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Academic Planning

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Your academic adviser can help you with your educational planning.  The Forensic Science Program has a dedicated academic adviser, Mary Sergeant, who works with students to assist them as they progress through their academic careers.

Academic advisement serves not only for the purpose of course selection and scheduling, but also to encourage the development of organizational, planning, and time management skills by the students.  As students progress through the rigorous courses of the Forensic Science degree program, they will see the importance of utilizing these skills.

Academic planning should be a continuous process and students are encouraged to meet with their academic adviser at least once a semester.   These meetings will include discussions about course selection, career interests, and experience opportunities.  The meetings are also a time for students to express any questions or concerns so that suggestions or appropriate referrals can be made.

As students approach their graduation, they are offered guidance and suggestions for the preparation of application packages for employment, graduate school, or professional school by their academic adviser and faculty mentors.

Importance of Advising Meetings

Regular meetings with the academic adviser can help students to stay connected with the program and keep on track with the recommended academic plan for their degree program.  These meetings can help to ensure that students are taking the necessary prerequisite courses for their future requirements or electives.  The meetings are also used for long-term planning and can identify intended “fall or spring only” courses so that students can plan ahead.


The Forensic Science degree program always for flexibility with the selection of supporting courses and the advising meeting is a time to discuss the course choices.  Through advisement, the student can select supporting courses that could fulfill the requirements for a minor, provide a solid foundation for graduate or professional study, or prepare them for employment in a particular focus area.

Advising meetings are also a time for students to ask questions or express any concerns that they might be having.  In many cases, the questions or concerns can be addressed immediately; however, there may be some instances when referrals are made or follow-up meetings are recommended.


Prerequisite/Concurrent Courses

Certain courses may have “prerequisites” listed as part of the course description.  It is strongly suggested that you complete the listed course prerequisites before enrolling in a particular course.  Many 200, 300, and 400 level courses will build upon fundamental concepts and knowledge gained in lower level courses.  For instance, CHEM 110 should be completed before taking CHEM 112.


Under certain circumstances, prerequisites may be waived however it is important to understand that the course will be taught at a level which assumes that you have the appropriate background knowledge that would have been obtained from a prerequisite course.

A course that is listed as “prerequisite or concurrent” may be taken either before or at the same time as the intended course.  For instance, CHEM 112 can be taken either before or at the same time as CHEM 113.

Preparation for the Advising Meeting

In advance of an advising meeting to discuss a planned semester schedule, students should access their degree audit via eLION to identify their scheduling date and review the current schedule of courses and Recommended Academic Plans to develop a potential list of courses for the upcoming semester.  The following resources can be of assistance when planning for scheduling:


Schedule of Courses (Office of the University Registrar)

Planning Worksheet for Fall/Spring/Summer Semesters

University Bulletin (Undergraduate, Graduate)

It is recommend that students make an appointment for their scheduling meeting at least a week in advance of their scheduling date.

Helpful Hint: Make an “advising folder” that includes your degree audit, program check sheet, Recommended Academic Plan, and other academic/career planning information.  As needed, other important forms or information (such as transfer course evaluation outcomes) should be added to the folder.  This helps to keep you organized and prepared!

Dropping and Adding Courses

In the first 10 calendar days of each semester, students can adjust their schedule by dropping and adding courses without notation on their academic transcript.  If a 3 credit course is dropped, then a 3 credit course should be added to the schedule to maintain a balanced course load and remain in good standing for financial aid.  A fee will be assessed each time a change is made to the semester schedule after the drop/add period has ended.

A course can be late dropped through the 12th week of a 15 week semester.  Students have a total of 16 late drop credits that can be used during their undergraduate enrollment.  Before late dropping a course, students should meet with their academic adviser to discuss the impact of the dropped course on their overall academic progress and contact the Office of Student Aid to determine the impact on their financial aid award amount.

Students must maintain 12 credits each semester to remain in full time status and make satisfactory progress toward their intended degree.  Students must also complete 67% of the initial credits that appeared on their schedule at the beginning of the semester in order to be eligible for their full financial aid award. The Office of Student Aid provides more information about the impact of dropping credits on your financial aid award.

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