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Advisement FAQ's

  • 1. I know what courses I want to take. Can I just stop in and get a faculty signature?

    No. The advisement visit is designed to guide students, to review their goals and concerns and to ensure that the student is completing all requirements.

    2. I didn’t get a chance to register until late in the registration period. None of the courses I wanted are open. What can I do?

    For the current semester, it will be necessary for you to select alternate courses. In the future make an advisement appointment in the first week of the advisement period and then register on the day that you are scheduled. Do NOT delay. Spaces DO sometimes become available in courses as students decide not to take a course, fail to submit payment by the due date or switch to another section. Keep checking GothicNet.

    3. I really need to take a course. Can’t the chairperson sign me in even if it is closed?

    No. Our courses are taught in the labs. They have spaces for only 24 students. Liability concerns preclude us from overloading a class in any of the labs. If you are a graduating senior the department chairperson may allow for a substitute course to be taken. This is done only in extraordinary circumstances.

    4. If I get the permission of the faculty member who is teaching a closed course, can I register for it?

    NO. The only person who can override a closed course is the chairperson and department policies and liability issues make it impossible to do this, even if the faculty member is willing to accept an extra student into the class

    5. I don’t have the prerequisite for a course I really want to take. I think I’ll do well even without the prerequisite. Can I take the course?

    Generally speaking, no. There are occasions, particularly for transfer students in which the student has taken an equivalent course or has substantial professional experience with the material. In these limited cases the chairperson may override the prerequisite requirement. No other faculty member can do this and it is done only in cases in which there is substantial evidence that the student has command of the requisite information.

    6 . I’m interested in one of the UMDNJ affiliated programs. Why can’t I just have the coordinator of those programs as my regular advisor?

    We have a great many students in the affiliation programs. It is impossible for the coordinator to act as advisor to all. You should make an appointment to see the coordinator when you have completed the 90 credit hours of work that are appropriate to the specific program you have chosen. Refer to the sheet of requirements for that program and review it regularly with your advisor.

    7. I take all my classes in the evening. I know that some courses are offered on an alternating schedule, in the morning or afternoon in one semester and the evening in the next. I also know that some courses are not offered every year. How can I get information about the long-term schedule of the courses so that I can plan my academic schedule for the next few years?

    The Biology Department periodically develops a four-year course schedule. This schedule is posted prominently in the Biology Department office. A copy can be obtained from the department secretary. You need to be aware of the fact that there are occasions when this schedule must be changed due to unexpected circumstances. Every effort is made to keep to the schedule and it has rarely been necessary to change it.

    8. If I have a question, can I just drop in and talk with an advisor about it?

    Our faculty are always interested in helping our students and being available to them. It is very likely that the faculty member will put aside what they are doing to help however that is not always possible. It is always a good idea to call ahead to make an appointment.

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