Advising and Student Transitions

Advising Resources for Students

All newly admitted transfer students are required to attend an Advising and Registration Day or complete the Online Transfer Advising Program. Click on the button to the right for more information on the Advising and Registration Day Program for new incoming students.

Scheduling an Appointment

Students are wise to schedule an appointment with an advisor well in advance of the opening of their registration window. Appointments in Advising & Student Transitions can be scheduled by phone or in person. It is a good idea to check with other advisors and/or centers about the best method  for scheduling an appointment. 

Advisors will...

  • Help you clarify your educational goals
  • Understand the Liberal Education Curriculum
  • Discuss major and/or minor options
  • Provide assistance in course selection
  • Explain university academic policies and graduation requirements
  • Encourage you to be responsible for your own academic progress
  • Provide referrals to additional campus resources
  • Take time to listen… 

Students / Advisees will…

  • Schedule and attend advising appointments at least once per semester
  • Be courteous (schedule appointments early and cancel or reschedule if necessary)
  • Come prepared with questions and/or topics to  discuss
  • Take primary responsibility for course selection

Questions to ask your advisor

  • Are there any courses I could double count in my major and general education?
  • Are there any pre-requisite courses required for my major?
  • What requirements must I complete in order to be eligible to apply for my major?
  • Do I need a minor? Are there specific minors you would recommend?
  • What is the GPA requirement for my major? Are there any other GPA requirements I need to be aware of?
  • If I try to register for a course within my major and it is full, are there any particular strategies you would recommend?
  • When should I meet with you to discuss my academic plan for next semester and receive my access code? 

If a course you want is full

  • Remain diligent in checking the on-line registration system for open seats.  Students can make changes to their schedules through several days into the semester, so an opening could occur at any time during that period.
  • Check with the department that offers the course to see if they keep a waiting list of students wanting to register for a particular course. Some departments place a “Course requires special permission” hold on certain courses so that when a student drops out of the course, not just anyone searching online for openings will be able to register for the course. The department is then able to take someone from the waiting list and give that  person the special permission override needed to register for the course. Keep in mind that not all departments utilize waiting lists, so you will need to inquire at each department office to find out their policy.
  • Try to contact the professor in person, by stopping by his or her office, by phone, or by e-mail to politely inquire whether he or she anticipates being able to allow any additional students into the class. In many cases this will not be possible, but the professor may be able to offer other  suggestions.
  • You can go to the first class meeting to see if any of the registered students do not attend, and then ask the professor about the possibility of getting into the class. The instructor reserves the right to ask any students who are not registered for the course to leave.

Data privacy

The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974,  commonly referred to as FERPA, is a federal law that protects the privacy of student educational records. This federal law prohibits the university from sharing student records, including grades, with anyone but the student.  If you have any questions about data privacy you can ask your advisor.

Who is My Advisor?

New first year students are assigned to an advisor based on their choice of intended major or acceptance into the Honors Program:

  • Honors - Honors Advising, CH 216
  • All intended Business Majors - Business Advising Center, CH 229
  • All other intended majors - Advising & Student Transitions, CH 366

New transfer students with an intended major are assigned to a school, program or department advisor based on their major. New transfer students who are still deciding on a major (undecided) are assigned to an advisor in Advising & Student Transitions.

Use our Advisor Look-up to find their name and contact information.

Liberal Education Program (LEP)

The Liberal Education Program (LEP) at St. Cloud State University is committed to the ideal of liberal education that provides knowledge, skills, and experiences and promotes critical thinking and ethical values for a lifetime of integrative learning in a diverse and changing society. The LEP is the liberal arts portion of your bachelor's degree and provides opportunities to explore academic interests and the development of transferable skills which apply to all careers.

  • The Liberal Education Curriculum is organized into 10 goals. 
  • Students must achieve the 10 goals through courses or experiences and earn at least 40 credits in liberal education courses.  
  • Liberal Education courses may be double counted as courses required for a major or minor.
  • Each student must complete three courses designated as Diversity courses. 
  • Students may take no more than one course from any one department. 
  • It is strongly recommended and encouraged that one Diversity course be an approved Racial Issues (RIS) course.  See Goal 7 for approved Racial Issues courses.
  • Explore all options for goal area courses in our catalog.

Graduation Plan

It is never too early to think ahead to graduation. Using your tools, you should be able to plan ahead semester by semester to ensure that you graduate on time. Discuss your graduation plans with your advisor to ensure that all prerequisites are covered and the classes you have selected will meet your degree requirements.

Tools for building your Graduation Plan:

Incoming transfer students should be aware that to be eligible for graduation under a four-year curriculum a student must have been in residence at St. Cloud State at least two semesters and must have earned at least 30 semester credits in residence. Some departments may require more than 30 semester credits in residence.

Graduation Checklist – Baccalaureate Degree

  • Earn a minimum of 120 credits
  • Complete the General Education requirements
  • Complete 3 Diversity classes
  • Complete a major or bachelor of elective studies
  • Complete at least 40 credits at the 300-400 level
  • Complete at least 30 credits and 2 semesters at SCSU
  • Meet the GPA requirements of your program
  • Apply for graduation (best done 2 semesters prior to graduation)    

St. Cloud State is a comprehensive university offering a variety of degrees in a multitude of areas.

Registration Access Code

Current students who want to register for upcoming semesters will need to see their advisor to receive a registration access code before they can register for courses.

An access code is a 6 digit number that students enter into their e-Services account. In e-Services,

  • Click on Courses and Registration on the left side.
  • Click on the Registration Access Code link. Change the semester, if necessary, and click on Courses and Registration and Registration Access Code again. Enter your 6-digit access code and click on the “Submit” button.

Some departments do not require access codes for students who have declared and been accepted into their major. Students can check with their assigned advisor to clarify department practice on this matter.

Choosing a Major / Undecided Students

It's OK to be unsure about your major at the start of your college career.

A visit with your academic advisor is a good place to start the conversation about the process for choosing a major. Advisors can help you craft a semester schedule which meets liberal education requirements while also creating opportunities to explore major areas of interest. You may also choose to:  

Transitioning to a Major/Program Advisor

 Students who are ready to transition to a major/program advisor will work with their assigned advisor to:

  • Demonstrate the ability to follow an academic exploration process based on self-assessment and analysis of academic options at SCSU
  • Demonstrate the ability to follow a career/vocational exploration process based on self-assessment and analysis of the work world
  • Demonstrate the ability to chart a sequence of courses for successful completion of an academic program at SCSU
  • Have a completed Graduation Plan on file
  • Exhibit the motivation necessary to pursue their major of choice

Majors and Minors

Your major is the subject or field of study that you specialize in during your undergraduate career. With nearly 200 academic programs to choose from, St. Cloud State provides a variety of options for students.

A minor is a smaller concentration of classes in a secondary area of study. For most majors, minors are not required, but those requiring fewer credits may require a minor or one year in a single foreign language.

Some students pursue minors because they can complement their major and make them more marketable, while others minor in something they really enjoy but doesn't necessarily support their major.

Once you've identified a minor, please go directly to that academic department to complete the necessary paperwork.

Advising During Summer Term

Professional advisors are available throughout the year to support students, including summer term.

Students assigned to a faculty advisor may find their advisor is unavailable over the summer. Students who have trouble contacting an assigned advisor should check with the department where the major is housed for assistance from another faculty member, the department chair, or even the Student Relations Director of the college/school.

Advisors in Advising & Student Transitions can also be a good resource, though departments prefer that students see their assigned advisor or another resource person from the department, school or college as they are the experts in their fields of study.