Umm Al-Qura University

Umm Al-Qura University

Academic Advising

- 2018/04/17

Academic Advising for UQU Postgraduate Students

Academic Advising

Academic Advising is considered one of the most significant orientation providers needed by students during university education. It aims to support and advise students to benefit from their self-abilities, develop their skills and encourage them to achieve academic distinction and innovation. In addition, the advising process helps students to complete study and graduation within the specified academic years. At this stage, students will be qualified with scientific experiences and practical skills to be good outputs for the labor market. 

The academic advising process mentors students to achieve the best results. It also helps them adapt with university environment and seize available opportunities.

In this context, all staff members should be responsible for academic advising. A university professor is regarded as his/her students’ mentor, offering them help and advice. The professor should also alert students to mistakes and problems they should avoid in their educational path. This should take place even when he/she is not the main mentor designated by the concerned department on a regular basis. Therefore, advising is the responsibility of all staff members.

Who is an academic advisor?

An academic advisor is the staff member chosen by the concerned department to advise students academically at the beginning of their enrollment in postgraduate studies programs. The academic advisor is mainly responsible for mentoring students during their educational path, and helping them choose the thesis subject and write the research plan.

Academic advising regulations:

Article Forty One:

Every postgraduate student shall be provided by a scientific advisor at the beginning of his/her enrollment in the program. The advisor shall mentor the student in his/her study, and assist him/her in choosing the thesis subject and preparing the research plan. This shall be in accordance with the regulations approved by UQU Council, based on recommendation by the Council of the Graduate Studies Deanship.   

Implementation rules, regulatory and executive procedures

  • The departmental councils shall distribute the tasks of scientific guidance of new students among staff members. This shall be within a period not exceeding four weeks from the beginning of study. A copy of such distribution shall be sent to the Deanship of Graduate Studies.
  • The scientific advisor shall mentor the student in preparing his/her academic schedule and follow up his/her thesis/research project subject registration steps.
  • The advisor shall deliver a detailed report on the student’s progress to the concerned department head at the end of every semester. A copy of such report shall be sent to the Dean of Graduate Studies.
  • It is preferable that the advisor be the supervisor of the student's thesis following registration unless it contradicts his/her specialty.

Academic advisor tasks

The academic advisor is the person who mentors the student during his/her study, helping him/her to overcome difficulties and problems he/she may face. The responsibilities of the academic advisor are as follows:

  • Educating the student about the rights and duties stipulated in the Unified Regulations of Postgraduate Studies.
  • Preparing students to familiarize themselves with the university study system.
  • Providing students with correct information, educational policies and study programs.
  • Enhancing academic achievement of students, raising their abilities and overcoming the obstacles they face during their studies.
  • Alerting students of the academic failure problem and the method to avoid it.
  • Providing advice and assistance to graduate students facing academic problems.
  • Guiding, taking care of and following up failing students in order to raise their academic level.
  • Paying attention to, motivating and spreading the innovations of excellent and talented students.


Academic Advising Unit missions at every college:


  • Developing an academic advising plan.
  • Supervising the implementation of the academic advising plan.
  • Informing students of the most significant services provided by the Academic Advising Unit. This is achieved by meetings, bulletins and the college page on UQU website.
  • Informing students of the college’s objectives, mission, educational programs, scientific departments, labor market domains, care forms and services, while mentoring them to choose the appropriate specializations for their abilities and potentials.  
  • Distributing new students among academic advisors and publishing lists in bulletin board and via the college page on UQU website at the beginning of each academic year.
  • Delivering semester reports on the Unit’s works and achievements at the end of each semester.
  • Following up students' academic complaints submitted by advisors and seeking solutions with the college administration.
  • Examining students' complaints about any course, and finding and submitting solutions to the college administration.
  • Introducing students via guiding booklets and brochures to the significance of communication with the academic advisor.
  • Supervising mentoring programs for new students to introduce them to the college’s academic system and regulations.
  • Holding periodical meetings with advisors to discuss the most significant problems, find solutions and propose suggestions that serve the Unit’s work.
  • Contributing to the solution of the students’ psychological, financial, social and functional problems, and submitting such solutions, when needed, to the Deanship of Student Affairs to take necessary action.


Academic advisor missions:

  • To be aware of the timetables for the dates of registration, postponement and course deletion announced by the Deanship of Graduate Studies.
  • To know the college’s academic plan and the students’ graduation requirements and to make sure that the student's schedule is in accordance with them.
  • To prepare the academic advising record for each student. The advisor opens a special file for each student in the group, including his/her registered subjects with the grade level, cumulative average, the minutes of the periodic meetings between the advisor and the student, as well as any reports or warnings by the course instructor to assess the level of the student.
  • To meet with the student at the beginning of every semester to:
    • Identify students’ performance in the past semester.
    • Urge students to strive and excel in the next semester.
    • Assist and guide students in registering subjects and find solutions in case of subject contradiction.
    • Follow up the academic regularity of students, and in case of non-attendance or achievement level weakness, the advisor should search for reasons and solutions or submit them to the administration of the college.
    • Discover talented and distinguished students, encourage them to participate in local and international conferences and guide them on how to participate.
    • Urge students to participate in postgraduate-studies-related academic activities and events organized by the college or university.
    • Assign office hours to discuss academic matters with students and guide them.
    • Introduce students to the college’s objectives, mission, educational programs, scientific departments, labor market domains, as well as aspects of care and services, and direct them to choose the appropriate specializations that suit their abilities and potentials.
    • Deliver semester reports on the students’ academic performance to the Academic Advising Unit.
    • Submit reports on the problems faced by the advisor during the advising process.


Responsibility and role of students:


- The student is mainly responsible for his/her academic performance. The role of the advisor is only to guide and help the student to overcome the difficulties and problems he/she may face.

- The student shall review and understand the Unified Regulations of Postgraduate Studies.

- The student shall be aware of the timetable of the Deanship of Graduate Studies and to review it every semester, in order to know the dates for registration, postponement, apology, etc.

- The student shall be committed to meet the academic advisor determined by the department and inform him of all the required information and data.

- The student shall implement the advisor's recommendations and meet him regularly according to the agreed dates.

- The student shall inform the advisor of any changes that may affect his/her program or performance.