Academic Major Adviser

Faculty major advisers are available in academic programs to help with degree and career planning.

  1. Proactively engage advisees in the academic planning process (for example, via DegreeWorks).
  2. Monitor the academic progress of their advisees to ensure timely graduation.
  3. Help students formulate future plans and career goals, and make appropriate curriculum choices based on passions and interests.

Responsibilities of academic major adviser include:

  • Helping students with setting and achieving academic goals and/or career goals.
  • Making referrals to other campus resources as necessary.
  • Understanding and keeping up to date with College and University policies and procedures, curriculum changes, and graduation requirements:
    • Major/minor requirements
    • Course pre-requisites
    • Transfer of major and CORE courses
    • CORE curriculum
    • Mentoring in internships or other professional opportunities
    • Preparing for post-graduation
  • Assisting their advisees in exploring course options and confirm course selections.
  • Being familiar with the characteristics of their advisees.
  • Communicating to their advisees the regular times that they are available for consultation.
  • Removing advising holds placed by the department and sign forms as needed.
  • Adhering to confidentiality guidelines as outlined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA); detailed privacy information can be found here:

Academic Success Coach

In addition to a faculty adviser in the major, all incoming students are assigned a success coach in CASA. The success coach will offer the student compassionate, personalized support from orientation to graduation, while encouraging students to explore their potential and aspirations. We also work closely with faculty and staff to engage in academic interventions, ensuring our students have the proper support in place to stay on track to complete their degree.

In CASA, we are committed to:

  • One-on-one academic coaching that empowers students to achieve their academic goals.
  • Providing a supportive environment that promotes personal growth and the values of a Jesuit education.
  • Connecting students to academic programs and resources on campus designed to support their success.
  • Help students develop academic skills to successfully meet the demands of USF’s rigorous curriculum.”
  • Source:


One credit equals one hour of direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work per week for 15 weeks. Generally, one unit is granted for 45 hours of student work.  (Repeat courses may not count for credit)



This refers to a course that must be taken before enrolling in a given course.  (Example: Spanish 101 is a prerequisite for Spanish 102.)



This refers to a course that must be taken simultaneously with another. (Example: Biology 105L Laboratory is a corequisite for Biology 105.)


Elective (General)

Any additional course taken for credit not required in the University Core or for student’s major or minor to meet the required minimum 128 credits needed to graduate.


Elective (Major or Minor)

These are courses chosen from a list specific to a major or minor.

Articulation Agreement: For incoming transfer students to determine their prior course equivalencies.  USF has articulation agreements for over 60 California two-year colleges. These agreements provide specific courses at each college that will meet USF’s graduation requirements



A hold is placed on a student’s record to prompt the student to take action. Holds can prevent students from registering for classes, changing student class schedules, and requesting transcripts.
Examples: Advising Hold, Disciplinary Hold, Financial Hold, Housing Hold, Immunization Hold, Library Hold, etc.

Wait List

Some courses may have a wait list enabled when a course reaches seating capacity.  This is handled differently in each college/school.



A three-week session in early January before the Spring semester.  Students can register for one intersession course during continuing registration in November.


Summer session

There are seven different summer sessions with varied dates between May and August.  Students can register for up to 18 credits during continuing registration starting in November. (also can register in April)



The Petition to Enroll at Another Institution (PEAI) is a formal petition for an exception to take coursework at another institution.  See the full policy here:



Overload/Excess Credits

Any credit over the full-time enrollment of 18 credits. (see catalog for exact language…); request and approved by dean…

The average course load per semester for a full-time student is 16 credit hours. Any credit hour over 18 is considered an excess load. A petition to take excess credit hours will be considered only when presented by a student whose scholastic ability has been demonstrated to the satisfaction of the student's dean. The usual requirement is a 3.5 grade point average in the semester immediately preceding the presentation of the petition. Each excess credit hour is charged at the same rate as courses taken on a per credit hour basis.



The catalog presents the general and academic regulations, programs of study, entrance requirements, and course offerings of the university. It is important to note that the catalog represents the inventory of courses, not all of which are necessarily offered in any given semester. Additionally, the catalog provides information about student life and services, and campus resources and facilities. It is a historical record used for re-accreditation and institutional research purposes.

