CSE Academic Advising FAQ
Have questions about academic advising issues like registration, how to get into your major, or academic policies? We have the answers.
Frequently Asked Questions
All students are assigned a college academic advisor during their undergraduate experience. If you have been admitted to the University Honors Program (UHP), you will be assigned a UHP academic advisor.
Your college academic advisor is a professional staff member who serves as your primary point-of-contact for academic planning and questions. College academic advisors provide resources for academic success, personal wellbeing, and goal setting. You can learn more about academic advising on the CSE Academic Advising webpage. Although your college academic advisor will be available to you throughout your undergraduate career, they will primarily work with you prior to admission to your major (we call this “pre-major” advising).
Once admitted to your major, you will work more closely with a professional staff member and/or faculty member within your major department—known as a departmental or major advisor—for academic planning (we call this “upper division” advising). You can learn more at the CSE Academic Advising webpage.
Your advisor’s name(s) and contact information is listed on MyU, under the Academics tab.
More info:MyU website
You may request a new college academic advisor by emailing CSEStudent@umn.edu.
If you have not yet been admitted to your major, you are encouraged to use the online scheduling tool first to schedule an appointment with your college academic advisor. You may also contact the front desk of the CSE Academic Advising and Career Center (612-624-2890) in Lind Hall, Suite 105 to schedule an appointment. More information can be found about appointment scheduling at on the CSE Academic Advising webpage.
Honors students should check their academic advisor’s availability, or call 612-624-5522 to schedule an appointment.
If you have been admitted to your major, you may visit, email, or call the academic department’s main office to determine how to schedule an appointment. That location and contact information can be found on the bottom of the major’s Four-Year Plan, or on the department’s website.
Drop-ins are 5- to 10-minute meetings with an on-duty college academic advisor for addressing a wide range of “quick” questions. Topics often include how to use your One-Time-Only Late Withdrawal, concerns about a current class, referrals to campus resources and programs, liberal education requirements, and college or University academic policies. More information about drop-ins can be found on the CSE Academic Advising webpage.
Honors students should check their academic advisor’s walk-in availability.
You can find this information by logging into MyU and selecting the Academics tab. Click on the Registration link on the top of the landing page. This will take you to your assigned time for registration. Note: this information is not available until a few weeks before the registration queue begins. You may find a general registration timeline on One Stop.
A hold prevents you from making changes to your record until you complete an action. There are many types of holds you may encounter, and they often affect registration. How you get a hold removed depends on what office has placed it. Holds are visible on MyU in the top right corner. One Stop offers a guide to viewing and resolving holds. Please be mindful of the “effective term” for the hold, as this will determine your eligibility to register. The following holds are specific to academic advising:
- College Advisor Approval Hold (OA): To have this hold removed, you must attend a 30-minute appointment with your college academic advisor.
- College Advisor Approval Hold (OA1, OA2, or OA3): To have this hold removed, you must attend a Group Registration Workshop. Email invitations are sent out in the early fall with directions on how to sign-up.
- Department Stamp Approval (DS): If you have been admitted to your major, you may have this hold on your record. To have this hold removed, you should contact your academic department directly for next steps.
- Major Declaration Hold (MDR): To have this hold removed, you must be admitted to a major in CSE or transfer to another college at the University of Minnesota. If admission to your major is not possible, you should meet with your college academic advisor to discuss this hold and your plan.
To be considered a full-time student at the University of Minnesota, you are expected to take 12+ credits in a semester. However, all students are held to a flat-rate tuition charge based on 13 credits. Part- and half-time status varies based on the purpose (i.e. loan, scholarship, or grant eligibility). Please review the One Stop page on credit load for more information. Additional questions about this topic should be directed to One Stop.
All students are expected to register for 13 credits and pay the 13-credit flat rate for tuition; however some students have circumstances that prevent them from enrolling in 13 credits and may request a 13-credit exemption. You must have a qualifying extenuating circumstance to be eligible for a 13-credit exemption. Extenuating circumstances can include: seniors with fewer than 26 credits left to graduate; significant family, work, or financial responsibilities; medical conditions; or academic and career opportunities (i.e. internships or co-op programs). If your request is approved, you will only pay for the credits for which you register. This is not an exhaustive list; consult your college academic advisor and the One Stop 13-Credit Policy page for additional information. You may request a 13-credit exemption by completing the online form.
