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Student Advising Information

Academic advising will empower students:
  • To integrate into and develop the understanding and skills to function and prosper in the academic community;
  • To grow into well rounded, responsible academic citizens;
  • To identify and make progress toward intermediate and long-range goals;
  • To graduate from SPSU in a manner consistent with the student’s goals.

Frequently Asked Questions


Advising and your Advisor

Degree Requirements

Registration and Financial Aid

Graduating and Beyond

Getting Assistance -- Academic, Career and Personal Counseling


Who is my advisor?

You can find out your advisor's name in your banner web account.  You will need your ID number and pin to get into banner web.  Once you have logged in, click on the following:

  • "Student Services and Financial Aid"
  • "Student Records"
  • "My Advisor"

Make sure to select the upcoming term when looking up your advisor. 



When should I see my advisor?

As soon as the class schedule is available for the next semester, put together a tentative course schedule and make an appointment to discuss this and your progress with your advisor.  Be sure to pay attention to any e-mails from your advisor about advising periods throughout the academic year.  Also, if you have questions about adding and/or dropping a class or withdrawing from an academic course, see your advisor as soon as possible.  Your advisor is also a great place to start if have academic questions or are unsure about how to proceed with certain academic issues. 



What can I expect from my advisor?

As a student, you have an advisor assigned to you to help you with various issues.  As a result of their advising experience, student will:

  1. Be knowledgeable and make use of available university resources for academic planning and professional and personal development.
  2. Develop their program-approved academic plan of study to complete their degree or program requirements;
  3. Develop the knowledge, habits, and skills needed in order to realize their goals for the future, including, where appropriate, required professional competencies;
  4. Articulate their academic, professional, and personal goals in pursuing a Seattle University degree;
  5. Fully participate in course work, cooperative learning experiences (in and outside the classroom), and appropriate educational experiences;
  6. Explore career possibilities and further educational opportunities after graduation. 



How do I choose a major if I am undecided?

If you come to SPSU as an "undecided" major, you will be assigned to Jon Lindsay, the "undecided student advisor.”  His office is located in the ATTIC (in J Building on the 2nd floor).  To make an appointment, please call 678-915-7361.  Students are also welcome to utilize the services of the Career and Counseling Center located in the Student Center.  Trained counselors can help you explore career options and choose a major that is right for you.  If you do decide to change majors, go to the Registrar's Office (Building B) and ask for a "Change of Major" form.  Once the form is processed, you will be assigned an advisor from your new major. 



How do I change my major?

Many students come to SPSU knowing what they want to major in.  It may be, though, that you decide that your original major is no longer what you want.  If you want to change majors, go to the Registrar's Office (Building B) and ask for a "Change of Major" form.  Once the form is processed, you will be assigned a new advisor from your new major. 



What is the CORE?

All students are required to take a set of courses that will provide a broad background and context to support their studies in their major discipline.  These courses include essential skills (such as English Composition and Mathematics -- Area A), as well as courses in the humanities and fine arts (Area C), sciences (Area D), and social sciences (Area E).   Basic courses related to your major are also in the CORE (Area F), and will be different for each major.

Each University can also require courses that emphasize its mission.  These are located in Area B of the CORE.  At SPSU, we require two such courses -- Public Speaking (COMM 2400) and Science, Technology, and Society (STS 2400).

For more information about CORE requirements,click here to visit the University Catalog.  Please also consult your advisor and/or your program requirements(graduate / undergraduate) for any specific CORE course requirements. 



What classes satisfy each CORE area?

Please see the CORE section in the University Catalog and the registrar's website to see which classes satisfy each CORE area.  Basic courses related to your major are also in the CORE (Area F), and will be different for each major.  Please consult your advisor and/or your program requirements for the specific Area F CORE requirements of your major. 



Can I exempt CORE courses?

In general, the answer is no.  All students must satisfy CORE requirements.  

If you took an AP or IB course in high school, you may be eligible for credit for the related CORE course.  Evaluation of AP, IB, and transfer courses is usually done at the time when you first register at SPSU.  You will need to submit a transcript from high school (showing the AP or IB courses) or from another college (listing the courses you wish to transfer) to the Registrar's Office.  They will evaluate the courses, and let you know how and if they will transfer to SPSU. 



What are the Regents’ Test requirements?

The Regents Tests are no longer required at SPSU. 



What classes are required for my major?

Each major has a specific set of classes that are required for graduation.  Please consult the requirements section for your major, listed in the University Catalog , or consult the website of your major.



I’m interested in doing a minor.  Is this possible?

Minors are currently offered in Apparel and TextilesArchitectureBiology, Business Administration(management), Computer Game Design and DevelopmentComputer ScienceConstruction Management,Industrial Engineering Technology, Information Technology, International Studies, Mathematics, Physics,PsychologySpanish, and Technical Communication.  A minor generally requires 15-18 hours of coursework in the particular discipline, more than half of which must be upper level courses.  For more information, consult the websites of the majors listed above. 



