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Seton Hall University

New Student Frequently Asked Questions

Academics - Freshman Year

What is the Freshman Studies program?
This program is designed to assist first-year college students in clarifying their academic and career goals. Furthermore, the program also helps you as students master two other important tasks for college success: adjusting to life on a college campus and developing a social network. Freshman Studies uses three program elements to assist with these tasks. These elements are the mentor/academic adviser, the peer adviser and the University Life course.

What is a Freshman Mentor?
The Mentor is a professional adviser who serves as a professor in the University Life course, as a resource for many questions about the curriculum, and as a counselor to help freshmen plan their course of study. The Mentor helps students clarify personal, academic and career goals. Together, the Mentor and the student examine these goals and use them to shape an academic plan and semester coursework.

What is a Peer Adviser?
Seton Hall freshmen are assigned peer advisers to make the transition to college life as smooth and enjoyable as possible. These peer advisers are carefully chosen; they are successful and personable undergraduates who assist freshmen to:

  • meet other students,
  • find new ways to anticipate and solve typical first year problems,
  • gather information about university-sponsored academic and social activities,
  • become acquainted with the university.

What is the University Life course?
The course aims to provide students with academic and personal success; integrate computer technology into academic instruction; familiarize students with University resources and opportunities; improve reading, writing, and analytical skills and support the University mission of "forming students to be servant leaders in a global society." University Life is a graded, one-credit course required for graduation.

I was always a strong high school student, but I know college is different. What is some general advice for being successful here at Seton Hall University?
We always emphasize these 3 things: 1) Students are expected to read their Seton Hall emails at least 4 times a day and respond in a timely manner to all correspondences from their instructors, mentors, university administration, etc. 2) Students are responsible for reading their Early Warning Alert emails (Starfish) and consulting with the professor who sent them and their mentor to determine a course of action. 3) Students are expected to attend all classes on time as scheduled.

Are there tutoring services available?
Yes! Tutoring is available at the Academic Resource Center, the Writing Center, and in the Residence Halls through the Tutors in Residence program. The Academic Resource Center also offers a number of workshops and programs to assist students with time management, effective study techniques, and more. Participating in tutoring does not guarantee a passing grade. Students must perform to the instructor's standards in all areas of the course and meet all requirements stated on the syllabus.

How do I know what classes to take?
Each college or school, and each major within that college or school, has prescribed courses that are required to complete the major and earn a degree. These are detailed for each major in the University Catalog.

You will be expected to follow the academic requirements of your major as written in the Undergraduate Catalogue and provided by your mentor; refusal to follow such advisement may jeopardize satisfactory academic progress.

Your mentor will also assist you in selecting courses each semester. You can track your progress to your degree by completing the "Degree Audit" available under the Academic tab in PirateNet.

Housing & Residence Life

Can I pick my roommate?
Incoming freshmen who apply and submit their deposit by May 1st are eligible to select their roommate as long as the roommate has also met the deadline.

Are meal plans mandatory?
All on campus residents are required to have a meal plan.

I am a commuter. Am I required to purchase a meal plan?
If you are a commuter you are not required to have a meal plan but you have a choice to purchase one.

I am a commuter. How do I purchase a meal plan?
Commuters can purchase a meal plan by contacting the Department of Housing and Residence Life. Housing and Residence Life Department can be contacted via phone: 973-761-9172 or e-mail: shuhousing@shu.edu.

I have a disability; can I receive a special room accommodation?
If you are a student with disability and need to be accommodated for medical reasons, after applying for housing, you must register with Disability Student Services (DSS). The DSS Office will then determine the room type or accommodation required for your disability and work with us to request it.

I have special dietary restrictions. What should I do?
A student who has a medical condition which impacts his/her diet should register with Disability Support Services (DSS) for appropriate accommodations. DSS will connect the student with the dietician in Dining Services.

What is the difference between Pirate Bucks and Pirate's Gold?
Pirate Bucks is a currency bucks to be used exclusively on campus dining establishments. Pirate Bucks are included in your meal plan. Pirate's Gold can be added to your ID card and used to purchase items including food on campus as well selected places off campus. Laundry services, the Bursar's office and bookstore accept Pirates Gold.

Student Safety

Your safety is our top priority. The University provides many services to students to support and educate them about their personal and property safety. We encourage you to be familiar with these programs all available through the Public Safety website. There you will find videos, reports, and multiple resources just for you.

