The academic advising program in the College of Arts and Sciences helps student envision not only what they hope to accomplish in their lives, but who they will be. With its commitment to strong student-faculty relationships, the program encourages students to discover for themselves connections between their classroom learning and the world they will help to shape. The associate dean oversees the program and is the initial point of contact for all students.

In the academic advising process, students and faculty members meet to clarify objectives, explore new directions, and begin to plan a strategy that will direct the course of the student's education. Advisers teach students how to ask themselves useful questions as they work to define goals and take on challenges. As a result of the individualized guidance they receive in the College of Arts and Sciences, students come to understand the relationship between a particular discipline and a profession, and how an arts and sciences major offers excellent preparation for a range of satisfying careers.

Upon entrance to the College of Arts and Sciences, each student works with one member of the faculty to select course work in accordance with the student's interests and the school's requirements. Students with declared majors are placed with a faculty adviser in that department. Undeclared students are part of the Academic Pathfinders Program, which places them with advisers trained to guide first- and second-year undergraduates through the exploratory process.

Although the primary responsibility for completion of degree requirements rests with the student, the adviser maintains a file or program plan for the student and aids in proper course selection. Students are not permitted to register for courses without the approval of their advisers. The academic adviser's main objective is to foster an ongoing conversation that encourages self-reflection and development while keeping students informed of requirements and deadlines.

Good faculty-student mentoring relationships evolve with a student's growth and progress, and they often continue beyond a student's years at Quinnipiac.

The College of Arts and Sciences requires each of its students to pursue a balanced program of study, choosing one of two tracks - the Liberal Arts Track or the Sciences Track. The coursework includes a combination of University-wide and College of Arts and Sciences requirements. The University-wide requirements include the University Curriculum (UC), which applies to students who entered Quinnipiac University in the 2006-07 academic year or later. In consultation with their academic advisers, students select courses to satisfy requirements for all BA and BS degrees offered by the College of Arts and Sciences.

Liberal Arts Track
The requirements listed below apply to students who are pursuing a BA or BS in computer science, criminal justice, English, gerontology, history, independent majors, interactive digital design, legal studies, mathematics, political science, psychology, social services, sociology, Spanish or theater.

Students, in consultation with their advisers, select courses to satisfy the UC requirements in conjunction with their major and College of Arts and Sciences requirements. The College of Arts and Sciences requirements for this track include:

  • one course outside the major in the social sciences
  • one course outside the major in the humanities
  • one course outside the major in the fine arts
  • three 300-level courses outside the major
  • one foreign language through the 102-level (chosen from ARB 102, CN 102, FR 102, GR 102, HBR 102, IT 102, JP 102 or SP 102)

A student pursuing a double major is exempt from these College of Arts and Sciences requirements, with the exception of the foreign language requirement. Some courses may be used to satisfy more than one requirement. For example, a sociology major could use a 300-level English course to satisfy two requirements: the outside-the-major requirement in the humanities and one course in the non-major 300-level courses.

Sciences Track
The requirements listed below apply to students who are pursuing the BS in biochemistry, biology, chemistry or behavioral neuroscience. Students, in consultation with their advisers, select courses to satisfy the UC requirements in conjunction with their major requirements in the natural sciences.

In contrast to students in the liberal arts track, students are advised to enroll in their science core in the first semester of their freshman year. Whatever their intended major, students in the sciences track should understand that many of their introductory courses are available only as sequential, fall/spring offerings. For example, BIO 101 General Biology I and CHE 110 General Chemistry I are offered only in the fall, and BIO 102 General Biology II and CHE 111 General Chemistry II are offered only in the spring. Further, advanced courses absolutely require the introductory courses as prerequisites.

Because of these curriculum considerations, students are well advised to review the suggested, four-year curriculum for their major in the University Catalog, as well as take full advantage of the recommendations of their faculty adviser.

Below are frequently-asked-questions about selecting classes for new students in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Choosing courses

How many courses should I take for the Fall semester of my first year?
Almost all students take five courses. Some students add a one-credit physical education class.

