I don’t know what to major in. What do I do?
It’s pretty easy to feel overwhelmed by all the choices you have in your first year of college, never mind trying to figure out what you want to do with the rest of your life! If you’re not sure yet what you want to major in or what job(s) you might like to pursue after college, talk to your academic advisor. Advisors for first- and second-year students are skilled at helping students understand their options and make academic choices that are right for them. UTPA’s Career Services website also provides resources on many career paths, including information about what you can do with majors in a variety of fields. You can also find great tips for what you can do, starting right now in your first year, to make sure you choose a path that’s right for you.
- Entering Freshmen receive advisement by staff advisors during New Student Orientation.
- Entering transfer students receive advisement by staff advisors during Transfer Orientation.
- Continuing Freshmen and Sophomores who are Engineering and Computer Science majors are advised in their Major Departments by faculty advisors located in the College of Engineering and Computer Science.
- All other continuing Freshmen and Sophomores are advised by staff advisors. Students can schedule appointments for advising through the University Academic Advising Center (UAAC) in Southwick Hall.
- All continuing Juniors and Seniors are advised by faculty advisors in their major department.
For more information, you can contact the University Academic Advising Center at 956-665-7120 or 956-665-7129.
I want to do really well this semester in my classes. What do “A” students do that I can do, too?
Every student at UTPA has the potential to be an “A” student! Students who are academically strong tend to show some similar patterns. If you follow these five suggestions, you will be graduating with honors in a few short years!
- Attend class every day. Missing even a few days of class can hurt your understanding of the material and eventually your grade, even if your instructor doesn’t take attendance.
- Keep on top of your commitments and assignments by practicing good time management and organizational skills. Keep a calendar with your assignments and tests so they don’t sneak up on you. Schedule regular study time on your calendar. Keep your class materials organized so that you can easily find what you need.
- Study lots. Really learning and understanding new content and skills takes time and effort. A good general rule of thumb for college study time is to study 6 to 9 hours a week outside of class for every 3 credit hour class you are taking. That means if you are taking 12 hours of classes, you should be studying 24 to 36 hours outside of class most weeks. That’s why 12 hours is considered full-time enrollment – it’s the same amount of work as a full-time job!
- Interact with your professors. Sit near the front of the class and make eye contact. Ask questions. Go to office hours to talk about class. Your professors want to help you succeed. If you need help, go to them. Even better, go to them before you need help!
- Go to tutoring at the Learning Assistance Center or at the University Writing Center. Academically successful students often attend the tutoring centers on campus because they understand that getting hands on help from skilled tutors will help them to learn faster.
I want to get a job on campus. How can I find one?
Great idea! With all the time you’ll save by not having to drive to and from an off-campus job, maybe you’ll even have time to join a student organization or get involved with a great undergraduate research project. To learn more about what opportunities are available on campus, visit the Bronc Career Connection.
I’m not sure what classes I need to take for my degree? OR I’ve heard of Degreeworks. What is that?
DegreeWorks is your degree plan. It tells you what courses you need to take, what options you have, how much progress you’ve made, and how much is left. It’s your roadmap to graduation! Log in to myUTPA and click on the DegreeWorks icon, or click on “DegreeWorks” from ASSIST. More details are available online. If you have questions or need help, talk to your academic advisor.
I really want to get involved academically and go beyond what I’m asked to do in my regular classes. What opportunities are out there for me?
UTPA offers a whole range of amazing opportunities for you to get involved academically and push yourself to grow, both intellectually and professionally. You’ll see many of them described throughout our website, but here’s a quick list to get you started: