Majors and Minors
What is my role in the course registration process?
All students are required to meet with their Messina or major advisor to discuss courses for the upcoming semester and obtain electronic permission to register. Advisors enter electronic permission to register for each individual advisee through Student Planning after meeting with the advisee. Advisors should review their advisees' course selections and ensure that the courses are appropriate for the students' intended or declared major.
Permission for a sixth course is also granted by a student's advisor electronically through Student Planning.
How does a student drop or add a course during the drop/add period?
Students can drop/add courses via Self Service/Student Planning (except for Messina courses, independent/private studies, or BSEP courses) during the drop/add period. Students who need assistance with drop/add can visit AASC in MH138.
The drop/add periods opens after a student’s assigned registration time and continues through the first four days of classes in the new semester.
How does a student withdraw from a course?
Students looking to withdraw from a course must complete the Change of Registration form (available in AASC) and indicate the course that they wish to withdraw from under the "drop" section on the form. Both the professor of the course and the student's advisor must sign off on the withdrawal. Student athletes are also required to obtain a signature from their athletics advisor. Once these signatures are obtained, students bring the form to AASC and meet with an administrator to discuss possible repercussions of the withdrawal and obtain the final signature from AASC.
My advisee doesn't know what to major in yet. Should he/she take a math course?
We recommend that students who are completely unsure about their major wait to take a math course until they have a better idea of what discipline they would like to pursue. Some majors (e.g. business, physics, engineering, etc.) require calculus, while other majors (e.g. elementary education, psychology, speech language hearing sciences, etc.) require statistics. Other majors, particularly the humanities, allow any 100-level math course to count for the math core.
My advisee didn't submit AP scores before matriculating at Loyola. What should he/she do?
Advise the student to request that College Board sends the official AP score report to Loyola University Maryland. AASC will notify the student via Loyola email whether or not any credit can be awarded upon receipt of the official report.
My advisee wants to take a course, but doesn't have all of the pre-requisites. What does he/she need to do?
Students who want to take a course without having completed the pre-requisite must discuss the issue with the appropriate department chair for the course. Only the department chair (not the professor) can grant permission to take a course without pre-requisites. At the time of registration, students must visit AASC with written permission (e.g. an email) from the department chair. An AASC administrator can then manually register the student for the course.
What is the diversity core requirement? How are diversity courses identified in Student Planning?
The diversity core requirement may be taught in any discipline and focuses on domestic diversity, global diversity, and justice awareness. Students who plan well should be able to fulfill their diversity core requirement by taking a diversity-designated core, major, minor, or elective course. It should not be an extra requirement for most students.
Diversity courses are designated with a "D" on Student Planning after the course number. For example, HS101D.01 would fulfill both the 100-level history core requirement and the diversity core requirement. Students can also search for diversity courses on Student Planning each semester by selecting "AD-All Diversity" next to the "Course Types"field.
Courses must go through a review process before they are approved for the diversity core. Although some courses may include components that focus on areas of diversity, a course will not count for the diversity core requirement if it is not designated as a diversity core for that semester. In addition, it is possible that a particular course may be offered as a diversity core requirement one semester and not the next semester. The course must be an approved diversity core course for the semester in which the student completes it.
The diversity core requirement must be completed at Loyola. It cannot be transferred from another institution, nor taken through Study Abroad.
How many internships can a student take for degree credit?
Any undergraduate student can take a maximum of two three-credit internships (150 hours each) for degree credit. Individual departments may set a limit on the number of internships that can count for a major requirement. In that case, the second internship can count as an elective (towards the minimum of 40 courses degree requirement). For more information, please consult the Academic Catalogue: https://catalogue.loyola.edu/content.php?catoid=16&navoid=561#special-course-options
Does any fine arts course count for the core requirement?
No. Only the following fine arts courses fulfill the core: AH109, AH110, AH111, DR250, DR251, DR252, MU201, MU202, MU203, PT270, SA224 or SA226. All other fine arts courses count as electives if a student is not majoring or minoring in fine arts.
Can students retake the world language or math placement exams?
Yes. Students can retake both placement exams at any point. If a student waits until sophomore year or later to retake the math placement exam, he/she will need to notify AASC in advance so that we can reset the exam. Advanced notice is not needed for the world language placement exam.
