College Advising vs. Major Advising

Advising at Cal: College Advising and Major Advising

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As a UC Berkeley undergraduate, you will likely seek support from many units on campus.

For academic questions and concerns, you will have two main types of advisers: L&S College Advisers and Undergraduate Major Advisers (UMAs).

Undergraduate Major Advisers

As you may guess, Undergraduate Major Advisers are experts in their majors and answer more in depth questions about majors. You may consider them your specialists. You will tend to work with your UMA more once you are declared, but can approach UMAs with major-specific questions before you are declared too. 

L&S College Advisers

L&S College Advisers take a broader view of your academics. They are experts on non-major degree requirements, non-major academic policies, and options when struggling in courses. They provide resources and advising for academic challenges, support choosing majors and minors, and identify ways that your classes and experiences fit together to give meaning to your education and meet your personalized goals. They can only answer basic questions about majors and when it comes to schedule planning, mostly work with students who are still exploring their major options.  You may consider them your generalists

Why multiple advisers? 

L&S has so many policies and majors that students benefit from having advisers who can develop expertise in particular areas to be able to answer questions in a knowledgeable way. 

It can sometimes be helpful to think of your resources at Cal like getting healthcare. You would see your doctor for certain questions, your dentist for others, but you'll ultimately need both to thrive. 

How to contact

See our Appointments and Advice page for links to either schedule an L&S Advising Appointment (with an L&S College Adviser) or meet with an Undergraduate Major Adviser. 

Feeling overwhelmed or lost? 

It can be challenging to get the hang of when to see which adviser, or even determine if your question should go to an academic adviser at all. And sometimes, you will need to see both an L&S College Adviser and a UMA in order for questions that impact both general and major requirements (such as creating a thorough program plan). 

Check out our Navigate Services page for more support.