Frequently Asked Questions
Your Advisor and Advising Experience
- Who is my advisor?
When you first enroll in Seton Hall, an advisor from our Freshman Studies program will help you find classes. This advisor will continue to help you once you arrive at Seton Hall for your second semester of classes. After that, a student with a declared major will have an advisor in the department of their major. In some departments, several faculty share the advising depending on the student’s last name or program within the major, or the chair or another specialist may advise all students; a list of the advisors for each major are listed on the website, along with other advisement resources collected by departments.
- What should happen at a meeting with my advisor?
Regular meetings with your advisors are opportunities for academic advice and career advice. You should review your entire plan toward graduation with your advisor to strategize about required courses, as well as the overall core curriculum for your college. You should discuss strategies for elective courses, the options of summer courses, and other opportunities in the context of your career plans. Your meetings with your advisor can also cover concerns you may have and feedback you would like to provide.
While you can, and should, meet with your advisor frequently, some meetings will also cover your schedule for the upcoming semester; at the end of your meeting, when your advisor has approved your schedule, you will receive a Personal Identification Number (PIN) so that you can preregister or register for classes. However, this review should take place in a broad context. Your advisor should review if the proposed courses contribute to your academic program (your majors and minors and any planned certificate programs), and whether you are eligible to take the proposed courses.
- How do I get career advice?
Discussions about your career should be part of every meeting you have with your advisor, at least once a semester. It does not have to wait until registration time – most advisors are available for additional meetings to discuss your career options and questions. You should also visit the Career Center, Seton Hall’s very successful nexus for information on professions, internships, practica, and Co-ops, aptitude tests and career instruments, and the like.
- How can I report if I have suggestions for improving our advising process?
One excellent way to share your observations is by using the Feedback form which is linked to the advising page. Also let us know if your advisor is great! We look forward to hearing from you.
- How can I authorize Seton Hall advisors to talk to my parents or guardians, if I wish to?
FERPA is the acronym for Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act; compliance with this Act is managed by the United States Department of Education. This federal law protects the privacy of student education records and generally prohibits the improper disclosure of personally identifiable information from education records. Once a student enrolls in a postsecondary institution, he or she becomes an “eligible student” and is thus granted FERPA rights. FERPA applies to all educational agencies and institutions that receive federal funding under any program administered by the United States Department of Education. Since both, public and private, postsecondary schools generally receive federal funding, they are subject to FERPA rules and regulations.
A student has the right to control who has access to information about his or her academic performance and progress. A student must give his or her permission before anyone, even a parent or guardian, may have access to that information. Students can find the FERPA Authorization form on their SHU Portal “Academics” Tab. Additional FERPA policies and guidelines at Seton Hall can be found here.
- Do I have to see my advisor to get my PIN?
Yes, in each of the colleges, undergraduates are required to review their schedules with their advisors to receive their PIN. This is also true in most graduate programs. The review does not necessarily have to be on campus; in many cases the consultation can be by phone call or email if the potential advisement hours don’t fit well with the student’s schedule. However, it is recommended that students should take advantage of an in-person meeting when possible, which can promote a fuller and more effective conversation. While classes can fill quickly and it may sometimes be necessary to change some of your plans after receiving your PIN, bear in mind that you are responsible for those changes.
- How do we schedule our advising session?
You are encouraged to reach out to your advisor throughout each semester, not only at preregistration time. In terms of preregistration, the Academic Calendar on our website lists the date each semester that PINs are generated and available to departments. At that point, most departments will contact majors with information about advising times, though departmental practices may vary and the responsibility may fall to the student.
- Do I have multiple advisors for different majors/minors?
Different departments handle minors differently. Some actively contact enrolled minors before pre-registration; all departments will be willing to help you with a minor in their programs if you reach out. Few departments will assign an official advisor for students taking a minor. Keeping on top of a minor may require somewhat more initiative on your part because the department in which you have the minor does not have your PIN and it can be more difficult with our systems to obtain a current list of minors. Some students prefer to keep a minor unofficial to preserve options for other goals they have, but this practice makes departmental knowledge of its minors even more challenging, and chairpersons stress that it is easy to change or drop a minor when necessary – you are encouraged to declare your minor even if you are not yet certain you will complete it.
- What advising should I receive as I near graduation?
Naturally, the questions you are likely to have about life after graduation, employment and/or further study, will increase as you near graduation. In addition to career advisement, your advisor should go over your degree audit (see degree audit question, below) with you and verify that you have all needed requirements for graduation.
Your Curriculum and Requirements
- How do I determine which Catalogue I should follow?
The Seton Hall Undergraduate Catalogue is published each year, generally both in print form and online, and labeled according to academic year. Requirements for graduation, and for specific majors, minors, and other programs can change each year; however, the requirements that apply to you are generally fixed according to the official Catalogue published for the academic year you joined Seton Hall. For example, if you transferred into Seton Hall in January of 2017, the requirements in the 2016-17 Catalogue would apply to you. Occasionally, requirements need to change to reflect external authorities that accredit our programs and offer licenses and similar credentials to our graduates; sometimes these authorities require changes to students who have already started in a program.
- What is my class standing?
Because students may transfer from other institutions, and some students also bring with them credit for AP courses, Project Acceleration courses, and the like, students who have joined Seton Hall in the same year may have very different credit totals. Your class standing is determined by the number of credits you have successfully completed. A student who has completed fewer than 30 credits is considered a Freshman, one with at least 30 but fewer than 60 is considered a Sophomore, between 60 and 90 is considered a Junior, and a student who has completed 90 or more credits is classified as a Senior.