Students must notify AASC after they have retaken either exam so that we can update the scores in Colleague. Failure to notify AASC will result in students not being able to register for the appropriate course level during registration.
My advisee is concerned that his/her world language level is too difficult or too easy. What should he/she do?
Students seeking a possible change in level for world language need to meet with the modern languages department chair. Only the department chair can approve a change in level for a student and will notify AASC if such permission is granted.
What's the difference between repeating and replacing a course?
A student may choose to "repeat" any course. All grades for a repeated course will be included with the original grade in the computation of the cumulative QPA. Students repeating courses specifically required in the core must repeat the same course. If a course is failed in a core area, it may be repeated by another course in that area (any social science course may be taken as a repeat for any other social science course). Students repeating courses specifically required in the major must repeat the same course. Any free or non-departmental elective is a valid repeat for any other free or non-departmental elective. A major elective must be repeated by a course within the major elective group. In all circumstances, both the original and repeated grades count in the cumulative QPA. Students may repeat failed Loyola courses at another institution under the terms specified here. However, the original grade remains on the transcript, and the transfer grade is not computed in the Loyola cumulative QPA.
Students can "replace" at maximum two grades during their Loyola career. The grade for any replacement course will replace the original grade in the computation of the cumulative QPA; however, both the old and the new grade will appear on the transcript. The replacement grade is computed in the cumulative QPA regardless of whether it is higher or lower than the original grade. The semester QPA is not affected if a grade for that semester is replaced by a later grade. Students cannot use the replacement option for courses involving an Honor Code violation.
Students taking a course as a replacement must obtain a Repeat/Replacement form, available online or in the Records Office. An advisor signature is required. The completed form is submitted with the registration request form to the Academic Advising and Support Center (AASC). Students cannot register for a repeat course via Student Planning.
Note: Federal financial aid will pay for only one repeat of a previously passed course (D or better). Replacing a course may have implications for financial aid. For additional information, please contact the Office of Financial Aid (410-617-2576).
The following grade "replacement" options are available to students. Please note that any grades replaced using these options are included in the replacement grade maximum (two grades).
First-Year Course Replacement
Fully admitted, degree-seeking first-year students may use the "replacement" option to recover academically. When registering for their second or third semesters, students may replace grades of D or F from courses that they took during their first semester.
Transfer Student Course Replacement
Fully admitted, degree-seeking first semester transfer students, may use the "replacement" option to recover academically. When registering for their second or third semesters, students may replace grades of D or F from courses that they took during their first semester.
Change of Major Course Replacement
Upper-class students changing declared majors may find that major course requirements are significantly different from department to department. These students are permitted to use the "replacement" option to replace grades in major courses from the original major with grades in major courses from the new major.
Can a student take a course at another institution in the fall or spring?
Yes, but only through BSEP. Full-time sophomores, juniors, and seniors may take up to one course in the fall and spring semester away from Loyola through the Baltimore Student Exchange Program (BSEP). Students must be registered for a minimum of 12 credits at Loyola to be eligible for the program.
Participating institutions include: Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC), Goucher College, Johns Hopkins University, The Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), Morgan State University, Notre Dame of Maryland University, Stevenson University, Towson University, University of Baltimore, and University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC).
Students register for a BSEP course by completing the BSEP form (available in AASC) and obtaining the appropriate signatures before meeting with an administrator in AASC.
More information about BSEP can be found in the Academic Catalogue: https://catalogue.loyola.edu/content.php?catoid=16&navoid=561#special-course-options
What's the difference between a private study and an independent study?
Private study courses are regular courses that are not available in the course schedule and that the student has not been able to schedule in the regular sequence. The scope, assignments, and requirements for a private study course are the same as for the regular course, and the student is required to meet with the instructor on a regular basis. Core courses may not be taken through private study, and private study courses may not be taken through distance learning of any kind. In addition, scheduling conflicts may not be resolved by registering for a course as private study. Private study courses must be taken for a regular grade. Registration for these courses requires submission of the Specialized Study form no later than the end of the scheduled add/drop period.
