General Advising Frequently Asked Questions
Below are a few frequently asked questions about advising. The answers provided are true for the majority of students. However, some colleges, majors, scholarships, or other circumstances may impact some of these issues. Double check with your assigned advisor, department, Bison Connection, or other appropriate department on campus. If you need assistance identifying who to contact, visit or contact the Advising Resource Center in the Memorial Union by calling 701-231-8662 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tip: Click on a question from the list below or use your browser's "Find" function to easily search the FAQ list for what you are looking for. Type in a word or phrase, and your browser will find that information wherever it appears on the page and highlight it.
PC: CTRL + F
Mac: Command + F
- How do I change my major?
- How do I change my advisor?
- Who is my advisor?
- Which math class should I take?
- Is it OK to drop this class?
- What happens when I drop a class?
- Should I retake this class?
- How do I know my final grades for the semester?
- What general education classes do I have left to take?
- When do I register for classes?
- How do I register for classes?
- How do wait lists work?
- Why do I have a hold on my account?
- Should I take English 110 or English 120?
- Do I have to take COMM 110 (public speaking)?
- Where do I apply for scholarships?
- How do I get a copy of my transcript?
- If I transfer to NDSU, what classes do I have left to complete my degree?
How do I change my major?
If you have decided to change your major, you need to fill out and submit the "Major/Minor and Advisor Change Form." You will submit this form electronically, and it will take about a week to process the form and for your new major to appear in your Student Center in Campus Connection. You will also be assigned a new advisor in the department you change your major to that you will also see in your Student Center. If your listed advisor changes to "Department Assigned," check back in a few days or call the department you are switching to for more information about advisor assignments. You aren't required to, but it may be a good idea to let your previous advisor know you have changed your major and contact your new advisor to begin building a relationship with them before registration time.
What classes are required for “this” major?
If you are interested in learning more about a major or changing your major, a good place to start may be to look at the curriculum guide for that major that shows all of the degree requirements. You may want to contact someone in the department or visit the Advising Resource Center if you have any questions about the requirements or how your courses may fit into the new major.
Who is my advisor?
Your advisor's name is listed in your Student Center on Campus Connection on the lower right side as seen here: http://www.ndsu.edu/bisonconnection/connect/adviser/ If your advisor is listed as "Department Assigned," check back in a few days or call the department you are in for more information about advisor assignments in your department.
View contact information for NDSU Departments: NDSU Departmental Directory
Can I change my advisor?
Yes. If for some reason you would like a different advisor (not happy with your current advisor, different scholarly interests, etc.) you can request a different advisor by completing and submitting the Major/Minor and Advisor Change Form. The advisor portion is near the bottom, and you will indicate "No Change" for the other required fields if nothing else is changing. You will be randomly assigned to a new advisor, or you can request and list a specific person as your advisor. It may be a good idea to talk with this person before you request to have him or her as your advisor to make sure this new advisor-advisee relationship will be a good fit. This form will take about a week to process and for your new advisor to show up in your Student Center on Campus Connection.
Which math class should I take?
Math placement is based on qualifying exam scores. See NDUS Policy 402.1.2 and Procedure 402.1.2 for more information.
Specific information regarding math placement can be found online or in person at Bison Connection.
See your advisor to learn more about which math class is most appropriate for your major.
Is it OK to drop this class?
Dropping a class is unique to most students' plan of study and financial situation, so you need to think through a few different things before dropping a class. Dropping a class is a good idea when you know you will not do as well as you hoped to do or need to for certain program requirements and allows you to focus on your remaining credits. However, here are a few things you should think about before dropping a class:
- How will dropping this class impact my plan of study? Was the class a pre-requisite for others and delay other classes you planned to take? When is the next time the class is offered? Is there a limit to the number of times you can attempt or repeat the course? These are all questions you will want to discuss with your advisor.
- How will dropping this class impact my financial aid? Certain scholarships, loans, grants, and other sources of financial aid may be impacted by the number of credits you are enrolled in and the date in which your credit load changes. Contact Bison Connection to learn more about Satisfactory Academic Progress and how dropping a course will impact your financial aid.
- The number of credits you have may impact your health or car insurance. Contact your insurance provider to learn more about their policies regarding credit load for insurance coverage or discounts.
What happens when I drop a class?
Is a "W" bad on your transcript?