- How can I change my major?
If you are considering a change of major, the “what-if” tool (see question 19) is a useful way of gauging how your current courses would contribute to the new major and how it might affect your time to completion. Most advisors would also be happy to discuss the new major with you, even if you are considering leaving their program. Once you have decided on the change, an electronic form is available in PirateNet, under "Student Records;" look for "Request to Change Major/Minor/Concentration." The change request will need to be approved by the chairperson of the program you will be joining, as well as the Dean for that department if it is in a different college than your original major.
- If I transfer into Seton Hall, how will I find out which courses will transfer?
Seton Hall has a Transfer Center located in Mooney Hall, room 15. By calling (973) 275-2387 we will be ready to assist non-SHU students who are thinking about transferring to Seton Hall, as well as Seton Hall students after they have transferred. The Transfer Center will work with the Registrar and the Academic Departments to review the courses you have taken at a different institution and determine which would carry over to the student’s Seton Hall transcript. Note that in some cases a course might not have an exact equivalent at Seton Hall or may be determined to not be at the same level as a course with a similar title at Seton Hall but in many cases can qualify as an elective.
- Should I preregister?
During each semester, there is an opportunity for students to sign up for classes in the next semester; this is called preregistration. In addition to the basic goal of helping students plan their futures, preregistration gives students who are further along in their careers an earlier opportunity to reserve a seat in a course that might fill or a section scheduled at a time that better fits the student’s own schedule. Preregistration also gives students an early alert if a desired course is not available in the upcoming semester so the student can contact his or her advisor and make alternate plans.
Preregistration also provides important information to the University for our continuous effort to make more efficient use of resources. A course or section of a course that fills up quickly can lead to the opening of an additional section. On the other hand, a course offering that hasn’t enrolled sufficient students during preregistration will be carefully considered for reassignment or cancellation. This means that a course or section that you are considering for your upcoming semester might not be there if you plan to wait until after preregistration.
- What is a wait list?
Each course offered by the University has a set capacity reported in Banner, which is decided together by the Dean, department and faculty following the policies in the Faculty Guide. The capacity is based on a number of factors, including the grade level of the course and the course assignments and course requirements that students engage in during the course. For example, laboratory courses are ordinarily limited to the number of lab stations available.
Courses for which all the available seats are taken for a given semester will maintain a wait list for students who had hoped to register for the class. Students may enter their names on wait lists for multiple courses or multiple sections of a course. If a seat becomes available later in the year because another student changes his or her plans, or the capacity is changed, the first student on the wait list will be emailed. That student will have 72 hours to take advantage of the opening (24 hours when we are closer to the end of Add-Drop) before the next student on the wait list is given the opportunity.
- What is Add/Drop?
For a few days after the start of each semester, students have the opportunity to change their current course schedule. Students may wish to do so after attending the first class or two if they find the class is at a different level than expected or they have reconsidered their workload for the semester. In some cases, the department may have added additional sections of a course that the student sees as a higher priority than one for which he or she is already registered. In these cases, it is the student’s responsibility to find out about what was covered in the class before he or she registered. The final Add-Drop date will be posted each semester; no classes may be added to the schedule after that date.
- When do I have to declare my major?
The earlier you declare your major the earlier you can take care of courses in your chosen major that will serve as prerequisites for more advanced courses. While you can change your major within limits later in your career, we encourage all students to go into their second year with a major declared; Freshman Studies holds special events to make the choice easier for undeclared students. The maximum number of credits an undeclared student may have before officially declaring a major is 75. There are also some scholarships, both internal and external, that require students to be enrolled in a major.
- Should I consider a dual degree program?
Some of our undergraduate programs include special tracks that allow the undergraduate to start early on a related graduate degree and finish both degrees at an accelerated pace. For example, a 3+2 program generally means that, after 3 years, the student would have mostly completed his or her undergraduate credits and would have started on Masters’ level coursework, and is on schedule to have also earned a Masters’ after 5 years. These options are listed in detail in our Catalogues, and are appealing to many students eager to save time on an academic plan that includes a graduate degree. In some cases, officially enrolling in a dual degree program also comes with advantages in admission to the graduate program, some of which are quite competitive. Since fewer total courses will be needed for the two degrees, there can also be cost savings though financial aid is primarily for undergraduate coursework, and students may find that some potential undergraduate financial aid is unused when they switch to graduate courses. You are encouraged to discuss these options with your advisor, exploring both the advantages as well as implications for your financial aid, workload, possible need to take summer courses, and the like.
- What is a degree audit and how can I see mine?
A degree audit is a table of the courses you have taken and the courses still needed to complete your official major and other requirements. It is useful for checking that you are on track for your intended academic program, and is worth reviewing at any advising meeting. Seton Hall students can look at their current audits through Banner – one way to access yours is to use the “Student” tab, and then select "Generate New Evaluation." After you have entered the requested information, click "Generate request," selecting the general audit or the detailed audit.
The same Banner area also offers a useful tool called “what if analysis,” that allows you to look at majors and programs other than your current ones, and to see what courses and requirements would still be necessary for those majors. What-if analyses are available for most majors, though not currently for minors, joint or dual-degree programs, or special programs (like Honors).
Our Registrar’s Office contacts students whose records suggest they are nearing completion of their requirements and reminds them about the Application for Degree, which can be done online. If you believe you are in your final semester but don’t receive this communication, check with your advisor. Even if you have completed your degree requirements, you need to file an application for a degree so your progress can be verified by the Registrar.