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First Year FAQ (frequently asked questions)

This FAQ is a guide to help you make the most of your First Year and prepare for the challenges ahead.


Have a plan but not sure if it is the right path for you? This happens to a lot of students and is common during your first year. Luckily, college is a great place for exploration!

I am not sure what to major in. How can I narrow down my options?

What is Core Curriculum? The Texas Core Curriculum is a 42-semester credit hour core curriculum for all undergraduate students in Texas. All bachelor’s degrees from the University of Houston require completion of the Texas state-mandated 42-hour Core Curriculum. Work with your advisor to learn how to complete these courses throughout your four years at UH.

Who is my academic advisor and why should I read their emails? An academic advisor is a staff member based in your college whose job is to help you navigate all the academic requirements to get you to graduation. Their emails have important information that will help you stay on track and stay connected to your college.

How do I connect with my academic advisor? Find your academic advisor by major and schedule an appointment through Navigate Student account. Need help, watch this video: How to schedule an academic advising appointment.

What do I talk to my academic advisor about?

  • Which core courses do I have remaining?
  • Which courses are right for my major program?
  • Which major prerequisites can I start taking now?
  • Where can I find a list of requirements for the degree I want to pursue?
  • Did my AP/Dual Credit classes transfer over? How does it affect my graduation timeline?

I keep hearing go to office hours but I am not sure what it means. What are they for? Every professor has a unique style in the classroom, but one thing you can count on is that they like students who are prepared and proactive. Office hours are a great way to get to know your professor (and for them to get to know you!) Be sure to check your class syllabi or Canvas for our professor's office hours.

Self Help and Safety

I am feeling overwhelmed and anxious. Who can I ask for help with my mental health? CAPS (Counseling and Psychological Services) promotes the well-being of students through high quality mental health services. UH Wellness is here to support you in all your health and well-being needs.

Is there a doctor or clinic on campus? The UH Health Center provides cost-effective, comprehensive, compassionate, and quality primary medical care to all UH students so they can learn best health practices and maintain their focus on successful academic outcomes. UH Health Center can also direct students to an afforable student health insurance plan, if needed.

How can I meet people and make friends on campus? Join a student organization or reach out to our Commuter Assistant Program, Center for Student Empowerment, Center for Diversity and Inclusion, or LGBTQ Resource Center. There are always events going on around campus, so make sure to check out the campus events calendar!

I am not doing well in my classes. Where can I get tutoring? Seek out tutoring services at LAUNCH, SEP, the Writing Center, and CASA.

How can I boost my mood? Visit UH Campus Recreation and check out their various programs and events.

I am worried about my next meal. Where can I get help with food insecurity? We do not want any member of our Campus Community to have to choose between having food on the table and keeping up with the emergencies that come up. For help visit the CoogsCARE Food Page.

I am worried about my safety on campus. Who can I reach out to about my safety? UHPD does everything they can to ensure the campus is safe and secure. The Cougar Ride After-Hours Shuttle Service is a program from Parking and Transportation Services that provides after hours rides to and from all on-campus shuttle stops, as well as MD Anderson Library and Cougar Village/Moody Towers.

Plan your Finances

When does the FAFSA open for the next academic year? Apply for financial aid at the end of your fall semester.

I don't understand the difference between the different types of financial aid. The University of Houston offers several different kinds of financial assistance, ranging from scholarships that are awarded on the basis of academic merit to loans awarded on the basis of financial need. 

What do you know about payment plans for tuition? The University offers payment plans to students for the payment of tuition and fees. 

I need to learn how to budget. Who can I speak to regarding budgeting, loans, credit, or other money matters? Take advantage of financial literacy services and other free program like iGrad - a platform that helps you identify your "money personalities".

Are there scholarships I can get? How do I apply? Information on institutional and outside scholarships is available.

How do I get an on-campus job? Being employed on campus is a great way to earn extra money, build a professional network, and gain valuable job experience that can transfer into your desired career goals. Explore your options and decide what's right for you.