Academic Advising
Holloway Hall

Advising FAQs

  1. What Catalog should the student follow?
    Students entering SU as freshmen or as transfer students from any schools other than Maryland schools must use the SU catalog of the year they enter SU.  Students transferring from Maryland colleges may use an SU catalog in effect during a semester when the student matriculated at a Maryland school.  All students may choose to move to a newer catalog but must graduate under a catalog no later than seven years.
  2. The student states they have completed a course elsewhere but it is not showing on their Academic Requirements Report.  What should I tell them?
    Ask the student if they have sent in their transcript from their other institution.  If they have, they should contact Admissions for help.  If they have not submitted official transcripts, they will need to order an official copy of their transcript and have it sent to the Admissions Office.
  3. A student states they have a course or requirement waived.  What do I tell them if it is not showing on their Academic Requirements Report?
    Have the student contact the involved Department Chair to see if they submitted a request for a waiver/substitution on behalf of the student. Waiver/substitutions are processed in the Registrar's Office and generally take two weeks to process after the initial request.
  4. My advisee says they can not pre-register for classes but I have unlocked/activated their account.  What should they do?
    The student should check to see if they have a hold on their account.
     To check for holds they need to go to GullNet - Self Service - Student Center.  Many times the student has a parking ticket or some other Cashier's hold that will not allow them to enroll in classes.  If this does not work, have them seek assistance from the Registrar's Office.
  5. How can I tell when the student is allowed to pre-register for classes?
    The students register according to their total earned credit hours.  This only includes courses in which they have grades that have been posted.  This does not include the courses they are enrolled in at the present time.  Students should refer to their GullNet account - Student Center to see their specific enrollment dates and credit limits.








General Education Errors

This page contains information regarding common general education errors.

General Errors: Most errors occur when a student repeats a course without knowing it or takes more than the required course(s) for general education. Any course taken beyond the general education requirements that is not in the student's major or minor will be counted as an elective. Errors also occur when students take courses that are not designated or approved for general education.  Remember, the course section of the SU catalog will indicate what general education group a course will fulfill.

Some of the common errors are summarized below:


Composition:  ENGL 103 - "C" or better - this is the only course within general education that requires a grade of "C" or better.

Literature: For the English Literature requirement, make sure it fulfills a Literature general education course - GEN ED IB.  A common error is to take a composition course rather than a literature course. For a MDFL course (SPAN, FREN, GERM, etc.), make sure it is a literature course rather than a grammar or conversation course.  Literature and Film (ENGL 221) is the only film class that fulfills the literature requirement.


Students must take one humanities course, one social science course and one additional course (may be either a social science or humanities course.)  Humanities options include: ART, CMAT, THEA/DANC, MDFL, MUSC, and PHIL.  CMAT is now its own department and THEA/DANC have combined. Theater and Dance are within the same department and therefore students may only take one course from either THEA or DANC to help meet the humanities requirement. 

1 credit courses taken multiple times in MUSC or DANC will not count towards this requirement.


One course of HIST 101, 102 OR 103; One additional course, either 101, 102, 103 OR History course above HIST 103

These courses may be taken in any order.  A common misconception is that American/U.S. History will fulfill the HIST 101/102 requirement.  U.S. HIST will not meet the HIST 101/102 requirement but can be used as a HIST course above HIST 103 for those students in the 2008 & beyond catalog.   


Students must take one humanities course, one social science course and one additional course (may be either a social science or humanities course.) Social Science options include: ANTH, CADR, ECON, HUMAN GEOG, POSC, PSYC and SOCI. CADR is now its own department and therefore students may take courses from both SOCI and CADR.  

GEOG:  Make sure the student is not taking a PHYSICAL GEOG class for this Social Science general education requirement.


Students must complete two lab science courses from different departments from BIOL, CHEM, PHYSICAL GEOG or GEOL, and PHYS.

Physical GEOG and GEOL are in the same department and therefore a student may NOT take both GEOG/GEOL.

Courses in this general education group must have a lab component.


Students need to have one additional course from the lab science options, a non-lab science, COSC, or second MATH course. Possible options include: BIOL, CHEM, ENVR (ENVR 102), GEOL, PHYSICAL GEOG, PHYS, COSC, or MATH.

Another error is that a student thinks taking ONE MATH course counts for both their MATH requirement and their non-lab science requirement.  In this case, double dipping is NOT allowed!


Students must take an approved MATH course.

A common error is that MATH 130 or MATH 150 (for education majors) fulfills this requirement. THEY DO NOT! See the SU Catalog or the online Registration schedule to see the MATH courses that count towards this general education requirement.

PHEC 106:   

Students must take PHEC 106 for this requirement.  Physical education, exercise science, health education, and athletic training majors take PHEC 108 instead of 106. 

A common error is for students to take ANY 3 credit PHEC class (such as PHEC 210-Scuba).

Another common error is that students may repeat PHEC 106 in a different activity to receive additional credit, this is not the case. PHEC 106 is not a repeatable topics course!

Any substitutions for PHEC 106 should be addressed with the PHEC chair.


Top 10 Errors

Top Ten Most Common Advising Errors

1. Courses that are repeated in which the student received a grade other than "F." Advisors are encouraged to ask advisees about any possible repeated coureses. Example - "Are you repeating anything this semester?" PHEC 106 is especially challenging because even though there are different activity topics, this course may not be repeated for additional credit. Also, remember that the grade earned for the most RECENT attempt is counted, not the higher grade.

2. Making sure all students have 30 - 300/400 level credits by the end of their program. There are many students who do not have enough of these credits and must make them up during winter or summer session.

3. Mistaking HUMAN GEOG [GEOG 100, 101 or 102] as a Lab Science rather than a Social Science. Only PHYSICAL GEOG [GEOG 104, 105, 107] counts towards lab sciences.

4. Mistaking courses that are not approved GEN ED courses. For example, ENGL 230 is NOT a LITERATURE course, or ART 229 is NOT an approved Humanities course. Please see the course descriptions in the SU Catalog for specific GEN ED approved courses.

5. Not having 120 credit hours for graduation.  
The student repeated a course that did not count for new credit the second time.
The student received an "I" grade that is still not changed to a grade.
The student took a course at another institution that was not reflected in the report.
There was a miscalculation in a previous long-term planning session.

6. Student did not complete their last 30 of 37 hours at SU.
The student did not file an application to study at another institution.
The student did not transfer the grade into his/her record through the Registrar's Office.
If the student wishes to complete the last 3-4 hours at another institution, did (s)he petition the Asst. V.P. for Academic Affairs Office for this waiver?

7. Not having 30 credit hours completed at the 300/400 level with grades of C or higher.  Transfer students must complete 15 of their 30 hours at SU.  300/400 level courses taken as PS/F do not satisfy this requirement.

8. Not having a cumulative GPA of a 2.0 or higher for graduation.  Students may not graduate until their GPA reaches a 2.0.  Transfer grades do not count towards the students cumulative GPA.

9. Taking general education, major, or minor requirements as pass/fail.  Starting from a student's junior year (60 credits completed), a student may take one pass/fail course per semester for a total of no more than 4 pass/fail courses in their undergraduate career. A student must declare taking a class pass-fail or audit during pre-registration or by the drop/add period (the first week of classes).

10. Following the wrong catalog.  Students will need to check their degree progress report to see what catalog requirements they fall under.  Especially in lieu of the significant curriculum changes that started in Fall 2008, students who want to change catalogs, must complete a Change of Catalog form and submit that form to the Registrar's Office.