Frequently Asked Questions

Who is my advisor?

You can always find the name of your specific advisor by looking at your online degree audit. Your advisor’s name can be found in the top portion of the audit.  Once you find the name, search the Radford University directory for contact information if you need this information. You can also find your advisor’s name in the Starfish My Success Network.

New students are notified of their advisor’s name and contact information via email just prior to or within the first several days of the students’ first semester at RU. If you are ever unsure of how to determine or locate your academic advisor, the Academic Success Center can help you find the answer!

What materials should I bring to an academic advising session?

Academic advising is a shared responsibility. Both the advisee and the advisor have responsibilities. The better prepared you are for the advising session, the more information you will get to cover with your advisor. Therefore, the advising session is as much your responsibility as it is the advisors. It is in your best interest to be as prepared as much as possible. Come prepared with a written list of questions, notes from previous advising sessions and any kind of documentation you feel is appropriate.

If you are still working on the general education requirements, bring a printout of acceptable general education courses so you and your advisor can talk about which courses are most appropriate for you based on your academic and career plans. Print the latest version of your degree audit and it with you to your advising session. You should have your own copy of your progress sheet that you update regularly so you know which requirements you have already completed, which ones you are currently completing, and what remains to be completed. Keep all of your advising materials in a folder. That way, you know where all of your paperwork is and it's easy to get your hands on before your appointment.

If I need to talk to an advisor, but my assigned advisor is not available, where should I go for assistance?

Anytime you need assistance and your advisor is not available, come to the main reception area of the Academic Success Center (3rd Floor of Young Hall across from the elevator).  An academic advisor can provide the assistance you need and will communicate with your assigned advisor to ensure your questions and concerns have all been addressed.

What if I don't read my Radford University email?

The primary mode of communication is Radford University email.  By not reading your email on a regular basis, you will miss out on vital communications from your academic advisor and the Academic Success Center.  Other communications you will miss may include pending deadlines, extracurricular events, notices about registration, notices and directions for schedule adjustment, inclement weather announcements, communications from your professors about class, and multiple other important items.

Is dropping a class and withdrawing from a class the same thing?

These are very different.  You can “drop” a class only during the schedule adjustment period which is during the first week of the fall and spring semesters – if you drop a class during this time, the class does not show up on your record at all.  If you need to “withdraw” from a class, the withdrawal period has a deadline and is posted to the academic calendar on the Registrar’s website.  It is important to pay attention to the “drop” deadlines and “withdrawal” deadlines as they vary depending on the length of the academic term.  For example, during Summer I, students only have two days to adjust their schedule and drop a class and about three weeks to “withdraw” from a class.

Is there a limit to the number of classes from which I can withdraw while attending Radford University?

Yes. You can only withdraw from five classes throughout your enrollment at Radford University. 

I am not doing well in a class. What should I do?

The first thing you should do is talk to the professor of the course. The professors here are wonderful about taking the time to get to know their students. Do not let a situation escalate to where it is out of control and beyond someone helping you. Make an appointment with the professor immediately to discuss the situation and try to develop a resolution. You will find they want you to be successful and will offer advice and encouragement for your success. Your professor may give you some ideas on "how to study" for the course or refer you to the Harvey Knowledge Center to a tutor from that specific department, to your academic advisor or even recommend forming a study group. Your professor is your best resource when you are having difficulties in a course. You are also always welcome to talk to your Academic Success Center advisor for additional resources and/or options.

What happens if earn a poor grade in a class?

The best thing you can do to prevent this from happening is to be extremely proactive. It is up to you! Talk to the professor, talk with your advisor, use the services provided by the Harvey Knowledge Center. If you still end up receiving a poor grade, make an appointment with your advisor. Remember, you do have options when you find that you are doing poorly in a course. Two academic policies which may serve you well in this situation are the class withdrawal policy and the repeat policy. Information can be found in the undergraduate catalog. You and your academic advisor can develop a plan of action based on your individual situation.

What is a degree audit (DegreeWorks - Students)?

The Degree Audit is located in your Academics icon on the portal; select Process New/View to view your audit. This audit will show what courses you have taken and will match it up with the program that you are pursuing. It will show what has been completed and what needs to be completed for your program. It also shows your overall GPA, your in-major GPA (may not be accurate depending on program) and your advisor’s name. The degree audit and your progress sheet will allow you to track your progress to ensure you are meeting all requirements.  If there is a problem with your degree audit or you have a question about how a class is being counted, schedule a time to meet with a professional advisor in your advising center to go over the audit.  The professional advisor can make some adjustments to a student’s audit depending on the specific situation.

How do I know if I'm a freshman, sophomore, junior or senior?

Freshman = 0 to 25 hours of completed coursework
Sophomore = 26 to 55 hours of completed coursework
Junior = 56 to 85 hours of completed coursework
Senior = 86 and above hours of completed coursework

Can I take classes at another institution and transfer them to Radford University?

Definitely! Remember: Just because a course will transfer to Radford University does not mean the course will fit into your program!  It is always best to discuss taking any course at another institution with your academic advisor who can help you make appropriate plans based on your program and your progress in your program. We find that students tend to take courses that are going to be used to fulfill core curriculum requirements rather than major requirements at other institutions and transfer them back to Radford University.

Many students take courses at their community college close to home during the summer to get ahead in their program or even to catch up if necessary. There may even be a few courses required for your major that are offered at a community college or other four-year institution close to your home. You should always check with your advisor or the Advising Center before you select any courses to take so that we can confirm that it is an acceptable/appropriate course. Even though you can find a class at another institution, it may be that your advisor will recommend that you take the course at Radford University. A list of acceptable courses offered by Virginia's community colleges can be found in the Transfer Guide.

What does a "hold" on my account mean?

Students may have “HOLDS” placed on their accounts for owing the university money for tuition, fees, fines, etc. All students with past due balances will have their access to registration blocked. You can see if you have holds on your account by going to the “Academics” icon on the MyRU portal, click on “Banner SSB Student Menu,” then click on “Student Records,” and then click on “View Holds.” The holds will be listed by office and the reason for the hold. You will need to contact the specific office to find out what needs to be done to remove the hold. Not only will holds prevent you from registering for classes they will also prevent the Registrar's Office from honoring a transcript request.

How can I determine what grades I need during a specific semester to earn a certain GPA?

This is really something you should discuss with your advisor. The College has created a resource for you to help in this process, a GPA calculator. Once you have keyed in the requested information, it will calculate a GPA based on that information. Remember the GPA calculator is only as accurate as the information you enter--follow the directions carefully.

How do I change my major?

You will need to complete a declaration of major/minor form. The form can be obtained from the Academic Success Center or the Registrar's Office. You can work directly with your academic advisor to ensure the form is turned in to the appropriate program and/or college in which you plan to change your major.