Advising | Geography, Environment, and Sustainability

Environment & Sustainability Program


All of the Environment & Sustainability Program’s undergraduate degrees require regular advising. Our leadership team will be in touch with all students every semester to set up advising appointments. Any current and prospective students in the Program should contact the appropriate advisor with questions or concerns about advising. Below is general information and a list of important tasks every student must do to prepare for advising.

General Information:


Advising is a one-on-one meeting between a student and a faculty member to assist the student in planning his or her academic trajectory at UNCG and beyond. In the short term, advising is necessary to help students choose classes for the coming semester(s). In the medium term, advising helps students achieve timely graduation. In the long term, advising provides insights regarding potential careers, life-long learning and engagement, and future studies. Advising is not a “one-way” communication, in which an advisor tells a student what to do; rather, advising is very much a dialogue that is unique to each student. Given the flexibility and complexity of the degrees in the Environment & Sustainability Program, quality advising is fundamentally important for each student. At UNCG, students must have an advising code (registration pin) in order to register for classes; the advisor provides that code after meeting with a student.


Students get advising, and faculty/staff do advising. In the Program, the three advisors constitute our leadership team (the director, associate director, and assistant director); each student is assigned to one of these advisors.  If a student’s primary major is in the Program, then you are required to meet with your Program advisor in order to receive an advising code that allows you to register for classes. If your secondary major or your minor is in the Program (i.e. if you have a different first major), then you absolutely should meet with your Program advisor, even though your primary advisor can provide your advising code. (Students who are on leave or out of the country studying abroad may either request a phone/online meeting or correspond via email.) 


Advising meetings take place during the fall and spring advising periods. You should consult the official university calendars here, which always list the dates for advising for continuing students. Students are prioritized by registration access window as assigned by the Registrar based on the number of credits completed (and by GPA and/or other relevant factors). In other words, the more credits you have completed, the sooner your registration window opens, and therefore the earlier you will be able to meet with your advisor. You should expect to receive a message from your Program advisor about one week before the beginning of the advising period. The actual time when you sign up for an advising meeting will differ based on your registration access window and your advisor’s availability, but it should be at least one week before that window opens for you. There are of course other times when you may need advising, and you should always feel free to contact or follow up with your advisor to ask for help or request a meeting!

Advisors will send their advisees an email that offers options for signing up for appointments (usually 30-minute windows). You should choose a meeting time that is before your registration access window opens. For instructions on how to register at UNCG, including how to find your registration access window, visit this page.

5 Things You Absolutely Must Do to Prepare for your Advising Meeting:

1. Consult Degree Works to think about your degree planning and determine the classes you still need to take. For useful reference, here is the official Catalog information about the Program’s (and entire GES Department’s) degrees. Note that your Degree Works report may differ slightly from the Catalog depending on your catalog year. You can also use one of our graduation plans: simply choose the one relevant to you (NASC is for natural science concentrators and EQDE is for equity, development, and ethics concentrators) and start filling it out based on what you have taken or plan to take.  

2. Consider your scheduling constraints. Draft your own personal weekly calendar for the relevant semester. You should consider any employment, commuting, extracurricular activities, family obligations, etc., and come up with the times you have available for being in class.

3. Consider the available courses for the coming semester (usually available just before the advising period begins). You could use Schedule Hero, but be aware that the search options are limited!  For better search options, use the course schedule website (plus registration via UNCGenie): select the relevant term (semester/year) and press continue; then in the “” field, enter BOTH “Environ Studies Prog (ENV)” AND “Sustain Studies Prog (SUS)” (just one of those two will result in missed course opportunities, so make sure you enter both). You will then want to change the records “Per Page” to the maximum to have fewer pages to click through.  (Depending on your other requirements, you may need to do other options for the “Attributes” field, and you can do an advanced search for specific offerings on specific days, with other attributes, such as WI or SI, etc.).  

4. Create a prioritized course schedule for the coming semester. This list should include the courses that you both would like to and must take, based on what interests you, your degree evaluation, the courses available, and your own schedule constraints. 

5. Sign up for an advising time. During this process (which will be emailed to you directly approximately 7-14 days before your registration window opens), you will be asked to confirm your preparation of items 1-4 above (so you should do them first).

Finally, after your advising meeting, you will receive a follow-up email that includes your advising/pin code, which allows you to register for classes. The registration window provided usually begins just after midnight on a given date — and you should prioritize registering at that very moment, but not later!