Exploratory Advising

Exploratory advisors are academic specialists who can help you explore degree programs to meet your unique needs and interests.

Whether you book a one-on-one appointment or attend a workshop, our advisors will help you maximize your academic potential.

Exploratory Advising Team, 2022

Ways to Connect with Us:


Booked appointment (45 mins)

Visit elevate.ucalgary.ca to schedule an online or in-person appointment.

Please book by appointment type as outlined below.

Drop-in appointment (20 mins)

Drop-in support is availble during peak periods. 

When Drop-ins are running, check in with the Student Success Centre front desk (3rd Floor, Taylor Family Digital Library) or our virtual front desk to join the drop-in queue. These appointments are shorter, first-come, first-serve, and limited each day.  If your needs are not as urgent and/or you would prefer a lengthier appointment, we recommend booking an appointment with us. 

Exploratory and Open Studies Workshops (60-90 mins)

Workshops are a great way to get started with us and get many of your questions answered.  We offer all of our workshops regularly, in both in-person and online formats.  Learn more about our workshops and register for one today!

Book with an Exploratory Advisor

Log in and use our Elevate portal to book an appointment with an advisor or sign up for a workshop.


Learn how to book an appointment (PDF)

Learn how to register for a workshop (PDF)


Contact Information

Deirdre Mooney
Academic Advisor 

Daniel Birch
Academic Advisor

Iraida Gutsalyuk
Academic Advisor

Exploratory Resources

Please find below some resources to help with the Exploratory/Choosing a Major decision making process.

What type of exploratory appointment should I book?

These appointments are open two weeks in advance and are removed from the calendar once booked. We are currently offering online or in-person appointments.  Prospective students can request an appointment by emailing success@ucalgary.ca 

Prospective Student Advising

Students considering applying to UCalgary to an undergraduate degree program.

Navigating Open Studies

Students currently registered in Open Studies and navigating undergraduate degree program options.

Undecided/Exploring Degree Program Advising

Undergraduate students currently registered in a faculty program and exploring program options.

Helpful articles

How to Choose a Major

Learn how the major exploration process can help you decide on your degree program

How to Choose a Major: Reflect and Connect

Better understand yourself to aid in choosing your degree program.

How to Choose a Major: Information and Options

Learn how to gather information about potential degree program options.

How to Choose a Major: Evaluate and Decide

Make an informed decision about your degree.

How to Choose a Major: Change of Program Process

Learn key information before submitting a Change of Program application.

Meet your Exploratory Advisors

Deirdre holds a Masters of Education, specializing in Adult Learning and Higher Education, and bachelor degrees in General Studies and Education from the University of Calgary. Prior to working in post-secondary student services, Deirdre was a secondary school teacher who taught Social Studies in both Calgary and Germany. In her current role, Deirdre supports prospective, Open Studies and current undergraduate degree students in choosing an educational pathway that fits their motivators, personality traits, interests, and academic backgrounds. Once admitted to the University, Deirdre also provides registration assistance for incoming first-year and Open Studies students. Passionate about educational planning and career development, Deirdre is committed to facilitating students’ smooth and positive transitions into degree programs. Good days for Deirdre include a combination of helping students, yoga, squash or long walks, and great vegan food!

Dan is an Exploratory Advisor for First Generation students and joined the Student Success Centre after working for several years in Admissions and Recruitment and as an Academic Advisor in the Faculty of Arts. He attended the University of Guelph-Humber where he completed a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Kinesiology from the University of Guelph and a Diploma in Fitness and Health Promotion from Humber College. Dan enjoys talking to students about their interests and helping them find a degree program that suits them and will allow them to pursue their passion and reach their goals. He also thrives on helping students understand the pathway and requirements to be admissible to their program of interest. Outside of work Dan is a very active person and spends his spare time running, playing sports with friends, and hiking and camping in the mountains with his dog, Shadow.

Iraida has a Masters Degree in Public Administration and a Bachelors Degree in International Relations from KIMEP University, Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Iraida has over 10 years experience in the Academic Advising field. In her current role, Iraida assists exploratory continuing degree students, prospective students and Open Studies students in their transition to degree programs that are a best fit with their academic interests, strengths, abilities and goals. Iraida is passionate about helping students to find their way and to succeed.

In her spare time, she enjoys travelling with her family and baking for her friends.

Lisa embarked on her academic journey fueled by a desire to serve those around her and empower others to lead a positive life. Lisa holds a Masters of Counselling degree in Educational Psychology, and an undergraduate degree in Psychology with Honours both at the University of Calgary. As an Academic Advisor for prospective and current first-generation students, she provides advising and wayfinding support and aims to offer student-centered resources and be a place where students can feel comfortable asking questions and learn more about strategies and resources that support their learning and success at university. Her goal is to help students define their academic interests and aptitudes, and clarify their academic goals through learning more about their passions, interests, hobbies and strengths.  Outside of work, Lisa enjoys spending quality time with friends and family, playing sports such as dodgeball and volleyball, and exploring new foodie spots!

Considering UCalgary

Go beyond admission policies with prospective student advising. Explore program content and structure. 

Learn more if you're considering UCalgary

Exploring Degree Programs

How do you build a degree program that's the best fit for you? By working with a specialized advisor within the Student Success Centre! 

Find out more about exploring degree programs


Attend an exploratory workshop if you're in Open Studies, Arts undeclared, or a program that doesn't feel quite right. These workshops give you the information and tools you need to understand UCalgary.

Discover more about exploratory workshops