For more information on any of these topics, click on the header to see the related FAQ.
Entering students are assigned an academic advisor determined by the student's major. If you feel the need to change your advisor, you are encouraged to discuss this situation with your advisor to work out an appropriate solution. Advisor assignments are made to keep each advisor's workload balanced.
If you are unable to work out an appropriate solution with your current advisor, you may change your assigned academic advisor by contacting the advisor’s department head to make the request. The requested change of advisor is contingent on your new advisor having openings to accommodate additional advisees. Your requested new advisor must also be a faculty member in your major field or advising for your major field.
You can find your advisor's name, department, e-mail address, and other directory information through MyFSU. After logging in, click on the Academics & Services, then Registration Status/Advisor Information link in the Registration menu.
You can also find your advisor’s name by going through MyDegree. This can be accessed via MyFSU. Log in, click on Academics & Services, then MyDegree and your information will be pre-populated with your current advisor. If you click on her or his name, you will be able to send an e-mail directly to their account.
As a student in the College of Arts and Sciences you will need to call, e-mail or stop by your advisor’s office during his or her office hours.
To find your advisor’s teaching schedule and office hours you can use the telephone directory on MyFSU (Log in, click on MyFSU and go to Telephone Directory) or on the Ferris main page Directories and Maps. For both, type the faculty member’s last name (or part of it) and it will give you the directory information including the opportunity to view the faculty member’s schedule for the semester.
You are welcome to see your advisor as often as is necessary during his or her office hours to have your questions answered! You must meet with your advisor at least once a semester in order to have your advising hold removed. Keep in mind, the better your advisor knows you, the better she or he can help you. Your advisor can assist you with concerns about classes, repeating classes, academic policy and registration information, course selection, finding learning resources across campus, career possibilities, contacts for student groups, help with writing and tutoring (to name just a few).
You should email your advisor only when you have a question that you think your advisor can answer in a couple of sentences. Since our advisors are also faculty members, they will often get back to you within 2 or 3 business days. If the topic requires further discussion, you should schedule an appointment with your advisor or stop by during his or his office hours. Sending your advisor a list of times when you are available is not appropriate. Sending an email asking, "what classes should I take next semester?" is not a question most advisors will answer over email. Each student is different and there are many variables that must be taken into account when you choose your courses. It is always a good idea to start by reviewing the curriculum requirements and course prerequisites.
Students are responsible for learning about, becoming knowledgeable of and complying with the College of Arts and Sciences attendance policy stated in the respective course syllabus. It is up to the discretion of the instructor whether other extenuating circumstances should be considered for an excused absence.
Institutional travel, which must be approved by the Vice President for Academic Affairs, is considered to be an excused absence. Students participating in approved University-related travel are to be excused from classes but are still responsible for making up any missed assignments and/or tests.
Students are responsible for keeping track of their absences and discussing with the faculty member options for completing the class successfully. You may be able to withdraw from the course (if it is before the last date for “W” grades – look on calendar for your term to know for sure), or you may need to repeat the course. Be aware of the timelines that withdrawals are able to occur. It is imperative you speak with your instructor and your advisor as soon as possible if you have missed more than the allowed absences for a class.
As stated in the letter, if you intend to withdraw from the course, you must contact your Dean’s Office to begin this process if you are within the timeframe to do so. If the withdraw date has passed, you must discuss options with your instructor to complete the course successfully. It is imperative you speak with your advisor as soon as possible if you have missed more than the allowed absences for a class to determine what options you have for scheduling for the next semester and whether you have any issues for prerequisites.
If you need to take a placement exam for French, German or Spanish, you can do that online by taking the Webcape Placement Exam free of charge. It will give you placement information only by telling you what level of foreign language class you should enroll in at Ferris. This does not grant any college or course credit.
If you want to earn credits for French, German or Spanish you may want to consider taking the CLEP exam. This will give you the opportunity to earn both placement and college credits. To register and pay for the CLEP exam, you must contact Institutional Research and Testing to set up your appointment.
You can use the GPA Calculator located on the Ferris Website
You can use the 3 Calculators Contained in MyDegree
If you want to know how well you’re doing in a class:
If it’s a straight numeric total, add the points up and compare to the grading scale.
If it’s a weighted total (each assignment represents a percentage of the class total), you take the percent you received in each area and multiple it by the percentage of weight it carries. Then add the percentages up to see the overall percentage and compare to the grading scale.