Why five courses?
Five courses put you on track to graduate in four years. In order to graduate, you will need 120 credits taken over eight semesters. So, you need to average 15 credits a semester to graduate on time. Most of our courses are three credits, so that works out to five courses a semester.

What about only taking four courses?
Not a great idea. Although you are a full time student if you take 12 to 16 credits a semester, why start out with a schedule where you know you will need longer than four years to graduate? You should only take less than 15 credits a semester if you have a plan for picking up those extra credits.

What if I sign up for 11 credits or less?
You would be considered a part-time student. This creates issues for living on campus and financial aid. Also, you would not be on track to graduate in four years.

Are there any courses I must take in the first semester?
Yes, every entering student takes QU 101 and freshman English in the Fall. In addition, if you have chosen a major, take the first course(s) in the major - see list below under "Exploring Majors."

Do I have to take gym?
No, but it does have some advantages. Your high school may not have offered courses like yoga, rock climbing, golf, tennis, cardio pump, jujitsu, tennis, kick boxing, stage combat, fishing, sailing, tai chi, Pilates and more. Taking a physical education class helps you move your body and meet another group of great Quinnipiac students. It also puts you ahead in credits. Up to 6 one-credit courses can count towards graduation.

There are more courses listed in the catalog than are listed on my letter from the registrar. Can I take some of these other courses?
The courses listed at the top of your letter from the registrar are required for your major - and everyone must take QU 101 and English. Beyond that, you can take any of the 100 level courses listed in the catalog. It is very hard to go wrong in class selection your freshman Fall semester, especially when you choose University Curriculum courses. For more detailed advice on second semester courses, you will be meeting with an adviser this Fall. The courses listed on the back of your registrar's letter are suggestions. If you cannot stand the idea of a listed course and are eager to take some other course, go for it! Students who attend the June orientation sessions will come away with a list of possible courses. Look at that list, look at the registrar's list, and with both of those lists in mind choose courses that appeal to you.

What if I take all the wrong courses?
It is hard to go wrong with your first semester courses. When you sign up for your first courses, you do not know yet how you will learn best at college. You may group classes too close together and find some days too easy and others too hard. Or you might take a subject you dislike. But this is all part of the learning process. Think of these "mistakes" as part of your education. Finding out that you dislike a subject is as valuable in your search for a major as taking a course you enjoy.

University Curriculum

What is the University Curriculum that everyone keeps telling me about?
The University Curriculum (UC) requires that every student take courses from several different fields, and that they complete three university seminars called QU 101, QU 201, and QU 301. You will take QU 101 in the fall of freshman year. Every student must pass basic math and English writing courses. Students in the College of Arts and Sciences must also take courses in several traditions as outlined in the University's Academic Catalog. For a readily accessible explanation of the UC program, please see the pages at the front of the Course Schedule and Registration Bulletin.

What is this class QU 101 ?
QU 101 is the first of three courses which form the center of the University curriculum. QU 101 is designed to explore the academic bases taste of seminar experience your first year. QU 101 counts for three credits (1 of your 5 courses for first semester). You must take QU 101 during the Fall of your first year at Quinnipiac.

Does the University Curriculum matter when I am registering for classes?
About 40 percent of the classes you take at the University will be UC courses. It is important to start early to fill your UC requirements along with any classes necessary to help you select a major or to work towards your chosen major.

What if I am interested in a course, but it is not a University Curriculum course?
During your freshman and sophomore years, your courses will be chosen with two goals in mind. First, you need to be thinking about selecting a major. Second, you need to fulfill a good chunk of the University Curriculum. You absolutely should take a non-UC course when you might be interested in majoring in that area.

What is the difference between the University Curriculum (UC) and what's called "The Core Curriculum (CC)"?
The UC applies to you. The University Curriculum reflects Quinnipiac's redesign of its foundational requirements for all students. This new term is a way to distinguish between the former curriculum, known as the Core Curriculum, and the new UC program. All new students (and first-year transfer students) registered as of August 2006 will be required to follow the UC program. In most publications you will see the UC and CC plans listed side-by-side.


