QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR ADVISOR
I am not sure of the name of my advisor. How can I identify my advisor? Where can I get his/her contact information?
To look up your faculty advisor’s name, log onto My SJU. Click on:
- School Services
- Student Records & Payments
- View student information
You can find email and office location information through the Directory on the SJU website.
How often should I meet with my advisor?
First-year students are required to meet with their faculty advisors two times each semester to review mid-term grades and to complete pre-registration advising. Upper class students must meet at least one time per semester for pre-registration advising. However, students are welcome to visit with their faculty advisor at any time during the semester to ask questions and/or discuss any aspect of their experience at SJU (e.g., academic progress, transition to college, academic interests, etc.). All students are encouraged to develop an ongoing relationship with their advisor and to meet with them regularly during the school year.
Can I choose or change my advisor?
In the first year, each student who has declared a major will be assigned a faculty advisor from the department or program in which s/he is majoring. Each undeclared CAS student will be assigned to a CAS faculty advisor who may or may not share specific academic interests with the student, but who is prepared to help each student explore options and make decisions about a major. In some instances, freshman seminar professors serve as their students’ first-year advisor. Students may request a particular advisor when they discuss their declaration of major with the department chair. Students who have not declared a major by the end of their first year usually remain with their first-year advisor until they do so. For questions about first-year advising, contact the Advising Support Center in Barbelin 122, extension 2631. For questions about major advisors, consult the appropriate Department Chair.
QUESTIONS ABOUT DEGREE REQUIREMENTS
What are the core requirements I have to take?
- The Class of 2014-2017 will follow the General Education Program (GEP).
- Students who transferred to SJU prior to Fall 2010 will follow the GER.
- Students who transferred to SJU in Fall 2010 or later should consult with their advisor to confirm the curriculum they will follow.
What are the requirements for graduation?
Typically, 40 courses are required for graduation (Biology majors may opt to complete 38 courses, assuming all major and general education requirements have been completed). The 40 courses are comprised of general education courses, divisional requirements, major courses, and electives.
In the College of Arts & Sciences the 40 course requirement includes:
- General Education Program (GEP) Courses (Maximum of 19 courses)
- Courses in your major/division (Maximum of 16 courses)
- Free electives (Minimum of 6 courses)
Please see the University Undergraduate Catalog for specific information on majors that are of interest to you.
All students must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 in order to graduate. To be considered one of the 40 courses for graduation, the course must have three credits or more assigned to it. A laboratory associated with a course is not considered as a separate course, even when it carries a separate course number and grade. Advanced Placement course credit may be counted as one of the 40 courses (depending on the credit earned and the student’s major requirements). Audit (non-credit) courses do not fulfill any requirement.
QUESTIONS ABOUT MAJOR & MINORS
How do I declare a major?
Undergraduate Day students who have entered the University as Undeclared are strongly encouraged to declare their major no later than the first semester of sophomore year. Before making this selection, students are encouraged to take advantage of programs and resources available through the Advising Support Center and the Career Development Center designed to help you in your exploration. Thoroughly research majors that are of interest to you prior to making a decision.
The Major Request Form is the form used to declare a major. Complete the form, outlining your reasons for selecting the major. Meet with your first-year advisor to discuss your decision & obtain his/her recommendation. Meet with the Chair of your prospective department to discuss requirements of the major and obtain his/her recommendation. The Chair will also assign a new advisor in the major you are declaring. After obtaining these signatures, you must obtain the Dean’s Office signature. Students declaring a major in the HSB may meet with either Father Bidinger or Brother Peltz in the Advising Center (MV 289). Students declaring a major in CAS may drop off their form in the College of Arts & Sciences Advising Support Center (BL 122).
How do I change my major?
To change a major officially, students must fill out a Major Request form which requires a meeting with the present department chair (and a signature) and then a meeting with the prospective department chair (and a signature). The prospective chair will usually discuss the major requirements and assign the student a departmental advisor, effective immediately. The form then goes to the Dean’s Office for a signature. Students changing to a major in CAS may drop off their form in the College of Arts & Sciences Advising Support Center (BL 122). Students changing to a major in the HSB may meet with either Father Bidinger or Brother Peltz in the Advising Center (MV 289).
Can I double major?
Yes, students may request permission to pursue a second major. Students are encouraged to discuss the decision to declare a second major with their faculty advisor in the primary major prior to declaring. The final transcript will record the completion of the second major. The degree granted will be the degree in the primary major.
The Declaration of a Second Major form is the form needed. To declare a second major, students must meet with the Chair of the secondary major department to discuss requirements of the major and obtain his/her signature. Dean’s Office approval is also required. Students declaring a second major in the HSB may meet with the HSB Advising Center Staff (MV 289) or Associate Dean Patrick O’Brien (MV 163). Students declaring a second major in CAS may drop off their form in the College of Arts & Sciences Advising Support Center (BL 122).