You can graduate with bachelor’s degree in four years, but this requires eight semesters averaging a course load of 15 to 18 credits each semester. You can also enroll in summer sessions to catch up or get ahead. You will want to avoid repeating courses. You will need to coordinate your general education courses with your major requirements. It is a good idea to make full use of the academic advising available to you. You also want to decide on a major early and stick with it, or if you make a change be sure you are not starting from scratch. Put your effort and hours into school (for every hour in class expect two to three hours minimum outside of class for homework and studying) just like you would anything that is important to you. Also, schedule your time to fit your academic plan rather than fitting your academics around work or extracurricular activities. Be sure to seek help if you are having problems. Remember the courses in the College of Arts and Sciences are time intensive as well as academically challenging. Both your grade point average and your co-curricular experiences are critical in a competitive job market; therefore you want to be able to balance all.
The College of Arts and Sciences, and FSU in general, provides multiple access points for you to get assistance with coursework, through tutoring and/or supplemental instruction. Besides the many FSU resources available, such as the Academic Support Center, Retention and Student Success and the Educational and Career Counseling Center, to name just a few, the College’s Writing Center can be accessed online or via the Academic Support Center. Currently, supplemental instruction for students in key courses is also being provided through the Structured Learning Assistance (SLA) program. You should also check with your course professor for additional help.
The Academic Calendar provides specific dates for students to refer to when there are questions about what to do and by what date.
For a list of what is happening on campus you can look at the general campus calendar for academic, alumni, arts/entertainment, campus, community, meetings/seminars, sports & student events.
Ferris State University and the College of Arts and Sciences have official policies and procedures for handling student-faculty-member conflicts. The first step is to try to resolve the problem by working directly with the faculty member. If that is not successful or appropriate, the next step is to discuss the situation with the head of the faculty member’s department. Additional information can be found in the links listed below.
You need 26 total credits (including FSU and transfer credits) to be a sophomore. If you do not have 26 credits at the end of your first two semesters, it is not a problem. You are not required to have 26 credits within any specific time frame.
Class standing criteria is as follows (from the Registration and Academic Guide):
0 to 25 semester credit hours earned
26 to 55 semester credit hours earned
56 to 85 semester credit hours earned
86 or more semester credit hours earned
You should always check with your academic advisor before you drop below 12 credits (full-time status). Dropping to part time can affect your financial aid (including Satisfactory Academic Progress and scholarships and loans), health insurance, athletic eligibility, veteran’s benefits, and on-campus status in the residence halls. If you are an international student, be sure to also check with the International Center before considering dropping to part-time status as it may impact your visa status.
You are a senior when you reach 86 total credits (including FSU and transfer credits). When you reach senior standing, you should schedule an appointment with your academic advisor to make sure you're on track for graduation. You should also be sure to go Career Services to get resume preparation information and to get started on your career search.
The Dean's Honors List honors all full-time undergraduates in the University who earn a 3.50 or better grade-point average with completion of at least 12 or more FSU credit hours of graded course work at the 100 level or higher for a given semester.
The minimum requirements for part time students each term are: 3.5 term GPA with completion of at least twelve accumulated FSU credit hours of graded course work at the 100 level or higher.
The list is posted on the College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s home page.
Internships most often are work experiences with cooperating employer organizations in business, industry, government, and education. The work experience is designed to be relevant to the student's academic pursuits, personal development, and professional preparation. The internship experience is approved by the coordinator and typically involves a minimum length of time and is open only to students in declared in their major.
Students may have the conversation about course substitutions with their advisors. Program Coordinators for each of the majors determine whether or not this fulfills the curricular requirements of the program. They then complete a Course Substitution Request form which needs to be approved and signed by the program coordinator, department head, and then submitted to the Dean’s Office for approval.
The University requirements for bachelor's degree are described in the General Education section of the catalog. All course requirements for the degree must be met, as well as a minimum 2.00 cumulative GPA and total hours for the degree (see below) in order for your degree to be conferred. You must also apply to graduate. You should do this no later than the first week of your final semester. If you are completing a separate major or minor in addition to your bachelor degree, you must complete a separate graduation application for each major and minor you will earn.