When will I meet with an adviser?
You can meet with your adviser anytime after school starts. You will receive a letter in August that provides you with information on how to contact your adviser. See your adviser early. Drop by the office to introduce yourself in September or October. Your adviser will contact you in the Fall to schedule a meeting to select your classes for Spring. Academic advisers are also a good source for general academic advice. All professors have office hours each week. Office hours will be posted on the professor's door. Your QU 101 professor will be happy to help you or to direct you to the right person to answer questions about academics.

Exploring Majors

When do I have to choose a major?
Students need to select a major by the end of their sophomore year. Some students select a major before they come to the University. Others wait until second semester sophomore year. Both times and anytime in between are just fine. However, for some majors, you will need to start the sequence of courses earlier to keep your options open.

How do I select a major?
Take a wide range of courses, especially those that sound interesting to you. When you think you have decided on a major, take a 200-level course in the area to confirm that the subject area interests you. When you are comfortable with your choice, make an appointment to see the chairperson of the department offering your major.

I already know what I want to major in. What courses should I take?
In your letter from the registrar, there will be a list of the course(s) you should take your first semester for your major. We will have already registered you for a section of your essential major course(s). If you do not like the time of that particular section, feel free to switch to any other open section of the course.

The courses to take in the Fall of your freshman year for College of Arts and Sciences majors are:

  • Computer Science: CSC 110 (Programming and Problem Solving) & math as placed.
  • Criminal Justice: SO 101 (Intro. to Sociology) & LE 115 (Criminal Law)
  • English: English course decided in the directed self-placement session.
  • Gerontology: SO 101 (Intro. to Sociology)
  • History: Any HS 100 level course
  • Interactive Digital Design: IDD 160 (Intro. to Computer Art) & AR 140 (Graphic Design)
  • Legal Studies: LE 101 (Intro. to the American Legal System)
  • Mathematics: Recommended after your placement exam - usually MA 140 or MA 141.
  • Political Science: PO 101 (Intro. to Political Science) & PO 131 (American Government)
  • Psychobiology: Please see the University catalog for list of first semester courses.
  • Psychology: PS 101 (Intro. to Psychology) & math course as placed.
  • Social Services: SO 101 (Intro. to Sociology)
  • Sociology: SO 101 (Intro. to Sociology)
  • Spanish: Spanish course recommended after your placement exam.

Exploring Majors in the Schools of Business, Communications or Health Sciences

How can I keep my options open if I might want to be a health sciences major?
If there is any chance that you might want to switch to a health sciences major, you will want to register for BIO 101 and BIO 101 Lab during your first semester. Science courses are taught in pairs and the first half of the pair is only offered in the Fall. If you do not take a science in the Fall, you will be unable to begin a health sciences major until sophomore year, making it unlikely that you could graduate in four years. A word of warning: even if you take one science course in your first year, if you switch to a health sciences major, you may have to pick up more science over the summer after your first year. Also, some programs in the School of Health Sciences require that you apply and be admitted into their specific major.

How can I keep my options open if I might want to be a communications major?
Communications is the easiest school to switch into from a College of Arts and Sciences beginning. You will want to take a general selection of University Curriculum courses. Sometime in your freshman year, you will want to take MSS 101 (Introduction to Media Communications) to test out your interest in the major. You need to know if Communications is your choice by November of your sophomore year because there are four courses you must complete by the end of your second year.

How can I keep my options open if I might want to be a business major?
If you may want to be a business major, be sure to take EC 111 (Microeconomics) your first semester and take the math required for business students on the math placement grid.

English, Math and Foreign Language Requirements

Which English course will I take?
Your directed self-placement will be in EN 101, EN 101 Intensive or EN 102H. EN 101 is a writing course which will prepare you for upper level work at Quinnipiac. EN 101 Intensive is the same course as EN 101, but we build in some extra time for the professor and student to work on skills. A very few people will be placed by the faculty into honors English - EN 102H.

What about English in the residence halls?
Some sections of EN 101 will be taught in the Ledges and Commons residence halls. This program has been very popular with students who like taking courses with their neighbors and like the short commute to class. If you are assigned to Ledges or Commons, you can sign up for one of these sections. You will find out your room assignment by your Quinnipiac e-mail around the time you receive your letter from the registrar and before July 11.

