Undergraduate Advising Frequently Asked Questions
- 1. What’s the difference between an Academic Advisor and a faculty mentor?
Your Academic Advisor will help you navigate the various academic requirements that must be fulfilled in order to graduate with your degree. From providing information about different majors, to assisting with change of major, monitoring academic performance and connecting you to helpful resources, providing information on the university’s core curriculum, helping you navigate various university policies, and more, your Academic Advisors are there to support you on your path to graduation.
Faculty mentors provide guidance and advice specific to your chosen major, and how to develop your career in this area. For instance, they can make major course recommendations, and provide input on internships, research opportunities, graduate programs, and the range of opportunities that may be available to you upon graduating.
For more details, please visit the Dyson Advising page.
- 2. Do I have an Academic Advisor?
Yes, all students are assigned to an Academic Advisor. At Dyson College, students are assigned by their majors.
- 3. How do I find out who my Academic Advisor is?
If you are new to Pace and do not see any information about your Academic Advisor in the above locations, please contact our office.
- 4. How do I find out who my faculty mentor is?
The department that oversees your major will be able to help you connect to a faculty mentor. Visit Dyson’s Department Directory page to look up the contact information for the department that oversees your major.
- 5. How can I schedule an appointment with my Academic Advisor?
You can schedule an appointment with your Academic Advisor through OnTrack.
The How to Schedule an Appointment PDF will walk you through the steps.
- 6.. A form says that I need approval from my Academic Advisor. Do I have to schedule an appointment with my Academic Advisor to get their approval?
No, you do not have to schedule an appointment with your Academic Advisor to obtain approvals.
Your Academic Advisor will review and sign the form, and it will be sent directly to the Office of Student Assistance for processing (you’ll be copied on the email).
- 7. I’m planning on transferring to a different college/university. What do I need to do?
If you are planning on transferring to a different school,
1. Drop or withdraw from any Pace courses you may be enrolled in for the semester in which you plan to leave Pace
2. Fill out the Leave of Absence form
3. Drop the form off at our office, or scan and email it to your Academic Advisor
4. Request your official transcripts electronically
Your Academic Advisor will review and sign the form, which will be sent directly to the Office of Student Assistance for processing (you’ll be copied on the email).
- 8. I’m planning on transferring, and need to submit the College Report section of the Common Application. Can my advisor sign off this form?
No. The College Report section must be completed and signed by the Dean for Students – whose contact information is located on the Student Affairs Contact Us page.
- 9. What is a core curriculum? And do I have to take it?
Core curriculum is a part of degree requirements for all students. While it may vary a little depending on majors, it’s a required curriculum to obtain an undergraduate degree at Pace. Largely, it contains foundation requirements (English, Math, Lab Science, Computing, Second Language, and Public Speaking), Areas of Knowledge (2-5), and Learning Experiences (Learning Community, Civic Engagement, and Writing Enhanced). More detailed information can be found here.
- 10. I’ve done a lot of volunteer work. Could this fulfill the Civic Engagement (Area of Knowledge 1) requirement?
All Pace students (except for our veteran students) must take at least one Civic Engagement (Area of Knowledge 1) course regardless of prior volunteer work – and the course must be taken at Pace (i.e. it cannot be transferred in from another institution).
- 11. Am I required to take foundation second language courses?
All students are required to complete the second language requirement, which your Academic Advisor can explain in more detail. Exemptions to the second language requirements are given to students who meet one of the criteria listed in SmartCatalog, or who qualify for an exemption through Student Accessibility Services.
- 12. I took foreign language classes in my high school. Do I have to still take language courses at Pace?
Yes. Unless you are eligible for an exemption, you must take language courses at Pace. However, if you have previously taken a foreign language class, you must take a language placement exam so that you can be placed into the appropriate level course. To take the exam, please visit the Language Placement Exam page for details.
- 13. My overall GPA fell below a 2.0. What happens now?
Students often run into difficulties, which can impact their studies. When students’ overall GPA fall below a 2.0, they will be on probation for the following semester. During this semester, students will work closely with their Academic Advisor to maximize their chance of doing well and improving their GPA. For further information regarding probation, please contact your Academic Advisor.
- 14. I’m a graduating senior. Is there anything I need to do in preparation for graduation?
Congratulations! You are almost there!
All graduating students are encouraged to participate in the Commencement ceremony to celebrate their graduation. More information about Commencement can be found here.
- 15. I’m interested in Pace’s graduate programs but I’m not sure who to contact. Can you help?