As the de facto agreement between students and the university, the catalog provides the binding policies and requirements in force at the time of a student’s matriculation. Every student is held responsible for knowledge of the regulations and information contained in the catalog, as well as for changes promulgated by the university.

Major/minor requirements: A Major or minor represents the concentrated area of study a student has chosen to pursue for a bachelor's degree.


Undeclared major

Students who have not chosen a Major field of study are designated as undeclared Majors. All students must declare a Major no later than when they have completed 48 credits.

  • Source:

First Year Seminar and Transfer Year Seminar:

First Year Seminar (FYS) and Transfer Year Seminar (TYS) courses are designed and taught by faculty with a special passion for the topic. Nearly all of the seminars count toward the Core, and most include excursions into the city and a variety of enrichment activities.

Enrollment in each FYS/TYS course is limited to 16 students, so you’ll get to know your professor and classmates well. Many seminars also have a First Year Seminar Assistant (FYSA), an advanced undergraduate who is available to mentor new students, and to assist them in navigating the university.

FYS and TYS courses are open only to students in their first or second semester at USF.



A class where the instructor delivers the course content via lecture and/or facilitated discussion. (??)



Specialized small class where students contribute substantially to the discussion.



Typically combined with a science courses.


Field Work

Hours performed outside of the classroom (e.g. internship).


Service Learning

The Service Learning Requirement may be met by completing a course section designated as "SL" offered across disciplines and schools.The Service Learning Requirement will be met by courses that integrate a form of community/public service into the academic undergraduate learning experience.

Learning Outcomes
Students will:

  • Discover how to apply and extend what is learned in the classroom while addressing the needs and issues of the community agency that hosts the service learning experience.
  • Analyze their own beliefs, values, assumptions and identities while learning about the beliefs, voices and values of others.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the extent to which all individuals share the need to be ethically engaged in furthering the welfare of their communities.
  • Demonstrate the ability to properly identify the demographic characteristics, socio-cultural dynamics, needs and strengths of a group or community
  • Reflect on the personal and academic impact of their experiences with a community or agency.
  • Demonstrate learning from multiple sources of knowledge and an appreciation for the reciprocity between scholarly knowledge and community action.
  • Think critically and act compassionately as they promote social justice.
  • Source:

Cultural Diversity Requirement

The Cultural Diversity Requirement may be met by completing a course section designated as "CD" offered across disciplines and schools. The Cultural Diversity Requirement will be met by courses that promote understanding and appreciation of the richness and diversity of human culture.

Courses with the CD designation must develop the following capacities.


Students will:

  • Demonstrate familiarity with the factors that create diversity in human societies, including, for example, gender, race, class, and ethnicity.
  • Understand the relationships among diversity, inequality, and justice.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the effects of global interdependence on contemporary societies, for example, the role of migration and immigration, economic, political, and cultural globalization on contemporary societies.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with the historical contributions of traditionally marginalized groups to contemporary ideas, values and culture.
  • Source:


  • An on-the-job learning experience in a work setting, which is directly related to your personal interests,
  • career aspirations, and major field of study.
  • An off-campus position in a public or private organization.
  • A planned, structured, and supervised, field-based experience where you learn about the demands and
  • needs of a particular profession and/or industry.
  • Source: (Career Services “The Internship Advantage” handout)

Four-Year Plan

Semester by semester course planning with major advisor to stay on track for timely graduation.


Census Date

The census date of the University represents a calendar date in each term when the general enrollment statistics of the University are established. Particulars of these statistics are identified among colleges, classes and student levels. The census dates are identified in the Schedule of Classes for a term. Following the census date in any term, classes dropped will receive a "W" symbol representing the fact that the class was dropped after the census date; the only exceptions to be made are classes canceled by the dean of the college, or a change from one section to another of the same course. Students are liable for the tuition for all courses withdrawn after the census dates.

Census Date/Last Day to Drop with a 100% Refund: deadline to drop a course/withdraw from University for the semester with tuition refund (if applicable).
Courses dropped after this date appear with a neutral "W" on transcript.
Last day to change to or from Pass/Fail or Audit option for the semester.
*Please note that the Last Day to Drop with a 100% Refund may vary by course.

Major Advising

Departments that include information about advising on their websites: