What is Advising?

Academic Advising is an opportunity to exchange information designed to assist students in reaching their goals. Advising is a shared responsibility between an advisor and the student.

 Advisor Responsibilities

ACCESS Advisors are committed to do the following: 

  • Serve as a student advocate
  • Exhibit a caring attitude
  • Be aware of current university resources and provide students with necessary referrals
  • Be available to students through posted office hours, email, and appointment times
  • Provide guidance to students as they set academic, career, and personal goals
  • Be a responsive listener
  • Understand and communicate curriculum, graduation requirements, and university policies and procedure
  • Assist students in understanding degree requirements
  • Assist students in selecting courses based on individual interests and abilities
  • Monitor progress toward career and educational goals by maintaining accurate and up-to-date advising files
  • Maintain confidentiality of student records
  • Assist students in enhancing decision-making, problem-solving, and communication skills
  • Participate in advisor training sessions to keep informed and current

Student Responsibilities:

  • Review and understand university policies and procedures, General Education Requirements, graduation requirements.
  • Read all SJSU Messages on a regular basis
  • Be aware of academic dates and deadlines
  • Explore resources to assist in making career and academic decisions
  • Schedule and attend advising appointments
  • Arrive on time for appointments
  • Prepare for advising sessions and bring relevant materials to appointment
  • Bring a list of questions to appointments and ask questions if a topic is not understood
  • Communicate openly with advisor by clarifying personal values, abilities, goals, and needs
  • Be familiar with requirements of selected major(s)/minor(s) and schedule courses in accordance with those requirements
  • Recognize that advising is a shared responsibility; however, students must accept final responsibility for all decisions


 Types of Advisors


Access Staff Advisors

Staff Advisors are professional advisors who are responsible for the following:

  • General Education Advising
  • Probation Advising
  • Graduation Planning
  • Academic Planning
  • Freshmen and Sophomores will recieve most of their advising from ACCESS

Faculty Advisors

Faculty Advisors are professors who advise students. The following are their responsibilites:

  • Major Course Requirement Advising
  • Major Course Planning
  • Graduation Review and Approval
  • Petition Signing
  • May also need Associate Dean's Signature
  • Juniors and Seniors will recieve most of their advising from Faculty Advisors

Types of ACCESS Advising


Academic Planning

This type of advising involves assisting students in choosing future courses based on General Education and Major Course Requirements. Here are some Academic Planning Tools:

General Education (GE) Advising

This type of advising centers on how to choose General Education Courses and understanding and conveying the importance of General Education. Here are some GE Advising Tools:

  • General Education Checklist- Here is a downloadable form you can use to assist in GE course planning.
  • GE Course Listing and Requirements- Here is a list of GE courses and areas.
  • These tools can assist with GE planning and completion.
    • Articulation Agreement

      Students can enroll in California Community Colleges courses to cover SJSU Requirements. This agreement shows equivalent courses and GE Couses.

      ASSIST is an online student-transfer information system that shows how course credits earned at one public California college or university can be applied when transferred to another. 

    • General Education (GE) Course ListingStudents can get an up to date listing of SJSU General Education courses.

Graduation Preparation

See an ACCESS Advisor to determine if you can apply for graduation. An ACCESS Advisor will check if you have completed GE and unit requirements before referring you to a Faculty Advisor. Here are some tools to assist you in graduation preparation.

Probation Advising

If students are on Academic Probation, a hold will be placed on their records to prevent students from registering for courses. In order for the hold to be lifted, students must see an ACCESS Advisor to discuss consequences and solutions. COSS Probation Students must follow this protocol:

  • Must enroll in SSCI 90 - Successfully Navigating the Social Sciences
    • Lecture meets once a week for 50 minutes
    • 30 minute weekly meeting with your Peer Advisor
    • Required hours of study hall starting the 1st full week of term
    • Grade checks will be collected at various times
    • Probation Hold placed on your account; released for registration if meeting requirements 
  • Here are some other resources that could assist probation students
    • Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS)- Professionally trained psychologists, social workers, and counselors are available for students on an individual, couple, or group basis for counseling on a variety of psychological and academic issues
    • Life Skills Workshops - Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) sponsors these workshops. CAPS offer an extensive variety of workshops around the most important issues and challenges that students face. 

Reinstatement Advising

Disqualfied Students can get advice how to return to school in good academic standing and get reinstated.   Here is more information on the reinstatement process.

Returning Student Advising 

Students who were in good academic standing (2.0 and higher) or on probation after being away for one or more years, can get general education advising from an ACCESS Advisor. Questions about major requirements should be given to a Faculty Advisor.  Here is more information to assist returning students.

Undeclared Advising

All Undeclared Students are advised by advisors in Academic Advising and Retention Services (AARS). Feel free drop by and get information on how to apply/declare a COSS major or visit a faculty advisor in any COSS major department.

Below are links to requirements to major in each CoSS Department:


Change of Major Request

In order to successfully change your major, students need to meet certain GPAs and/or complete various prerequisites. Find the Impaction Thresholds for each major, including COSS majorshere.

Make Advising Appointment

Non College of Social Science (CoSS) Majors and Undeclared Students cannot make appointments online. You can call 408.924.5363 or come into our office to book appointments or talk to an advisor during Drop In Appointment times.


List of Faculty Advisors and Contact Information:



African American StudiesWSQ 216A (2nd Floor)- Telephone: 408-924-5871

Steve Millner

AnthropologyCL 469Telephone: 408-924-5710

Jan English-Lueck

AJ Faas

Roberto Gonzalez

Marco Meniketti

Ana Pitchon

Elizabeth Weiss

Charlotte Sunseri

Communication Studies, HGH 108- Telephone: 408-924-5360

(Lead)Andrew Wood

Ge Gao

Felipe Gomez


Richard Webb

Beth Von Till

Matt Spangler

Economics, DMH 147- Telephone: 408-924-5400

Ghislaine Lang

Graduate Advisor

Rui Liu

Environmental Studies, WSQ 118-Telephone: 408-924-5450

Lynne Trulio

Graduate Advisor

William Russell

Geography and Global Studies, WSQ 118-Telephone: 408-924-5475

Kerry Rohrmeier

Kate Davis

History, DMH 134-Telephone: 408-924-5500 

Ruma Chopra

Graduate Advisor

Libra Hilde

Mexican American Studies, CL 231-Telephone: 408-924-5760

Magdalena Barrera

Graduate Advisor

Marcos Pizarro

Political Science, CL 471-Telephone: 408-924-5550

Garrick Percival

Karthika Sasikumar

Masters in Public Administration

Frances Edwards

Pyschology, DMH 157-Telephone: 408-924-5600

Cheryl Chancellor-Freeland

Megumi Hosoda

Susan Snycerski

Mark Van Selst

Graduate Advisor, Clinical

Glenn Callaghan

Graduate, Industrial and Organizational

Howard Tokunaga

Graduate Advisor, Research/Experimental

Greg Feist

Sociology and Interdisclipinary Social Sciences, DMH 241-Telephone: 408-924-5320

Asian American Studies

Hien Do


Natalie Boero

Faustina DuCros


Amy Leisenring

Social Science Teacher Prep

Maria Alaniz

Wendy Rouse

Urban and Regional Planning WSQ 216A-Telephone: 408-924-5882


Rick Kos


Which Advisors To See & Class Level Goals




You will need to see an ACCESS Advisor and acheive the following:


You will need to see an ACCESS Advisor and acheive the following:


You will need to see an ACCESS Advisor to do the following:

You will need to see a Faculty Advisor to do the following:

Transfers (60 Units)


You will need to see both an ACCESS and Faculty Advisor to do the following: