• Academic Advising FAQ

    Academic Advising FAQ

    Have questions? Look below to see a list of frequently asked questions.

    Q: Who are the advisors in Academic Advisors?
    Q: When would I meet with someone in Academic Advising instead of with my faculty advisor, and vice versa?
    Q: How do I know which classes to take?
    Q: How and when do I choose a major?
    Q: Can I take a course P/N (Pass/No credit)?
    Q: Can one course fulfill more than one requirement?
    Q: What happens if I earn a D or fail a course?
    Q: How often should I meet with my advisor and what should we discuss?
    Q: How do I change advisors?
    Q: How do I obtain a copy of my transcript?
    Q: Who decides how transfer work applies to Hamline requirements?
    Q: How do I obtain my PIN for registration?
    Q: How do I add or drop a class?


    Q: Who are the advisors in Academic Advising? 

    We are Katie Adams and Mike Noreen, and we work primarily with undeclared undergraduate students who have advising questions. We will work with declared undergraduate students on a faculty referral basis. You can contact us at 651-523-2912, or by just stopping by Academic Advising (lower level of Bush Library). We are here Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. We are always happy to talk with you about anything related to your academic goals. We can answer many questions on a drop-in basis or over email, but generally speaking, appointments are recommended.

    Q: When would I meet with someone in Academic Advising instead of with my faculty advisor, and vice versa? 

    Your faculty advisor is the best person to answer specific questions about your major, the Hamline Plan, and general college policies. But if you're thinking of switching to a different major, or if you're undecided about your major, we in AA can help you talk through your options. We are also a good resource if your academic performance is not as strong as you'd like it to be, if you have a complicated question about graduation requirements, or if you're thinking about taking time off from school. If you're ever not sure where to go with a question, Academic Advising is a good starting point.

    Your faculty advisor is also an excellent resource to begin exploring various educational opportunities beyond the graduation requirements: internships, independent studies, study-abroad programs, service learning, etc. are all things that help you stand out once you've graduated and are competing for jobs, graduate school, or whatever else you are pursuing as an alumnus.

    Q: How do I know which classes to take? 

    During Advising Weeks (the 2 weeks prior to registration), you should meet with your faculty advisor to discuss your plans for the upcoming term. Prepare for this meeting by completing an advising worksheet with all the classes you have taken so far. Next, pencil in courses you are thinking of taking to see how they'll fit. Be sure to check the class schedule at http://www.hamline.edu/classschedules in order to avoid time conflicts. Be prepared to explain to your advisor what you hope to learn in each course and how it will move you towards graduation.

    You will want to develop a plan with a faculty advisor in your major area, and note required courses that are only offered once a year or once every other year. Course prerequisites are noted in the online bulletin at the end of a course description. It is important to develop a long term plan to ensure that prerequisite courses are in place for future courses. You can also check the online class schedule in order to see which courses fulfill Hamline Plan requirements.

    Important points to remember:

    You must complete 32 residency credits each academic year to be on track for four-year graduation.
    You must complete one writing intensive course each year. Even if you took two this year, you will still need one next year. You also need to take one writing intensive course in your major.
    You don't need to complete all the Hamline Plan requirements before beginning your major. It's generally best to distribute both major and Hamline Plan requirements evenly across your time at Hamline.

    Q: How and when do I choose a major? 

    If you are undecided, you should take classes from a variety of departments. Your goal should be to explore areas you may not know much about, but which could be potential majors.

    You may also want to schedule an appointment with the Career Development Center. The CDC has many resources available to assist you in your major and career search. Faculty are another good resource for information about careers available to students with a major from their department. If you have questions about certain majors, schedule an appointment with the department chair or other faculty in the department to discuss your options. This may seem intimidating, but remember faculty genuinely enjoy talking about their departments and their fields of study. One valuable part of a Hamline education is having close, easy access to faculty members. Check office doors to see when a professor's office hours are. If they don't work with your schedule or you can't find any office hours posted, go ahead and email. Faculty members are used to receiving emails from students!

    Normally, you should declare a major by the end of your sophomore year. However, some majors or programs (Art, Music, Biology, Chemistry, Physics) take four years to complete. You must start these majors in your first year in order to graduate in four years. You should consult with a faculty advisor as soon as possible if you are choosing a major from one of these areas. If you know your intended major, we encourage you to declare as early as possible (but no sooner than second semester for first-year students).