Contact your college academic advisor to discuss whether your individual situation warrants taking fewer than 12 credits. Once you have met with your college academic advisor and it is determined that you may meet the criteria for a lower credit load, submit a Reduced Course Load (RCL) request. Information on that process, along with the online RCL request form, is available on the International Student and Scholar Services RCL webpage.
In addition to a RCL, you will also need to submit a 13-credit exemption request. Unlike the RCL, the 13-credit exemption impacts your tuition rates and, if approved, allows you to pay reduced rates for tuition. Consult with One Stop about your financial aid and tuition, if needed.
Failure to enroll full-time without an approved RCL would result in a violation of legal status and/or in loss of eligibility to maintain on-campus employment.
All academic departments handle course access differently. Below are the policies or procedures for each CSE academic department. Departments with specific information about course access on their websites are hyperlinked:
- Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics
- Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering: Contact the instructor of the course in which you are interested
- Biomedical Engineering
- Chemical Engineering and Materials Science
- Chemistry No access is granted to closed courses. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions about a particular chemistry course.
- Civil, Environmental, and Geo-Engineering: Contact the instructor for the course in which you are interested
- Computer Science
- Earth Sciences: Contact the instructor for the course in which you are interested
- Electrical and Computer Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- Physics and Astronomy: Watch to see if a spot opens in up in the class you need. If you are not able to register before the semester begins, contact email@example.com.
- CSE Departments
One Stop offers several How-To Guides on how to add, drop, and swap a class. When considering changes to your registration, it is important to be mindful of deadlines. Please use the swap function when making updates to your registration.
One Stop maintains a cancel, add, and refund deadlines webpage to provide you with this information.
You are not permitted to retroactively withdraw from courses for which you have earned grades. There are extenuating circumstances that could warrant an Academic Policy Petition for a retroactive withdrawal; however, you should consult with your college academic advisor to discuss your individual circumstances. Please review the CSE petitioning for exemptions guidelines webpage on withdrawing from courses for additional information, and review these guidelines for information to include with your petition.
All students are offered a One-Time-Only Late Withdrawal (OTOLW) to use once during their undergraduate academic career, which allows them to withdraw from one class past the 10th week of the semester, but prior to the last day of class. You can find more information about the OTOLW and how to use it on the course withdrawals page.
Please visit the One Stop website for a checklist on how to withdraw from the University of Minnesota.
Please visit the One Stop website for a checklist on how to file for a leave of absence from the University of Minnesota.
A liberal education (or “lib ed”) course is a course that may or may not be in your major field of study that challenges you to look at the world in new ways, learn new things, and think critically. Typically, lib ed courses will be in academic areas other than your major.
A “double-dipper” is a course that fulfills more than one liberal education requirement. Specifically, this term often refers to a course that fulfills one core and one theme requirement; it may also include a Writing Intensive component (course numbers ending in “W” or “V”).
Liberal education courses can be found multiple ways:
1) Using the Class Search tool on MyU and selecting “UMNTC Liberal Education” in the Course Attributes menu;
2) On Schedule Builder;
3) On One Stop’s website; or
4) Asking peers for recommendations of lib ed courses they have taken.
A technical elective is a course specific to your major that you must take to satisfy degree requirements. In some majors, there are many options to choose from, as each academic department decides what classes will fulfill the technical elective requirement for their major(s). Therefore, it is important to check with your departmental advisor when choosing technical electives to select courses appropriate for your goals.
You should use your APAS report (found on MyU) and your Four-Year Plan, along with guidance from your college and departmental advisors, to monitor your academic progress.
Your CSE technical GPA is your grade point average of all technical courses (i.e. chemistry, physics, math, etc.) you have taken at the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities campus. It is the GPA that is considered when you apply for admission to your major in CSE.
Your cumulative GPA is your grade point average of all courses you have taken within the University of Minnesota system (i.e. Crookston, Duluth, Morris, Twin Cities, Rochester).
