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School of the Earth, Ocean and Environment

Advisement FAQ

SEOE Advisement Frequently Asked Questions

  1. When is advisement?

  2. When can I register for classes?

  3. How do I figure out who my advisor is?

  4. Do I need to bring anything to my advisement appointment?

  5. What if I’m switching majors?

  6. Can (or will) I be kicked out of my major?

  7. I’ve been advised; why can’t I register?

  8. Why can’t I register for a particular course?

  9. How do I register for independent study or thesis credits?

  10. How do I take courses somewhere else and transfer the credits back to USC?

  11. What are overlay courses?

  12. What is a senior records check and how do I get one?

  13. What is a cognate and do I need one?

  14. What is Graduation with Leadership Distinction, and how can I qualify for it?

  15. What is the Accelerated Master’s program, and how do I apply for it?

  16. What is Grade Forgiveness and how do I apply for it?

1. When is advisement? 

Advisement for Spring courses starts after Fall Break and continues through the Friday before Registration (typically three weeks). Advisement for Summer and Fall courses begins after Spring Break and continues through the Friday before Registration. You and your assigned advisor will set a specific appointment time to discuss the next semester.

2. When can I register for classes?

Registration appointments are set by the Registrar’s office (see their calendar here: https://www.sc.edu/about/offices_and_divisions/registrar/academic_calendars/index.php. Registration for spring courses typically occurs in mid-November, and registration for summer and fall classes begins in mid-April.

You can view your particular registration time in Self-Service Carolina (note: this is the earliest date and time you can register for classes, but you can register any time after this. However, classes fill quickly and you should register as soon as possible)

1. my.sc.edu
2. Log-in
3. click on Student
4. click on Student Registration
5. click on Registration Status

3. How do I figure out who my advisor is?

Your advisor is listed in Self-Service Carolina and in EAB Navigate. If you are a Freshman, your advisor is the SEOE University Undergraduate Advisor, Jenny Leist (sweitzej@mailbox.sc.edu). If you are a Sophomore or above and no faculty advisor is listed, or you feel this advisor is incorrect (i.e. double-majors may only see one advisor listed in the system), please contact Sheri Foxworth in the SEOE Student Services Office, Jones 108 (foxworsd@mailbox.sc.edu).

1. my.sc.edu
2. Log-in
3. click on Student
4. click on Student Records
5. click on View Student Information
6. Select Semester

4. Do I need to bring anything to my advisement appointment?

Students must prepare for their advisement appointment by completing a degree checklist detailing their progress thus far, reviewing the program requirements and the master schedule of courses offered for the following semester, compiling a list of courses they want to take, and jotting down questions they want to ask their advisor. Faculty advisors have the right to request that unprepared students leave and make another appointment before the end of the advisement period.

5. What if I’m switching majors?

If you plan to switch majors, you don’t need to meet with your assigned SEOE advisor; instead, make an appointment with an Exploratory Advisor to discuss changing majors: https://www.sc.edu/about/offices_and_divisions/advising/changing_majors/index.php. Note that you may still need to bring or send your advisement form to Jones 108 before you will be cleared to register for classes.

6. Can (or will) I be kicked out of my major?

Students majoring in Geological Sciences, Geophysics, Environmental Science, or Environmental Studies will not be asked to leave the major due to poor academic performance; but poor performance will prompt a student-advisor discussion as to whether the student is pursuing the right career path. The Dean’s Office also reserves the right to place low-performing students on Academic Probation or Academic Suspension.

Marine Science majors have only two chances to earn a C or higher in the following courses: MATH 141 and 142; CHEM 111/L and 112/L; PHYS 201/L or 211/L; PHYS 202/L or 212/L. (Withdrawal with a W does not count as one of those chances.) Furthermore, these courses, in addition to MSCI 101 and 102, must be completed before the start of the student’s third academic year (fifth major semester) as a marine science major. Students not completing this progression requirement may be required to change majors or petition for an extension.

7. I’ve been advised; why can’t I register?

There are a number of reasons a student may not be able to register for a class; the most common are 1) not having turned in a signed advisement form to Jones PSC 108, and 2) carrying a negative balance on the student account. If you have questions about HOW to register, watch these two registration tutorial videos to learn how to register for classes. Schedule Planner  and Self-Service Carolina.  