When you drop a class before the official dates and deadlines set by Registration & Records, you will receive a "W" on your transcript to indicate you were enrolled in a course and withdrew from the course. No credits or grades are earned (note: credits are calculated into attempted credits for SAP), which makes it seem like you never took the course except for the "W" on your transcript. A "W" is not necessarily a bad thing to have on your transcript. Often, withdrawing from a course is a responsible decision students make so they can focus on their remaining credits and take the course during a different semester when they can focus more on the course. Multiple "W"s in a semester and throughout one's career may indicate to someone looking at your transcript that you may not be the best at following through and finishing what you started. Withdrawing from courses after tuition and financial aid has been calculated can also have effects. See "Is it OK to drop this class?"
Should I retake this class?
Retaking a class is an opportunity to improve the grade you previously earned.
According to NDSU's Academic Policies, students who wish to take advantage of the repeated course opportunity to improve a grade must repeat the course at NDSU, with one exception only. NDSU students may register for a Tri-College course to repeat a course previously taken at NDSU. If a course is completed at NDSU and an attempt is made to repeat that course elsewhere, the credit is considered duplicate and is not eligible for transfer. When a course is repeated at NDSU, all attempts remain on the academic record but only the credits, grades, and related honor points for the most recent attempt will be used in calculating the cumulative grade-point average and counted toward credits for graduation. However, all credits attempted and grades received will be used in computing graduation with honor. Students forfeit the previous grade no matter what grade is earned when the course is repeated.
All repeated courses are noted on the transcript to indicate the course was repeated in a following term and excluded from cumulative totals. In courses that are repeatable for credit, students must notify the Office of Registration and Records if they re-enroll for purposes of grade improvement.
Courses taken for regular 'A'-'F' grades may not be repeated for pass-fail grades.
The course-repeat option to improve one's academic record is available to students who have not graduated.
How do I know my final grades for the semester?
Final grades are available in Campus Connection a few days after final examinations week. Official dates that grades will be posted for each semester can be found under Dates and Deadlines. View instructions here for viewing your grades in Campus Connection. The grade in Campus Connection is your official grade that will be on your transcript.
It's always a good habit to keep track of your grades throughout the semester as you get test and assignment grades back. Make sure this information is correct in Blackboard if your instructor uses the gradebook. If you see something that doesn't look right, contact your instructor as soon as possible so you can catch any mistakes before it is too late. It is also a good idea to check your final Campus Connection grade as soon as possible in case there has been an error or you need to adjust your class schedule for the next semester. You may want to notify your academic advisor if you have any questions regarding the outcome of your semester grades and your academic progress.
What are the majors at NDSU?
A list of majors and minors available at NDSU can be found here. Click on the major or minor to learn more. You may want to contact the department of any you are interested in and make an appointment with a faculty member or advisor to learn more. You can view current curriculum guides for each major here. Take a look at your transcript to see how the courses you have completed will fit in with the requirements of the major you are interested in switching to.
What general education classes do I have left to take?
The purpose of general education at NDSU is to ensure that students acquire knowledge, perspectives, and skills associated with a university education. The program is designed so that graduates will be able to adapt to and anticipate changes in their profession and in society. Graduates also will be able to integrate and use the knowledge and perspectives they have gained to live productive, intellectually rewarding, and meaningful lives. The general education core is 40 credits for students enrolling at NDSU Fall 2007 and later (39 credits for students who transfer 24 or more semester credits). Only courses approved by the General Education Committee and Faculty Senate may fulfill category requirements. View a list of courses approved for General Education.
You can track your general education courses using a curriculum guide or by viewing your "Student Advisement Report" in Campus Connection. Your Student Advisement Report will place the courses you have completed or are currently taking into the appropriate categories of your degree requirements. Your advisement report is meant to monitor your progress towards degree completion, so make sure to regularly meet with your advisor to discuss your progress and completion of general education requirements. Contact your college liaison in Registration & Records if you have questions about course placement in your Advisement Report.
When do I register for classes?
Registration appointment times are determined by the total amount of credits earned. Your appointment time will be listed in Campus Connection View more information about registration, student classification, and instructions for viewing appointment time in Campus Connection.
How do I register for classes?
You will register for classes and make any changes to your course registration on Campus Connection. Follow these resources provided by Registration & Records for more information about registering and using Campus Connection.
Before registering, you should consult with your academic advisor about the courses you plan to take or any questions about your major and minor requirements.
What does it mean if I'm on the waitlist for a class?