When should I take my Quantitative Literacy requirement (Math)?
Most liberal arts students will take the course in the Spring semester. However, if you plan to major in mathematics, psychology, or computer science, you should go ahead and take the math recommended for your major and based on placement. No matter what your major, if you place into MA 100, plan to take it your first semester. Math placement information is available here.

When should I take a course in a foreign language?
When a seat is available and when you are ready, sign up for the foreign language of your choice. If you plan to continue a foreign language you took in high school, you will need to take a placement test. More details

AP and Transfer Credits

I took an AP exam last May but don't have my results yet. How does that work into my placement?
Register for English, math, and foreign language courses based on your placement exam. Later in the summer, we will work with you to change your schedule if you get AP credit for a course you had registered to take in the Fall at Quinnipiac. If you self-placed in EN 101 Intensive, your AP credit in English will transfer as elective credit and you will take the English 101 Intensive. Review the AP transfer equivalency list. Once you have had your AP scores report mailed directly from the AP testing service to Quinnipiac, the Registrar's Office will post the credits on your academic record.

I took a college course while I was still in high school. How do the credits transfer?
By now, your transcript from any college course you took before coming to Quinnipiac should be finding its way to us. If you have not asked your local college to send a transcript yet, today would be a good day to do so. We will evaluate your transcript and convert your courses into Quinnipiac credit for courses where your grade was C or better and where the course content matches a course offered here. You are likely to receive credit for non-matching courses as well, but the dean decides what credits will be given. If possible we will have that information in the system before you register for your Fall classes but it all depends on when your transcripts arrive at Quinnipiac. Be careful - do not register for a class if you have taken something similar and expect to have that credit transferred to Quinnipiac.


When will I receive information about registration for Fall courses?
The registrar's office will be sending you a reminder about registration and your registration appointment date. Everyone will be receiving this information in the mail in early July. If you attend a June orientation weekend, you will receive a copy of the Course Schedule and Registration Bulletin then and handouts with specific advice about courses at the Sunday session. Those who did not attend will receive this information in their packet in early July.

What if all the courses on my list are already filled with students?
See if sections of the course are open at other times. You may need to change the times of your other classes to fit in a class you want. If you still cannot find an open section, go to the Course Schedule and Registration Bulletin and find another 100 level course that interests you. You will want it to be a University Curriculum course unless you are taking a course to try out a new major.

How can I find out which courses/sections are open?
Access WebAdvisor and select the student option. Click the words "Search for Open Classes" which will take you to a site where you can find all available classes by subject, time of day, and so forth. Unlike the Course Schedule and Registration Bulletin, this site is up-to-date and will include courses not published in the Bulletin. You can see if the course has open seats.

And if I decide to change classes at the last minute?
From the time you register until the end of the first week of classes, you can drop and add courses yourself. There is usually a fair amount of shifting done during this period, so if you would prefer a different class or the same class at a different time, you can go to WebAdvisor to check for an opening in the class you prefer. Do not drop the class you have until the new class is on your schedule. The dates for drop/add are listed in the first pages of the Course Schedule and Registration Bulletin. The last day for Drop/Add this fall is the end of the first week of school. If you drop a course during the first week, be sure to add another class to stay at 15 or 16 credits. After the drop/add period, you can still withdraw from a class by the end of the 10th week of class. To withdraw, go to see your advisor and discuss whether a withdrawal is a good idea.

Contact Information

Are you confused? Re-read these FAQs to see if they can help. If you are still stuck, please contact:

Mary Paddock, associate dean for humanities and fine arts

Allan Smits, associate dean for sciences

Annalisa Zinn, associate dean for social sciences

All students must complete English composition through EN 102. Take your first English composition course in the fall of your first year.