If you have a hold, please check for the following reasons (below) in Self- Service Carolina:

Immunization hold—Submit immunization record to Student Health Services. Contact Student Health Services for information.

Citizenship hold—Complete Citizenship Verification Form and submit to the University Registrar.

AlcoholEdu hold– The student may have an Alcohol.edu hold. Alcohol.edu is an online alcohol education assessment that measures student’s perceptions about alcohol use and abuse prior to arriving on campus and after several weeks on campus. For instructions on completing AlcoholEdu, visit AlcoholEdu and Sexual Assault .

Sexual Assault – The online sexual assault education and training module that presents realistic and interactive skill-building scenarios must be c. In accordance with federal mandates, this program will serve as one way students at South Carolina receive education and training on sexual assault prevention. For instructions on completing this module, visit AlcoholEdu and Sexual-Assault .

Advisement Holds – The student may have an advisement hold. When attempting to register in Self-Service Carolina, the student will be alerted if you still have an advisement hold that is preventing registration. To have an advisement hold released the student will need to contact the Undergraduate Coordinator (Sheri Foxworth) in the SEOE Student Services Office, Jones PSC 108 (foxworsd@mailbox.sc.edu).

8. Why can’t I register for a particular course?

First, check the section number, and click on the CRN or course name to read the fine print (aka course restrictions). Sections beginning with a letter are restricted to certain student populations and you may not register unless you are part of that population. Common letters are ‘H’ means Honors College; ‘T’ means Opportunity Scholars, ‘S’ may be used for a variety of groups. None of these subsets offer overrides.

If the course you are trying for is restricted to another subset (i.e. a particular major or college), you must contact the department offering the course to request an override.

If you are having difficulty registering for CHEM 111 or 112, and you have the necessary prerequisites (including MATH), try this:

when you register for CHEM 111, make sure you check the box for the lecture and the box for a CHEM 111L lab section, and then click ‘Add’ so you’re registering for both at the same time. The system considers the lab a prereq for the lecture and so will block your registration if you try to register for the lecture only.

If a BIOL, MATH, CHEM, or PHYS course is full—Each department has a seat override request form. Please add your name as soon as possible. Links to each form are below:

If your major requires BIOL 101/L and/or BIOL 102/L, but you’re getting a field of study restriction, contact the Biology student services office (Avette@mailbox.sc.edu) and ask for an override. Tell them your VIP ID, the specific course/section you want, and the fact that the course is required for your major.

9. How do I register for independent study or thesis credits?

Independent study, research, internship and thesis credits (ENVR 399, 499; GEOL 399, 498-99, 699; MSCI 399, 495-499) require an independent study contract (https://www.sc.edu/about/offices_and_divisions/registrar/documents/undergraduate-independent-study-contract.pdf). While the student and instructor are completing all of the fields in the contract, please contact the Undergraduate Coordinator (Sheri Foxworth, Foxworth@sc.edu) and request a CRN and section number for the specific class. You must provide Sheri with: Course number, Instructor name and ID, and semester in which the course will be taken. She will provide the Section and CRN for you to enter on the form. When completed and signed by student and instructor, bring or send via email the completed document to Jones 108 for processing. The Undergraduate Director will sign for the Department chair/Area of Course Head, then contact the student to send the contract to the Dean’s Office (110 Flinn Hall.)

10. How do I take courses somewhere else and transfer the credits back to USC?

Students wishing to take summer courses at another USC campus or another college must complete a Special Enrollment Request Form (also referred as a Transient Student Enrollment Form) (https://www.sc.edu/about/offices_and_divisions/registrar/documents/special-enrollment-request.pdf). The form requires signatures from the student, the advisor, and the CAS Undergraduate Dean’s office in Flinn Hall, and must be completed before the student can enroll in the course. Students may not seek to retake a course which already appears on their transcript, unless the course appears as a W (withdrawal) on their transcript.

See the Transfer Work tables on the Registrar’s website : Transfer Work (https://www.sc.edu/about/offices_and_divisions/registrar/transfer_credits/index.php ) to determine how courses taken at other institutions will transfer to USC.