    Declaration of Major forms are available in Academic Advising, the Student Administrative Services, or Registration and Records "Forms" page. Once you have completed the form (and have obtained the required faculty advisor and department chair signatures), return it to Student Administrative Services (East Hall 113) for processing.

    Q: Can I take a course P/N (Pass/No credit)? 

    When you take a class P/N, "P" means earning a grade of C- or better in the course. An "N" means that no credit has been granted and a grade of less than C- was earned. Whether you receive a P or N, the grade for the course is not computed into your grade point average. However, some graduate and professional schools do not look favorably on a large number of P-graded courses, or they may rank each as a C.

    You may take one course per year P/N. Remember, however, that most majors do not allow P/N grading; check with your faculty advisor. 

    Q: Can one course fulfill more than one requirement? 

    Yes. A single course can fulfill both a Hamline Plan requirement and a major requirement, or two or more Hamline Plan requirements, or both a major and a minor requirement. If you have two majors, a class can count in both, provided that each major has at least four unique courses. A major and a minor can have some overlapping courses as well, provided that the minor has at least three unique courses. If you have multiple majors or minors, it is a good idea to meet with a faculty or an AA advisor to ensure you're accomplishing your goals.

    Often times, it can be more advantageous to pursue other academic opportunities (internships, study-abroad programs, independent studies, etc.) than second majors. Again, speak with a faculty or an AA advisor to explore your long-term goals and strategies to accomplish them.

    Q: What happens if I earn a D or fail a course? 

    If you fail a course, you will not receive any credit for it. Courses for which you earn a D-, D, or D+ can be used to fulfill Hamline Plan, Residency, and Breadth of Study requirements, but not used to fulfill major or minor requirements. A course in which you earn a D+ or below may be repeated for credit. Only the credits and grade earned the second time are counted toward graduation and in the grade point average.

    It is important to learn why you weren't successful in a course. Talk with your professor, your faculty advisor, or an advisor in Academic Advising. Call (651) 523-2912 to schedule an appointment with Academic Advising.

    Q: How often should I meet with my advisor and what should we discuss?

    You are required to meet with your faculty advisor prior to registration to review your schedule and to obtain your alternate registration PIN. We recommend you meet with your advisor more often. Choosing classes or determining your degree status is only part of advising. Your advisor is also there to talk about other things: research, internships, volunteer experiences, career, graduate school, and so forth.

    All students should establish strong relationships with advisors and other faculty/staff members. These relationships are a valuable part of attending a small private college.

    Q: How do I change advisors? 

    Complete a Declaration of Major/Change of Advisor form, have your new advisor sign it, and submit the completed form to Student Administrative Services. You do not need to contact your old advisor in the process unless you choose to do so. Advisors expect that students will make changes, and they don't take such decisions personally. Declaration of Major forms are available in Academic Advising, the Student Administrative Services, or Registration and Records "Forms" page. 

    Q: How do I obtain a copy of my transcript? 

    You can access your transcript in Piperline. You can also request an official transcript in Piperline, for yourself or third parties.

    Q: Who decides how transfer work applies to Hamline requirements? 

    The Registration & Records office reviews transfer courses to determine whether they fulfill Hamline Plan requirements. Your major advisor or Department Chair will determine how transfer work applies to your major. You should submit a syllabus for each course you wish to have evaluated. Call the transfer credit articulation coordinator (651-523-2127) for more information about transferring in credits.

    Q: How do I obtain my PIN for registration? 

    During advising weeks, you must meet with your advisor to plan your courses for the next semester. At that meeting, your advisor will review and approve your plans, and subsequently provide you with your PIN. If your advisor is on sabbatical, check with Academic Advising to determine with whom you should meet for registration advising and PIN information.

    Q: How do I add or drop a class?

    First, check the academic calendar to make sure you haven't missed the deadline for adding, dropping, or withdrawing. You may add classes with an add card or drop a class through Piperline during the first ten days. 

    If you withdraw from a class after the drop deadline (the tenth day of classes in fall/spring), you will receive a grade of "W." You must make sure that dropping a course will not jeopardize your eligibility for insurance, scholarships, or international student status. When you are sure that you want to withdraw, speak with the instructor to determine the appropriate course of action. Obtain an Add/Drop card from Academic Advising or Student Administrative Services, complete it (including appropriate signatures), and return it to Student Administrative Services (East Hall 113).

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