Frequently Asked Questions

Below are categories of questions that students frequently ask. You may immediately find the answers to your questions below. If you have questions, e-mail us at plsadvising@sju.edu.

General Information

Q. Why do I need an academic advisor?
A.
Advisors guide students in formulating their educational plans, and help them to translate their goals, interests, and career aspirations into an effective and realistic academic plan. Academic advisement is available for current, returning, and prospective students to assist students with comprehensive academic planning, including schedule planning, transferability of credit from another college or university, degree audits, and graduation checks. Also, advisors connect students to other support services on campus, including career development, counseling, tutoring, etc.

Q. How do I contact an academic advisor?
A.
You may call the PLS office at 610-660-1267 or 877-NITE-SJU to schedule an advising appointment in-person or by phone. Walk-ins are also welcome to meet with a faculty advisor during office hours between 2:30 – 6:30 PM on Mondays through Thursdays. Office Hours are: Mondays to Thursdays (9:00 am - 6:30 pm) Fridays (9:00 am - 5:00 pm) Saturdays and Sundays (closed)

Q. How often do I meet with or contact an advisor?
A.
How frequently you meet with an advisor is up to you. It is a good idea to ask for a review of your degree plan at least once a year. You can do this in person, by phone, or by email. Your advisor will update your Student Cumulative Record Sheet with the courses you have taken to date and with any credit you have earned through testing or portfolio, and you can compare your records with ours. This is also an opportunity to review your goals, talk about any changes you anticipate in your career or educational plans, and be sure everything is on track.

Q. Is it important to get to know professors?
A.
Absolutely! It is always useful to get to know your professors. Professors keep office hours, and the times and locations will be listed on your syllabus (usually distributed on the first day of class). Office hours are a good time to discuss ideas generated in class, to clarify assignments, and to share common interests with your professors. Also, as a courtesy, you should always notify your professor if you are unable to attend class or may be late.

Q. What are "holds" on my record and how do I get them lifted?
A.
Holds on your record can be but are not limited to academic holds, financial holds, library fines or parking fines. When you have a "hold" on your record you are not able to adjust your schedule in any way. In order to have the hold removed, you will need to contact the appropriate office or department.

Q. How many credits do I need to take for financial aid eligibility?
A.
Part-time students: 6 credits per semester (12 credits per academic year including summer); Full-time students: 12 credits per semester (24 credits per academic year including summer).

Q. I lost my log-in and/or PIN, what should I do?
A.
Call the Student Help Desk (610-660-3070). The PLS staff has no access to student log-in information.

Q. What are the requirements for an online course?
A.
You will need a log-in and password to MySJU, a computer purchased in the past three years with Windows XP or Mac OS X, internet provider required, high speed cable or DSL is preferred, 56K modern connection is acceptable. Familiarity with Microsoft Office. Microsoft Internet Explorer is the preferred browser. To view videos, you will most likely need to have the latest version of RealPlayer installed on your computer.

Transfer and Prior Learning Information

Q. How many credits may I transfer to Saint Joseph’s University?
A.
Only grades of C or better will be transferred.  A maximum of 75 credits (25 courses) may be transferred to the baccalaureate degree in the College of Professional and Liberal Studies. Transfer students may bring in as many as ten courses toward the Associate degree.

Q. How do I know which courses will transfer into Saint Joseph’s University from courses taken at previous institutions?
A.
There are a number of answers to this question:

  • We can accept transfer credits only from those institutions with accreditation similar to ours. While the institution may be accredited, it may not have the specific regional accreditation that Saint Joseph’s University has.
  • We cannot accept courses in which you received a grade of C- or lower.
  • If the course does not have a course equivalent at Saint Joseph’s, we cannot give course credit. However, you may be able to use the course to meet an elective or general education requirement.

Q. Can I get credit for job experience?
A.
Yes. It is possible for students to earn credits acquired through work experience.  Generally, you can answer this question by looking at the description of college courses in the area you have substantial work or life experience. For example, someone who has given presentations or conducted training workshops for several years may well have learned, on the job, the equivalent of a basic course in communications. At PLS, the course is COM 2035 Techniques of Business Presentation. If the course description describes your knowledge and experience well, that course is a good option for credit through the Experiential Learning Assessment Program (ELAP). For more information about ELAP, refer to the course catalog or schedule an appointment with an advisor.

Registration

Q. When do I register for classes?
A.
For the spring semester, registration begins around mid-October. For the summer and fall semesters, registration begins late March. If you are a currently enrolled student, you will receive an email notification on the exact date registration will begin. You may also check the PLS website for this information.

Q. How do I find the courses that are available each semester?
A.
Students can search for courses using MYSJU or directly from the PLS website.

Q. Can I register online?
A.
Students who have completed the application process and have been fully accepted are permitted to register online. You are advised, however, to contact your advisor prior to any registration. Students who register online are held responsible for their course selection.

Q. What is the difference between a course drop and a course withdrawal?
A. When a student drops a class, it is done within the Drop/Add period, which is during the first week of the class. When a class is dropped, it never appears on a student’s transcript. A withdrawal can be completed, in writing, through approximately the eighth week of the semester, and a grade of "W" will appear on the transcript. Consult the Academic Calendar for specific withdrawal dates for fall, spring and summer sessions.

