Advisement

Advisement 101

The College of Arts and Sciences encourages students to be proactive in pursuing their degrees and exploring the range of academic and career options available at Niagara University. To assist you, we offer student checks each semester to answer your advisement questions and help you identify flexibility in your programs. The following resources are intended to guide you through many of the basic academic options and advisement policies at NU. You may also explore the left-hand menu for more information about academic support, career planning, internships, research opportunities and other academic options.  

If you have advisement questions, you may contact your faculty advisor or contact the Dean's Office for an appointment.

Advisement & Registration

  • Advisement & Registration Options

    Advisement & Registration

    • Meet with your advisor once the course offerings are published. Many advisors have sign-up sheets outside their door during advisement.
    • Get unlocked by your advisor so that you can register online.
    • Update your myNU profile and check for any holds.
    • Register for courses when your registration window opens.

    Online Registration: Directions to register through Web Advisor are posted in myNU. This option is available until your classes begin. Please note that you cannot force into a course or register for an independent study online.

       Express Registration

    1. Write down the Syn # for each course ahead of time from the course offerings printout or Course Offerings online
    2. Input the Syn # for each class you want to add to skip additional inputs.

       Search & Register for Classes

    1. Browse through courses to find major related courses, open sections, or courses available at certain time slots

    In-Person Registration: Once your registration window opens, you can take your signed registration or drop/add forms to the Records Office in the Butler Building.

    • Registration through Records is required once classes begin
    • Records has forms required to help you: force into a course or get instructor permission form to enroll in a course after the first week of classes.
    • This is recommended if you have difficulty with online registration.

    Alternate Forms of Registration:

    • An Independent Study Form is required for courses not offered as part of the regular schedule (i.e. most internships, honors theses, some senior seminars). These are available on myNU or in the deans' offices.
    • A co-op contract is required for co-op. These are available in the co-op office on the lower level of Seton Hall.
  • Advisement & Drop/Add Timeline

    The Add/Drop timeline below is a broad one, so ask your advisor or stop into the Dean's Office if you need assistance or need to know more specific dates.

    Here are some basic resources:

    • Records Add/Drop site provides a guide for adding and dropping courses.
    • The Academic Calendar contains key add/drop dates (classes begin, last date to withdraw with a W, and exam week begins). 
    • Don't stop attending a course without properly dropping it, as it could affect your financial aid or result in an F grade.
    • If you need to withdraw from all your courses, contact the Dean's Office or Records for the withdrawal procedures. This is available until the last day of classes and will give you all Ws for your courses.

    Between Semesters

    • Online registration is available for current students who have been unlocked by their advisor until the first day of classes. If you have trouble registering online, take your registration/add-drop form to Records and Financial Services.
    • Check your grades from the previous semester through myNU in case you need any adjustments.
    • Make any necessary revisions to your schedule.
      • Repeat Policy (limit of six courses) - if you failed a course retaking the same course at NU is one of the fastest ways to raise your GPA.  You can also repeat passed courses, but that could affect your financial aid in certain circumstances, and we caution against repeating anything higher than a C-.
      • Is your schedule still relevant if you changed your interests, major, or minors?
      • Make sure you are registered for five courses (approximately a 4-year plan) unless you have a reason for taking less (heavy science load, work obligations, part-time, etc.).
         - The academic progress chart requires the completion of 12 credits for each full time semester or equivalent, so taking less is not recommended.
         - Taking five courses (15 credits) allows you the ability to drop one if you find yourself struggling without dropping below full-time status (12 credits) for financial aid purposes.
    • If you can't locate your advisor or another faculty member from your department over break, contact the Dean's Office for help.

    First Week and a Half of the Semester (Add/Drop Period).

    • Online registration is no longer available once classes begin. An add/drop slip is required to make any changes.
    • Courses dropped within the add/drop period will disappear from your transcript.
    • After the first week, an instructor permission form (available in Records) is necessary to add a course

    Third to 10th Week & Midterm Grades

    • From the second to the 10th week, a drop will automatically result in a W.
    • Prior to the 10th week, check your midterm grades through myNU. If you are struggling, talk to your faculty about getting help or developing a plan to try to improve your grade. If that is not possible, talk to your advisor about the possibility of dropping the course before the ten-week deadline It is important to talk to Financial Aid (716.286.8686) if you are thinking about dropping below 12 credits (or six credits if you are part-time) as it might affect your financial aid package.

