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Undergraduate Studies Advising

Undergraduate Studies Advising

Undergraduate Studies Advising

Welcome to the Office of Undergraduate Studies Advising.  We promote academic excellence, student success and engagement with a special focus on Special Programs of Undergraduate Students.

We support the mission of the university through promoting environmental sustainability, embracing diversity, nurturing community partnerships, encouraging civic engagement and service learning, and cultivating habits of lifelong learning. In addition, UGS Advising values all students, faculty, and staff regardless of national origin or immigration status. We support the free cultural exchange of ideas as being at the heart of the academic endeavor. This exchange deepens and broadens our students’ perspectives in an increasingly globalized society.

Please use the tabs below to get started!

Undergraduate Studies Advising promotes academic excellence and student success and engagement through working with the following special programs:

  • Honors Program
  • Step Ahead Program
  • Accelerated Collegiate Experience (ACE)
  • Undeclared Students w/ Advanced Credit
  • Integrated Studies (B.A.)

Please select one of the tabs for our Accelerated Collegiate Experience (ACE), Honors, Step Ahead, or Undeclared program population options to get started and learn how we can assist you.

For more information on ACE Orientation and Graduation, please contact Dr. Alice Brunner at

The Accelerated Collegiate Experience at Florida Gulf Coast University provides an exceptional program of learning to qualified high school students seeking advanced reflective academic opportunities, leadership development, engagement in the community and a sense of self as learner.

Being a high school student taking college courses can be a lot of work and responsibility. The UGS Advising Team works with ACE students to help achieve academic, social, and holistic goals.

Please find answers to common advising questions and concerns regarding the Accelerated Collegiate Experience (ACE) Program below!

  • ACE students cannot repeat courses until after high school graduation. 
  • ACE students cannot use grade forgiveness until after high school graduation. 
  • ACE students must meet specific semester and cumulative GPA requirements. 
  • Summer course enrollment is at the discretion of the high school district. 
  • ACE students are not permitted to withdraw from classes.

Early Admission ACE students are eligible to take 12-16 credits (approximately 4-5 classes) during FGCU's fall and spring semesters. ACE students are not eligible to take classes in summer semesters A, B, and C until after high school graduation.

Lee County

Students submit schedules and are contracted via email when textbooks are ready for pick up at the Lee County Media Center.

Contact: Rachel Discus (

Collier County

Coordinated via medial specialist/high school counselor

Contact: Media Specialist

Marco Island

Students are reimbursed for textbook rentals.

Contact: Chris Zumstein

Charlotte County 

Students receive a voucher from high school to pick up textbooks from FGCU Bookstore.

Contact: H.S. Counselor

Hendry County

Students receive a voucher from high school to pick up textbooks from FGCU Bookstore.

Contact: H.S. Counselor

Home School

Responsible for the cost of all required course materials.

The Honors Program expressly values:

  • Academic Excellence
  • Cultural Exploration
  • Civic Engagement and Public Service
  • Transformative Leadership,
  • and Personal Transformation.

The Honors Program at Florida Gulf Coast University provides student scholars the opportunity, mentoring, and resources to fully realize the potential of their university education.

Through small classes filled with inquisitive students, one-on-one mentoring by outstanding professors, and innovative curricular experiences, honors students graduate prepared for academic and professional success.

The UGS Advising team helps Honors students navigate Honors coursework, experiences, and other program requirements.

Please find answers to common advising questions and concerns for the FGCU Honors Program below!



  • Earn at least a 3.50 cumulative (institutional) GPA by semester of graduation.


  • Complete at least 12 credits of Honors designated coursework.


  • Complete at least 2 Honors Experiences from the following:
    • Liberal Arts
    • Study Away/Study Abroad
    • Service
    • Honors Contracts
    • Research

Freshmen Year (FTIC Admits Only):

  • Complete the First Year Track of your choice.

Additional Requirements (Every Semester):

  • To remain in good standing with the Honors Program:
    • Attend new semester meeting.
    • Maintain a 3.30 cumulative GPA.
    • Attend at least 4 Honors Events.

Every Year

  • Complete at least 24 credits of academic coursework.

UGS Advisor:

  • Assists first year Honors students with courses and Honors requirements
  • Once a student has "transitioned" to college advising, assists with Honors requirements only
  • Learn more about the UGS Advising Team here

Major Advisor:

  • Assists with schedule planning related to the major you choose. Your major advisor is your primary resource for course selection with the exception of honors specific courses. 

As an Honors student, you are granted Priority Registration to help ensure you can enroll in the classes you need each semester. To view Priority Registraiton dates, please visit the Office of the Registrar's Eagle Registration page.

Schedule An Appointment

Liberal Arts Experience
  • Complete 9 credits of IDH, ISS and ISC Honors courses

Study Abroad Experience
  • Complete one course with an Honors-sponsored Study Abroad Trip
  • Certification Alternatives:
    • Go on an FGCU-sponsored trip outside of FL for more than 6 days
    • Go on a study abroad experience sponsored by another institution for more than 13 days
    • Go on a study abroad experience on your own for more than 27 days
    • Complete a language-learning experience beyond the intermediate level
    • Be an international exchange student or live in the US for less than 2 years

Service Experience
  • Complete 4 credits from the following: IDS 3920, IDS 3300 and IDH 4638C Honors courses
  • Certification Alternatives:
    • Complete 160+ hours of service learning (on your transcript)
    • Take a leadership role in a project in the top 10% of FGCU students
    • Take a leadership role in a service project recognized at Community Engagement Day