How do I get a double major?

Double majors are not currently offered at SPSU. To obtain a second bachelor's degree from Southern Polytechnic State University, a student must complete all required courses for the degree and earn credit for a total of at least 30 hours in excess of the requirements for any previous SPSU degrees earned. The student must apply for graduation using two separate forms. Each form must be accompanied by the graduation petition fee and each must be processed by the appropriate academic department. You may find the forms at the following location: http://fac-web.spsu.edu/registrar/generalforms.html



What is a dual major, then?

Students in mathematics and physics that complete the requirements of both degrees may declare a dual major in mathematics and physics. He or she would petition for graduation on a single form and would receive a single diploma with both majors listed. Each academic department must then process the petition. Requirements for a dual major are listed in the Curricula sections of the catalog. However, in general, there are specific courses that must be completed and the above criteria must be met. Currently, only mathematics and physics offer dual majors.



What courses should I take the next term?

All majors have a list of required courses, which can be found in the University Catalog.  There are also flowsheets for each major (available from your advisor or at the Department Offices) that tell you what order you should take courses in.   These can be very helpful in plotting out your next several semesters.  Each term, the schedule of courses being offered can be found online.

Remember that not all courses are offered every semester, and some alternate being offered in the daytime and in the evening.  Your advisor can give suggestions to help you prepare a schedule that allows you to move towards graduation in the most efficient manner.

If you major is "undecided," you will probably want to take courses from the CORE and sample some introductory courses in areas you are considering majoring in.  Again, your advisor can help you to make these decisions, and can also help you to assess your strengths and interests.  Students are also welcome to utilize the services of the Career and Counseling Center located in the Student Center.  Trained counselors can help you explore career options and choose a major that is right for you. 


How many classes should I take?

As you plan your schedule, keep in mind time needed for class preparation, tests, papers, and projects.  It's recommended that for every hour you spend in class, you should devote at least two hours to studying.  For example, if you take 12 credits, you should plan to devote 24 hours toward studying outside of the classroom.  So time spent dedicated to school each week can equal up to 36 hours, essentially a full-time job.

 As you plan your schedule, take into consideration your non-school responsibilities, such as family, work, and other personal commitments. 


                                                       Recommended Work/School Loads 

Work hours per week

Recommended credits for the semester








How do I do cross registration?

The Atlanta Regional Council for Higher Education's Cross Registration Program allows students at ARCHE member institutions to broaden their academic experience by registering for courses at other member colleges and universities.  It shares the resources of ARCHE member specialties by providing students access to courses not offered at their home institution and allows a chance to experience a different campus environment.  Registration is handled through a student’s home institution.  You may download a brochure and application for Cross Registration. Please consult the Registrar's page on cross registration for additional rules, regulations, and information on Cross Registration.  



How do I figure out what classes will transfer from other institutions?

The Registrar's Office will be the final determination of which classes will transfer to SPSU from your previous institution.  You can also consult the general guidelines for awarding of transfer credit to get a general idea of what your previous classes will transfer in as at SPSU.   



How do I figure out my GPA?

SPSU currently recognizes two GPAs:  the cumulative GPA and the institutional GPA. To figure out your cumulative GPA, please consult the detailed instructions found here on the registrar's website.  In short, you divide your total number of quality points by the total number of credit hours you have accumulated.  An "A" is worth 4 quality points, a "B" is worth 3 quality points, a "C" is worth 2 quality points, a "D" is worth 1 quality point, and an "F" is worth 0 quality points.  You must multiply the number of quality points you received by the number of credit hours for the course.  (For example, if you get a "B" in a 4-credit course, you have accumulated 12 quality points.  If you get a "C" in a 3-credit course, you have accumulated 9 quality points.)  After doing this calculation for each course, you add up your total quality points and divide that number by the total number of credit hours you have taken.  

The cumulative GPA is the only GPA recognized by the Board of Regents.  It is the GPA that employers, graduate schools, and other USG schools are most apt to recognize.  Keep in mind that some courses do not count in your cumulative GPA.  Remedial courses do not count in your cumulative GPA.

The institutional GPA  is used to determine standing and graduation. To calculate the institutional GPA, use only the grade you received on your LAST attempt at any course you have repeated (even if you end up with a lower grade than your previous attempt in the course.)   Note that in order for a repeated course to be counted towards your enrollment status for federal financial aid purposes, you may only repeat a previously passed course once (a total of two attempts). If you enroll in a previously repeated and passed course for a third time, this course will not count towards your enrollment for financial aid purposes.



How do I withdraw from a class?

