What is ACES?
ACES is UConn’s academic advising program for students who want to explore the University’s opportunities before deciding on a field of study and for students who must complete specific requirements before applying to a major. ACES advisors work with the following populations of students:
- Pre-Professional: Students who are interested in a professional program that has an application process and specific admissions requirements. Professional majors are not open to any students until junior year. These majors include Pre-Teaching, Pre-Sport Management, and Pre-Social Work.
- Decided: Students who are interested in a major that has an application process and specific admissions requirements. These majors include those in the School of Business, School of Engineering, School of Fine Arts, School of Nursing, School of Pharmacy, Allied Health Sciences, and Exercise Science.
- Exploratory: Students who are exploring their options for majors. Some students are completely undecided, while others want to take some time to explore their interests before they commit.
How does academic advising in ACES work?
Each student is assigned an ACES advisor with whom they will work until they officially declare or are accepted into a major. ACES advisors are generalists and are knowledgeable about all of the UConn majors. If there’s ever a question we don’t know the answer to, we are well-connected to our campus partners and can refer you to the right person to get your question answered.
All new UConn students starting in the ACES program will meet with an ACES advisor during their summer or winter Orientation session to discuss their interests and enroll in courses. Some ACES students, depending on academic and credit standing, are required to meet with their assigned advisor prior to course registration for the following semester. Students are encouraged to meet with their ACES advisor as often as they find necessary to help them be successful at UConn. Both ACES and non-ACES students are welcome to schedule an appointment with an ACES advisor.
How long will I be in ACES?
At UConn, there is technically no deadline to declare a major. However, our goal is to try and keep you on track to enter a major by your third year to ensure you graduate on time. While a majority of majors at UConn can be declared at any time, there are the exceptions that are application-based. Your time in ACES will really depend on which major you choose to pursue, and where you are at in terms of the courses you have taken thus far. We have some students in ACES for one semester, and others for two years. It’s different for everyone.
I already know what I want to major in. Why was I put into ACES?
If you noted on your UConn application that you were interested in one of the professional or application-based majors listed above, you were most likely put into ACES because you did not meet one or multiple of the admissions criteria for that major. You will now work with your ACES advisor to remain on track to be eligible to apply for that major, if you still choose to pursue that interest. You will still have the option to apply into that major again, but you will be subject to that major’s internal admissions process. If you have questions about why you were not directly admitted into your major of choice, please contact UConn's Office of Undergraduate Admissions.
What happens if I am not accepted into my major of choice?
ACES advisors will work with you from day one to discuss all of your options, including “parallel plans” for majors that have an application and are thus not guaranteed. A “parallel plan” is another option for a major that will still lead you to your ultimate long-term goals. In many cases, your choice for an undergraduate major will not have as much of an impact on your employability as other factors, such as the experiences you have had during college, the networking that you have done, and the transferable skills that you have developed. A majority of jobs and graduate programs do not give preference to what your undergraduate major is, so you have options! You will work with your ACES advisor to create a plan that works best for you.
How can I start exploring majors now?
UConn has an awesome resource for major and career exploration called The Major Experience (TME)! On there, you will find information about all of the majors UConn offers, student TME Mentors you can connect with to learn more about their majors, and a variety of tools and resources designed to support your exploration. If you need a place to start, we recommend completing the virtual Major Elimination Activity!
If I am a new UConn student starting in ACES, which placement exams am I required to take?
- English Guided Placement Survey (GPS): While taking the English GPS is advised for all students to help determine readiness for UConn ENGL courses, it is only required for international students and/or non-native speakers of English who have not yet earned UConn credits for First Year Writing courses (e.g., ENGL 1003, 1004, 1007, 1010 or 1011).
- Math Placement Exam (MPE): This depends on the major(s) you may be interested in. STEM majors at UConn (e.g., Engineering, Mathematics, Health Sciences, Physical Sciences, Math Education) require a qualifying score on the MPE to be able to register for MATH 1060Q (Pre-Calculus), MATH 1131Q (Calculus I), and MATH 1132Q (Calculus II). If you are even slightly considering a STEM major, it is advised to take the MPE to determine readiness for the UConn MATH courses required for these programs.
- Note: If you are transferring in credit for MATH 1060Q (Pre-Calculus) and/or MATH 1131Q (Calculus I) and you plan to pursue a major that requires MATH 1132Q (Calculus II), you will still need to take the MPE and earn a qualifying score to be able to register for MATH 1132Q (Calculus II).
- Chemistry Placement Exam (CPE): This depends on the major(s) you may be interested in. If you are even slightly considering a STEM major (e.g., Engineering, Mathematics, Health Sciences, Physical Sciences, Science Education), it is advised to take the CPE to determine readiness for the UConn CHEM courses required for these programs.
- Note: The CPE is not required to be able to register for a CHEM course, but is advised to take to again, determine readiness for UConn CHEM courses.
When in doubt, it is safest to take the placement exams, just to keep your options open! New students are advised to take the placement exams before they attend an Orientation session to best prepare for the course registration process. More information about UConn's placement exams can be found on the UConn Placement Website.