Honors Contract Experience
  • Complete approved Honors Contracts in 3 different upper-level (3000-4999) courses with a grade of "B" or higher

Research Experience
  • Complete an Honors Thesis or Honors Independent Research
  • Certification Alternatives:
    • Complete an independent or directed study course not required by your major
    • Complete an internship consisting of more than 70 hours not required by your major
    • Work with a professor for more than 70 hours on an academic research project not required by your major
    • Work with a professor on a project or paper (includes artistic performance/presentation) that was presented at a regional, state, national or international conference

NOTE: Certification options require additional paperwork to be filed with UGS Advisor and approval by the Director of Academic Advising


  1. Complete Contract Proposal Form (located in Canvas)
  2. Submit Proposal to Honors Office by deadline (beginning of the semester of the course)
  3. Attend scheduled Defense time
  4. Complete contract requirements and course with a B or higher
  5. Submit signed Contract Completion Form at the end of the term
  6. Once verified, course will be notated on transcript and will count towards honors credits and honors in the major experience

The Review:

The Contract Review is a time where Honors Program students (the Contract Review Committee) can ask any additional questions that they have about what you submitted in your Proposal (in case there are any gaps in information, etc.).  

Not everyone on the Committee will be familiar with your discipline, so it is a time where they can ask you questions and make sure that the content of your final product (what you are creating as a result of your Contract) to ensure that it is of Honors level and consistent with other Contracts/expectations.  

The Committee may also give you suggestions on how your Contract can be further developed and improved, if needed.  

Don’t be nervous!  This is a time where you will get to celebrate what you are accomplishing through your Contract, and get others excited about the work you are doing too.

Tips for Success:

  • Be creative!  
  • Be as specific as possible when completing the proposal form.  
  • Get feedback from your instructor before submitting your Contract.
  • Use the weekly plan!
  • Don't be afraid of giving too much information.
  • Don’t leave any gaps of information.
  • Your Contract proposal is a contract between you and your professor.  Treat it as such!  
  • Have another Honors student who has completed a Contract read your proposal and provide feedback before you submit it.

For more information on completing contracts, please see the Honors Contract Module on the Honors Program Canvas page.


Step Ahead Program students will also have access to a variety of resources on-campus, such as:

Step Ahead is a Summer Bridge Program for specially selected first-time-in-college (FTIC) students to give them a jump start at Florida Gulf Coast University.

Students take either:

  • MAT 1033 Intermediate Algebra (3 credits) OR 
  • ENC 1130 Improving College Writing (3 credits), and SLS 1501, Effective Learning (3 credits).

Course enrollment is determined by the student's academic profile, and registration is processed by the Step Ahead Coordinator. Students also participate in a variety of academic and life skill activities through the Center for Academic Achievement and the Writing Center, including:

  • Tutoring
  • Supplemental Instruction
  • Student Success Skill workshops,

and individual meetings with academic advisors and academic retention coordinators. 

Please find answers to common advising questions and concerns for the Step Ahead Program by visiting the Step Ahead Program website!

Step Ahead


Who We Serve

  •  Students that are undeclared, or want to be undeclared that are no longer advised by First Year Advising.

Gaining Self-Awareness

  • Getting to know yourself is a key component in the process of selecting a major and career plan. "Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom." -Aristotle

Exploring Your Options

  • In the decision-making process, you will learn about the options here at FGCU as well as how to research potential career fields

Planning for the Future

  • As you move through your undergraduate program and make decisions towards future majors and careers, there are important things to do each year to set yourself up for success!

Research Tools That Help

"Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom." -Aristotle

The key to making a MAJOR decision is awareness! To make the best decision, this involves both self-awareness and external-awareness. You must be aware of your own interests, strengths, abilities, preferences and more. Additionally, you must be aware of careers, employers, trends and more related to potential professions. Use these tools to help you gain the awareness you need to make the best MAJOR decision for you!

My Plan: Take the MyPlan assessments to compare how your skills, interests, personality and work values line up with hundreds of different occupations!

Use License Code: BTCMKCA8 through June 14, 2016

What Can I Do With This Major?: View common career areas that students enter based on major! View typical employers that hire students in this field and strategies to maximize career opportunities.

O*NET Online - Main Search: Research occupations of interest with significant detail! Learn about work related tasks, activities, values, education required, average wages, related fields and much more!

O*NET Online - My Next Move: Get a quick overview of occupations of interest! Learn about work related tasks, technology used, knowledge, skills and abilities required, education required, average wages, job outlook and more!

BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook: Discover detailed information about different occupations! This site is searchable by: Median Pay, Number of New Jobs (Projected), Growth Rate (Projected), and Education Levels. Additionally, once you choose an occupation, you can use the "How to Become One" tab to learn about required education, training, licensing and more!

LinkedIn: Use the Advanced Search feature to search for people in positions you might be interested in! You will be able to see how they got to where they are, including previous jobs and their major in college. You may even find a job that you didn't know existed!

Your Network: Your network includes everyone you know! This means classmates, professors, friends, parents, family members, local businesses and more. Talking to people you know could lead to a referral or connection that you may not be currently aware of!


Find a printable PDF copy of UGS Advising's How to Make a MAJOR Decision Handout below:


First Year Advising (FYA)

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College of Education Advising

Marieb College of Health and Human Services Advising

Lutgert College of Business Advising

College of Arts and Sciences Advising

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