    10th Week (Last Date to Drop with an Automatic W)

    • Drops after the 10th week will result in a W or F depending on whether you are passing or failing (a form is available in the Dean’s Office to accompany the drop/add slip). Turn in the appropriate paperwork to the Dean's Office for processing.
    • This is usually the last date for which you can apply for a tutor if you need one.

    Advisement & Registration

    • See the other section regarding advisement and registration.

    Last Day of Classes/Finals Week

    • The last day of classes is the last day to drop a course (if you are passing it).
    • Once a final is given, you can no longer drop a class.
    • If you have a medical emergency or stopped attending your courses entirely, please contact the Dean's Office to review your options.
    • If you stopped attending a course and did not file the appropriate paperwork below, contact the Dean's Office as soon as possible to review your options.

     

Curriculum Options & Exploration

  • Major Exploration

    If you are unsure about your current major or wish to explore your alternatives, contact the Dean's Office at 716.286.8060. You can sit down with someone one on one to discuss your interests and view the various Niagara University programs that might meet your needs. If you are struggling in your major, exploring alternatives is an excellent strategy for improving your GPA.

    Additional Exploration Resources:

  • Changing Your Major

    Remember, that is OK to change your major. 
    It is common for college students to do so, especially if they find themselves struggling or uninterested in their original major. Remaining in a major in which you are struggling can be risky for your GPA. 

    How Do My Credits Fit Into The New Major?
    If you wish to see how your credits would apply to the new major, you should make an appointment with Dean's Office in the college for which you are applying. For majors within the College of Arts and Sciences, contact the Dean's Office at 716.286.8060 or stop by Dunleavy 315.

    To Officially Change Your Major
    Fill out the Dean's Change of student Record Form located on myNU (Academic Tab) or in the Dean's Offices/AEP.  The new form is slightly confusing, so we recommend filling it out in the Dean's/AEP office where we can assist you.

    The Signature of Chairperson is needed only in certain circumstances.

    1 ) You are trying to switch into Social Work or Nursing 

    2 ) You are switching between majors within Arts & Sciences

    Students who switch to or from another college, won't need that signature.

  • Double Majors

    What is a Double Major?
    Double majoring allows a student to complete one degree with two majors.  Students wishing to complete a triple major, should contact their Dean's office for more specific instructions.

    How Does a Double Major Work?
    A student with a double major will have a primary major, which defines the degree (BA, BS, BFA, etc...), and a secondary major.

    Primary Major: A student must complete the entire degree requirements for the primary major, as listed on the official curriculum card.

    Secondary Major: A student must complete all the major courses on the right hand side of the curriculum card and any specific NS, MAT, AS, EDU courses required by the secondary major.  The other general education requirements, free electives, and advised electives, can be crossed off and are not part of the double major.  They are satisfied by the primary major.  At least half of the major requirements must be different from the requirements/discipline of the primary degree. We now include the double major curriculum cards online.

    Students who wish to see how a double major would will work with their credits, are welcome to schedule an appointment in the Dean's Office (716) 286-8060.  If the major you are adding is in a different colleges you may wish to contact the other Dean's Office.

    Note that students should be careful not to fulfill all the requirements of their primary degree before the requirements for the other degree, as financial aid availability may cease once once finishes the primary degree and graduates.


    Declaring a Double Major
    The double major form is available on MyNU under the Academic tab or in any of the Academic Dean's Offices on campus. 

    NOTE: A 2.5 overall GPA is required for Social Work and Education.

  • Double Degrees

    What is a Double Degree?
    A double degree is a more advanced version of the double major which  allows a student to complete two separate degrees/majors.  Students wishing to complete a double degree, should contact their dean's office for more specific instructions.

    How Does a Double Degree Work?
    A student with a double degree will have a primary degree (BA, BS, BFA, etc...), and a secondary degree.

    Primary Degree: A student must complete the entire degree requirements for the primary major, as listed on the official curriculum card.

    Secondary Degree: A student must complete the entire degree requirements for the primary major, as listed on the official curriculum card.

    Additional Requirements:

    - A student must complete at least 10 additional courses than what is required for the primary degree to be eligible for a double degree.
    - Generally the two degrees should be in separate colleges and be separate degrees (BA, BS, BFA, etc...). Rare exceptions have been made on an individual basis for different majors in the same colleges.
    - At least half of the major requirements must be different from the requirements/discipline of the primary degree.

    Students who wish to see how a double degree would will work with their credits, need to schedule an appointment in the Dean's Office 716.286.8060.  If the major you are adding is in a different colleges you should also contact the other Dean's Office.

