should start in. Contact the department offering courses in the language you want -- your academic advisor can help you identify the correct department -- and ask to take the placement test. Many times, you can take the test within a day or two of the time you call. When you've completed the placement exam, you can use those results to see where you should start your language sequence. Under no circumstances should you register for any but a first-semester course in a foreign language without first taking a placement exam in that language.


          Do courses I've transferred from other institutions appear on my UIUC transcript?
          Your UIUC transcript will list the titles of courses you've completed at other institutions. It will also show the semester or term GPA you earned for your transfer work, but not grades for specific courses. Grades for all transfer courses become part of your transfer GPA and your UIUC cumulative GPA.

          Does the transcript show courses I've dropped?
          Your transcript won't list courses you've dropped before the official mid-semester or mid-session deadline for dropping courses. But it will list courses dropped after that date, showing each with a grade of W (withdrawn) for each. The W does not figure in the computation of your cumulative or semester GPA.

          Does the transcript show grades for courses where I've used grade replacement?
          Yes. The transcript shows all grades for all courses you take at UIUC. If you use grade replacement, only the second grade is used to compute your semester and cumulative GPA, but both grades remain on your transcript.

          How do I get an unofficial transcript?
          Unofficial paper transcripts are only available in-person in the Records Service Center of the Office of the Registrar.  The student must present photo identification and must pick up their own transcript.  Unofficial transcripts cannot be faxed, mailed, or e-mailed.

          How do I order copy of my official UIUC transcript?
          You can order a copy of your official UIUC transcript from the Registrar's transcripts website. You can order paper copies of your transcript or electronic delivery; the current  price is $8 per copy.

          What information is on my official UI transcript?
          Your UIUC transcript includes a record of all the UIUC courses you've completed along with the grade you've earned in each. It also shows your institutional (UIUC), transfer, and cumulative GPAs and your GPA for each semester. Once you graduate, it indicates the degree you received, the date you received it, and any University honors you received at graduation.

            Transferring Work from Other Institutions

            How do I get my work at another institution transferred to UIUC?
            When you've completed the course at the other institution, ask them to send your transcript to

            Office of Undergraduate Admissions
            University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
            901 West Illinois Street
            Urbana, IL 61801

            Transcripts received directly from a student and/or emailed as a PDF are not considered official.

            Electronic transcripts that are sent by official vendors (Parchment, National Student Clearinghouse, etc.) are considered official. The transcript ordering system at most colleges and universities will allow a student to direct a transcript order to a person or university. If you are able to, please direct your transcript order to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Office of Undergraduate Admissions. If this option is not available, order the transcript be sent to

            Can I enroll at Parkland College while I'm taking courses at UIUC?

            Absolutely, but you'll want to provide documentation to show you're a UIUC student; this will streamline the Parkland admissions process and qualify you for Parkland's in-district tuition rate. To concurrently enroll at Parkland, you first must complete and submit a Concurrent Enrollment Form. Read the form's instructions carefully and take the requested documents to Parkland (or the community college you'll be attending) to complete the registration process. If you're receiving financial aid at UI, you must also complete a concurrent enrollment form for financial aid, available at

            How can I tell what course at a community college is the equivalent of a course at Illinois?
            You can see how courses at community colleges and four-year institutions in Illinois (and in some other states) transfer to UIUC using the Transferology website at

            Getting Help with Course Work


            Changing Majors or Advisors

            How do I change my academic advisor?
            Contact Barbara Anderson, the HDFS advising coordinator, at

            How do I change my major to something other than HDFS?
            Contact the advising coordinator or department office of the department that offers the major you want to change to and make an appointment to discuss what you need to do to make the change. Find out if there are any special application procedures, required courses, grade-point minimums, or other requirements needed to transfer. Also ask what courses you should consider taking while you wait to complete your transfer. Until you're sure you can make the transfer, be sure also to take courses that work toward degree requirements in your current major. Work with your HDFS advisor to build a schedule that meets your needs.

            How do I change my major to HDFS?
            You must submit an application to transfer into human development and family studies (HDFS). For more information.


            Can I earn academic credit for an internship?
            Students in HDFS currently may earn internship credit only via HDFS 450 (Practicum in HDFS).

            How do I arrange an internship?
            If you're interested in HDFS 450, look for announcements of the Springpring semester. Make sure you go to the meeting; if you're unable to attend, contact the HDFS 450 internship coordinator early in the Spring semester to make sure you're included in the planning process.

            What if I've found a promising activity to get involved in but I've already earned the maximum internship hours or the activity doesn't qualify for internship credit?

            Go ahead and investigate the activity further. The experience you'll gain and contacts you'll make will be valuable even if you're not able to earn academic credit. Don't pass up a good thing just because it won't appear on your academic transcript - you'll still be able to include the experience on your resume.