Credits required by degree:
|120||Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts (exceptions below)|
|121||Bachelor of Science All Biology tracks and Biotechnology|
|63||Associate in Applied Science – Industrial Chemistry Technology|
|60||Associate in Arts, Associate in Science,
Associate in Applied Science - Ornamental Horticulture Technology
Use the MyDegree Worksheet or MyDegree “What If” features. Sign onto MyFSU. Select the Academics & Services tab, then MyDegree. If you entered FSU Fall 2010 or later you will be able to use the Worksheet function. Students who entered prior to Fall 2010 will need to go to “What If” and enter their major and/or minors. This will give you an estimate of your progress to date. MyDegree is a very useful tool in helping students track their progress toward graduation credits and plan their course selections.
Also see: MyFSU How-To Guide (PDF)
See your program coordinator for an audit and application. You must apply to graduate and you must apply separately for each major and/or minor you will earn. You should do this no later than the first week of your final semester (the first week of spring semester, if you intend to graduate in summer).
Graduation Clearance is a process completed by students that are in their junior or senior year. Students should complete their graduation clearance between two and three academic semesters prior to their expected graduation. If you fail to complete your graduation clearance, you do not graduate and will not receive your degree.
Fortunately, it's easy to complete! Call to set up an appointment with your Academic Advisor. Please Note: Your graduation clearance MUST be done in person. Your advisor will not complete it over the phone or over email. Please plan ahead!
Ferris State University has commencement ceremonies in May and December. There is no commencement ceremony in August for students completing their degrees in summer. Students may attend the commencement ceremony in the semester they will be completing their degree requirements. Summer graduates may choose the May or December ceremony. There is a deadline for getting the graduates’ name printed in the commencement book. That deadline is approximately 2 months prior to commencement. This is another reason to plan ahead and apply for graduation early in your last semester. Summer graduates who plan to participate in the May commencement ceremony must be especially aware of these deadlines.
Students in the College of Arts and Sciences who graduate with Cum Laude (3.5 to 3.74), Magna Cum Laude (3.75 to 3.89) or Summa Cum Laude (3.90 to 4.0) are recognized in the commencement program and receive honor cords. More information can be found on the Commencement web page. For commencement book purposes, the last semester’s GPA data is used. The final audit of your graduation requirements will determine the honors designator (if any) that will appear on your diploma.
Yes. Fill out a new graduation application. If you plan on completing your degree in two years, contact the Dean’s Office Graduation Secretary (231-591-3776) and program coordinator as to the academic plan to complete your degree. The Dean’s office will send you a letter outlining any degree requirement deficiencies you may have. It is helpful if you respond to the Dean’s office with your academic plan for completing the deficiencies so we can track your progress and award your degree when appropriate.
Your diploma will be sent to the mailing address you provided on your Application for Graduation, and will be mailed to you approximately six weeks after the end of the semester that you graduate.
If your name has changed prior to receiving your diploma, you may have your diploma and records adjusted. You can contact the Dean’s Office Graduation Secretary (231)591-3776 to discuss the process. If your name changes after you graduate and you wish to have a new diploma, contact the Records Office (231) 591-2793.
All students hoping to enter majors, minors, certificates and concentrations in the College of Arts and Sciences must be approved by the program coordinator. Students make an appointment with the program coordinator to complete a Program Change Form that is filed in the Records Office prior to registration for the next semester of classes.
To do any of these things, you will need to complete and submit the Program Change Form to the Records Office. You will need to make an appointment with the program coordinator of the minor, certificate or concentration you want to exit. To delete a major, you must change your major to something else. Students at Ferris State University are not undeclared majors and are required to have majors. You may delete a second major but you may not be without a major.
In addition to the information available on the CAS and the department websites, the Majors and Degree Programs page provides students with a listing of majors and the requirements for the current academic year. Both current and archived degree requirements may be found at our FSU's official catalog. Arts and Sciences programs are dynamic and change often to reflect the needs of society. Because degree requirements, courses, prerequisites, and policies change; you will meet with your academic advisor each semester to stay abreast of these changes as they occur. You can always see your progress toward your degree by using MyDegree and if you arrived Fall 2010 open your MyDegree to your chosen major and the current Worksheet/Audit form for any declared major, minor, certificate or concentration. If you declared your major prior to Fall 2010, you may use the MyDegree “What If” options to give you a general idea of the requirements for your degree. If your program has undergone curriculum revision since you started, your program check sheet and requirements will not match. Prospective students (both internal transfers and newly admitted students) can also use the MyDegree “What If” options to search for degree requirements by entering the major, minor, certificate or concentration in which you are interested.