Independent study courses are special courses that permit a student to study a subject or topic in considerable depth beyond the scope of a regular course. The student works closely and directly with the instructor as a scholarly team. The format of the course may vary: laboratory research, prose or poetry writings, specialized study of a particular topic, etc. A student must expect to devote considerably more time to these courses than to a regular course. The student must use initiative, be highly motivated, and have a strong interest in the subject. Since the work is largely original on the part of the student, the faculty director is only able to give a general direction and guidance to the work. Core courses may not be taken through independent study, and independent study courses may not be taken through distance learning of any kind. The number of independent study courses a student may apply toward degree requirements is determined by the department chair and the appropriate Dean. Normally, that number should not exceed two; however, exceptions can be made by the department chairs with the approval of the respective Dean.
Registration for independent study courses requires submission of the Specialized Study form no later than the end of the scheduled add/drop period. To gain approval for an independent study course, a student must:
- Develop a course plan with the instructor who will direct the independent study, and obtain the instructor's signature on the completed Specialized Study form.
- Obtain the signature of the department chair for approval of the course.
- Obtain the signature of the academic advising and support center to verify the number of independent study courses on the student's record for the department chair's review.
How do students register for Loyola summer courses?
Students looking to take summer courses through Loyola must meet with an administrator in AASC to receive summer permission to register. Permission is given at the course level to ensure that students are not taking an excessive amount of courses in one summer session.
Ordinarily, students are limited to a maximum of 4 Loyola summer courses and a maximum of 2 summer courses in each summer session.
How do students obtain approval for summer or winter courses away from Loyola?
Students must submit a request to take a summer or winter course away from Loyola using the online request form on the AASC website under "For Students." An administrator in AASC reviews the request and checks GPA and residency for each student. Requests for major-level courses are sent to each department chair for review. Students are notified via Loyola email when requests are approved or denied.
Students can take a maximum of 2 courses away from Loyola each summer and 1 course away from Loyola each winter, provided residency rules are met. A grade of "C" or higher is required for credits to transfer; however, only the credits transfer, not the grade. Students must send AASC an official transcript after completing the course.
How many credits can be transferred into Loyola?
A minimum of 120 credits (and 38 unique 3, 4, or 5-credit courses) is required for graduation. Students may transfer in a maximum of 60 credits. Of the last 60 credits, 45 must be taken through Loyola. Additionally, 15 of the last 21 credits and at least one-half of the courses in the major and minor field of study also must be taken through Loyola. Credit awarded on the basis of any placement tests does not count toward fulfillment of the residency requirement. Approved courses taken in the University's own study abroad programs or affiliations apply toward the residency requirement. Study abroad courses sponsored by external study abroad programs do not count toward residency or in the Loyola QPA.
What should I do if an advisee notices an error or issue with his/her degree audit?
Please direct the student to visit AASC (MH 138) or contact AASC at 410-617-5050 or firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.
My advisee is pursuing a major that has recently changed its required courses. What requirements does he/she need to follow?
Students should follow the requirements and policies that are in the Academic Catalogue that they came in under upon entrance to Loyola. For example, a student in the Class of 2020 would follow the requirements in the 2016 Academic Catalogue.
However, if a student wishes to follow the new requirements for a recently updated major, he/she must change their catalogue year by submitting a Change of Catalogue Year form to AASC. When students change their catalogue year, they must follow all of the requirements for that new catalogue. If, for example, core or minor requirements have also changed, they must adhere to those new requirements as well.
My advisee will have one class remaining after the spring semester of senior year. Can he/she walk at Commencement?
Loyola University Maryland has made a change to its policy regarding student participation in Commencement, effective for May 2023 Commencement.
Undergraduate students who have a minimum QPA of a 2.0, have completed at least 114 credits, and are no more than 2 courses (of 3 to 5 credits each) shy of completing their degree requirements by the end of the spring semester will be able to participate in the Commencement ceremony. Any 1 or 2 credit corequisites (such as labs) do not count toward the number of courses. Eligibility is verified by AASC (Advising and Support Center) the week of Commencement, once spring grades are submitted.
Majors and Minors
What is the difference between an intended major and a declared major?
Many students will begin at Loyola with an intended major. In most cases, they have indicated that they plan to pursue this major on their application to Loyola or during new student orientation in the summer. The intended major is not an official declaration of major. All students must formally declare their major by submitting the Declaration of Major form with their Messina advisor's signature to AASC. More information regarding the timeline for submitting the Declaration of Major form is below.