11. What are overlay courses?

Overlays are a specific section of the Carolina Core which addresses skills (like public speaking and information literacy) rather than subject area. Students can use a particular overlay course to also satisfy another part of the Carolina Core (i.e. HIST 108 is both a non-US History and a Values, Ethics and Social Responsibility (VSR) overlay course), but at least one of the overlay courses must ‘stand alone’ and satisfy only the overlay section.

For more clarification, consult your specific major checklist or talk with your advisor or see here: https://www.sc.edu/about/offices_and_divisions/provost/academicpriorities/undergradstudies/carolinacore/courses/

12. What is a senior records check and how do I get one?

The senior records check is a meeting with the Dean’s office staff to make sure a student has met all requirements for graduation. Students who have completed 90 credit hours or are within two semesters of graduation should make an appointment with their advisor to fill out a Major Program Card (available in Jones 108 or advisor may email UG Coordinator for an electronic copy). The next step is to call Dean’s Office at 803-777-2993 or visit them in Flinn Hall 110 to schedule an appointment. You must bring the completed and signed Major Program Card to the senior records check appointment.

Note that Marine Science, Environmental Science and Geophysics majors need 128 credits, including electives, to graduate; Geological Sciences and Environmental Studies need 120 credit hours. PEDU courses do not count toward graduation.

     Students who wait until their final semester for a senior records check may find themselves short a class and therefore unable to graduate.  

13. What is a cognate and do I need one?

A cognate is a cluster of advanced-level courses (typically 12 credits) that relate to the major, but aren’t directly a part of it. Marine Science, Environmental Science and Environmental Studies are considered interdisciplinary degrees that do not require a cognate, but Geological Sciences does. The required coursework in Geophysics forms a Math cognate for that degree. More information is available in the Academic Bulletin ( http://bulletin.sc.edu/)

14. What is Graduation with Leadership Distinction, and how can I qualify for it?

Students who study abroad, work in a research lab, serve as a peer leader or club officer, or perform extensive community service can qualify for Graduation with Leadership Distinction (http://www.sc.edu/uscconnect/leadership/). This honor appears on your diploma, earns you the right to wear special cords at graduation, and lets potential employers know that you have demonstrated exceptional leadership abilities.

15. What is the Accelerated Master’s program, and how do I apply for it?

For our exceptional students, the Accelerated Bachelors/Graduate Degree Program (https://sc.edu/study/colleges_schools/artsandsciences/earth_ocean_and_environment/study/graduate/accelerated_masters_degree/index.php) in the SEOE is available for all of our degree programs. For more specific information please contact your advisor or the Undergraduate Director at UGradDir@seoe.sc.edu and see the SEOE requirements checklist.

16. What is Grade Forgiveness and how do I apply for it?

The Grade Forgiveness policy may be applied to a maximum of two courses.

It is the policy of the University of South Carolina that every currently enrolled fully-admitted, degree-seeking undergraduate earning a "D+", "D", "F", "FN" or "WF" in a UofSC course may take the same course for a second time for the purpose of applying grade forgiveness. Undergraduate students may take up to two (2) undergraduate courses for a second time for the purpose of grade forgiveness. Both the first and second grades shall appear on the UofSC permanent record, but only the second grade will be used in computing the University of South Carolina grade point average. An explanatory notice will appear on the record. Once grade forgiveness is applied to a repeated course, the action may not be revoked.

Eligible students wishing to apply grade forgiveness to a course may do so at any time during his/her undergraduate enrollment, but no requests will be honored after the degree is awarded. Grade forgiveness can only be applied once per course for a maximum of two courses (not to exceed 8 credits) on a student’s undergraduate academic record, without regard to the number of degrees sought. Under the grade forgiveness policy, the original course (first attempt) and the second attempt in the same course may be taken at the UofSC Columbia campus or a UofSC Palmetto College campus (Lancaster, Salkehatchie, Sumter or Union).This policy does not preclude students from repeating classes multiple times, in accordance with program requirements, but only the second attempt at the class may forgive the original grade of D+, D, F, FN, or WF. Only a regular letter grade can replace a forgiven grade. Grades of “W”, “I”, “S”, “U”, or “AUDIT” may not replace previous grades. Grades carrying an honor code violation are not eligible for grade forgiveness.

See additional Grade Forgiveness details and form at : https://www.sc.edu/about/offices_and_divisions/registrar/transcripts_and_records/grade_forgiveness/index.php


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