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First and Second Year

In addition to beginning your academic studies, during your early time at Miami, you will learn how to be a college student.

Establish Good Habits

Your first year is the best time to begin establishing good habits that will help you be successful.  As you think about setting the stage for your time at Miami, keep these tips in mind.  

  • Ask for help when you need it!
  • Maintain a healthy schedule. 
  • Attend all of your classes.
  • Complete all of your assignments.
  • Read your email and check Canvas at least once a day.
  • Visit faculty during office hours.
  • Get to know your academic advisor.
  • Find the ideal place for you to study.
  • Familiarize yourself with campus resources.
  • Try something new.

Explore Majors

Throughout your first and second year, you may still need to decide on a major, or you may find something new that you’d like to pursue.  Regardless, academic advisors can help you continue exploring the academic opportunities that are available to you.

Things to remember:

  • It’s okay to be unsure about your major, and to be “undeclared.”
  • It’s okay to change your major.
  • It’s okay to discover new things.

Tips for Exploring:

  • Take courses that explore different fields of study.  You can usually do this while completing your Miami Plan and/or College requirements.
  • Review the majors available in CAS.  
  • Think about what you do NOT like; sometimes that is an easier place to start and it can help you narrow down your list of options.  
  • Meet with an advisor to discuss your interests and strengths.
  • Get involved in student organizations that can help you explore different academic interests
  • Explore careers, too!
    • Meet with a Career Advisor in the Center for Career Exploration and Success
    • Enroll in EDL 100 - Career Development for College Students
    • Conduct informational interviews and/or set-up shadowing experiences with progressional in your field of interest

Seek Out Opportunities

In your second year, you’ll continue working on your Miami Plan and College Requirements, as well as digging deeper into your major/minor.  Here are some resources that may help further define your academic success and/or career focus.

Identify undergraduate research opportunities:

Connect with the Center for Career Exploration and Success:

  • Create an account and profile in Handshake to make the most of your career exploration process.
  • Visit Programs & Events.
  • Attend Career Fairs and Expos, where you can discuss full-time and internship positions with selected employers.
  • Check out Internships to learn about the different types and how to set them up appropriately.

Join student organizations, honorary societies, and leadership programs that further develop specific skills and experiences:

Explore scholarships and fellowships:

  • You may want to consider national scholarships and fellowships.
  • To be competitive for one of the prestigious scholarships (e.g., Rhodes, Goldwater), you need to begin to prepare for the application process now. Many Miami students have been awarded prestigious scholarships and fellowships.

Consider study abroad programs:

Third Year

Year three is a time when you begin to think about your plans after graduation and how you want to use your major. Whether you are considering a job or graduate or professional school, here are some important steps to take:

Check All Degree Requirements

  • Consult your degree audit to confirm that you are on track to meet all of your degree requirements by your intended graduation date.
  • Meet with your assigned advisor to review your degree audit and confirm your progress.

Meet with your faculty advisor or pre-professional advisor to:

  • Share future goals (even if they’re not well-defined) to brainstorm ideas and resources to help you determine next steps.  For example, do you plan to pursue employment or continue your studies in a graduate or professional program?
  • Talk about study abroad and away programs and how international programs may meet your graduation requirements and complement your academic program.
  • Determine if your current grades are strong enough to pursue graduate or professional school.
  • Review graduate school options (Center for Career Exploration and Success).
  • Research graduate or professional schools.
  • Determine the best time to take entrance exams such as the GRE, LSAT, & MCAT.
  • Discuss letters of recommendation with your faculty advisor.
  • Investigate assistantships, scholarships and fellowships offered by graduate programs.
  • Supplement your coursework with courses that will strengthen your application.

Fourth Year

Check all degree requirements

  • Consult your degree audit to confirm that you are on track to meet all of your degree requirements by your intended graduation date.
  • Meet with your assigned advisor to review your degree audit and confirm your progress.

Connect with Center for Career Exploration and Success for:

  • Attend career fairs and expos
  • Utilize job search resources
  • Take advantage of mock interviews
  • Finalize your resume, work on cover letter development

Apply to graduate (whether or not you plan to attend the ceremony):

You must apply for graduation whether or not you plan to attend the commencement ceremony.  

You should apply for the graduation date that represents the term you will have completed all of your degree requirements.  

  • May graduation - apply by November 1
  • August graduation - apply by March 1
  • December graduation - apply by May 1
  • January graduation - apply by May 1

For additional information regarding graduation, please visit the Commencement website.

To confirm that the application has been received and processed, check your degree audit for the following note:Green Check box with text that reads "your application for graduation has been recorded"
Graduation Review Process 

  • Once the deadline to apply for graduation has passed, the College of Arts and Science Academic Advising Office will begin reviewing the degree audits of all graduation candidates to confirm whether requirements are being met or if there are problems that might interfere with a student’s ability to graduate.
  • Students will receive an email notification indicating either that their requirements are in progress for completion or that they have deficiencies that will prevent them from graduating in the upcoming graduation.  
  • Students with deficiencies will be invited to meet with a CAS academic advisor to review their situation and make a plan for resolution.  Students are strongly encouraged to attend these meetings.

Prepare for graduate or professional schools:

  • Identify graduate and professional programs with your faculty/pre-professional advisor.
  • Research specific graduate school options through the Center for Career Exploration and Success.
  • Check out Miami University’s Graduate School.
  • Take or retake (if appropriate) graduate school admission tests (i.e. GRE, LSAT, MCAT, etc.).
  • Check application deadlines, including those for assistantships and fellowships.
  • Request letters of recommendation.

Have Questions?

Contact CAS Advising

Academic Advising in the College of Arts and Science, Miami University, Oxford, OH, helps students make decisions about majors, minors, and thematic sequences; monitors student academic progress; and provides assistance with course planning.