Working with Your Four-Year Advisor

Your four-year advisor's mission is to empower you during your Case Western Reserve experience and to help you maximize your journey to success. Think of your four-year advisor as your student success coach, providing holistic, comprehensive support including:

  • academic and career exploration and decision-making;
  • campus life engagement and connection; and
  • personal wellness and development.

This webpage outlines how you can build a great relationship with your four-year advisor and some of the common topics your navigator can assist you with. Your four-year advisor will also work with your faculty academic advisor to make sure you receive all the assistance you need.

Contacting Your Four-Year advisor

Your four-year advisor's contact information and link to schedule an appointment is always listed on our website.

Generally, email is a great way to connect with your four-year advisor  and you can expect a response within 24 to 48 business hours, though you will usually hear back from your four-year advisor sooner. Should you receive an out of office reply, be sure to read through it thoroughly, as it will give you several options for assistance in your four-year advisor's absence.

Meeting with Your Four-Year Advisor

Want to meet with your four-year advisor in person, over Zoom or via a phone call? Schedule an appointment using My Journey!

In My Journey, you can find your four-year advisor's appointment availability and options for meeting times and types that best fit your needs. 

Common Topics to Discuss with Your Four-Year Advisor

Here's a list of common topics that might require your four-year advisor's assistance:

There are a variety of Academic Support Resources, programs, learning tools and more, designed to maximize your learning and provide you with opportunities to be your best self, especially in the classroom:

If you need help deciding which options and resources are best for you, consult your four-year advisor.

You can review the academic standing criteria on the general bulletin. If you're concerned about your academic standing status, contact your four-year advisor to discuss your situation.

It's never too early to think about life after CWRU. You can begin your career exploration process in a conversation with your four-year advisor and the career consultants and pre-professional advisors in the Career Center are available for specialized career guidance. Whether you are just starting your exploration into summer internships or seeking full-time postgraduate employment, there are so many resources to help you in your journey.

You can begin by reading about your professional field of interest in the Career Interest Areas and review the many helpful resources available through My Career. A few of these to highlight:

  • As you consider choosing a major(s), you should also consider your short and long-term career goals that may be connected with that major(s) and we have an excellent resource to help with just that called: What Can I Do With This Major? 
  • Another great resource is the Alumni Career Network, powered by Wisr, which allows you to connect with CWRU alumni and have the opportunity to engage in meaningful conversations with professionals in your fields of interest.
  • Handshake is the place to be once you are ready to begin searching for opportunities such as on-campus employment, internships, cooperative education, practicums as well as full-time jobs. This is where employers post their positions specifically to recruit CWRU students and employer events such as career fairs are listed here as well.

Once you are ready to start applying for opportunities, the Career Center website highlights all critical aspects of the search process such as resume and cover letter development and interviewing tips to help best prepare you for the world of work.

If you have an academic concern outside of business hours, email your four-year advisor so they are aware of your situation and can assist you the next business day. You might also consider visiting My Journey to schedule an appointment with your four-year advisor or utilize a drop in appointment.

If you are experiencing an emergency on campus, please contact CWRU Police at 216.368.3333.

To speak with a counselor-on-call, at any time, for any reason, even if you are not on campus, please call 216.368.5872. You may also schedule a same-day counseling appointment through or access CWRU Care, the 24/7 telehealth care service.

Major or Minor Requirement Substitutions

If you are seeking to substitute major or minor requirements with other coursework, you should complete the Academic Advisement Report Substitution Form, in consultation with your major/minor advisor or departmental representative. Submit the completed form to your four-year advisor in Undergraduate Advising Support.

General Education Requirements

If you are seeking to substitute General Education Requirements with other coursework, you should complete the Academic Advisement Report Substitution Form, in consultation with the appropriate representative, based on the list below. Submit the completed form to your four-year advisor in Undergraduate Advising Support.

Students matriculating Fall 2023 or later, following the new Unified General Education Requirements should fill out their request and send it for review to their four-year advisor, who will consult with the Associate Provost for Curriculum, Peter Shulman.

Students matriculating in Spring 2023 or earlier, following the older school/college-specific General Education Requirements should fill out their request and send it for review to:

  • College of Arts & Sciences (including students majoring in Computer Science BA, Economics, and departments housed in the School of Medicine) - Rebecca Benard,
  • Case School of Engineering (including students majoring in Engineering Physics) - Daniel Lacks,
  • Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing - Beverly Capper,
  • Weatherhead School of Management - Jenny Hawkins,
  • If it is a course for a SAGES requirement - Erika Olbricht,

If you are thinking about withdrawing from any courses, start by reviewing the course withdrawal policy as well as specific withdrawal deadlines. You can typically withdraw from courses using SIS.

Before withdrawing from a course in SIS, review any adjustments to your course schedule with your academic advisor to understand how this might impact your plan of study. If you have additional questions, you can also contact your four-year advisor.

You are considered a full-time student if you are enrolled in 12 to 19 credit hours at the end of the drop/add period. While not recommended, you might want to overload your course load to more than 19 credit hours.

Review the overload eligibility criteria and discuss your plan to overload with your academic advisor. Then, contact your navigator for review and processing.

There are so many opportunities and resources for you to explore majors and minors, including: the Choices Fair, departmental information sessions, and individual conversations with faculty, academic representatives, and your four-year advisor.

Your four-year advisor can serve as a thought partner to coach you in exploring majors that align with your strengths, interests and passions. You might also consider taking career assessments as exploration of career possibilities can inform major choice and vice versa.

Major declaration is the process where you officially declare your academic path for your undergraduate career. It starts with exploring the various majors and minors that are offered at Case Western Reserve. You might also want to meet with your pre-major faculty advisor or four-year advisor to discuss your major and minor interests and options.

When you're ready to declare your major or minor, work with the academic representative from your department to complete the major declaration form. Declaring your major will connect you with an assigned major advisor and help you learn more about departmental resources and offerings. You must declare your major before registering for your fifth semester of coursework.

Review the full major and minor declaration policy on the General Bulletin.

Each semester, all undergraduate students have an advising hold placed on their SIS account before enrollment for the next term. You will need to meet with your academic advisor (listed in SIS) to discuss your schedule for the upcoming semester and have your advising hold removed. Your four-year advisor cannot release registration advising holds.

If you would like to request an exception to an academic policy, you would need to work with your four-year advisor to submit a special request petition to the Undergraduate Advising Support Deans Committee. To obtain this form and start this process, contact your four-year advisor. Depending on the nature of the request, you are encouraged to provide supporting documentation with your request. The UAS Deans Committee meets regularly to review and decide on petitions. Please note that course substitutions and other curricular exceptions should use the Academic Advisement Report Substitution Form (see above: course substitutions).

We recognize that withdrawing from the university is a difficult decision, your four-year advisor can support you as you make this decision. As you consider this decision, here are some resources that might help:

To begin the re-enrollment process, submit the appropriate petition to re-enroll to your four-year advisor at least three months before the semester you want to return to CWRU.