To withdraw from a class, visit the Registrar's page on withdrawing.  The withdrawal form can also be accessedhere.  You must withdraw from a course before the midpoint of the term ("Last Day to Withdraw").  A grade of "W" will be assigned for the course.  Students who withdraw after the midpoint of the term are not eligible for a grade of "W” except in cases of hardship or extenuating circumstances as approved by the faculty. Students withdrawing after the withdrawal deadline date receive a grade of "WF" for the course(s), which counts the same as an "F" for grade point purposes.  Any student who is forced to discontinue school attendance during a semester for emergency reasons which are beyond the individual’s control (documentation must be provided to substantiate the emergency), may apply for a Hardship Refund through the Dean of Students' Office provided that such application for hardship refund is made before the end of the term in which the hardship occurs.  Please visit theRegistrar's page on withdrawing for more information. 



How do I find out about scholarships and financial aid?

Information on financial aid, including loans, FAFSA, Hope, and work-study opportunities, can be found online at the SPSU Financial Aid site



What is the Honors Program?

The purpose of the Southern Polytechnic State University Honors Program is to provide academically talented students throughout their course of study at SPSU opportunities to develop their talents in an enriched curriculum that affords students smaller class sizes, more intellectual rigor, and more opportunities to work individually with faculty members.  For more information, please visit the University Honors Program website



What is a transient? How do I apply to be a transient?

A transient is a student who is taking classes for a semester at an institution other than their home institution. Southern Polytechnic State University students planning to attend another institution for one semester and then return to Southern Polytechnic State University should complete a transient letter authorization form, available in the Registrar's Office.



What Certificate Programs does SPSU offer?

SPSU offers certificate programs the following areas. The offering department is listed in parentheses. Admissions requirements vary, depending on the certificate, so consult the SPSU catalog or offering department website for more information.

Apparel Product Development (Industrial Engineering Technology), Business Administration (Business Administration), Business Continuity (Information Technology), Communication Management (English, Technical Communications, and Arts), Computer Science (Computer Science), Computer Science Transition Certificate (Computer Science), Content Development (English, Technical Communications, and Arts), Engineering Sales (ETM or Business Administration), Instructional Design (English, Technical Communications, and Arts), Information Security and Assurance (Information Technology), Information Technology (Information Technology), Information Technology Transition Certificate (Information Technology), Land Development (Construction Management), Land Surveying (Civil Engineering Technology), Logistics (Industrial Engineering Technology), Production Design (Industrial Engineering Technology), Programming (Software Engineering), Professional Spanish (International Studies), Project Management: Construction (Construction Management), Quality Assurance (Industrial Engineering Technology), Quality Principles (Industrial Engineering Technology), Specialty Construction (Construction Management), Software Engineering (Software Engineering), Systems Engineering (Industrial Engineering Technology), Technical Communication (English, Technical Communications, and Arts), and Visual Communications and Graphics (English, Technical Communications, and Arts).



How do I petition to graduate?

To petition to graduate, begin by picking up a form called “Admission to Candidacy for a Degree” in the Registrar’s Office.  This is also known as a graduation petition. You may access the Registrar's Office forms page here: http://fac-web.spsu.edu/registrar/generalforms.html  Additional information and instructions on petitioning to graduate can be found here.  


How do I order a transcript?

Official transcripts can be ordered online using any major credit card.  The transcript fee is $4.25 (plus a delivery fee if you want the transcript delivered to you).  Please allow several days for your request to be processed.  The transcript includes your entire academic record; no partial or incomplete records are issued.  An unofficial copy of your transcript can be printed from your BANNER account



Is there someone I can talk to about different career options?

Students are welcome to utilize the services of the Career and Counseling Center located in the Student Center.  Trained counselors can help you explore career options or choose a major that is right for you.  If you do decide to change majors, go to the Registrar's Office (Building B) and ask for a "Change of Major" form.  You can also talk to your academic advisor about different career options found within your specific major.  SPSU department and program websites also often have resources for exploring different career options. 



Are there services available to help me become a better student?

The Academic Counseling Center offers individual and group counseling designed to assist students in eliminating barriers to academic success.  Common topics include study skills, test taking skills, test anxiety, time management, and stress management.  More information can be found at the Academic Counseling Center website



Is there someone I can talk to about personal issues? 

The personal counseling center at SPSU is staffed by counselors trained to listen, understand, and facilitate change.  Services are free and confidential.  More information can be found here



Is tutoring available at SPSU?

Yes--tutoring is available in English (Composition), Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, and Computer Science.  Other majors are also available; please check the Tutoring Center website  The Tutoring Center is located in the basement of Howell Hall.  Tutoring hours are posted each semester the ATTIC web page. 



What if I have a question that isn't covered here?

If you have a question that isn't covered here, begin by talking to your academic advisor.  He or she can point you in the right direction to getting your question answered. 


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