How do I obtain a typical program for my major?
The Advising Centers for both Colleges maintain updated Curriculum worksheets and typical course sequence sheets for each major.
You also should consult with the department in which you are interested in majoring.
How do I declare a minor?
Students may declare a minor in areas where the department has approved one. For a minor, at least 18 credits (six courses) in the specified area must be completed. Students choosing a minor must seek the approval of the chair in the department of the minor no later than the last day of the add/drop period of their seventh semester. Students should also be aware that their choice of a minor may be restricted based on their major or primary area of study.
The Approval For A Minor form is used to declare a minor in the CAS or HSB. Meet with Chair for the department offering the minor in which you are interested. Review requirements and obtain his/her approval. Dean’s Office approval is not required. Deliver the original completed form to the Registrar’s Office (BL 122) and retain a copy for your records.
Please note that a general Business minor is an option for students majoring in the CAS. CAS students pursuing this option may meet with HSB Leahy Advising Center Staff (MV 289) or Associate Dean Patrick O’Brien (MV 163) to review requirements for the business minor and obtain approval.
I have no idea which major I want to pursue. Where do I begin? What resources are available?
There are many resources and people who are able to help you explore your options and decide on a major. A good first step is to review the Exploring Majors Guide on this website as well visit the Career Development Center.
QUESTIONS ABOUT GRADES AND ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT
What can I do to ensure success in college? Where can I go if I need help?
There are many resources available to help you achieve your goals in college. Your professor and your advisor are primary resources. If you are having difficulty in a class, talk with your professor. S/he may be able to suggest strategies for approaching the course material and course assignments. Your advisor is also a good resource for guidance and referrals to academic support resources, if needed.
Academic Support Resources include:
- Learning Resource Center (LRC). The LRC offers individual tutoring, Supplemental Instruction for various courses, interactive study skills workshops, and the opportunity to meet one-on-one with a learning skills specialist to discuss your individual questions and concerns.
- Services for Students with Learning Differences and Physical Disabilities. The Director, Mr. James Scott, and his staff work with students who have documented disabilities to ensure that they have the resources, accommodations, and services needed for academic success.
What’s the difference between dropping a course and withdrawing from a course?
You may drop a course during Add/Drop week (i.e., the first week of the semester). When you “drop” a course it is removed from your transcript. To add and/or drop a course, you must meet with your advisor to discuss your options. First-year students must make changes using a Registeration Changes Form during their first semester. All others will obtain an Add/Drop PIN to make the changes through My SJU.
After the end of the Add/Drop period, you may withdraw from a class until the designated date as the “last day to withdraw.” When you withdraw from a course, the course is listed on your transcript with a W. Please see the University’s academic calendar for the last day to withdrawal date for this semester. Students withdraw form a course for a number of reasons, including the possibility of failing the course. You are encouraged to talk with your advisor at the first sign of difficulty in order to discuss your options and to weigh your decision to withdraw from a course. After obtaining your advisor’s approval to withdraw from a course, you must obtain approval from the Associate Dean for the Division in which the course is offered. A “W” appears on a transcript, but is not factored into the GPA.
Who gets mid semester grades and how do I get mine?
All students receive mid-term grades. Grades are typically available approximately one week before the last day to withdraw from a class. First-year students must meet with the advisor to review and discuss mid-term grades. Sophomores, juniors, and seniors may view their midterm grades through My SJU. Mid-term grades do not remain as part of a student’s permanent record but serve as an indication of academic progress.
How do I get my grades at the end of the semester?
Grades are available through My SJU. After logging onto My SJU, click on:
- School Services
- Student records and payments
What happens if I fail a course?
If you fail a required course, you have to make it up in the summer, during intersession, or as a sixth course (with permission of the appropriate Associate Dean). If you fail a course that is not required, you may make it up with another course. In either case, the original “F” grade remains on your transcript.
What happens if I am on academic probation?
Students who fail to maintain the required grade point average or an acceptable level of progress toward the degree are placed on probation by their Dean, acting on the recommendation of the Board on Student Academic Review. A student on probation is required to meet with his/her Associate Dean, who may prescribe appropriate remedial measures. Students on probation are not permitted to register for more than five courses a semester (If circumstances warrant, the Dean may require a student on probation to limit his/her course load to four with no reduction in tuition).
Ordinarily, the period of probation will extend one semester, during which time the student must show sufficient improvement to raise his/her GPA above the minimum level. In extraordinary cases, one additional semester of probation may be allowed by the Board on Student Academic Review if the improvement during the first probationary semester indicates that the student will probably reach the necessary level by the end of the second probationary semester. A student may be permitted as many as three semesters of probation, provided that no more than two are consecutive.
A student on academic probation is ineligible to participate in major extracurricular activities, including intercollegiate athletics, or to serve as officer or director of any student activity.
What are the criteria for academic dismissal and suspension?
