College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

FAQs - Advising in the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (CAHS)

Advising Is Inspiring

 

 

  • How do I learn who is my assigned major advising coordinator (MAC), or faculty academic advisor (FAA)?

Your assigned academic advisor(s) will be noted on the right side of your Student Center in MaineStreet.  Select ‘details’ to see your advisor’s contact information.  If the semester has started and you do not see an advisor listed contact your major department.  They will assign you to a faculty academic advisor.

  • How do I make an appointment with my advisor?

Contact your faculty academic advisor directly through MaineStreet and/or your major department by phone or view the department website to ask about the process to make appointments.  

  • How do I determine how close I am to completing my degree (Core, major, and minor) requirements?

Work with your faculty academic advisor and use the Graduation Planner and the Degree Progress Report you will find in your MaineStreet Student Center.  Keep in mind your degree includes all requirements for the Core curriculum, your major, your minor (if applicable) as well as a minimum of 120 credits with a minimum GPA of 2.00.

Reminder: 30 of your final 45 credits must be taken at USM per USM's Senior Residency Policy.

  • What are the benefits for connecting with my major advising coordinator (MAC), faculty academic advisor (FAA), or student success advisor (SSA)?

Your Major Advising Coordinator (MAC), and/or with your Faculty Academic Advisor (FAA) can help you learn more about:

  • Solidifying your graduation plan
  • Internship and service learning opportunities
  • Preparing yourself for the future: adding a minor, considering graduate school
  • Career development and job opportunities
  • Connecting you with the department
  • Finding the right time to add a study abroad experience if desired
  • Assignment of your faculty academic advisor
  • Course scheduling and obtaining your registration PIN for your junior and senior years
  • Getting involved in our student organization (if you have one)

Your Student Success Advisor (SSA), will work with you through your sophomore year to discuss:

  • Basics about the Core,
  • Specific learning strategies and building on your strengths to assist you in your success in college.
  • Resources to help you be a successful student
  • Where things are and who to see
  • How to get involved on campus
  • Beginning the career development process
  • Course scheduling and obtaining your registration PIN for the first few semesters in the major

What can you do to be an engaged learner in the classroom and beyond?  Check out the online catalog and read about:

  • your major
  • the Core curriculum
  • the Academic Policies
  • The Advising Network - where you will find a Timeline for what academic issues to expect each semester, GPA Calculator, Form Bank, Advising Videos, and short articles on the Student Passport to help you understand the advising process and your responsibilities during your academic career.
  • What if my advisor is on sabbatical or otherwise not available?

Students with a declared major are always entitled to a faculty academic advisor.  If your advisor is on sabbatical, or otherwise not available, contact your major department to see which faculty academic advisor has been assigned to you for this time.  If you have difficulties reaching your faculty advisor, please first try contacting the department to ask for their help. 

Please remember, during vacation and break periods neither students nor faculty members are expected to be on campus.  The department chair will be available during these times to respond to questions. 

  • What important academic dates do I need to know?

    • Advising Network Timeline. Here is a timeline of the important dates you need to know throughout the academic year.
    • Course Drop and Withdrawal Deadlines. Note that in your MaineStreet Student Center you will see an icon of a daily calendar to the left of each course in your semester schedule. Select that link to see the drop and withdrawal deadlines for your courses.
  • What is Priority Registration? 

Priority Registration is a period of time in October/November and in March/April when students are expected to make a registration appointment with their faculty academic advisor to receive approval and a personal identification number (PIN) to register for the upcoming semester’s course schedule.   This appointment time is focused on registration and is generally shorter than what we call an advising appointment.  You can prepare for this appointment by reviewing your Graduation Planner (link) and making a Wish List (see your Student Center in MS). Prioity registration dates are in November and April for the following semester.  The first date and time you may enroll is listed under Enrollment Dates on the right side of your Student Center above the Advisor listing.

Registering for the upcoming semester during this time give you an earlier jump on getting the classes you want at the time and day you want them.  Don't wait!  Please remember, during vacation and break periods neither students nor faculty members are expected to be on campus.  It is very important to meet with your advisor before the end of the semester to obtain your PIN, even if you wait to actually register until after the semester ends.

  • How do I obtain my PIN to register for classes?

Make an appointment with your faculty academic advisor in either March (for fall registration) or in October (for spring registration).  You should prepare for your appointment using the Graduation Planner and the Degree Progress Report and Transcript available to you in your Student Center on MaineStreet.  A PIN is required. Registering for the upcoming semester during this time give you an earlier jump on getting the classes you want at the time and day you want them.  Don't wait! 

Please remember, during vacation and break periods neither students nor faculty members are expected to be on campus.  It is very important to meet with your advisor before the end of the semester to obtain your PIN, even if you wait to actually register until after the semester ends. 

If you give it a try, and still have difficulty connecting with your faculty academic advisor over vacation periods please contact the department chair who will attempt to help you.

  • What are some resources to help me be academically successful at USM? 

There are lots of tools to help you.  Here are some links to help you get started.

Advising Network

Catalog, The USM Catalog is your agreement with USM to follow the policies and procedures as well as the official repository for all degree requirements.

GPA Calculator,

Graduation Planner,

MaineStreet Course Search

Student Success Center:

  • What academic policies do I need to know?  
    • Details Worth Knowing  Here are the most common policies students need to know. Check below for more.
    • Academic Policies and Procedures to Know  Here is the complete list of University policies andprocedures. See your major's website for additional policies related to your specific major.
    • See the Academic Policies section of the current Online Undergraduate Catalog for a full listing of policies that may impact you.
  • What is the process for requesting a course substitution or a waiver of a major or Core requirement?

Requests for substitutions or waivers of Core, major, or minor requirements should be made within the first year of attendance at USM.  Please work with your faculty academic advisor to discuss your request and make your request in writing to the appropriate person(s) responsible as noted below.  Documentation is necessary to show the student has met a requirement in another substantive way.  Appropriate documentation may include a syllabus or samples of student work.

Core – substitutions or waivers for Core requirements must be approved by either the CAHS Dean's Office or by the Assistant Provost for Undergraduate Education.

Major or Minor – substitutions or waivers for major or minor requirements must be approved by the department chair where that major or minor is housed.

  • What is the approval process to take a course at another college or university?

Students who wish to take a course at another institution must apply by filling out a Prior Approval Form.  All highlighted areas on the form must be completed and requires signatures of approval from you, your faculty academic advisor, your department chair (if the course(s) are for major or minor credit), and final approval of the Dean. 

If you will have accrued a minimum or 90 credits at the time you wish to take a course at another institution you must also include a letter to the CAHS Dean's Office that responds to the four items noted in the right hand box at the bottom of the form.

  • I have questions not answered in your FAQs. Where do I go for answers? 

Most faculty and staff at USM are able to refer you to the correct location (live or electronic) to have your questions answered.  Your major advising coordinator (MAC), faculty academic advisor (FAA), or student success advisor (SSA) is a good place to begin.  The search feature on the University webpage is also very useful. If you have more academically complicated questions your advisors cannot answer feel free to call the CAHS Dean's Office at 780-4221.