            Study Abroad

            Do I need to speak a foreign language fluently to participate in study abroad?
            It's your choice. Courses in many study abroad programs are taught in English, those in some others are taught in the local language. So don't let lack of foreign language skills keep you from exploring overseas study.

            Does a semester of study abroad cost more than a semester on campus?
            Costs for study abroad programs vary. But in many cases your costs for tuition and fees will be no more than at UI, and your room and board costs may in fact be less. Transportation to your study abroad site is a significant cost. But virtually all your financial aid can be applied to approved study abroad programs. And there are frequently scholarships available to help defray some remaining costs. Check with the College of ACES and UI Study Abroad offices for more information about financial aid for study abroad.

            What kind of planning should I do for a semester Study Abroad?
            Most students find a full-semester study abroad experience fits best during their junior year, and that planning needs to begin about a year in advance of their trip abroad. So if you're thinking of being gone during the fall semester of your junior year, you'll want to begin identifying where you'll go early in your sophomore year so that you'll have time during the spring semester to select and pre-approve the courses you'll take. If you'll be overseas during the spring semester of junior year, you probably can start a little later in your planning, but you'll still want to have a good idea of where you'll go by the end of your sophomore year.

            Most important: If you think you might want to pursue a study abroad experience, let your academic advisor know! That way, he or she will be able to help you plan your course work so that your time overseas won't disrupt your regular progress toward your degree. You can also work with your advisor as you identify which courses you might take overseas.

            What kinds of Study Abroad experiences can I get involved in?
            The short answer: As many, and as many different kinds, as you want! The traditional semester of classes at a foreign institution is still a great way to learn more about other people and places, enhance your communication skills in another language, get involved in service activities, and more. But you can also gain valuable international experience via a growing array of shorter, more focused faculty-led study tours and other programs. You can begin as early as your first semester at UI with the freshman Discovery study tour to the Dominican Republic (ACES 298); later on, you can join HDFS 379 tours to South Africa or Brazil, or other study-tours offered by other departments.

            To learn more about study abroad experiences offered by ACES and ACES departments, visit the ACES Study Abroad page, and be sure to contact ACES Director of Education Abroad Programs Meredith Blumthal (217-333-3380,

            For information about the full array of programs available to UIUC students, visit the Study Abroad Office website at

            Where can I learn more about Study Abroad opportunities?
            To learn about study abroad opportunities offered through the College of ACES, call 217-333-3380. The ACES Study Abroad Office is room 123 Mumford Hall.

            To learn about the full range of Study Abroad opportunities available to UI students, call or visit the UI Study Abroad Office Resource Room (112 International Studies Building, 901 S. Fifth Street), where you can look up information about available programs and learn how to meet with an advisor who can help you as you make your plans. You can also attend a "First Steps" info session to get answers to your basic planning -- see the Before You Start page for schedule information or, if you can't attend, view the "First Steps" video series.

            Will study abroad courses meet any of my graduation requirements?
            Study abroad programs offer many kinds of courses; what you'll find in any given program will depend on the course offerings at the place you'll be studying. Most of the programs offered through the College of ACES offer courses in agricultural and food-related topics, and a few have courses in areas related to HDFS. Any courses you complete that are ultimately approved for transfer to UIUC will count toward the credit hours required for graduation. Working with your academic advisor, ACES Academic Programs staff, and study abroad advisors in other departments, you may be able to arrange to have some or all the courses you complete overseas count toward general education and other graduation requirements as well.

            HDFS isn't a common subject at many foreign universities, so you may have difficulty finding programs where you can take courses equivalent to those you'll take in your major here at UI. However, ACES Study Abroad has identified several programs where you'll find classes, internships, or study-tour opportunities that complement what you'll learn in your UI HDFS courses; you can find these at their Programs in HDFS page. These are just a fraction of the programs you might choose from, but they all share a strong social science, human services, or community development orientation.

            In most other semester-long programs, the kinds of courses you'll find most abundant and appealing will be on such topics as local literature, history, and culture. These kinds of courses often will transfer to UI to meet general education Humanities requirements. So as you're planning your course work in the years leading up to your study abroad experience you might want to save completion of your Humanities requirement for the semester you're overseas. The likelihood of meeting other general education requirements or major course requirements will be much smaller, so you won't want to plan to complete those kinds of required courses during your semester abroad.

            Will study abroad mean I'll need to delay my expected graduation date?
            Most students who spend a single semester in a study abroad experience are still able to finish their degree programs within four years after they entered UI. Students who spend a year in an overseas program usually need no more than an extra semester at UI to complete their degree requirements. In either case, careful planning is crucial to make sure you don't interrupt course sequences or miss out on required courses offered only in the semester you're in study abroad. So even first-semester students considering study abroad need to work carefully with their academic advisors to plan their course work.