Frequently Asked Questions


Why do I need an academic adviser?

Advisers guide you in formulating your educational plans, and help you to translate your goals, interests, and career aspirations into an effective education. Your adviser will help you understand the academic requirements that give structure to your area of study.

How do I get an adviser?

As a new student you will be assigned an adviser in the Academic Advisement Center according to your major. After your first year being advised in the Academic Advisement Center you will be advised by your departmental adviser in your major department.

Who is my adviser?

Find out who your adviser is by visiting this directory.

When should I meet with my adviser?

You can meet with your adviser regularly but many students find it helpful to meet at least several times a semester. It is important to plan ahead and not wait until busy registration times to arrange an individual meeting.

How many credits do I need to be a freshman, sophomore, junior, senior?

  • Freshman status requires 0-31 credits
  • Sophomore status requires 32-63 credits
  • Junior status requires 64-96 credits
  • Senior status requires 96 credits or more.

Freshman / New Students

How do I choose my classes?

Your will register yourself for your classes using our online registration process. Before your first semester, you will watch a pre-registration video, facilitated by the first-year advisers, teaching you how to select and enroll in the appropriate courses, based on your major and writing placement (if required) and math diagnostic exam results. A similar process will be in place to help you register for your second semester, where you will meet with your adviser to discuss the courses you need to take before completing the process online.

How many courses should I take my first semester?

Four academic courses (a total of approximately 16 credits) are recommended per semester. You must register for at least 12 credits to be considered a full-time undergraduate student. Some students may take more or fewer credits depending on their admissions status, and whether they have other time commitments including jobs, family, and/or commuting.

Academic Difficulties

What can I do if I’m in a class that is over my head?

Talk with your instructor. New and unfamiliar material can feel intimidating for anyone. Study hard; immerse yourself in the subject, and then assess — with your professor’s help — whether you really are in over your head. Consider seeking educational supports. Investigate tutoring help through Polytechnic Tutoring Center (PTC). Talk with an adviser in the Academic Advisement Center. And know the deadlines for withdrawing or changing your grading option in the class. Additionally, be sure you have met the pre-requisites for a class before registering.

What is an academic warning?

Students whose midterm grade shows they are danger of failing receive letters of academic warning. Letters and e-mails are sent to these students warning them of potential problems, urging them to make use of the support services available to them, encouraging them to take whatever measures are necessary to maintain good standing, and inviting them to meet with their academic adviser.

What is academic probation?

Students are placed on academic probation when (1) their semester and/or cumulative GPAs fall below 2.0, but remain above the minimum standards of Table 1 or (2) their number of successfully completed credits falls below the minimum standards of Table 2. Students falling into these categories are notified by letter and are directed to meet with their advisers.

All first-year, first-time probationary students must take SL 1020 Academic Skills Seminar. The seminar consists of eight one-hour sessions, meeting once a week and take on a pass/fail basis. SL 1020 helps students develop and enhance an awareness of their individual learning styles, study skills and time management techniques so they may become more successful students and return to good academic standing. Topics include establishing a mindset for success, discussing career opportunities, setting goals, managing time, overcoming procrastination, learning study and test-taking skills, and self assessing. SL 1020 is structured in small, interactive group sessions designed to support students as they develop strategies for academic success.

Table 1 - Minimum GPA Standards

Semester Minimum Cumulative GPA
1 1.50
2 1.50
3 1.50
4 1.67
5 1.78
6 1.88
7 1.95
8 2.00
9 2.00
10 2.00

Table 2 - Minimum Credit Standards

Semester Minimum Credits Successfully Completed
1 8
2 16
3 28
4 40
5 56
6 68
7 84
8 96
9 112
10 128

What is final probation?

Students whose academic records indicate an unacceptable level of academic progress may be placed on final probation. Notified by letter of their standing, these students must meet with their adviser to determine a program of study geared toward improving their performance. Failure to improve their performance results in disqualification. Students on final probation may not register before completing current courses.

What is disqualification?

The Academic Standing Committee of Standing, comprised of The Office of Academic Success and a representative of the student’s major department, will jointly disqualify from the School of Engineering any student whose cumulative average or number of credits successfully completed falls below the appropriate minima shown in Tables 1 and 2 above. A disqualified student may not apply for readmission for at least 1 year.

Additionally, a major department may disqualify a student at or above the minimum listed if it is indicated that continuation will not lead to a successful completion of degree requirements. Unless accepted into another department, a student so disqualified will not be permitted to reapply to the School of Engineering for at least 1 academic year.

Extenuating circumstances, such as serious medical problems (physical or psychological) must be documented and can lead to a waiver of these criteria for one semester. Performance in the subsequent semester must meet minimum standards. Such arrangements must be made together with the head of the major department and the Office of Student Development.