A student who fails to make sufficient improvement in his/her level of performance or rate of progress during this period of probation is subject to academic dismissal by the Dean, acting on the recommendation of the Board on Student Academic Review.While a student is normally granted at least one academic probation, the Board on Student Academic Review may recommend academic dismissal without any probation where the student’s cumulative grade point average is so low that an academic probation would not be in the student’s best interest. A student may also be dismissed or suspended from the University, i.e., prohibited from enrolling in and/or attending classes for a specified period of time, under the provisions of the Academic Honesty Policy.
Under what circumstances could I lose my scholarship?
Merit Scholarships are contingent upon full time enrollment (12 credits a semester) and the annual required GPA as stipulated in the student’s scholarship letter. A student’s merit award can be reduced or revoked at the discretion of the Scholarship Committee if the student does not achieve the required cumulative grade point average as stipulated by his/her award. The review process will take place at the end of each academic year. If, in the subsequent academic year, the required cumulative grade point average is not achieved, the scholarship can be revoked or further reduced. The Scholarship Committee will reinstate the award to its original annual amount should a student achieve the required cumulative point average at the time of the review process. For additional information, please contact the Office of Student Success.
ADVISING RESOURCE QUESTIONS
What are the opportunities for study abroad? Where can I get additional information?
If you are interested in study abroad opportunities, you are encouraged to meet with one of the staff in the Center for International Programs. Saint Joseph’s University currently maintains a list of 29 approved programs in 17 different countries. If a student wishes to attend a university or study abroad program that is not currently affiliated with Saint Joseph’s or is currently not an approved program and therefore not recognized for academic credit, s/he must petition the Center for International Programs.
Most study abroad students spend one or both semesters of their junior year overseas, though it is possible to study abroad during the second semester of the sophomore year or even the first semester of the senior year. It very much depends upon their major requirements and particular circumstances. Whenever they choose to study abroad, serious consideration should begin at least one year in advance of their target semester or year. In this way, they can better plan their course of study in the semesters preceding their study abroad experience.
All students must apply through the CIP office for permission to study abroad. Application requirements vary by program, but all applicants will need to have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 (although many programs have a higher GPA requirement) and be in good academic and disciplinary standing to be considered by the CIP.
While overseas, students are expected to maintain full-time enrollment, attend class regularly and comply with all program regulations and individual course requirements to receive credit for their work. Students are required to get approval for classes before they leave so that upon return they will count towards their graduation requirements. For most of our pre-approved programs, you can find the course offerings on the program’s website. And for many of the programs, CIP has a list of “pre-approved” courses that have SJU equivalencies. All grades count and are factored into their final GPA. Students cannot take a course pass/fail while abroad.
SJU Faculty-led Study Tours and Summer Programs
Study Tours are SJU campus-based classes that have a required travel component generally lasting 1-3 weeks in length. Students in any year of study at SJU may participate, provided that they 1) are not on academic or disciplinary probation status, 2) have received prior academic advisor approval to enroll, and 3) have met all necessary course pre-requisites. SJU also offers month-long faculty-led “Summer Programs” to the following locations that repeat annually: China, Greece and Rome.
Non-SJU Summer Study Abroad
Saint Joseph’s University does not maintain an approved list of programs for summer study abroad, thus giving students flexibility in program choice. Credits earned through a non-SJU summer abroad program will be considered transfer credits and the grades earned will not be posted on the SJU transcript. Credit is granted for courses completed in overseas programs only when the student has secured in advance written permission from the appropriate Associate Dean and has completed the Approval to Transfer Summer Study Abroad Credit form. Students must receive a grade of C or better in order to get credit for the abroad course.
Where can I get information on health professions advising (including pre-medical, pre-dental, pre-vet, and preparation for nursing and allied health professions)?
Health Professions Advising
Mrs. Connie O’Hara
329 Science Center
Visit the website to join the Health Professions email list to receive announcements about programs and events geared to students interested in health careers.
The Health Profession advisor can help you to:
- Learn about required courses for medical, dental or veterinary school as well as nursing and allied health programs such as physical therapy.
- In consultation with your faculty advisor, provide assistance with creating a 4-year plan for completing prehealth coursework in combination with major courses and other general education courses.
- Understand and navigate the application process.
- Learn about experiential learning opportunities both on and off campus that can help you explore career areas and prepare for application to medical school and other graduate programs.
Where can I get information on pre-law advising?
Dr. Susan Liebell
205 Barbelin Hall
The Pre-Law Advisor can help you to:
- Consider carefully if a law degree is right for you. It is not necessary to know what kind of law you want to practice or even if you want to practice law to decide to attend law school.
- Explore ways to gain necessary experience as you prepare for law school.
- Understand the factors that may give you a competitve edge in the admissions process.
- Prepare for the application process
Contact Dr. Liebell if you are interested in joining the Pre-Law email list that will keep you apprised of activities on and off campus that are of interest to those who are interested in law school and law-related careers.