Academic Advising is meaningful educational planning. You will work one-on-one with your advisor to explore and define your academic interests and goals. Together you will create a clear educational plan that will lead to the successful completion of a university degree that matches your interests, strengths, values, and career goals.

Goals and Objectives

Academic advising facilitates student development and is an integral part of the educational process at MU. The ultimate goal is to help you gain the most from your experience at MU. Advising objectives include helping you:

  • Acquire and demonstrate awareness of campus resources.
  • Become an independent and active navigator of your undergraduate experience.
  • Explore, understand, and meet degree requirements.

Connect with Your Advisor

The name of your assigned advisor is listed in myZou.  If you are a campus Interdisciplinary Studies major or are considering declaring Interdisciplinary Studies, you will work with Carlynn Trout. If you are an online student, you will work with Joe Franklin. If you want to major in Black Studies, Environmental Studies, Peace Studies, or Women's and Gender Studies, you will work with Kibby Smith.


Advisors meet with students for a variety of reasons, including switching majors and transferring divisions. Read about the major on the website prior to your first appointment. During appointments, which are typically 30 minutes, expect to reflect upon and discuss your academic progress, challenges, goals, degree plans and strengths. You may schedule a ZOOM or in-person appointment via MU Connect. If you cannot keep your scheduled appointment, please cancel it as soon as possible. If you are more than 10 minutes late for an appointment, you may be asked to reschedule it.


Emails to advisors are professional communications and should include your first name, last name, student ID, and major—IDS.  Communicate your questions and/or concerns clearly and concisely. Your advisor will reply within approximately three business days.

Before Meeting with the IDS Advisor:

  • Read ALL of the information about the IDS degree on this website. (Refer to the MU Catalog for information about Black Studies, Environmental Studies, Peace Studies, or Women's and Gender Studies.)
  • Determine two or three academic areas (at least one in A&S) in which you are interested and/or already have coursework completed. These will become your major components.
  • Look up the course options for each academic area in the MU Catalog (See


Sometimes students need to see faculty or staff in other offices in order to lift holds, obtain permission numbers, meet specific University deadlines or requirements, or address personal issues. Your advisor will try to refer you to the correct person or office when you explain your needs or situation.