You have the ability to repeat a course once during your time at the University of Minnesota. Petitions to take a class for a third time are rarely approved, and petitions to take a class for a fourth time will not be considered. You can read the student guidelines for repeating a course, as well as the Grading and Transcripts policy for more information.
If you repeat a technical course, all attempts will be calculated into your technical GPA. It is not recommended that you repeat a class you have successfully completed (grade of C- or better).
When repeating a course, only your most recent attempt will be calculated into your cumulative GPA, even if that grade is lower than what you previously earned (however, both grades will appear on your transcript). It is not recommended that you repeat a class you have successfully completed (grade of C- or better). Please review the Grading and Transcripts policy for more information.
Courses taken at other institutions will have no impact on your UMN GPAs (except for courses taken at U of M system campuses, which will impact only your cumulative GPA). Transfer students who have never taken U of M courses will not have a cumulative or technical GPA until after they have completed their first semester at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus.
There is a wide variety of resources in the college and on campus to help you explore majors. Conversations with your college academic advisor and a CSE career counselor can be most beneficial. Getting involved in student groups and other activities on campus are also great options. The major and career exploration resource from the CSE Career Center can be a helpful tool to assist you in starting your exploration.
Students typically apply to a major during the fall of their sophomore year. There are occasionally exceptions to this timeline, so it is important to work with your college academic advisor to ensure you are making progress towards this milestone. Students must meet technical GPA requirements and have all required courses successfully completed by the end of the semester during which they are applying for admission to their major. Courses required for admission to the major are indicated with a diamond on the Four-Year Plan. You can learn more about the application process and timelines at the Application to the Major website.
If you are not admitted to your first choice major, or have concerns about your admissibility, it is important that you schedule an appointment with your college academic advisor to discuss developing a parallel plan. If you continue to take courses towards a major to which you will not be admitted, you will have a Major Declaration Required (MDR) hold placed on your record. This hold will prevent you from all future registration until you have developed a new plan for moving forward. More information can be found at the Application to the Major website.
Orientation is a mandatory experience for all incoming students. Your orientation format, length, and programming will differ based on whether you are a freshman or transfer student. You can learn more about freshman and transfer orientation by visiting the office of Orientation and Transition Experiences (OTE) website. Inter-College Transfer students (those transferring from another college at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities) will complete an online orientation, which may be accessed through the New Student Checklist.
Beginning in early April, any student who has paid their confirmation fee will have access to the New Student Checklist. Please note: access to the checklist may take 2–3 business days after your confirmation fee is received by the University. Log in to the checklist using your Internet ID, and you will be able to complete the “Tell Us About Yourself” survey, select an orientation date (If required), and begin placement testing.
CSE curriculum is designed as a four-year experience. While AP and IB credit can certainly free up some space in your schedule, it does not guarantee a reduced time to completion given the sequential nature of science and engineering majors.
The Office of Admissions maintains pages that show you what you can expect for credit from your AP or IB courses.
The Office of Admissions processes and applies AP, IB, Post-Secondary Enrollment Option (PSEO), College in the Schools (CIS), and other transfer coursework to your University of Minnesota record. Please visit their webpage for information on how to submit transcripts and test scores.
Once your scores have been received, the Office of Admissions will evaluate your reports and post the credit to your academic record. The easiest way to check if scores have been recorded is to review your APAS report on MyU. It may take several weeks for this process to be completed; it is okay to come to orientation before your scores have been posted to your academic record. When you meet with your college academic advisor, you will discuss how you think you did and use your best judgment to register for classes. Once you receive your scores, you can adjust your schedule, if needed.
Choosing to utilize AP or IB scores to satisfy degree requirements is your personal choice. If you feel unsure about moving into more advanced coursework, it may make more sense to enroll in the course. This is especially true for math, chemistry, and physics, as they are the foundation for CSE majors. It is important to know that you cannot earn duplicate credit for a course. If you choose to retake a course and do not earn a satisfactory grade, you may not retroactively use your AP or IB credit to satisfy a course requirement. Your college academic advisor will work with you during orientation to discuss your options.
All incoming CSE first-year students must take the placement exams and learning modules for placement, including those who expect pre-college credit (AP or IB), or those who have earned college credit. It is important to complete these exams before attending orientation so you can be placed in appropriate courses.
