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Academic Advising & Support

Academic advising is a central component of student success and timely graduation. College is an environment for exploration and our faculty-advising model ensures that you will have personalized support for your success and to help you identify new opportunities at McDaniel.


The McDaniel Plan, which is our general education requirements, is a flexible curriculum designed to foster exploration and allow students to pick courses of interest to them. Your advisor can help you think creatively about your path through college and ensure you stay on track to graduation.

Elderdice Hall

Your advising process begins at McDaniel Local the summer before you arrive on campus for your first semester. Prior to registering for your fall classes, you'll have an opportunity to meet one-on-one with a professional staff member for your first advising session. In addition to learning more about you, you'll also have a chance to discuss your course preferences before you register. It's just one way we make sure your McDaniel journey begins on the right foot.


First-year students are advised by their First Year Seminar professor until a major is declared. First-Year Seminars are designed to develop a variety of skills including writing, speaking, critical thinking, and the ability to discuss and debate with others who think differently than you do. You'll walk away with lifelong friends, a close relationship with a faculty mentor, and the skills you need to be successful in future coursework. 


In this 2-credit course completed in the first year, students will identify their strengths, life goals, and areas for personal improvement, and learn how the liberal arts can help them identify and achieve their vocation. Upon completion of the My Design course, you'll be ready to complete Your Design, a personalized action plan that sets the stage for the rest of your time on the Hill that begins with declaring a major.


Once a student declares a major(s), they are paired with a faculty advisor within the department of their major(s). Your academic advisor will support you throughout your career at McDaniel to ensure college completion and professional preparation.  Advisors will help you to chart a path toward graduation so you can Finish in Four.

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Finish in Four Your Path to Commencement

Most students arrive on campus expecting to graduate four years later. And most do. But it takes attention to details to make it happen. 

Yes, you need 128 credits. You also need to:
  • Fulfill the requirements of the McDaniel Plan
  • Complete a major
  • Earn a 2.00 GPA overall and in your major.

Your advisor can help you think creatively about your path through college and ensure you stay on track to Finish in Four.

Students on computers.

Student Success Coaches For First-Year Students

First-year students benefit from support from our Student Success Coaches, in addition to their faculty advisors and other academic support services. The first year of college is a time of transition, so Student Success Coaches are prepared to support academically and holistically, for any students seeking additional advising support. 

Special Advising Areas Preparation for Graduate School and Beyond


Helping You Succeed Pre-Law Advising Law School and LSAT Prep

Students with interests in specialized fields require special support and advising. Your Pre-Law Advisor will work closely with you to ensure you develop a strong and competitive law school application.


Supporting your Path Pre-Health Advising Medical, Dental, and Veterinary School

Complex applications require special support. Your Pre-Medicine, Dental, & Veterinary School Advisor will work closely with you to help develop a strong and competitive graduate school application.

Close-up of hands in latex gloves handling a beaker and pipette with solution in them.

Making Sure You're Ready Allied Health Advising Nursing, Physician Assistant, and More

The field of allied health encompasses a broad range of careers. Your Pre-Professional Allied Health Advisor can assist you in determining the ideal pathway towards the allied health career of your choice after graduation.

A student on campus looks back over her shoulder while smiling.

Building Momentum Graduate School Partnerships Engineering, Business, Art Therapy, Biology

Work toward an advanced degree while earning your undergraduate degree at McDaniel. Our partners include Johns Hopkins, Washington University, Hood College, Duquesne University, and Marywood University.