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Orientation and Advising


We look forward to welcoming you to the Columbia Nursing community during your upcoming Orientation Program.

What You Should Expect from Orientation

  • Overview of Columbia Nursing academic policies, procedures, offices, key faculty and staff, student resources, and what's expected of you for the program.
  • Meet and greet with your fellow classmates. Get to know your new community.

Attendance at Orientation is mandatory for new students. Orientation is held twice a year, before summer and fall terms, he week before classes start. Please see the Academic Calendar for dates.


All students are assigned an advisor to serve as a resource for information gathering, decision making, and program progression.

Masters Direct Entry (MDE) Program

New students receive course registration information from the MDE department. Karen Desjardins, DNP, Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs and other faculty members provide guidance to students during the pre-licensure MDE year.

Masters, University Statutory Certificate, and Doctoral Programs

All students are assigned a faculty advisor upon acceptance. Your faculty advisor provides academic and professional guidance during your studies.

For students in a master’s or certificate program, your advisor is the program director of your specialty. Susan Doyle-Lindrud, DNP, Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs, serves as an advisor to DNP students. PhD students are matched with a faculty advisor based on the student's professional goals and the compatibility of clinical and research interest.

Program Plans - Master's, Certificate, and DNP programs

Program Plans are made available by the Academic Affairs office. A ProgramPlan is an agreement between the student and their advisor for coursework expected to be completed during their program. The student and advisor should meet regularly to review progress and discuss goals. Students who wish to make changes to their program plan must consult with their advisor before deviating from their program plan (failure to do so could jeopardize graduation date.)

Academic Affairs Office

The Academic Affairs office can assists Master’s and Certificate students with program plan questions, answering general program questions, and arranging meetings with Master's Program Directors. Master’s and Certificate students with questions on their program plan or course scheduling can contact Academic Affairs at