Academic Advising FAQ
Review the information below to gain a strong understanding of the advising process.
- Who is my academic advisor?
- What courses do I need to take to graduate?
- How do I register for classes?
- How many credits may I take each semester?
- How can I use my Advanced Placement (AP) credits toward my degree?
- What do I need to do to major in a Limited Enrollment Program (LEP)?
- What are the major differences between a minor, certificate, double major, and a double degree?
- How can I take a class for pass/fail?
- Am I able to take a course at another institution?
- Where do I find information about study abroad programs?
- Where do I find information about career development and internships?
Each college at the University of Maryland has its own advising center. Please see the Academic Advising webpage for more information.
The requirements for graduation can vary by college and department. Normally the minimum 120 credits required to graduate include general education, major requirements and electives. Please check with your academic advisor for specific degree requirements when developing a four year academic plan.
Current students are notified by e-mail of their registration date and time. Students can register at any point following their assigned time on Testudo. Prior to registration, students must clear any blocks that will prohibit them from registering. This may include mandatory advising with the department and/or college, financial, judicial, and others. Please check with your college for more information.
Students should communicate with an advisor to determine the number of credits that best fit their personal circumstances. It is recommended that students take approximately 15 credits per semester to complete a degree in four years. Students may register for up to 16 credits without approval from their college. Students must register for at least 12 credits to be considered full-time.
The University allows students to use advanced placement (AP) credits towards their degree. See Transfer Credit Services for further information on the University's Advanced Placement policy and a list of courses for which a student may receive credit based on AP scores.
Limited Enrollment Programs are majors that are very popular and require a limit on the number of students they can accommodate. Newly admitted students in an LEP major must successfully complete a specific set of courses, or entrance requirements by the semester in which they earn 45 credits. Students looking to transfer into an LEP major must complete the entrance requirements to be eligible.
Minors afford students the opportunity to pursue a limited but structured concentration in a coherent field of study outside their major. The minor may be a truncated version of a major or a distinctive intellectual subset of a discipline. Students should inquire with departments for current availability of minors or see individual listings in the Undergraduate Catalog.
The award of a certificate validates the attainment of a minimal level of competence in an academic discipline. Issuing certificates fulfills two distinct educational needs. First, a certificate may verify specialized training, either vocational or professional, in a specific subject area. Second, a certificate may recognize qualification in a specific area of professional competence through the fulfillment of additional requirements within a degree program. Certification, therefore, documents specific achievement not otherwise covered by the award of a diploma or the choice of an area of concentration.The structures of minors vary in detail, but, with rare exceptions, they all require no fewer than 12 and no more than 24 credits with at least 12 credits in upper division courses (300-level or above). No more than nine credits may be applied toward the major. No course may be used to satisfy the requirements of more than one minor. All courses taken for a minor must be completed with a minimum grade of "C-". A minimum C (2.00) cumulative grade point average across all courses used to satisfy the minor is also required. For further information on declaring a minor, see the Undergraduate Catalog.
Students may pursue a more rigorous structured program in one of a number of areas considered a certificate program. The award of a certificate validates the attainment of a minimal level of competence in an academic discipline. Issuing certificates fulfills two distinct educational needs. First, a certificate may verify specialized training, either vocational or professional, in a specific subject area. Second, a certificate may recognize qualification in a specific area of professional competence through the fulfillment of additional requirements within a degree program. Certification, therefore, documents specific achievement not otherwise covered by the award of a diploma or the choice of an area of concentration. Certificates require a higher number of credits than minors (normally 21-24). An upper-division certificate program requires that no more than nine (9) credit hours may be applied toward the major; a minimum of twelve (12) credit hours must be taken in upper division courses (i.e., those numbered 300 or above); and a maximum of three (3) credit hours of "Special Topics" or "Selected Topics" courses may be taken. For a list of undergraduate certificate programs, see the Undergraduate Catalog.
A double major requires students to complete all requirements of the two majors (with only 18 credits applied to both) and complete a total of 120 credits. The end result of a double major would be the attainment of one degree. Double degrees require the completion of 150 credits and students are awarded two degrees. More information about double majors/degrees can be found within the student's major college.
To take a class for pass/fail grading, students must have completed 30 credits with a grade point average of 2.0 or better. This option is available for elective courses only and may not be used for a major requirement or general education requirement.
Students who are presently pursuing a degree at the University of Maryland need to obtain permission in advance to take one or more courses off campus and have the credit transfer back into their degree program here. Permission to Enroll forms can be obtained through one's primary College advising office. This form may allow you to forego certain admissions procedures at the transfer institution; please check with the transfer institution for any admission requirements. For further details, see Transfer Credit Services.
Education Abroad offers opportunities for students to study abroad during a semester, the academic year, summer or during Winter term.
The University Career Center and your academic department can provide you with resources for career development and internship opportunities.