If you are on the waitlist for a class, it means that the class currently has the maximum amount of students enrolled. More information about wait list procedures and Campus Connection can be found here. If you see that a class is waitlisted, you may want to see if other sections are available that fit your schedule. If you wish to be placed on the waitlist, do so and check Campus Connection periodically to see if your place on the waitlist has moved. You CAN place yourself on multiple wait lists, but you will only be enrolled in one of the courses - the first one to open. If you are enrolled in a course and on the wait list for the same course (perhaps hoping to enroll in a different section/time) you will not move up on that wait list because you are already enrolled in the course.
If you are waitlisted for a class, it is a good idea to email the instructor about a week before the class starts and let them know you are number X on the wait list and ask whether they would like you to attend the first day of class. Some instructors may let additional students in, or if students drop the course, you will have been present and will move up the waitlist until you hopefully get into the class. Each class has its own policies regarding enrollment capacity. Campus Connection runs wait lists daily and when this process stops for the semester, instructors may give class permits. It is the students' responsibility to be aware of their registration and enrollment in courses, so be proactive and knowledgeable about what the procedures are for the class and have alternatives available. It is always a good idea to have a backup class in mind in case you do not get into the course you are waitlisted in.
Why do I have a hold on my account? What does it mean?
Holds are placed on accounts to prevent you from being able to complete certain actions or are placed to inform you about something. Not all holds prevent registration. View Bison Connection's resources to learn more about holds. If you have hold on your account, you need to contact the department that has placed the hold. It is unlikely that someone in a different department can remove the hold. If you have an advisor hold, you should contact your advisor as soon as possible to set up an appointment and discuss the hold being removed.
Should I take English 110 or English 120?
Beginning fall 2012, and in accordance with North Dakota University System Policy 402.1.2 and Procedure 402.1.2, ACT or SAT English sub-test scores are used to determine placement of students into entry-level English courses. See English placement procedures.
If you are able to start in English 120 and earn a grade of C or better, you will be awarded placement credit (3 cr.) for English 110.
Do I have to take COMM 110 (public speaking?)
Unless you have transferred an equivalent course you have completed elsewhere, yes, you are required to take COMM 110, Fundamentals of Public Speaking to fulfill part of the Communication General Education requirement. Public speaking plays a role in everyone’s lives, whether they realize it or not. Your public speaking class will be one of the smaller classes you have, and students often find common bond with their classmates and instructor and enjoy the class. Most students also find that taking public speaking early in their college career is very beneficial, as they are able to apply the research and public speaking skills they learned to future presentations and projects. If a fear of public speaking is what is making you put off taking the course, discuss this with your course instructor at the beginning of the semester and they can provide additional resources to help reduce your public speaking fears.
Where do I apply for scholarships?
Scholarships are a great way to help offset the costs of college. NDSU offers many general scholarships and most colleges and departments have additional scholarship opportunities. Learn more about NDSU scholarships here: http://www.ndsu.edu/bisonconnection/finaid/aid/scholarships/. You can learn more about college or major-specific scholarships by: searching your college or major department’s web sites for information, asking your advisor, asking professors in your major, and watching your email for any opportunities your department may send out. Don’t be afraid to contact organizations and businesses in the Fargo-Moorhead area or your hometown to inquire about other scholarship opportunities. Last but not least, remember to start looking early and get started on your applications as soon as possible!
How do I get a copy of my transcript?
Many scholarships, insurance companies, jobs, or other universities may require a transcript that documents your time at NDSU.
Follow the instructions here to obtain an Unofficial Transcript.
Follow the instructions here to obtain an Official Transcript.
If I transfer to NDSU, what classes do I have left to complete my degree?
If you have not yet applied for admission to NDSU, you can utilize NDSU's online Transfer Course Equivalency Database to look up the NDSU "equivalencies" of your transfer coursework. Next, you will compare your transfer credit equivalency list you have created with the NDSU major requirements found on our curriculum guides for the specific majors you are interested in. This is an easy way to predict how your credits will transfer to NDSU and what remaining requirements you will have to complete your degree. Contact the Office of Registration & Records to discuss any questions or concerns related to this process. Upon admission to NDSU, students with transfer credit will receive an Academic Advisement Report showing a comprehensive listing of program requirements and how their transfer credits have satisfied various areas. If you have additional questions about transferring to NDSU, view our transfer resources web page for helpful links and contact information for important offices that can help you get started!