When do students typically declare? When must they declare?
Students are invited to formally declare a major in late spring of the first year, when AASC sends out an official notice via Loyola email. Approximately 1/2 of first year students formally declare their major by the end of the first year at Loyola. Students must declare their major by the end of the third semester at Loyola to ensure that they receive appropriate guidance by a major advisor in their field of study. Students may also declare a minor on the Declaration of Major form if they are ready to do so.
All transfer students must declare a major upon entrance to Loyola and are assigned to a major advisor in their field of study.
How do students change their major or add a major or minor?
Students can change their major or add a second major by completing the Change of Major form available in AASC. Department chair signatures are required. Students must submit the completed Change of Major form to AASC.
Students looking to add a minor or remove a minor must complete a Change of Minor form available in AASC. Department chair and major advisor signatures are required. Students submit the Change of Minor form to AASC.
How do students receive notification of a newly assigned advisor? How am I notified of any new advisees?
Both students and advisors are notified via Loyola email once a new advisor is assigned, usually within 1-2 weeks of the student submitting a Declaration of Major form. First-year students who declare in the spring semester of the first year will be notified in late summer of their new advisor.
Department chairs are responsible for communicating timely and accurate advisor information (including any advisor leaves or sabbaticals) to AASC.
What's the difference between an interdisciplinary major and a double major?
An interdisciplinary major is the combination of approximately half of one major and half of another major to form a coherent program. Ordinarily, introductory level courses in each major and one-half of the upper-division program in each major (as specified by the departments) must be completed.
A double major includes all of the course requirements of two complete majors. Ordinarily, students use their electives to work towards the requirements for a second major. In many cases, students will need to complete extra courses beyond the 40-course minimum to achieve a double major. Although both majors are listed on the transcript, students only receive one degree. If a student is majoring in two different areas (e.g. BBA and B.A.), they will need to select which degree they want to receive at Commencement.
Can any major be taken as an interdisciplinary major?
No. An interdisciplinary major is not available in accounting, comparative cultures and literary studies, education or global studies. Political science does not typically offer an interdisciplinary major unless there is a compelling reason why a particular interdisciplinary major would create a positive and meaningful academic package. Students who are interested in political science as an interdisciplinary major must meet with the department chair to discuss their interests and possible plan.
How does my advisee know whether or not a particular study abroad program offers courses geared towards his/her major?
Students who are considering studying abroad should start investigating different programs and planning early. There are information sessions hosted by the office of international programs several times throughout the semesters as well as Study Abroad Registration Advising (SARA) sessions, where students can speak with a program coordinator about their individual degree audit and how best to fulfill their requirements while abroad.
During the exploration process, students should view the "Majors Best Served" page on the international programs website (https://www.loyola.edu/department/international-programs/locations/majors). They can also view course information for individual study abroad programs by visiting https://www.loyola.edu/department/international-programs/locations/programs.
What are the hours for AASC?
AASC is open Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. with the exception of University holidays and weather closings.
Do students need to make an appointment to visit AASC?
No. In almost all instances, we are able to see walk-in students Monday-Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. However, if a student wants to make an appointment for a more complex issue, they can do so by calling 410-617-5050.
My advisee has indicated a need to take a leave of absence. What are the steps?
Typically, students will work with the Office of Undergraduate and Graduate Studies if they need to take a leave of absence. Students can make an appointment by calling the office at 410-617-5547.
I have significant concerns about my advisee's academic progress and/or personal well-being. Who do I contact?
Concerns regarding academic progress or excessive absences can be sent to the Office of Undergraduate and Graduate Studies (410-617-5547) or the Academic Advising and Support Center (410-617-5050).
If you are concerned regarding the immediate well-being of an advisee, contact The Counseling Center at 410-617-2273 (M-F, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) or walk the student to The Counseling Center in Humanities 150. For psychological emergencies that occur in the evenings or weekends, contact the department of public safety at 410-617-5911.
For more information: https://www.loyola.edu/department/counseling-center/emergency
I have a question that is not answered in the FAQs.
Please contact AASC at 410-617-5050 or email email@example.com with your question.