What about when I go off campus?
We want you to be safe on and off campus. That is why we have two key transportation services available for students - SHU Fly and Safe Ride. SHU Fly is a shuttle that runs a loop from campus and through the South Orange Village, from early in the morning until after the last train from NYC arrives in South Orange. Safe Ride supplements SHU Fly by providing transportation to locations in the immediate vicinity that are not on the SHU Fly route. Safe Ride is available from 5pm - 3am. There is no cost to students for either service, but they do need to provide their ID. Detailed information about both services, including schedules and maps, can be found at -

How do I get notified about emergencies?
The University utilizes a mass notification system, Pirate Alert, which sends alerts via landline, cell phone, text message and email. All students are enrolled in Pirate Alert and can manage their notification preferences through their PirateNet account. The University also has an emergency siren and fire alarm systems that are used when appropriate. More information on Pirate Alert and emergency preparedness.

Campus Activities & Clubs

What is there to do on campus?
With over 120 active student clubs and organizations, and major events planned by a student programming board, students can easily find ways to get involved and have fun. Full list of all student clubs and organizations.

The Student Activities Board plans major events for students throughout the year. These include concerts, carnivals, and major speakers. We also take advantage of our great location and plan trips to Broadway shows, major sporting events, and concerts at local arenas.

How can I get involved?
First things first, attend the Involvement Fair, held the first week of classes each semester. At the Involvement Fair you can meet representatives for all the different clubs and organizations, find out more of what they offer, and choose to join or just get more information. Beyond that, you can always stop by the Student Life office (located in the University Center) to find out more or to get connected.

Career Planning & Services

What does The Career Center do for freshmen during the first semester?
In addition to individualized counseling, The Career Center offers a wide variety of programs to assist students with decisions about selecting an academic major, discovering their calling, exploring career options and preparing for seeking internships (including creating a professional resume!). Part-time and summer job search assistance is also available. Encourage your student to meet with a career adviser to get started!

Does Seton Hall have an Internship Program?
Yes. Internships play an important role in developing students' professional skills and confidence, in addition to learning more about a chosen career field. Highlights and facts about internships and career outcomes.

Does participation in career-based experiential education affect future career marketability?
Absolutely! In a recent survey of graduating seniors, those who had participated in career-based experiential education programs (especially internships) were more likely to have been offered a full-time position by graduation than those who had not participated in career-based experiences.

What types of employers hire Seton Hall interns?
The Career Center has established longstanding partnerships with employers in a variety of sectors. Sample listing of internships and employers.

What additional opportunities do students have to explore career interests?
The Career Center offers a Pirate Mentoring group that connects Seton Hall alumni with students to share information and provide career guidance and connections to potential internships. Pirate Mentors serve as industry experts and role models on career issues in their respective fields and are excellent networking resources. In addition to individual mentoring, Pirate Mentors come to campus each semester to meet with students at career fairs and other career events.

Learn more about the extensive programs and services offered by the Career Center.

Campus Ministry

What opportunities are there for me to grow in my faith at Seton Hall?
As a Catholic University, Seton Hall has a large and active Department of Campus Ministry. Campus Ministry offers a variety programs to meet students where they are at and to help them develop their faith. In addition to the regular liturgical schedule of Masses, Reconciliation, and Adoration, students will have the opportunity to learn and develop their faith through small group discussion series, Bible studies, retreats, spiritual hikes, and many other offerings. A student who has not completed their Sacraments may also have the opportunity to complete them while on campus.

What else is offered?
Campus Ministry also engages with students through our different ministries present on campus. These include FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students), Saint Paul's Outreach, the Community of St. John, and DOVE (Division of Volunteer Efforts) - see below for more information. Many of our outreaches are staffed with recent graduates who have decided to share the incredible gift of faith they had while in college. The University is also fortunate to have a large number of Priests who live on campus, some in the residence halls with our students. They are active in supporting the spiritual lives of students.

I am not Catholic. What is available to support me?
Campus Ministry activities are open to all students of all faiths. In addition, the staff will gladly connect a student to a local congregation of their faith. Find out more about the rich offerings of Campus Ministry.