You can access these through the New Student Checklist. The tests are online and timed.
All incoming CSE first-year students must take the calculus placement exam and chemistry learning modules for placement. These will be assigned to you on your New Student Checklist.
The exams are designed to assess your readiness for the rigor of coursework at the University of Minnesota. Knowing where you stand will inform your registration choices.
Taking the placement tests will not negate the credit you have already earned for AP, IB, or earned college credit (PSEO/CIS). However, if you place lower than what would be expected based on your previous coursework, it could be an indicator that you are not prepared to move forward in the course sequence(s). Making this determination will involve having a conversation with your college academic advisor at orientation.
The chemistry learning modules for placement begin with an initial assessment, which may only be taken once. A score of 80% or higher on this initial assessment will allow you to register for CHEM 1061/1065 (the first chemistry course in the freshman sequence) on your orientation date. However, we strongly recommend that you follow through with additional learning modules and assessments until you reach 100% prior to the semester beginning.
In order to complete the math placement exam and chemistry learning modules for placement, it is important that you submit your scores. For chemistry, click the "accept" button. For the math placement test, click the "submit" button. It may take a while for scores to be available on your checklist.
Please note: the chemistry learning modules for placement will allow you to log in after you complete the initial assessment in order to continue working in the learning modules.
The Office of Undergraduate Education offers additional information on the math placement exam and chemistry learning modules for placement. It is important that you read it prior to taking the exams:
Yes, you should take a placement test to determine where you will start in the curriculum. You can learn more about placement testing for second languages by visiting the Language Testing Program website. You can also learn language-specific information about the different placement tests offered at the U.
Advising Forms and Actions to Take
Form What action should I take? Where should I bring it? OPT: Optional Practical Training Form for international students Obtain paperwork packet online or at the International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) office CSE Academic Advising Office (Lind Hall, Suite 105) CPT: Curricular Practical Training Form for International Students Obtain paperwork packet online or at the International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) office The department where credit will be awarded Academic Planning For Study Abroad Form See Instructions section on form If you plan to fill a technical requirement: Director of Undergraduate Studies in your department
CSE Academic Advising Office (Lind Hall, Suite 105)
ROTC Academic Plan Form
This form is required for students in an ROTC program; you will obtain this form from your primary ROTC contact
Bring paper form to CSE Academic Advising Office (Lind Hall, Suite 105); you will be asked to leave it for your college academic advisor. If you need to consult with your advisor before submitting the form, contact the advising front desk or your advisor to set up an appointment CSE Academic Advising Office (Lind Hall, Suite 105) Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal (SAP) Form See To file an appeal section on form CSE Academic Advising Office (Lind Hall, Suite 105)
One Stop Student Services
13-Credit Exemption Request Form
Credit Exemption Request Policy
Review policy, and submit request online Online Request for Special Exam Form Requests can begin with consultation from your college academic advisor; however, all decisions regarding a special examination are handled by the department offering the course
Review form for detailed instructions
The academic department or unit offering the course or subject for which the student is seeking examination Leave of Absence (LOA) Form You must contact your college academic advisor to discuss whether a Leave of Absence is appropriate for your situation. If your situation warrants an LOA, your advisor will provide you with the LOA form and discuss your future program planning with you.
Follow the steps on the Leave of Absence checklist (see Apply for LOA - undergraduate students)
CSE Academic Advising Office (Lind Hall, Suite 105) APAS Correction Form
Use if you require any course substitutions, technical, or department elective adjustments made to your APAS; for major-related corrections only
See Student Directions on form Department/ faculty advisor or your Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUGS)
CSE Academic Advising Office (Lind Hall, Suite 105)
Application for Readmission Form
All undergraduates who are returning to the University following a time away from the U of M
See instructions for your situation at the top of the form CSE Academic Advising Office (Lind Hall, Suite 105) Application for Undergraduate Change of College Form
Changing a Major Guide
See One Stop Student Services Change Your Major, Minor, College, or Campus webpage for instructions
Complete the form
Online Re-Evaluation of Transfer Credits Guide Review the Transfer Course Petition Guide
Review the Transfer Course Petition Instructions
Complete and submit the Transfer Course Petition Form according to instructions on the form
University of Minnesota Office of Admissions Class Time Conflict Form
Class Time Conflict Policy
If you are unable to register for a class due to class times conflicting with each other
Bring form to both instructors to gain approval One Stop Student Services
You should communicate directly with the person you are requesting to write a letter of recommendation. Before doing so, be sure to have the following information:
• Timeline, including due date (you should allow at least two weeks);
• Specific requirements, including items to highlight; and
• Why you are asking—provide as much context and background information as possible.