Yes. Many students in the College of Arts and Sciences earn dual degrees. To complete concurrent majors, you would need to complete all academic program requirements for both majors. The majors can both be in the College of Arts and Sciences or split with a different college. Depending on which majors you want to combine, there could be a significant amount of overlap between the majors. You would be assigned to an academic advisor in each major. When you graduate, you would earn a separate diploma for each major that you completed. You are not permitted to combine a general major with a departmental major in this college (for example, the Biology major and the Environmental Biology major). If you are seriously considering combining two or more majors at Ferris State, you should consult with the CAS major program coordinator or with the program coordinator from the colleges/majors you are considering. Planning ahead is very important. Students also need to check with Financial Aid to see how this will impact their aid package.
Think of a minor as a mini-major, or a concentrated “second major” with fewer required credits. It is a concentration of courses in an academic area that may or may not be directly related to your major. For example, you might major in Social Work and minor in Spanish, or you might major in Biology and minor in Theater. Most students are not required to complete a minor, but many students do choose to complete one, and some students complete more than one minor. Students enrolled in our BA programs ARE required to have at least one minor. Not all majors offer a corresponding minor (e.g., there are majors in Biotechnology, Chemistry, and Social Work, but there are no minors in those areas). Some minors have no corresponding major (e.g., there are minors in Art History, Philosophy, Religious Studies, International Studies, and Human Development, but there are no majors in those areas). All minors require a minimum of eighteen credits, of which at least six must be at the 300 level. All courses for the minor require a grade of C or above. In some cases, courses that count towards a minor can double-count with courses that count towards a major, especially in the General Education requirements and in the electives. There are limitations on the number of credits that can double count with a major or another minor, so be informed.
Whether directly or indirectly, it will be through the college that offers the major you want to change to. Because some entrance-to-major requirements and procedures can be complicated, it is important that you contact the college that offers the major for the specific details. Depending on a variety of factors, it may or may not be possible for you to actually change to that major at the time you request it. Most majors have entrance requirements that must be met before you can actually enter or change to a major.
All students hoping to enter majors in the College of Arts and Sciences must be approved by the program coordinator. Students make an appointment with the program coordinator to complete a Program Change Form that is filed in the Records Office prior to registration for the next semester of classes. Students who are hoping to enter majors of other colleges should contact the Dean’s Office of the new college.
The MyDegree Worksheet Audit is a very useful tool to help you determine your progress in your major. You can find your audit when you log into MyFSU and click on the “Academics and Services” tab. From there you will click on MyDegree. Students who entered FSU after Fall 2010 will automatically have a MyDegree Worksheet Audit. Students who entered prior to Fall 2010 will need to use the “What If” function and can get an estimation of their progress. Here are some main points to the audit.
Now you're all set to never miss an important announcement from your professor, advisor, or any other FSU faculty or staff member.
This is very, VERY important!
Your @ferris.edu email address is considered an official form of communication. If you don't check your @ferris.edu email and don't have it forwarded, "I didn't know because I didn't check my MyFSU email" isn’t an excuse and won't undo missed deadlines.
Medical withdrawals must be initiated at Birkham Health Center. More specific procedures and information about the medical leave and reentry can be found in the Registration and Advising Guide.
If it is necessary for students to take a leave of absence from Ferris State University during the semester, it is best to formally withdraw from the University by contacting the Records Office. It is a formal request to place your academic record in an inactive status. Information for withdrawing from the University can be found in the Registration and Advising Guide.
Appealing a grade is a formal process. The student grade change policy differs from the student complaint policy. It must be initiated by the student by speaking first with the faculty member and must be documented in writing through all of the steps of the process.
Drop and add occurs during the first four days of every semester. Failure to officially drop a class you are not attending will result in a grade of F for the course. Failure to officially add a class you are attending will result in no credit. You may not attend a class in which you are not enrolled. See the Academic Calendar in the Registration and Advising Guide for specific dates to add and drop classes (Look at Calendars & the Specific Term & Year for the Academic Calendar). If you increase your charges during this period, you MUST pay the extra charges by the 4th day of classes or your schedule may be dropped. ALWAYS check your schedule AFTER you have changed your schedule to confirm the drop or add was successful – NEVER assume you successfully completed the transaction until you have verified it by checking your Concise Schedule, Detailed Schedule OR Week at a Glance Schedule on MyFSU. You may not withdraw a course electronically in MyFSU after the 4th day of class.