- 16. What is the Dyson Advising Office’s contact information?
New York City Campus
41 Park Row, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10038
861 Bedford Road
Choate House, Room 105
Pleasantville, NY 20560
- 1. I have a hold on my account and cannot register. What should I do?
There are a number of reasons why you might have a hold on your account, but generally, it’s because a particular office or department needs some information from you. To remove the hold,
1. Find out what kind of hold(s) you have by logging into MyPace Portal, and checking the “Registration Status” section
2. Contact the department(s) that put a hold on your account. They’ll be able to provide more information on how to resolve and remove the hold(s)
You can also view a list of common reasons for holds and how to resolve them on the Office of Student Assistance’s Registration Hold Guide.
- 2. How many courses can I take over the summer?
If you want to take a full course load, you could take up to six courses (18-24 credits total) during summer:
• one course during Early Summer I (3-4 credits)
• one course during Late Summer II (3-4 credits)
• two courses during Summer I (6-8 credits)
• two courses during Summer II (6-8 credits)
If you have any questions about summer registration, tuition, financial aid availability, housing and more, please visit the Pace Summer Sessions FAQ.
- 3. How many credits do I need to take per semester?
There are no rules about how many credits you must take per semester, but you will need to earn a minimum of 128 credits in order to complete your undergraduate degree. Taking an average course load of 16 credits per semester will ensure that you remain on track to graduate in four years.
- 4. Is there a minimum or maximum number of credits I can take per semester?
If you have an overall GPA of 2.0 or above, you can take as few as 12 credits, and up to 18 credits per semester. For more details, please read Pace’s Credit Load Policy.
- 5. How many credits do I have to take in order to be considered a full-time student?
12 credits is the minimum for maintaining full-time status.
- 6. When does registration begin?
The most up-to-date semester registration dates can be found on the Office of Student Assistance’s Semester Registration Dates page.
- 7. It appears that registration has already begun, so why can’t I register?
Although the registration period may have begun, all students have a designated registration start day and time within that period. Generally, the more credits you’ve earned, the earlier your start time will be – e.g. seniors will have an earlier registration time than freshmen.
To find out when exactly you will be able to register, please log into MyPace Portal and check the “Registration Status” section.
- 8. When does registration end?
You can add or drop courses through the end of each semester’s add/drop period* (the first two weeks of the semester for regular 14 to 16-week courses).
*The add/drop and withdrawal periods are different for late-start courses, and vary depending on the length of the course. To avoid any penalties, please visit the Office of Student Assistance’s Registration page for more details.
- 9. I’m not doing well in one of my classes. Can I drop it?
Perhaps – but the timing is extremely important, as the answer depends on when during the semester you want to drop the class.
Scenario #2: If you drop a class after the add/drop period, but within the withdrawal period for the course, this is considered a withdrawal, and the course will remain on your transcript with a grade of “W.” This simply indicates that you took the course, but did not complete it. Although the number of credits taken in that semester will include this course, “W” grades do not affect your GPA. Please refer to Pace’s Withdrawal Policy for exact withdrawal deadlines and more details about withdrawals.
Scenario #3: Once the withdrawal period has passed, you will not be able to drop or withdraw from a class. If there were extenuating circumstances, i.e. medical emergencies, that prevented you from withdrawing before the withdrawal deadline, please discuss this with your Academic Advisor.
*Regardless of when during the semester you drop or withdraw from a course, please be sure to reach out to the Financial Aid Office before doing so, to ensure that the drop/withdrawal will not impact your financial aid.
**Please note that withdrawing from a course can also impact your graduation timeline. We recommend consulting with your Academic Advisor to make sure this will not affect your ability to graduate on time.
- 10. Can I take courses outside of Pace?
If you have an overall GPA of 2.0 or above, and are in good financial standing at Pace, you can take up to 12 credits at another accredited college and university and transfer those credits back to Pace. However, there are very specific conditions to this policy, so be sure to read Pace’s Permission to Enroll in a Course at Another Institution page very carefully, for details and steps on how to proceed.
If you have additional questions, or are not sure how to proceed, please contact your Academic Advisor, and they’ll be able to help you with the next steps.
- 11. Can I take courses outside of Pace while concurrently taking courses at Pace?
No, you will not receive course credit for classes taken at outside institutions during semesters in which you are also taking courses at Pace.
- 1. How do I change my major?
Please keep in mind that changing your major can have consequences on your course of studies, and potentially affect your graduation timeline. So before making any changes to your major, we recommend first consulting with your Academic Advisor, so you can plan out the rest of your coursework and graduate with as little disruption to your timeline as possible.