You should communicate directly with your college academic advisor. A letter or email can be drafted detailing the remaining requirements needed for graduation, with sufficient lead-time. Please allow 2–5 business days for your college academic advisor to complete this. In your request, please include the name and contact information of who will be receiving the communication so your college academic advisor can address the recipient appropriately.
You may visit the One Stop Verify Your Enrollment Status webpage.
You may visit the One Stop Transcripts webpage.
One Stop is available to assist you with all of your financial aid questions via email, phone, and in-person. They also have answers to many of the most commonly asked questions on their website. Find the One Stop location that is most convenient for you.
You may visit the CSE Scholarships webpage to learn more information about scholarship opportunities for new and continuing students. Also watch the CSE Student News, sent out to all CSE students weekly, for opportunities. Visit your major department for department-specific option, as well.
You are expected to make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) towards your degree in order to remain eligible for financial aid. If you lose your financial aid due to failing to make satisfactory academic progress, you have the right to appeal. Please visit One Stop’s resource on SAP to learn more about the process and access the form.
Please visit One Stop’s page regarding eligibility for tuition refunds.
Effective fall 2017, all incoming students automatically have an expected graduation term placed on their record, which is four years for incoming freshman and three years for transfer students. Students admitted prior to that date will need to apply for graduation in MyU or email CSEStudent@umn.edu with their desired graduation term.
Speak with your college academic advisor to discuss your plans. Then, email CSEStudent@umn.edu with a request to update your record to your new expected graduation term, if necessary.
Your educational records are protected under a federal privacy law called the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Certain information is considered public and can be shared unless you request it be suppressed. You can read more about these topics on the One Stop Student Records Privacy webpage. If you would like to share your educational records, you should discuss the process with your college academic advisor.
The advising experience is meant to be between you and your college academic advisor. Therefore, you are encouraged to come to appointments without family members or friends. If you need to bring a parent or guardian, you will be asked to complete a release form at the advising front desk before they may join your appointment.
An Academic Policy Petition is used to request an exemption from college and university policy.
Common examples of Academic Policy Petitions:
- Late-adding courses
- Late changes to a grading basis for a course (A-F vs S/N)
- Requesting to take more than 20 credits per semester
- One-Time-Only Late Withdrawal (OTOLW)
- Retroactive/late withdrawal
- Moving a Major Declaration Required (MDR) hold
- Course repeat (3rd attempt)
This is not an exhaustive list; it is helpful to connect with your college academic advisor prior to submitting an Academic Policy Petition in order to better understand the process and discuss if a petition is the best option for you. More information is available on the Petitioning for Exemptions webpage.
More information is available on the Petitioning for Exemptions page. You may be required to include documents depending on the policy you are petitioning.
A personal statement for an Academic Policy Petition should address why you want an exemption to a college or university policy. You should provide as much detail as possible so the CSE Scholastic Committee can make an informed decision. Please review the Petitioning for Exemptions webpage for more information on what to include based on your particular request.
If your petition requires medical supplementation (to demonstrate extenuating circumstances, for example), please use the Medical Supplement form. Your healthcare provider will include all relevant details to better inform the CSE Scholastic Committee of your situation as it pertains to your request. You may speak with your college academic advisor if you are unsure whether the Medical Supplement form is required for your petition.
Proof of non-completion is required when you are requesting to withdraw from coursework after the semester has ended. It is documentation from your instructor that verifies you did not complete the final exam or final project/coursework for the class from which you wish to withdraw. It may also indicate your last date of attendance. Your instructor must email the advising office from their umn.edu email account to CSEStudent@umn.edu to provide this information. It is strongly recommended you provide proof of non-completion if you are petitioning to retroactively withdraw from a semester.
