Temporary Notice Regarding UGA’s Covid-19 Closure (March 16 to May 9) & Advising in SPIA:

Advising in SPIA will be handled remotely via email and SAGE. Student are currently completing their spring coursework remotely. As of March 20th, SPIA expects that summer and fall courses will be conducted as planned.

Students who scheduled an appointment in SAGE should not come to it nor cancel it. Their advisor will advise them via email. Students will get an advising form and class schedule as well as some advice on specifics for fall. Advisors will also be copying this email message into SAGE as a note that will be shared with students so they have it in two places. Once advisors have completed that process, they will remove advising holds.

Students who have not met with or scheduled an appointment in SAGE can schedule an appointment in SAGE. Alternatively, SPIA is generating lists of students who still need to be cleared for fall registration. For those students, SPIA will schedule an “appointment” in SAGE as a way to manage workflow during the closure. As campus is closed, students should not come to Candler for this “appointment.” The purpose is simply to manage advisor workflow and document students were advised remotely. Just as above, advisors will advise students via email.

Students who have already met with their advisor, have their advising form, and are cleared for fall registration, need not do anything. Advisors are working during the closure, so if they have questions or needs please email them.

Any student who is unsure if they have an advising hold, can check Athena under Student Records -> View Holds.

Students may get automated notifications and reminders about appointments from SAGE. They should please ignore those messages while campus is closed. Again, please do not come to campus.

Any student with questions about advising or other academic needs is always welcome to reach out to their advisor in SPIA or to me directly via email. 

We ask everyone in the SPIA community to please take care of themselves and keep in mind the precautions suggested by WHO, CDC, and local health authorities.

We look forward to seeing everyone again once campus re-opens.

Paul Welch, Director of Student Affairs


The Office of Student Affairs is the home for all issues related to the undergraduate experience in SPIA. We help continuing, new, and prospective students understand our programs and learning opportunities through academic advising; partnerships with SPIA academic departments, centers, and student organizations; and a broad range of programming aimed at intellectual engagement with public affairs, career readiness, and experiential learning.

The mission of the Office of Student Affairs of the School of Public and International Affairs is:

  • to provide a holistic approach to student support services, including academic advising;
  • to assist the school, departments, and students with undergraduate issues;
  • and to encourage student-faculty interactions as an important part of the curriculum.

The Office of Student Affairs team works towards this mission in several different ways. We provide high-quality academic advising for all SPIA undergraduates in individual and group settings conducted by conscientious and well-trained advising professionals. We assist students with meeting their educational and career goals through academic planning, presentation of experiential learning opportunities, and referrals to other campus resources when appropriate. We certify the completion of requirements and graduation of all SPIA undergraduates to the registrar.  Office staff cooperates with the leadership and faculty in the areas of academic appeals, curricular development and maintenance, and enhancement of student life with data-rich support for decision-making. The office staff also enhances the undergraduate experience in SPIA through facilitation of extra-curricular events and activities which promote student involvement and professional development across the SPIA community and career-readiness in public and international affairs.

Additionally, we serve the SPIA community by acting as liaison with other appropriate UGA entities and by participating in campus-wide committees related to undergraduate issues. Office of Student Affairs staff acts as the gateway for information on academic and co-curricular programs in SPIA to prospective students, their support networks, and other external constituencies.

Staff of the Office of Student Affairs are available for academic advising by appointment only. Appointments can be made online on SAGE or by phone at (706) 542-4114. Advisors also have walk-in office hours every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. for follow-up questions and to meet with students new to SPIA.