Three ways CLAS Undergraduate Programs helps students

CLAS Undergraduate Programs is an advocate and resource for students in the college.
Wednesday, January 18, 2023

By Emily Delgado 

Home to more than 70 majors, the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts is Sciences is the largest college on the UI campus. Experts in CLAS Undergraduate Programs (CLAS UP) work to help students feel connected and supported while pursuing their degree.  

CLAS Undergraduate Programs can answer student questions about college policies, discuss academic challenges, and understand how to meet the CLAS graduation requirements. CLAS UP is a resource for students who have questions about their academic standing, requesting excess hours, filing a Second Grade Only option, policy exception requests, and more. 

Undergraduate Academic Policies 

Undergraduate Programs staff works to coach students through college policies, help solve academic problems, and ensure students understand what they need to do to graduate. Staff members aims to meet students where they are in their academic journey, while also offering advice on how to get them where they want to go. 

Some of the important policies students are concerned about are the college’s graduation requirements and academic standards, Monica Madura, CLAS UP Director of Retention and Student Services, says.  

“Thinking about the student's degree audit, and all the pieces to that puzzle from required hours, GPA requirements, general education requirements, residency requirements, working with departments on major requirements — those are the questions we answer the most,” she explains.  

An exterior of Schaeffer Hall

Undergraduate Student Support  

Faculty and staff also connect with CLAS Undergraduate Programs when they are concerned about a student, whether they are missing class, have late assignments, or are experiencing a possible crisis.  

We tend to act like an academic triage center,” Madura explains. CLAS UP collaborates across campus with all our partners, whether it be the University Counseling Center, Academic Support and Retention, Campus Help Labs, the Dean of Student’s Office, and Student Care and Assistance, to ensure our students' needs are being met.”  

CLAS UP also administers scholarships for the college—offering more than 80 different scholarships that provide upwards of $1 million in assistance to undergraduate students. Applications are accepted annually.  

Students gathered together

Undergraduate CLAS Academic Advising  

The CLAS Advising Network has an advisor for every department within the college, who works to educate students about their major, its graduation requirements, and opportunities to meet future career goals.  

CLAS students with a declared major are advised by professional staff advisors and faculty advisors after completing 30 semester hours of credit. They can find the name and contact information for their assigned academic advisor(s) in MyUI, under Programs of Study & Advisors.   

Academic advisors teach students:  

  • How your college experience can help you meet future career goals 
  • How to be a successful student at the University of Iowa 
  • How your major and elective courses can help you reach your goals 
  • How to monitor the progression of your major and degree 
  • UI and CLAS policies and procedures 
  • Ways to use UI resources 
  • About engagement in the UI and broader world community 

Academic advisors will also: 

  • Be the one person you can turn to when you have questions or concerns 
  • Help you figure out how to get help when needed 
  • Contact you with helpful information concerning your major or student life 
  • Help you identify your academic and career goals 
  • Encourage and support you as you work toward your goals 

To reach CLAS Undergraduate Programs, you can drop-in during business hours or schedule an in-person, phone, or virtual appointment online in MyUI under Advising Appointments. You can also call 319-335-2633. 

The University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences offers about 70 majors across the humanities; fine, performing and literary arts; natural and mathematical sciences; social and behavioral sciences; and communication disciplines. About 15,000 undergraduate and nearly 2,000 graduate students study each year in the college’s 37 departments, led by faculty at the forefront of teaching and research in their disciplines. The college teaches all Iowa undergraduates through the college's general education program, CLAS CORE. About 80 percent of all Iowa undergraduates begin their academic journey in CLAS. The college confers about 60 percent of the university's bachelor's degrees each academic year.