Office of Undergraduate Studies

Academic Advising FAQs         What is Academic Advising?

Academic Advising FAQs

1. Who is my academic advisor?
2. What is the Student Academic Success-Degree Completion Plan?
3. How do I register for classes?
4. How many credits may I take each semester?
5. What is the repeat policy?
6. What is the drop/add policy?
7. What do I do if I need to take a leave of absence?
8. What are academic honors?
9. What is academic probation/dismissal?
10. What courses do I need to take to graduate?
11. Can I take a class for pass/fail?
12. What is the difference between a double major and a double degree?
13. What is a minor?
14. What is required to complete a certificate program?
15. Can I use my Advanced Placement (AP) credits toward my degree?
16. Am I able to take a course at another institution?
17. Where can I find information about the transfer process?
18. Where are academic support resources on campus?
19. What do I need to do to major in a Limited Enrollment Program (LEP)?
20. How do I find out about study abroad programs?
21. Where do I find information about internships?

1. Who is my academic advisor?
Each college at the University of Maryland has its own system for advisors. Please check the college/department webpage for more information.

2. What is the Student Academic Success-Degree Completion Plan?
The Student Academic Success- Degree Completion Policy (SAS-DCP) builds on a series of initiatives to help students progress toward graduation. Students create four year plans based on degree templates and complete major benchmarks as they progress toward degree completion. For more information about the policy, please see http://www.ugst.umd.edu/faqs-successpolicy.html#plans. For information on specific degree benchmarks, please see www.4yearplans.umd.edu

3. How do I register for classes?
Newly admitted students are required to attend an orientation session (see www.orientation.umd.edu). Advising and course registration are part of that process. All newly admitted students must meet with an advisor prior to registration. New students must also provide proof of immunization for measles, rubella, mumps and tetanus/diphtheria. Residence hall students must provide proof of vaccination against meningococcal disease or seek an exemption.

Currently enrolled students are invited to early registration by appointment for fall and spring semesters. Registration can be processed on the website www.testudo.umd.edu and continue until the first day of classes. At that time, students may make schedule adjustments or process an original registration. Most departments and colleges require mandatory advising in order to register. Please check with your college for more information. Additional advising tools can be found at http://www.testudo.umd.edu

4. How many credits may I take each semester?
It is recommended that students take approximately 15 credits per semester in order to complete a degree in four years. Students may register up to 19 credits without approval from their college. Full time students must register for at least 12 credits.

5. What is the repeat policy?
Students may repeat a course one time for a maximum of 18 credits repeated. In repeating a course, the old and new grades are averaged when calculating the grade point average. All attempts of a course are shown on the transcript. Students repeating a course taken within their first 24 credits will have only the new grade calculated into the grade point average. For more detailed information about the repeat policy, please see:
http://www.testudo.umd.edu/soc/repeat.html

6. What is the drop/add policy?
Students may add or drop courses from their schedule during the first 10 days of the semester (schedule adjustment period) without any penalty. After that time, students may drop one course or four credits until the 10th week of class and a “W” will be shown on the transcript. Students use repeat credits when retaking a course in which they received a “W”. For more information, see http://www.testudo.umd.edu/soc/drops.html

7. What do I do if I need to take a leave of absence?
Students may encounter extenuating circumstances which require them to withdraw from classes any time between the first and last days of the semester. The University considers this to be very serious and a decision not to be made lightly. Because withdrawals can have an impact on degree progression, financial aid, residence halls status and other issues, please see http://www.testudo.umd.edu/soc/absence.html

8. What are academic honors?
Semester academic honors (Dean’s list) will be awarded to those students who complete within any given semester, 12 or more credits (excluding courses with grades of “P” and “S”) with a semester grade point average of 3.5 or higher. This recognition will be noted on the transcript.

Commencement honors (Summa cum laude, Magna cum laude, and cum laude) are the highest commencement honors that the University bestows for sustained excellence in scholarship and are awarded to the top 10% of the graduating class.

9. What is academic probation/dismissal?
Students will be placed on academic probation if their grade point averages fall below 2.0 during a semester. Students who fail to raise their grade point average over a 2.0 during their probation semesters will be dismissed. Important conditions govern this policy. For more information, please see http://www.testudo.umd.edu/soc/satsprog.html

10. What courses do I need to take to graduate?
The requirements for graduation vary from specific colleges and departments across campus. Normally the minimum 120 credits required to graduate include general education, major requirements and electives. Please check with your academic advisor for specific degree requirements when developing a four year academic plan.

11. May I take a class for pass/fail?
In order to take a class for pass/fail grading, students must have completed 30 credits with a grade point average of 2.0 or better. This option is available for elective courses only and may not be used for a major requirement or general education requirement. For more information please see http://www.testudo.umd.edu/soc/passfail.html

12. What is the difference between a double major and a double degree?
A double major requires students to complete all requirements of the two majors (with only 18 credits applied to both) and complete a total of 120 credits. Double degrees require the completion of 150 credits and students are awarded two degrees. More information about double majors/degrees can be found within the student's major college.

13. What is a minor?
A minors is an approved, limited but structured concentration in a coherent field of study outside of a major. Not all academic programs offer minors. For a list of minors please check with your academic college.

14. What is required to complete a certificate program?
Students may pursue a more rigorous structured program in one of a number of areas considered a certificate program. Certificates require a higher number of credits than minors (normally 21-24) and are offered in the following areas:
• African American Studies
• Asian American Studies
• Computational Science
• East Asian Studies
• International Agriculture and Natural Resources
• Latin-American Studies
• Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Studies
• Science, Technology and Society
• Secondary Education, Upper Division
• Women’s Studies

Please check with the specific program for certificate requirements.

15. May I use my Advanced Placement (AP) credits toward my degree?
Yes. The University encourages students to use advanced placement (AP) credits in order to move forward in their academic study. A list courses for which a student may receive credit based on AP scores can be found at
http://www.tce.umd.edu/apchart.html

16. Am I able to take a course at another institution?
Yes. However, students must obtain permission from their academic college to take a course at another institution. The permission provides students with assurance that the course is equivalent and that the University and the student's degree program will accept the credits.

17. Where can I find information about the transfer process?
There is information about the transfer process at http://www.tce.umd.edu/faq.html.

18. Where are academic support resources on campus?
Many offices provide academic and personal resources for students, such as tutoring, study skills, and counseling. Please also check with your college. Some resources are listed below:
http://www.counseling.umd.edu/Services/services.htm
http://www.english.umd.edu/programs/WritingCenterWebsite/

19. What do I need to do to major in a Limited Enrollment Program (LEP)?
Limited Enrollment Programs are majors where a numerical cap is placed on the number of students that can be admitted. All students may apply to pursue a degree in a LEP. Normally a current student must complete a series of gateway courses and receive a specific grade point average to be accepted. For more information on LEP programs, including a list of the programs, please see www.lep.umd.edu.

20. How do I find out about study abroad programs?
The University offers opportunities for students to study abroad during a semester, the academic year, summer or during Winterterm. To find more information about study abroad, please see http://www.international.umd.edu/studyabroad/

21. Where do I find information about internships?
Both the Career Center (http://www.careercenter.umd.edu/student/intern/about_int.asp) and your academic department can provide you with resources for internship opportunities.