English 6 – Placed by faculty in EN 103H (Honors)
English 4 – Self-placement in EN 101
English 3 – Self-placement in EN 101 Intensive
English 1 – Placed by exam review in English as a Second Language (EN 101I-IN)

All students must take one semester of quantitative reasoning. Currently that means all students must take one math course. Students receive a placement of 5, 4, 3, 2 or 1. Please check Math Placement Test Information find the math placement grid. This grid explains which course you should take based on your academic interests and placement score. It will also tell you which semester in which to take the course. If you are still deciding about your major, either follow the information for arts and sciences undeclared students or choose the math course for the major towards which you are leaning.

Foreign Language
Some students need to take a course in a foreign language. See the requirement listed below for each school. Quinnipiac offers courses in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish. Although you are not required to take the course during your first semester at college, it is a good idea to do so if you are planning to continue a language you studied in high school. Placement tests are offered in French, German, Italian and Spanish. For Arabic, Chinese and Japanese, take the 101-level class. Even if you are not required to take a language, you may find it advantageous for your future career to continue studying a language at Quinnipiac.

College of Arts and Sciences:
All students must complete a foreign language through the 102 level.

School of Business:
International business: Students must complete four semesters of a foreign language.
All other business majors: Foreign language not required.

School of Communications:
All students must complete two semesters of a foreign language.

School of Health Sciences:
Foreign language not required.

Foreign language placement results chart:
Spanish 6 – Placement in SP 301 Italian 6 – Placement in IT 301
Spanish 4 – Placement in SP 201 Italian 4 – Placement in IT 201
Spanish 2 – Placement in SP 102 Italian 2 – Placement in IT 102
Spanish 1 – Placement in SP 101 Italian 1 – Placement in IT 101

French 6 – Placement in FR 301 German 6 – Placement in GR 301
French 4 – Placement in FR 201 German 4 – Placement in GR 201
French 2 – Placement in FR 102 German 2 – Placement in GR 102
French 1 – Placement in FR 101 German 1 – Placement in GR 101

Examples of Placement Test Results

If your placement results were:

Your course choices are:

English 4

EN 101: You placed yourself in EN 101 and should take EN 101 this fall

Math 3

Check the math placement grid to find out which math course to take and in which semester

Spanish 2

If you need or choose to take a language, take SP 102 or any other language (Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese) at the 101 level, provided you have not previously studied that other language.

Locating and Taking the Mathematics Placement Test and Choosing the Correct Math Course

Every student who attends Quinnipiac will complete at least one course in mathematics (quantitative reasoning). Many majors require specific math courses; some majors allow you to select from several different math courses. Once you have your placement score, please use the grid listed under “Math Placement Scores Explained” to select your math course and the best semester to take that course.

Your math placement score will be posted on Blackboard about a week after you take the placement test. To see which math course you will need to take, please consult the Mathematics Placement Grid (PDF) or click this link for an oral explanation by Professor Hollman.

Locating and Taking the Mathematics Placement Test
Mathematics placement at Quinnipiac is determined by three factors: your math SAT score, your background in mathematics and our own mathematics placement test. Our placement test is purely a test of your current algebra skills. The placement test is a 70-question multiple-choice test, which you should take prior to coming to orientation.

Once you have learned how to navigate Blackboard, you should log in. You will already be enrolled in a Blackboard course entitled, “Math Placement Test.” Click on this and follow the instructions at the course site. Begin by filling out a questionnaire about your previous mathematics experience, including listing all mathematics courses (plus grades) you took in high school and/or any mathematics courses you completed at another college or university.

Before starting the test make sure you have at least one hour and 15 minutes to devote to the test. When you take the test, make sure you have a pencil and paper handy. You may not use a calculator, any books or another person’s help. The test is simply a tool to help determine which mathematics course you should take. There is no advantage to cheating on this test.

You may only take the test once. Make sure you exit by hitting the “submit” button ; exiting any other way will cause the computer to lose the results of the test. When you finish you will be informed of the number of questions you answered correctly; this is not the same as your placement and you should not read too much into this number. About a week after you take the test, you will be assigned a placement level. This is a number between 1 and 5. This placement level, together with your major, will tell you which mathematics course you should register for.

