Degree Maps

Planning for Success: Academic and Career Development

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This information has been developed by the Academic Advising Center and Career Development Center to assist you in academic and career planning while at UMass Dartmouth. It provides you with an overview of degree requirements so that you may plan, with your academic advisor, the order of the courses needed to graduate in four years. At the same time, your academic planning should be integrated with your career planning. It also lists the steps to give you a four-year plan to help guide you in making career decisions and assist you in building a successful career.

What is Academic Advising?

Academic advising is a relationship in which an academic advisor helps you select, plan, and complete your academic goals in a friendly and helpful atmosphere.  You will want to work closely with your advisor to plan your program of study so you will take courses in their proper sequence to meet the graduation requirements for your degree program.

How can I make the best of my advisement appointment?

An advisor can be helpful only if you take the initiative to understand your requirements.  Here are some things you should do:

  • Keep current on academic policies, procedures, and requirements by reviewing the current General Catalog, schedule of classes, major requirement sheets, and Internet resources.
  • Understand University Studies and the required courses.  You can follow the link for approved courses
  • Take the initiative to contact your advisor during office hours. It may take more than one attempt before you connect. Schedule appointments prior to your registration date.
  • Prepare a list of questions or concerns before each meeting with your advisor.  Have a tentative written schedule prepared.
  • Bring something to write on and something with which to write.
  • Know the academic calendar. Don’t miss deadlines. Know when to register and drop classes.  Set up appointments with your advisor well in advance of these deadlines.
  • Ask questions! If you don’t understand a policy or procedure, ask questions until you do understand.
  • Make decisions. Your advisor will present you with options, but you must make the decisions for your future.

Review your record on COIN

It is your responsibility to verify that your academic record is accurate and up-to-date. At a minimum, you should check it at the beginning, after add/drop and at the end of every semester for the following information:

  • Are you in the correct major?
  • Are all of your AP, current enrollment and transfer credits posted?
  • Are you registered for the correct classes?
  • Are your grades accurate?
  • Did you repeat a class?
  • Update your student information such as mailing address and phone number.
  • Check to see if you have any registration holds.
  • Review the statement of Final Responsibility in the online catalog at

How should I make an appointment with my advisor?

  • E-mail your advisor well in advance of your registration date requesting an appointment.
  • Check the office hours of your advisor posted on their office door or within the department assistant's office.
  • If you are an Arts and Sciences undecided major, Liberal Arts or Business major under 45 credits, stop by the Academic Advising office to meet with an advisor. If you have a declared major, you MUST meet with your departmental advisor.

4-Year Career Development Plan


Freshman Year:

Inquiry: Self and Career Awareness   

  •  Attend classes regularly and develop positive
    relationships with faculty.
  • Access career assessment program
    TypeFOCUSon our website:
  • Schedule an appointment with a CDC career
    counselor to review career assessment results and discuss potentialcareer options.*
  • Explore career options via UMD CareerLink, go to
    "What Can I Do With A Major In" & Occupational Outlook Handbook.**
  • Join a campus club or professional organization
    to help develop leadership skills.
  •  Connect work study or part-time work experience
    with potential career goals.


  •  Connect summer work experience or service
    with potential career goals.

Sophomore Year:

Assessment and Exploration 

  •  Schedule an appointment with a career counselor to review career goals.*
  •  Attend career development workshops.**
  •  Attend career fairs, alumni career panels and networking opportunities.**
  •  Explore internship opportunities via UMD CareerLink.**
  •  Explore service, study abroad and alternative spring break opportunities.
  •  Create resume via on-line ResumeBuilder and cover letter.**
  •  Set up Study Abroad registration if planning for Fall or Spring semester experience.


  •  Continue to connect summer work or service with career goals.

Junior Year:

Evaluating Career Options 

  •  Meet with career counselor to update career goals.*

  •  Update resume or portfolio and cover letter.**

  •  Begin exploring job search techniques and career opportunities.**

  •  Attend career fairs and professional networking

  •  Explore graduate schools and programs with academic advisor. 

  • Plan for summer internship, study abroad, or employment.

  • Explore and plan for senior year internship.**


  • Continue to connect part-time/summer employment to career goals.
  • Determine post graduation plans, i.e., graduate school or employment.

Senior Year:

Realization - Making Decisions (Fall Semester)

  •  Implement post graduation plans, i.e., apply to graduate school or employment.
  •  Meet with career counselor to update career goals.*
  •  Update resume or portfolio and cover letter.**
  •  Sign-up and prepare for On-Campus Recruitment via UMD CareerLink.**
  •  Attend career fairs and professional networking sessions.**
  •  Schedule informational interviews with potential employers.

*To schedule career counseling appointments: 508-999-8659     **UMD CareerLink @


Q:   Why is career planning important to my success at UMass Dartmouth?

A:   Career planning is a developmental process that should begin as you start planning your academic major.  If you know what your ultimate career goals are, you will be able to decide more clearly on a major and be more focused on your course work. 

Q:   How do I get started?

A:   The Career Development Center has trained counselors to assist you.  CDC career counselors will guide you through a self-assessment process utilizing the Self-Directed Search that will to help determine your VIPS (Values, Interests, Personality and Skills) and how they relate to successful career planning.

Also, you can go to the CDC homepage: to register with UMD CareerLink, an on-line career management system that has links to resources such as TypeFOCUS,a personality test, “What Can I Do With A Major In....”, Occupational Outlook Handbook, and ResumeBuilder. We’re here to help you!  But, it’s up to you to take advantage of all the career-related resources that are at your finger tips.


We look forward to helping you plan for your success!!