Q. What will happen if I drop a class?
A. There are many issues to be aware of when considering whether to drop a class. Therefore, it is important for you to speak with  an academic advisor. An academic advisor can help students determine what they need to do if they are struggling in a class. It is always important to talk with someone who can help you explore all of your options before dropping a class. If you receive financial aid, you should also speak with a Financial Assistance Specialist in the Financial Assistance Office since dropping a class may impact your financial aid.

Q. What happens if I am unable to attend class due to emergency or illness?
A.
You should contact your instructors as soon as it is possible to do so. If you are unable to do so you may ask a family member or close friend to do this for you. Also, you may want to contact the College of Professional and Liberal Studies Office. You will be asked to supply appropriate documentation of your illness and/or emergency upon your return to classes. Please remember that an excused absence from class does NOT excuse you from the work that you missed.  It is your responsibility to contact your professors and complete all "make-up" work in a timely manner. If you are unable to return to class you may consider obtaining an extraordinary withdrawal.

Q. What happens if I just stop attending or register for a class and never attend it?
A.
Your registration reserves a seat for you. Students are responsible to drop or withdraw from a course for which they have registered. Failure to do this may result in a grade of FA (failure due to absence) and possible financial consequences.

Q. Can I repeat a course?
A.
Yes. Students may repeat courses for credit.  Students who fail courses will want or need to repeat the same courses at SJU.  However, repeated courses remain on your academic record and are calculated in your cumulative grade point average.

Q. May I take courses during the day?
A. Yes. You will need permission from an advisor and must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5. 

Q. What are the guidelines for taking courses at other institutions?
A.
After enrolling in the College of Professional and Liberal Studies, a matriculated student is required to take all subsequent courses at Saint Joseph’s University. Once a student matriculates at SJU, permission from the Associate Dean is required for courses taken at another university. Permission may be granted under special circumstances not to exceed a maximum of six credits. 

Q. How long will it take me to earn a bachelor’s degree?
A.
It depends on how many transfer credits you will be granted and the number of coursers and/or credit hours you take in a given semester. You may acquire your degree more quickly if you take courses during the summer session and winter intersession.

Q. Will I be able to earn my degree solely in the evening?
A.
Yes. Majors listed on the PLS admission application may be earned solely by taking evening courses. However, if you are an adult student 22 years of age and over who wishes to pursue undergraduate studies during the day on a part-time or full-time basis or in combination with evening or Saturday courses, you may do so under Bridge: The Adult Undergraduate Weekday Program.

Graduation

Q. I think I am ready to graduate, what do I need to do?
A.
You must declare your intention to graduate a semester in advance of your expected graduation date. You should apply for graduation by the deadline dates established by the Registrar's Office (refer to Important Dates and Deadlines). Submit the Intent to Graduate form by the stated deadline date. Once your graduation application has been submitted, PLS will complete a degree audit and send you a letter detailing the results of the audit.

Q. What GPA do I need to graduate?
A.
To qualify as a degree candidate, students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0. For students earning a BS in Education, you must earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 to obtain teacher certification.

Q. What are the requirements to be on the Dean’s List?
A.
To be eligible for the Dean’s List, students must have completed at least 30 hours at SJU and have a cumulative GPA of 3.5.

Q. When will I graduate? Is there a commencement ceremony?
A.
You will graduate when you have completed all of the requirements of your degree. Commencement exercises are held annually in the spring. Diplomas are issued to students completing degree requirements three times a year, dated September15, January 15, or the day of Commencement exercises. 

How do I...?

Q. How do I change my major?
A.
You need to complete a Change of Major form that you can obtain by printing it from the registrar's web site, going to their office in Barbelin 122, or from the College of Professional and Liberal Studies office located in Barbelin 117. To complete the form, first have it signed by the PLS advisor and then take it to the registrar’s office to be entered on your academic record.

Q. How do I transfer credits from another college to PLS?
A. If you are seeking a degree from the College of Professional and Liberal Studies, have official transcripts from all schools you have attended sent directly to the College of Professional and Liberal Studies (Attn.: Director of Admissions). PLS will only evaluate credits for students who are seeking degrees. 

Q. How do I calculate my GPA?
A. The formula for computing your GPA may be found in the course catalog. The online GPA Calculator will allow you to calculate your current GPA and project what grades you need to attain a certain goal.

Q. How do review my transcript on MySJU?

Once you are logged in to MySJU:
1. From the Main Menu, select Student & Financial Aid
2. From the Student & Financial Aid menu, select Student Records
3. From the Student Records Menu, select Academic Transcript
4. Select Undergraduate from the Transcript Level drop-down menu
5. Select Web Transcript from the Transcript Type drop-down menu
6. Click on the Display Transcript button.

Transfer credit will be separated from institutional credit and appear first on the transcript.

Q. How do I review my degree audit on MySJU?
A.
At this time, the degree audit application known as CAPP (Curriculum Advising, and Program Planning) is not fully functional for PLS.  PLS students are advised to use the Student Cumulative Record Sheet as the primary resource to determine academic progress towards degree completion. You may obtain a copy of your most current Student Cumulative Record Sheet from an advisor.

Q. How do I order my books from the SJU Bookstore online?
A. Just go to: http://www.sju.edu/ and click on the Campus Resources link to the Bookstore. There you can order your books and they will be ready for pickup when you get to campus. The bookstore hours are posted on this website, with additional hours during the first week of classes each semester.