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Policies and Procedures

Do I have to take a foreign language placement test? How do I apply for Upper Division? Answers to these procedural questions can be found here.

Email and Listserv Communication

What email address should I use?

Because of the expanding reliance on electronic communication between students, faculty, and staff/administration in the SJMC, it is necessary to ensure that all SJMC students have email access. Email is an official mechanism for communication within the SJMC; therefore, we have adopted the following policies:

  • All students are assigned an official university email address.  This address is the location to which all official email communications will be sent from the SJMC Student Services office as well as other university correspondence.
  •  You may have your email electronically forwarded to another email address.  Please contact University Technology Services (UTS) for assistance.
  • Students are expected to check their email on a frequent and regular basis in order to stay current with university related communications.  Please understand that certain communications may be time critical and it is highly recommended that email be checked daily.

What is the SJMC listserv and how do I get on it?

The student listserv is a complete list of all SJMC student email addresses.  Announcements regarding programs and services will be sent to the SJMC Update listserv.  These messages are critical and you should remain subscribed so that you do not miss these important announcements.

How do I get on the listserv?

At the start of each semester, we create the listserv by downloading the email addresses of all students enrolled as majors in our school. 

If you are not getting emails from the listserv...

First, check your spam mail folder for emails from SJMCUPDATE@LISTSERV.SC.EDU and add it to your contacts.

Some students change majors during the semester after we have created the listserv.  If you are not receiving listserv emails, contact Pierre d'Autel at

If I have a quick question, should I just email my advisor? 

Yes!  Do not hesitate to email any quick questions to your advisor; however, as stated above, you should allow at least two business days to respond.  If your question is time sensitive, please come into the Student Services Office at 800 Sumter Street, Room 118 for assistance. 

I have emailed my assigned academic advisor and haven’t heard back from them yet. Should I email them again?

Please be mindful of the volume of email your advisor receives on a daily basis.  As a general rule, you should allow your assigned academic advisor at least two business days to respond. 

I emailed my advisor and they asked me to make an appointment with them.  Why can’t they just help me via email?


Due to both security and confidentiality issues related to email, your assigned academic advisor may not be able to respond to your question via email.  If you have questions regarding your personal academic status or records, it is best to schedule an appointment to meet with your assigned academic advisor in person.  If you are requesting a more lengthy response, such as a degree audit, help with course selection or for your assigned advisor to calculate your GPA, it is in your best interest to make an appointment. 

Coursework and Registration

What is the add/drop deadline? 

The add/drop deadline typically concludes the first week of classes each semester.  You may add or drop courses from your schedule via Self Service Carolina. Any courses dropped prior to the add/drop deadline will not be recorded on your permanent record.

Why should I consult with my advisor before adding or dropping courses? 

Here are a few items to keep in mind when adjusting your fall schedule:

  • Changing the number of credit hours you are taking may alter your bill or your financial aid.
  • Dropping courses could affect your total number of credit hours, impacting your degree progression and (potentially) your financial aid or scholarship awards.
  • You want to ensure that any courses you add or switch will apply to your degree plan.

What happens if I drop a course AFTER the add/drop deadline?

Courses dropped after the deadline will be noted on your academic transcript with a “W” for withdrawal.

When do I have to apply to the Upper Division for Broadcast Journalism.  What does that mean?

Please see the Broadcast Journalism major page for details on Upper Division.

Where can I find course descriptions?

You can find course descriptions listed in the Undergraduate Studies Bulletin.  Use the navigation on the right hand of the screen to take you to the specific filtering system which will help you look up the course.

What classes do I need to take for my minor?

When you meet with your assigned academic advisor, you will be able to discuss various course options.  Your advisor will assist you in planning the courses to complete your minor. 

I want to take some summer classes at a college back home, what do I need to do?

Students must have a minimum of a 2.0 GPA and be in good standing with the university. Additionally, courses taken at USC may not be repeated at another college or university. It is also possible to take JOUR coursework elsewhere.  If interested, please see you assigned academic advisor for assistance with your selections.

Who is my assigned academic advisor?

After Sept. 15, 2016, you will be able to find your academic advisor by logging into Self-Service Carolina.  Select the STUDENTS tab.  Then select the STUDENTS RECORDS box.  From there, select VIEW STUDENT INFORMATION.  Your primary academic advisor will be listed. 

Does the SJMC give overrides into JOUR courses which are full?

Overrides are the exception; they are not the norm. If you need to get into a class which is full, please sign up on our waitlist, which is posted online once registration begins.

How can I get into a JOUR class which is full?

Once registration begins, we will post a waitlist for courses in the SJMC. Use this online form to let us know if there is a course you would like to enroll in which is full. The waitlist allows us to determine demand for courses which may be full. Posting to the waitlist does not guarantee a new section will be opened, although sufficient demand may, in fact, warrant an additional section be added. 

What about an override for a course in  my minor or the Carolina Core?

In order to receive an override for a course in your minor or in the Carolina Core, you will need to go to the department/school/college responsible for that course.  The SJMC Student Services Office cannot give out overrides for non-JOUR courses.

Do I need to take the foreign language placement test?

This varies from student to student; therefore, please speak with you assigned academic advisor during your first semester here at USC about your individual needs in regards to the Foreign Language Placement Test.

I was notified I'm on SJMC Probation. What does that mean?

If you do not maintain a USC GPA of 2.50 you will be placed on SJMC academic probation until your USC GPA is 2.50 or higher. You will be permitted to remain in the J-school while on probation for only one semester. You must meet all probationary requirements during the semester that you are on probation. You will receive detailed instructions from the SJMC Student Services Office.

What is the pass/fail option?

Courses taken on a pass/fail basis cannot be applied to the general education, major, cognate, or minor requirements. They can be used only as free electives.

The pass/fail option is NOT available to undergraduate students whose semester or cumulative GPA is less than 2.000. Also, students are permitted to take no more than eight (8) courses pass/fail.

For more information, please speak with your assigned academic advisor.