First, check to ensure your desired course will transfer to the University of Minnesota (see How do I know if a transfer course will fulfill a degree requirement? below for links to the transfer equivalency information). Then, contact your college or departmental academic advisor to discuss your plans, and make sure the course(s) you select is appropriate for your plans. Next, contact One Stop to discuss what impact, if any, taking a course elsewhere may have on your financial aid.
Additionally, you are responsible for getting the transcripts from the institution(s) where you take course(s) sent to the University of Minnesota. The Office of Admissions handles course transfer application to your record; please contact their office if you have questions regarding sending your transcript(s).
You are responsible for ensuring that courses you take outside of the University will satisfy degree requirements. By following the steps listed under What should I do if I want to take courses at other institutions while enrolled at the UMN-Twin Cities, you will able to make a fully informed decision about the courses you intend to take.
The following resources are available to help you find courses that will satisfy University of Minnesota requirements:
You must have your official transcript(s) sent directly to the Office of Admissions at the University of Minnesota from the institution where you earned the credit. In order for the course to be evaluated, grades must be reflected on the transcript. You can learn more about the transfer credit process at the Office of Admissions website.
A major is the topical area where you do the majority of your academic work, an area of specialization in which you build a breadth and depth of knowledge through coursework and experiences.
A minor is the culmination of a small set of courses in which you have gained a lesser knowledge base than a major.
A degree is the sum of your courses, including both major and liberal education requirements. When you have successfully completed the requirements of your program, you will receive your degree (as an undergraduate at the University of Minnesota, you will receive a Bachelor’s degree in your major).
To add additional majors, minors, or degrees, first speak with your college academic advisor to discuss your plans. Your college academic advisor can then assist you in making those plans, or refer you to the appropriate office.
More information on changing or adding majors or minors can be found on the One Stop website.
Information on the transfer process to CSE from an outside institution can be found on the CSE transfer webpage, and U of M Office of Admissions website.
Information on the transfer process to CSE from within the University system can be found on the CSE transfer webpage.
Information on the process for reviewing courses for potential liberal education transfer credit can be found on the University of Minnesota Office of Admissions website, under “Meeting U of M Liberal Education Requirements”. If you would like to petition to have a course transfer that was not already approved, please review the Transfer Course Petition Guide, and follow the information on the Transfer Course Petition Instructions. Additional questions can be directed to the Office of Admissions.
If your term or cumulative GPA—or both, if it is your first semester at the U of M—fall below a 2.0, you will be on academic probation the following semester. Probation is an opportunity for you to connect with your college academic advisor (and someone in your department if you have been admitted to your major) to discuss barriers to your success and develop a plan to overcome those barriers.
If after your probation semester your term and cumulative GPAs are below a 2.0—or if you did not meet the terms of your probation contract as stipulated by your department (for students admitted to their major)—you will be suspended from the University. You will be unable to take classes at the U of M for at least one full academic year.
If you are on academic probation, you must meet with your college academic advisor (and someone in your department, if you have been admitted to your major) by the seventh week of the semester. You must complete the Academic Probation Contract and Self-Assessment worksheet prior to these meetings—you will discuss the self-assessment with your advisor(s) and develop a plan for overcoming barriers to success. Please review CSE’s Academic Probation and Suspension webpage for more information.
If you are suspended, you will be unable to take classes at the U of M for at least one full academic year. During that time, you are encouraged to meet with your college academic advisor to discuss a plan for successfully returning to the University. Please read CSE's Academic Probation and Suspension webpage for more information.
Academic probation is determined by your cumilative and term GPAs, so there is no opportunity to appeal. However, if your grades changed after probation review or you experienced extenuating cicumstances that warrant a withdrawal from courses, you should contact your college academic advisor.
You may appeal your suspension if you faced extenuating circumstances that warrant an exemption from the suspension policy. Please consult with your college academic advisor before submitting your appeal, and review the guidelines for petition for exemptions.
You are eligible to return to the University after one full academic year. You will need to complete the Petition for Reinstatement After Suspension and provide all requested information listed on the guidelines for petitioning for exemptions. Please read CSE's Academic Probation and Suspension webpage for more information.