Advising and Student Transitions

Advising Resources for 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 (320) 308-6075 or online through Navigate. 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 requirements I need to be aware of?
  • When should I meet with you to discuss my academic plan for next semester and receive my registration code? 

If a course you want is full

  • Remain diligent in checking e-Services 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 wait list. 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 it. 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 by phone or by e-mail to politely inquire whether they anticipate 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?

Students are assigned to an academic advisor based on their choice of major or acceptance into the Honors Program:

  • Honors students - Honors Advising, Centennial Hall 216
  • Business Majors - Business Advising Center, Centennial Hall 229
  • All other majors - Advising & Student Transitions, located within the colleges & schools 

Students will also be assigned to a faculty advisor/mentor to guide them through graduation. 

Use our Advisor Look Up to find their name(s) and contact information.

Reaching Out To Professors

Sometimes students find it intimidating to approach their professor or teaching instructor, but it is an essential part of being a successful student. We highly recommend students to take advantage of professor/instructor office hours throughout the semester.  

Here are some tips on how to approach your professor: 

     1. Be proactive.  Contact your professor as soon as possible. 

Don’t wait until the night before an assignment is due to email your professor with questions. If you get a difficult assignment, ask questions as soon as you can. 

     2. Schedule an appointment and/or visit your professor during posted office hours.  

Office hours are scheduled meetings outside of class between a student and a professor or teacher’s assistant. These hours are listed on the course syllabus. There are numerous reasons to attend office hours: to clarify course material, determine grades, review certain concepts before an exam, and complete make-up work. 

  • Email your professor/instructor to schedule an appointment.  
  • Come to office hours preparedWrite out questions to help you narrow things down and help you remember what your questions are. 
  • If you are not available during their office hours, don’t give up. Contact your professor to see if there are alternatives.   

     3. Catch your professor/instructor before or after a class for a quick question.

A heads up email before you approach them is a nice move, just in case it’s a more complicated question than you think. 

Emailing tips:  

  • Emails should always be sent from your St. Cloud State email account. 
  • Specify what class and section you are in and thoroughly explain why you are emailing. 
  • Emails should be formal. Avoid text speak and other slang terms, emoticons, and skip using all caps.  
  • Review the subject line, check your salutation and signature, do one last proofread. 

Email examples:

     1. Scheduling an appointment with a professor/instructor during office hours: 

 Dear Professor Johnson, 

I am a student in your English 191 class on Mondays and Fridays at 3:00 pm. I have a few questions about [the topic you need help with]. Are you available for an appointment during your office hours? I would be available on Monday 1-3 pm and Tuesday 12-4 pm. 

Could you please let me know if you are available to meet with me, and if so, what days and times might work for you?  

Thank you! 


Anna Husky (Tech ID) 

     2. Scheduling an appointment with a professor/instructor outside the office hours: 

Dear Professor Johnson, 

I am a student in your English 191 class on Mondays and Fridays at 3:00 pm. I have a few questions about [the topic you need help with]. Are you available to make an appointment sometime next week? Unfortunately, I have another class during your office hours. 

I am available ______  Do any of these times work for you? 

Thank you. 


Anna Husky (Tech ID) 

     3. Notifying a professor about not attending class: 

  • Email your professor as early as possible 
  • Ask for the class worksheets or lecture slides if applicable 

Dear Professor Johnson, 

I wanted to let you know that I am unable to come to class on Tuesday due to  

If you are sick: an unexpected illness. (COVID related absences please click here) 

If you have a work commitment: There has been a staffing problem at my workplace, and they need me to come into work on Tuesday when we have our class. They have assured me that this is a one-off, and they will find a solution for the following Tuesday. 

If there are transit delays: Unfortunately, there’s been an accident on the highway, and it is at a standstill. I do hope to make it in time, but it’s looking unlikely. 

I will do my best to look over the materials you have provided for this week, and I have asked some friends to share their notes with me. 

plan to be back in class starting on______ and will plan to connect with you during office hours to ask any questions and make sure I am caught up. 


Anna Husky (Tech ID) 

     4. Missed class: 

Dear Professor Johnson, 

I was unable to attend the English 191 class yesterday (Monday, September 3) due to being under the weather. The syllabus indicates that your office hours are between 1:00-3:00 pm on Friday. Would you be available in your office this Friday so I can ask for clarification on the material presented in class?  

I appreciate your time and look forward to speaking with you soon. 

Thank You, 

Anna Husky (Tech ID) 


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 (your "generals") 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. 
  • Beginning Fall 2021, students must complete one course approved as meeting our Racial Issues graduation requirement (RIGR).  See Goal 7 for approved Racial Issues courses.
  • Explore all options for goal area courses in our catalog.

