Am I Looking at the Right Degree Audit?

I thought now would be as good a time as any to remind people of some of the tips and tricks of checking your degree audits through U.Achieve. I’m going to make this a continuing series on the blog. The degree audit can be a confusing document, and I’d like to help make it easier for all of you to understand how it works. I’ll start off with a few frequently asked questions.

Why do I see a third Cultural Studies requirement?

If you see three categories under Cultural Studies (Western or Comparative Cultures, Non-Western Cultures, and U.S. Minority Cultures), then you are running your audit using a Fall 2018 Catalog Year. You don’t want to do that unless you will be a new freshman or transfer student in Fall 2018. Those students will need to complete one additional General Education requirement, but if you began studying at Illinois in Spring 2018 or before that, you only need to complete a Western or Comparative Cultures course and a Non-Western or U.S. Minority Cultures course.


What is my Catalog Year?

Your official Catalog Year is the year you matriculated at any college or university. This is usually set by your UIUC College when you begin studying here. However, in certain cases, you may need to run your degree audit using a different Catalog Year. Here are some of those cases:

 –If you are pursuing a concentration in Psychology

Clinical/Community, Organizational, Developmental, Behavioral Neuroscience, and        Cognitive Psychology all require a Catalog Year of Fall 2015 or later.

Social/Personality and General Psychology require a Catalog Year of Fall 2015-             Spring 2017. If your official Catalog Year is Fall 2017 or later, you cannot declare            either of these concentrations.

Cognitive Neuroscience, Diversity Science, Social Psychology, Personality                     Psychology, and Intradisciplinary Psychology all require a Catalog Year of Fall 2017       or later.

If you are checking your progress in a different major that has changed requirements   since you matriculated

– For example, you may have begun studying at a community college in Fall 2014,            but you want to declare a second major in Spanish at Illinois. That major changed          its requirements in 2017, so you would want to run your audit using a Fall 2017             Catalog Year.

As always, please e-mail or visit me or your ARO in the College of LAS to ask questions if you have trouble understanding your degree audit. We’re here to help!





Drop Deadline – Friday, March 9

Don’t forget – tomorrow, Friday, March 9, is the last day to drop a full-semester (POT 1) course! You can drop courses in Enterprise up until 11:59 PM on Friday (but don’t wait until the last minute!).

Friday is also the last day to elect to take a course CR/NC and the last day to turn in Grade Replacement forms for full-semester courses you are taking now. You will need to get CR/NC forms signed by your advisor, and both CR/NC and Grade Replacement must be turned in to 2002 Lincoln Hall by the end of the workday.

If you have questions, need a form signed, or want to stop by to discuss, I’ll have drop-ins all day tomorrow (9-12 and 1-4).



Don’t drop the ball – drop that course by the deadline!

Google Values Soft Skills

“The seven top characteristics of success at Google are all soft skills: being a good coach; communicating and listening well; possessing insights into others (including others different values and points of view); having empathy toward and being supportive of one’s colleagues; being a good critical thinker and problem solver; and being able to make connections across complex ideas.”

Sounds a lot like the skill set you develop in Psychology and LAS.

(STEM expertise is #8, and you get that with our major, as well!)

Read the article in today’s Washington Post.


DROP DEADLINE – Friday, March 10

Just a reminder that FRIDAY, MARCH 10 is the last day to

(a) drop a full-semester (POT 1) course,

(b) elect CR/NC or change CR/NC in a full-semester (POT 1) course to a letter-grade,


(c) opt to use Campus Grade Replacement for a full-semester (POT 1) course.

You can drop courses in Enterprise until 11:59 PM on that day. After that, you will not be able to drop a full-semester course without a “W.” To seek a late-drop (drop with a “W”), you will need to meet with a dean or advisor in the Student Academic Affairs Office, 2002 Lincoln Hall and complete a petition to late-drop the course.

Both CR/NC and Grade Replacement forms need to be filled out in hard copy and turned in at 2002 Lincoln Hall by 4:40 PM on Friday, March 10.

Please see me if you are planning to drop or use CR/NC or grade replacement in a course. I will have drop-ins that Friday afternoon for any last-minute deciders!

CR/NC form

Grade Replacement form

Did You Know? Supporting Coursework


Have you ever seen this on your DARS audit?


– NEEDS:         12.0 HOURS


If you are a Psychology major who began your undergraduate studies prior to Fall 2015, this is one of your degree requirements. Students are required to complete 12 hours outside the major; these courses do not have to be from the same discipline, but they should have some sort of thematic unity (e.g., pre-med courses, courses on health-related topics, world literature courses, courses about history and politics, etc.). We want this requirement to work for you — think about taking courses that will help you meet your career goals, provide you with valuable skills, or deepen your understanding of a particular subject.

Many students complete this requirement by declaring an official minor or second major. If you do this, you will not need to meet with your advisor to complete a major plan of study; it will be entered by your records officer once you apply to graduate. If you do not declare an official minor or second major, you will need to meet with your advisor in Psychology (me!) to discuss the courses you want to use for this requirement. I will then submit the required paperwork to the College of LAS.

Note: This is not a graduation requirement for students completing a Psychology concentration. Refer to the department web site for more information.