- 2. Does changing my major also change my Academic Advisor?
Possibly, yes. Academic Advisors are assigned to students based on their majors, so your Academic Advisor may change depending on what major you change to. Please contact our office to find out who your new Academic Advisor will be.
- 3. Am I required to have a minor?
No, you are not required to have a minor. Minors are intended to complement your major, enrich your perspectives and ideas, and help you graduate with a wider range of marketable skills. Pace offers a number of minors that students can choose from. If you have questions or would like to discuss your minor options further, please schedule an appointment with your Academic Advisor.
- 4. How do I declare a minor?
You can declare a minor as early as your second semester at Pace – as long as your overall GPA is 2.0 or higher. Here’s how:
- 5. Can I have more than one minor?
Yes, you can declare as many minors as you’d like - however, we strongly recommend that you work with your Academic Advisor to plan out your semesters/coursework first, to make sure that this doesn’t disrupt your desired graduation timeline.
- 6. How do I drop a minor?
If you no longer wish to pursue your minor, you can drop it at any time.
- 7. What is the difference between a Double Major and a Dual Degree?
A Double Major entails completing two majors that are within the same degree program. For example, if a student declares a Bachelor of Arts in History and a Bachelor of Arts in Film and Screen Studies, this student would be pursuing a Double Major.
A Dual Degree entails declaring two majors that are in two different degree programs. For example, if a student declares a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies, this student would be pursuing a Dual Degree.
- 8. Will it take longer to graduate if I declare a Double Major or Dual Degree?
It depends. A Double Major requires completing a minimum of 128 credits, and would not necessarily extend one’s graduation timeline. However, a Dual Degree requires completing a minimum of 160 credits, so would most likely require an additional two semesters to complete all requirements.
Students declaring a Double Major or Dual Degree are strongly encouraged to work with their Academic Advisors to ensure they meet all requirements and remain on track to graduate within their planned graduation timelines.
- 9. I’m interested in declaring a Double Major (or a Dual Degree). How should I proceed?
Students with an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher are eligible to declare a Double Major (or a Dual Degree). If you would like to do so, here's how:
1. Fill out a Change of Major form
2. Obtain signatures from both departments that oversee the two majors you wish to declare
3. Drop off the completed form at our office
4. Your Academic Advisor will review and sign the form, and it will be sent directly to the Office of Student Assistance for processing (you’ll be copied on the email)
- 10. Where can I find the worksheet for my major?
Please contact your Academic Advisor to obtain a copy of your worksheet.
- 1. I’m interested in doing an internship. How do I find internships?
Career Services can help you with the process of finding jobs and internships - from putting together your resume, preparing you for interviews, establishing a LinkedIn profile, building connections, and much more.
Please visit Career Services’ Find a Job or Internship page for more details.
- 2. Is it possible to receive course credit for an internship?
Yes, you can receive course credit for an internship – but there are several steps that must be completed before you begin the internship. These steps must also be completed before the add/drop deadline for the semester in which you plan to complete your internship - i.e. you must be enrolled in an internship course during the semester in which you complete your internship hours.
To receive credits for an internship:
1. Obtain an internship
2. Ask your department for an internship evaluation (they will evaluate the internship to determine how many credits you will be awarded upon its completion; based on the number of hours and responsibilities the internship entails, you may receive anywhere from 1 to 6 credits)
3. The department will then help you register for the appropriate internship course
- 1. I want to participate in a Study Abroad program. Will this affect my graduation timeline?
In most cases, students are still able to graduate within a reasonable graduation timeline. However, to ensure this, we recommend meeting with your Academic Advisor to discuss your remaining degree requirements, course selections, and the length of your participation in the Study Abroad program.
- 2. What courses should I consider taking study abroad?
If at all possible, we recommend taking courses that will go towards fulfilling your degree requirements (e.g. core foundation, Area of Knowledge, major, or open electives). If you are not sure which courses to take, please contact your Academic Advisor.
- 3. I have a Course Equivalency Form that needs to be approved by my Academic Advisor. Do I have to set up an appointment for this?
No. Once you receive approvals from the appropriate Chairpersons of the departments that oversee the courses you are planning to take abroad, please either drop the form off at our office, or scan and email it to your Academic Advisor.
Your Academic Advisor will review and sign the forms and send them back to your Pace email address.
When you receive the approved forms, you can submit them to the Education Abroad Office.