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Department of Psychology University of Illinois Springfield

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Frequently Asked Questions About Academic Advising and Course Registration

When should I consult the department’s professional academic advisor?

Whenever you have a question related to transfer credit, course selection, academic difficulties with coursework, course waivers, university course requirements, or your progress toward degree requirements. You should meet with your academic adviser at least once each semester to plan courses for the next semester.

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Do I have to make an appointment in order to meet with the department’s professional academic advisor?

It is strongly advised that you make an advance appointment with the your academic adviser, by phone or e-mail, so that the advisor can review your file and be better prepared to help you. Contact information for the department’s professional academic advisor is in the Contact Us section.

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What if I would like to change faculty advisors? Can I choose a new faculty advisor?

Students who wish to be re-assigned to a particular faculty member must notify the Department’s Office Support Specialist.

Students who request a particular faculty member must obtain his or her approval before the request can be granted. Occasionally, the faculty advisor a student requests is already carrying a full load of advisees and can’t accommodate an additional student. Under such circumstances, students will be assigned to another available adviser within the department.

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Do I have to declare a concentration before I begin taking courses for my major in psychology?

No, you may begin by taking the common core course (PSY 302 Research Methods in Psychology) and electives; however, we strongly recommend that you select a concentration no later than the second semester of your junior year.

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Will the concentration that I select be listed on my diploma?

No, the diploma will list only your major. The program offers areas of concentration within the major in order to better accommodate the wide variety of interests and educational/career plans of our psychology majors. The concentration approach provides students with a unique package of courses that reflects their interests and goals better than a generic approach to course selection might.

However, concentrating your course work at the bachelor’s level does not constitute a form of pre-professional preparation, so it is not listed on the diploma. The individualized concentration was specifically created to serve students who don’t know how they want to use their degree, or who don’t want to be constrained by the requirements of a specific track.

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What is Departmental Approval? Why do I have to have Departmental Approval in order to register for some of my psychology courses at UIS?

Departmental approval is granted by the Department’s Office Support Specialist. It is not granted by the instructor of the course. Some psychology core courses require you to obtain Departmental approval before registering so that we can give psychology majors priority during the registration process. It provides our majors with maximum opportunity to enroll in the coursework required for their degrees and in the sections that best fit their schedules.

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The course I want to register for is full, but my name has been placed on a “wait list.” Does that mean I’ll be able to register for the course soon?

At times, there are many more students seeking to enroll in psychology courses, or a particular course section, than can be reasonably accommodated. In such cases, the Psychology Department Office Support Specialist maintains a “wait list”– a list of students who want to register for the course if an opening becomes available.

Having your name on the wait list does not guarantee that you will eventually be able to enroll in the course. However, the Office Support Specialist makes every effort to keep waiting students informed about the probability they will or will not be able to enroll.

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How can I register for an overload?

The departmental policy is to consider granting overloads for students who have an institutional GPA of 3.3 or higher. Meeting this GPA requirement does not mean that your request will automatically be approved at the departmental level, but it does mean that if you do not meet this requirement your request will be denied. You should meet with the Department’s professional academic advisor to discuss your overload. Summer overloads will not be granted, regardless of GPA.

What grade must I earn in my Psychology classes in order for them to count toward my Psychology degree?

Beginning in the fall of 2009, psychology majors and minors must earn a C or better in all psychology courses to use them for completion of degree requirements. If your first term of enrollment at UIS was prior to fall 2009, you are not subject to this requirement. This requirement is triggered by your enrollment at UIS, not your declaration of major, or any other event. Please note: a C- is lower than a C.

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