Registration for more than 19 credit hours in a semester (13 during the summer session) is considered an academic overload. To request an overload, students should have a grade average of 2.7 or higher in the preceding semester and must obtain the approval of their advisor and the Dean’s Office. The student’s advisor will contact the Dean’s Office with their approval for the load to be increased.
Students are required to complete prerequisites listed in the course descriptions section of the Academic Catalog before enrolling in the course requiring the prerequisite. Students who wish to register for a course without first taking the prerequisite(s) listed in the course description of the academic catalog must obtain approval from the department head. The class cannot be added to the student’s schedule without this approval. Generally, the student will be required to show competency or proficiency in the area before being allowed to enter a course without the required prerequisite.
Courses may be repeated in order to earn a better grade. In all cases the most recent grade and hours earned in a course is the one used in calculating the overall grade-point average (transcript will show an “I” after the Included grade); however, previous grades remain on the transcript followed by the letter “E” (which means the grade and hours are Excluded from the GPA calculation). Consult your academic advisor before repeating a course. Students are required to pay normal tuition charges for all repeated course work. Points to keep in mind:
If you need to withdraw from a course, it is possible. You must keep in mind that there is a deadline for withdrawing from a course in every semester. To find out about that deadline, reference the academic calendar for the current semester. See the Academic Calendar in the Registration and Advising Guide for specific dates to withdraw from a course (Look at Calendars & the Specific Term & Year for the Academic Calendar). Generally, it is best to discuss your situation with your academic advisor and your professor before taking action.
IMPORTANT: Beware of Going BELOW 12 Credits:Generally a student should only withdraw from 1 course per semester. Always check these out BEFORE you withdraw from a course:
You can take summer courses at Ferris State University and/or at many other colleges and universities. You can schedule summer courses by using MyFSU. Keep in mind that summer classes are faster pace than regular semester classes. As a result you will be attending classes that may be one and a half, double, triple or quadruple paced the regular semester. You will still be meeting the same expectations in your summer classes that are met during the academic year. It is always a good idea to use the Summer Credit Load Comparison chart found in the Registration and Academic Guide to get a sense of the expectations.
The courses you need to take next semester depends on your major (or intended major), your semester classification, the courses you still need in order to graduate or to enter a major, etc.
All students in the College of Arts and Sciences will have advising holds each semester. So you will need to consult with your academic advisor to best answer this question. However, there are other sources of information that you will find helpful in planning your course schedule for the semester, especially in preparation for meeting with your advisor to discuss your schedule.
Switching sections is considered a Drop/Add. The opportunity to add freely (you go to MyFSU and add any course for which you are eligible and which is open) occurs during the first four days of class. After that, drop/add is closed. Many professors feel that if you missed the first couple of weeks of class that you will not be able to catch up, or it may disrupt ongoing group activities.
Also see: MyFSU How-To Guide (PDF)
Credits completed at other regionally accredited institutions may be transferred if the student has obtained a C or better in the course. You must contact the Admissions Office to apply as a transfer student. Students transferring into a bachelor’s degree with a MACRAO stamp with their associate’s degree have met different requirements.
First, see your academic advisor to make sure that the course(s) you are planning to take will help you progress toward your degree. You must fill out a Guest Application form if you are intending on applying to a Michigan school. You can schedule summer courses at other colleges and universities, including community colleges, by following the registration procedures at those schools.
In order for courses taken at other schools to transfer to Ferris, you must earn a grade of C or better, but the grade will not appear on your Ferris State University transcript and will not affect your Ferris cumulative grade-point average, unless you are transferring in a class that is direct equivalency that will be replacing a class that you have previously taken.
Before scheduling summer courses at another school, look first at Ferris State University’s Transfer Equivalency page. You'll want to make sure that the courses you plan to take will definitely transfer to Ferris. You'll also want to check with your advisor to be sure that the courses will count in your major. You may also want to look at the FAQ’s about being a Guest Student at another College.
If your institution or the course(s) you wish to take does not appear on the transfer page see your Dean’s Office for assistance.
College of Arts and Sciences
820 Campus Drive
Big Rapids, MI 49307
Phone: (231) 591-3660
Fax: (231) 591-2618