Being Successful as an Online Student

We’ll get through this together. You may be facing a lot of unknowns and disruptions. Try to be patient with yourself, your classmates, and your instructors during this time. Take care of your well-being first. Making a plan and adjusting your studying may help you feel even a little sense of control. Use this resource as a starting point. Your study habits may need to change.  

In this guide you will find some tips about:  

  • Staying organized 
  • Avoiding multitasking 
  • Making the most of video lectures 
  • Setting a schedule 
  • Trading your strategies for new ones 
  • Working with a group or team 
  • Staying connected to other people

St. Cloud State resources: 

Reading Your Degree Audit Report (DARs)

Reading your Degree Audit Report (DARs)

Your Degree Audit Report (DARs) shows you what you need to complete in order to satisfy all of the requirements for your degree. It will also show you how courses you have already taken apply towards your declared degree programs (major/minor/emphasis/concentration).

Explore the Student Registration & Financial Services website to learn how to access your Degree Audit Report.

Check out the video below to learn how to read your Degree Audit Report.


What is a “What-if” degree audit?

This audit answers the question “What-if” I declare an additional major, change my major, or add a minor. The "What-if" degree audit will apply your completed course work and how your requirements for graduation will change.

How to run a “What-If” DARs:

  1. Go to the St. Cloud State website
  2. Click “MyHuskyNet” on the top of the navigation bar
  3. Enter your StarID and password
  4. Click on “e-Services”on the left
  5. Click “Academic Records” on the left
  6. Click “Degree Audit” on the left
  7. Click “Request a Degree Audit” in the middle of the page
  8. Make sure the institution is St. Cloud State University
  9. Click “Select A Different Program”
  10. Click the down arrow for “Program” all majors are listed alphabetically – find the major you are interested in majoring in
  11. Click  the down arrow for “Catalog Year” and click the following semester. (ex. If searching today during Fall 2020 you will click on Spring 2021)
  12. Adding a Minor is also possible, but not required to run a “What-If” DAR
  13. Then click “Run Different Program”

Graduation Plan

It is never too early to think ahead to graduation! Using your tools, you can plan ahead semester by semester to 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.

All new first year students will complete their Graduation Plan and have it on file with their advisor by the end of their first year. Then you'll officially move to a faculty advisor from your major program. 

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.

Part of your Graduation Plan includes planning for Study Abroad, Internships, and Student Organization involvement. Consult with your advisor to start planning these opportunities now! 

Graduation Plan workshops are offered each semester. Check HuskiesConnect for upcoming programs. 

Prefer to work one-on-one to build your plan? Book an appointment with your advisor or one of our graduate students. 

Graduation Checklist – Baccalaureate Degree

  • Earn a minimum of 120 college level credits
  • Complete the General Education / Liberal Education Program requirements
  • Complete 3 Diversity classes
  • Complete 1 approved Racial Issues (RIGR) course 
  • 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 St. Cloud State
  • Meet the GPA requirements of your program
  • Apply for graduation (best done 2 semesters prior to graduation)    


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's office to complete the necessary paperwork.

Placement Testing

Some St. Cloud State courses require that students have completed pre-requisite courses, or have earned satisfactory scores on placement exams, including the ACT, SAT, Accuplacer, or ALEKS.  

Placement testing consists of the ACCUPLACER for Reading Comprehension and ALEKS for Math placement. Other tests, such as Biology, are available as determined by a student's intended major.

The results of the test will assist you and your advisor in selecting appropriate courses and support services as well as help you plan a course of study so you may have a successful college experience. 

Explore the Placement Testing website for the full testing policy and to schedule your exam.

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 registration code and click on the “Submit” button.

Some departments do not require registration codes for students who have been accepted into their major. Students can check with their assigned advisor to clarify this requirement. 

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 St. Cloud State
  • 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 St. Cloud State (i.e. have a completed Graduation Plan on file)
  • Exhibit the motivation necessary to pursue their major of choice

Advising for Study Abroad

Students who are considering an education abroad program are encouraged to meet with their academic advisor early in their St. Cloud State career to plan courses. Many programs have pre-set classes that fulfill particular liberal education program (LEP) course requirements and/or major requirements, and advisors can help lay out courses to ensure you're maximizing your international experience.

Students interested in studying abroad should explore available programs and consult with an Education Abroad advisor before meeting with their academic advisor.

First year students planning to study abroad during spring semester should work with their advisor during Huskies Advising & Registration Days to proactively plan out your first and second semester schedules.

Advising During Summer Term

Academic 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. Support can be provided by the academic advisor assigned to that college/school, another faculty member, the department chair, or the Student Relations Director.