What is DOVE?
DOVE is the Division Of Volunteer Efforts offered by Campus Ministry. Through DOVE and its many programs, Seton Hall demonstrates its commitment to raising awareness of social injustice through direct involvement in serving others.

What opportunities are there for community service?
We work with more than ten local agencies six days a week, giving students a variety of ways to be involved. Students also have the opportunity to join international service trips to El Salvador and Haiti. There are special programs held throughout the year to raise awareness and address issues of hunger, poverty, and serving those less fortunate. Finally, many clubs and organizations have philanthropy and service as part of their mission.

Are students required to do community service?
Yes, all students complete at least ten (10) hours of community service as part of their University Life class.

More information about the many services and programs offered through DOVE.

Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS)

What counseling services are available on campus?
The Counseling and Psychological Services Center provides short-term individual counseling, group counseling, crisis intervention, consultation, and referral services. Services obtained by students are confidential and information cannot be disclosed to anyone, including parents, without written permission from the student. Students may call to set up an appointment for counseling at (973) 761-9500. They may also walk-in and ask to meet with a counselor immediately if they are in crisis. Offices are located on the second floor of Mooney Hall, room 27 and are open Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm. Limited evening hours are available by appointment only. Counselors are available after business hours and on weekends for emergency phone consultation and crisis intervention and can be accessed by calling the Office of Public Safety and Security at (973) 761-9300.

Disability Support Services

Must I inform Seton Hall that I have a disability?
No. However, if you want Seton Hall to provide an academic adjustment, a student must identify him/herself as having a disability. Likewise, the student should let the University know about the disability if he/she wants to ensure that he/she is assigned to accessible facilities. In any event, disclosure of a disability is always voluntary.

How does Seton Hall determine what academic adjustments are appropriate for a student?
Once a student has identified him/herself as having a disability, requested an academic adjustment and provided appropriate documentation upon request, DSS staff will discuss with the student what academic adjustments are appropriate in light of individual needs and the nature of the academic or other program. Students with disabilities possess unique knowledge of their individual disabilities and should be prepared to discuss the functional challenges they face and, if applicable, what has or has not worked for them in the past. DSS staff are prepared to describe the barriers a student may face in individual classes that may affect full participation, as well as discuss academic adjustments that might enable the student to overcome those barriers.

More information about the scope of services provided, the documentation needed for accommodations, and more resources.

Employment on Campus for Students

How can I get a job on campus?
Campus jobs are like any other job - students must apply, interview, and be selected. Detailed information is available here - https://www13.shu.edu/offices/student-employment-looking-for-a-job.cfm.

I was awarded Federal Work Study on my Financial Aid Notice. Does this guarantee him/her a job?
No. There are more students than positions, students must apply and be hired for a position.

I did not receive Federal Work Study. Can I still get a job on campus?
Yes. Some campus jobs are University Funded and these are open to all students.

Detailed information about campus employment.

Financial Aid

How do I apply for Financial Aid?
In order to apply for aid at Seton Hall a student only needs to submit your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This can be done at www.fafsa.gov.

It is recommended to do this by late January/ early February to meet SHU's priority application date of December 1. The FAFSA can be completed using estimated tax information if the student's or his/her parents' taxes have not been filed. Our school code is 002632.

How do I find out what financial aid I have been awarded?
After a student has deposited, all information regarding financial aid can be found in his/her PirateNet under the "Profile and Finances" tab. Important communication from the Financial Aid office is sent to a student via email.

Are scholarships available through Seton Hall?
Seton Hall University, offers numerous academic and need-based scholarships to qualified students. The scholarship committees in accordance with individual scholarship criteria determine these awards.

Merit-based scholarships are competitive. They are awarded to students with special talents or accomplishments.

How do I renew my scholarship each year?
Different scholarships have different eligibility requirements. For example, an academic scholarship requires a minimum GPA of 3.0. Any student who has met the eligibility requirements for their particular award will have the scholarship automatically renewed for the next year. Students will be notified via email that their Financial Aid awards are available. Students who have not met the eligibility requirements for renewal of their scholarship will receive an email and a letter from the Office of Financial Aid. This notification will include information on how the student may appeal the decision to not renew the scholarship.

Does my grades or academic performance affect my financial aid?
Students must meet all Satisfactory Academic Progress guidelines. Detailed information can be found in our Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.

Detailed information about Financial Aid.

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