    Note that students should be careful not to fulfill the requirements of one degree before the requirements for the other degree, as financial aid availability may cease once one degree is completed.

    Declaring a Double Degree
    The double degree form is available in any of the academic Dean's Offices on campus. 

  • Majors, Degrees, and Curriculum Cards

    Explore the links provided for more information about specific majors and degrees in each of the academic colleges. Be sure to check out the curriculum cards to learn more about the specific requirements for the majors you are exploring. 

  • Minors

    The College of Arts and Sciences is a big proponent of minors. Minors allow you to create your own unique program, explore cultures (Africana Studies, Middle Eastern & Islamic Studies), increase your career flexibility/marketability (Spanish, Statistics), help with professional preparation (Law & Jurisprudence, Writing Studies), or just take something that interests you (Dance, Fine Arts). On average over 70 percent of Arts & Science Graduates complete at least one minor or double major.

    Minors consist of 5 or 6 courses in a field of study outside your major.  They don't have to cost extra as you can fit them into your general education courses, free electives, and advised electives. Specific courses are listed in the UG Catalog and are arranged in consultation with a minor advisor.

    Please note that:

    • 1/2 of the minor courses (3) must be outside of your major requirements/ discipline.
    • 1/2 of the minor courses (3) must be taken at Niagara University
    • You may have multiple minors (up to 3 will appear on your transcript, but more are possible)

    To officially declare a minor, log into MyNU and click on the academics tab, where the minor form is located. We recommend declaring a minor early on for advisement and financial aid reasons. If approved, you will get an email with the minor advisor's contact information. All substitutions must be approved by the minor advisor(s).

    Credit Options

    • Advanced Placement Credit

      Advanced Placement (AP) credit is granted based on the official scores for AP exams. A score of 3 or more is required for most credit. See the Undergraduate Catalog for a complete listing of AP credit.

      AP credit is now being directly applied to your transcript during the admissions process.  Once applied, it will appear on your transcript, and the placement of the courses will be shown in degree audit.


      To order AP scores, if you didn't initially indicate to send scores to NU, visit Educational Testing Services or call ETS at 1.888.CALL.4AP.

    • Military Experience Credit

      If you have served in the Armed Forces bring a copy of your DD 214 to Admissions.

      Most students who have gone through basic training will be eligible for six credits (MIL 101/102, MIL 201/202).

      Students may also send their Joint Services Transcript (JST) for potential credit based on their military service.

    • College Level Exam Placement

      College Level Exam Placement (CLEP) credit is granted based on the official scores for CLEP exams.  A score of 50 or more is required for credit.  3 credits  given for most CLEP exams, with up to 6 credits granted for languages.

      To order CLEP scores, if you didn't initially indicate to send scores to NU, visit Educational Testing Services or call ETS at 1 (800) 257-9558.
    • NUStep Credit

      High school students who participate in our NUStep program can receive credit for Niagara University courses. 

      Completed NUStep courses will automatically appear on your Niagara University transcript and will count toward both your overall credit and overall GPA. 

    • Challenge Exams

      This option allows you, if eligible, to take an exam in an area that you have a strong background to get credit for a course. This is most commonly used for language courses and CIS 232.  For more information about this process and your eligibility, print off the challenge exam approval form available on myNU. Courses that cannot be challenged are marked in the undergraduate catalog with a bullet.

    • Life Experience Portfolio Credit

      There is a process for students who are 25 years old or more to apply for credit based on a life experience portfolio. Students interested in this option should contact their Dean's Office for more information.
       
      Please note that most students opt for the challenge exam instead of pursuing the life experience portfolio.

    • How to Pre-approve Additional Transfer Credit

      Many students opt to take additional courses at NU or elsewhere to get ahead or catch up on credits.  Generally transfer courses are taken in the summer or over the winter break. Transferrable courses need to be taken at an accredited institution, at least 3 credits, and taken for a grade of C or higher. Once completed, official transcripts need to be sent to the Dean's Office or delivered in a sealed envelope for the credit to be posted.

      To pre-approve additional transfer credit, students need to fill out the transfer permission form available onmyNU (Academic tab)

      Resources:

      Notes:

      • Seniors who are completing their last 10 courses and have already transferred in over 60 credits may not be eligible to take additional transfer courses. If so, contact the Dean's Office to review your eligibility.
      • A maximum of 10 courses can be transferred on the major side of the curriculum card.
      • History 199 must be taken at Niagara University.