If you have technical problems, report it via the “Trouble Report” mechanism in Blackboard. If you have a question about the test or mathematics in general e-mail Professor Hollman at

You can take the mathematics placement test anytime after activating your QU accounts.

BASIC RULE: A student who wishes to take a language which the student previously studied in high school or learned as a youth MUST take a Quinnipiac foreign language placement test in that language. Languages tested are Spanish, French, Italian and German.

What if the student just signs up for the course without the placement test?
The modern language department will remove the student from the course.

What do the results of the placement test mean?
CC: The student must take the course listed as the placement result. For example, if a student’s placement is SP 102, the student should sign up to take Spanish 102.

UC: If you decide to study the same language you took in high school, please take the course listed next to your placement number below:

Spanish 6 – Placement in SP 301
Spanish 4 – Placement in SP 201
Spanish 2 – Placement in SP 102
Spanish 1 – Placement in SP 101

French 6 – Placement in FR 301
French 4 – Placement in FR 201
French 2 – Placement in FR 102
French 1 – Placement in FR 101

Italian 6 – Placement in IT 301
Italian 4 – Placement in IT 201
Italian 2 – Placement in IT 102
Italian 1 – Placement in IT 101

German 6 – Placement in GR 301
German 4 – Placement in GR 201
German 2 – Placement in GR 102
German 1 – Placement in GR 101

Do students get credit when placing out of a language course?
No, a successful placement test merely provides exemption.

How is the foreign language placement determined?
There are two factors: the placement test results and the high school record. In most cases the placement test results determine the student’s placement. However, if a student has taken three or more years of Spanish, French, Italian or German in high school and has received B or higher in three of the years, the student is precluded from the 101 level of the language and may not take the 101 level for credit (regardless of the test results). Students who have been successful in high school language are ready for the 102 level academically. Please let these students know that after the first few weeks, they will remember the language and do well. (Note that students with three or more years of high school language may well place above the 102 level. In that case the placement determines their level.)

What are the alternatives for a student who wants to start at the 101 level, but is precluded based on high school grades?
The student is welcome to start studying a new language at the 101 level. However, for students in the College of Arts and Sciences that will mean taking two semesters of the new language (101 and 102) rather than one semester of the language previously studied (102). Languages taught at Quinnipiac are Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish.

Must an Arts and Sciences, Health Science or Business student who places in 201, 202 or 301 take the foreign language course?
No, but she may elect to do so for her own academic goals/interests. But, communications majors must take two semesters of a language. See the comment for each school.

What are the requirements for students in the School of Business and Engineering and the School of Health Science?
A student in these schools is not required to take any foreign language, unless the student is majoring in International Business. We offer minors in Spanish and French for those interested in continuing in a foreign language. A double major in Spanish will sometimes work out well. Basic literacy in another language can be a valuable tool in the workplace.

What are the requirements for students in the College of Arts and Sciences?
Student majoring in the arts and sciences must complete or test out of a language at the 102 level. We offer minors in Spanish and French for those interested in continuing in a foreign language. A student may choose to major in Spanish.

What are the requirements for students in the School of Communications?
Students in Communications must complete two semesters of a foreign language. We offer minors in Spanish and French for those interested in continuing in a foreign language. A double major in Spanish will sometimes work out well. Students should see an adviser in Communications about this requirement.

Students who enter the College of Arts and Sciences without a major declared are placed in the Academic Pathfinders Program, which is designed to help students build on their individual strengths and explore the academic avenue best suited to their interests. The associate dean oversees this program and all academic advising for the College of Arts and Sciences.

The program matches undeclared students with academic advisers trained to work with them on exploring different majors and career paths. A Fall semester "brainstormer" walks participants through the University Curriculum requirements and connects them with the department chairs and pertinent introductory courses in each College of Arts and Sciences major. A Spring semester presentation by upperclassmen from each major introduces the peer view, which results in undeclared students being paired with student in the particular majors that interest them.

Pathfinders declare a major and leave the program by the end of the sophomore year, when they are assigned an academic adviser in that discipline. Students are encouraged to meet with the associate dean in addition to their adviser at any time during their academic exploratory process.