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. These 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.
Both ACES and non-ACES students are welcome to schedule an appointment with an ACES advisor. 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. All new UConn students will meet with an ACES advisor during their summer or winter orientation session to enroll in courses. Students are encouraged to meet with their ACES advisor as often as they find necessary to help them be successful at UConn.
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 are on track to enter a major by junior year to ensure you graduate on time. While a majority of majors at UConn can be declared at any time, there are the exceptions listed above that require an application. 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 admissions criteria.
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 require a specific degree be earned, 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)! You can access it at any time at www.tme.uconn.edu. On there, you will find information about all of the majors UConn offers, student TME Mentors you can contact to learn more about their majors, and a ton of tools and resources designed to support your major exploration. If you need a place to start, we recommend completing the virtual Major Elimination Activity to see where your interests are currently at!