       

    Staying on Track - The 4 Year Plan

    • Average Courses & GPA Required

        The majority of programs within the college are based on 20 course units and a 2.0 GPA.  Each course unit represents at least a 3 credit course relevant to your major or degree requirements.  Some degrees or double major options may require additional coursework or labs.  To graduate in 4 years students would want the following averages:

        • Average 5 courses each semester
        • Average 10 courses each year
        • 2.0 Overall GPA required for Graduation
            (2.5 for Social Work & Nursing)
        • 2.0 Major GPA required for Graduation
            (2.5 for Social Work)
        • Social Work requires C grades in all major classes except for one of the following: SOC 101, POL 101, PSY 101.
        • Nursing requires C+ grades in all major classes (Students starting in Fall 2014 or later must also have C+ grades in BIO 231 & 232)
      • First-year, Sophomore & Junior "Checks" (Optional)

        First Year, Sophomore Junior Checks
        Due to demand in the senior surveys over the past few years, we are now offering several days each semester for drop in "check" appointments. These checks, held once a semester, are a chance to sit down individually with someone in the Dean's Office to review your academic progress toward your degree, ask advisement questions, figure out how to add a double major or minor, etc....

        Checks are generally scheduled in October and March prior to the 10th week of classes and advisement.  No appointment is needed during the scheduled checks week. If you cannot make these dates or have questions outside of them, you can schedule an individual appointment by stopping by or calling (716) 286-8060.

      • Senior Checks (Mandatory)

        Senior Checks
        Senior checks are required individual appointments att the end of your Junior Year or beginning of your senior year when you have achieved approximately 80 credits or more. Senior checks will provide you with a proactive snapshot of your remaining requirements and is most useful if completed early. We recommend scheduling it 2 semesters before you plan to graduate (the summer in between junior/senior is a great time).

        Senior Checks include:

        • Diploma & Senior Survey (online)
        • One-on-one meeting in the Dean's Office to review your remaining requirements

        You can fill out the online survey and schedule a senior check by calling (716) 286-8060 or stopping in to the Dean's Office.

      Additional Advisement Information

      • Absences due to medical reasons / death in the family

        Notify or have someone notify the Dean's office (ahead of time if possible) about the absence.

        When you return bring official documentation to the Dean's Office. This could include a note from your Doctor or the hospital for a medical reason or a funeral card/obituary. This official documentation will be sent out to all your faculty.

        Please note that attendance policies and missed work policies are determined by individual faculty on their syllabi. While official documentation may help, the decision is up to the faculty based on their attendance policy.

      • Academic Integrity Policy

        Do your work yourself and on time and you shouldn't have to worry about the Academic Integrity Policy.  Make sure to plan ahead to give yourself enough time to do your assignments, and ask your professors if you have any questions about appropriately citing other works.

        For more information check out pages 50-52 of the Undergraduate Catalog.

      • Federal Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA)

        Students may access and edit their FERPA releases online through myNU.  Without a FERPA release we cannot release information to a third party (parent, guardian, etc...), except under certain circumstances. 

        Find out more about FERPA here: Student Rights Under FERPA

      Where to Get Help with Advisement?

      • Advisors

        Advisor(s): Faculty advisors are assigned by your department(s). Your advisor is the primary person who can help you navigate NU's academic requirements. Advisors can help answer questions about your major discipline, advisement, registration, and major related careers. 

        • When should I see my advisor?
          • For advisement and registration
          • To make a change to your schedule
          • To discuss your major or career interests
          • To talk about academic options if you are struggling
          • Any other issues for which you may need advice
        • How do I locate my advisor?
        • What if I can't reach my advisor over a break and need assistance?
          • In the event that your advisor is unavailable, contact your department's academic assistant to see if another faculty member might be able to help.
          • If no advisors are available, you can contact the Dean's Office for help.
        • What if my advisor in myNU doesn't match my major?
          • If you switched your major recently, it might take a little while for the change to go through.
          • You can always see your departmental academic assistant for help with advisor assignment.
      • Dean's Office

        Dean's Office (716.286.8060, Dunleavy 312): You are always welcome to stop by or contact the Dean's Office for assistance. The staff is very knowledgeable about university advising policies and can help with any questions or concerns.

      • MyNU & Web Advisor

        MyNU & Web Advisor: These resources contain important information vital to registration and advisement.  MyNU can be located here. If you have trouble accessing or using them, you can visit IT Student Services or contact them at 716.286.8040 or helpdesk@niagara.edu.

      • Student Records and Financial Services