COAS Bison FAQ

Advising

Where do I access my course works/Scheme

Who is my advisor? How do I get in touch with my advisor? Where is my advisor?

  • There are several levels of advising for COAS students. The Office of Undergraduate Studies (OUS) will assign the first- and second-year students to an advisor who will guide you on staying on track to graduate. Also, you will be assigned an advisor in your major department.
  • If you are a Freshman or a Sophomore, you have two advisors: one from OUS and one from your major department. If you are a Junior or a Senior, your advisor is from your major department. 
  • Juniors and Seniors can still get assistance from OUS for their degreeworks (i.e., if your Division Course is not showing where it should in your major map/academic scheme). Seniors also work with OUS and the Office of the Registrar for their graduation plans (i.e., for the review of your transcripts; for your graduation (pre) clearance). Consult the Registrar’s webpage for important information regarding graduation.

My advisor has not gotten back to me, what do I do?

  • If you are a Freshman or a Sophomore, you have two advisors: one from OUS and one from your major department. If you are a Junior or a Senior, your advisor is from your major department. If you don’t hear back from your advisor, please contact Mr. Nana Gyesie (nana.gyesie@howard.edu), you can also reach out to the undergraduate advisor and/or the Chair of your major department.
  • If you are a Junior or a Senior, your advisor is from your major department. You can also reach out to the Chair of your major department if you are unable to locate your advisor. 

What are the steps for changing my major/minor?

  • First consult with your current advisor or the advisor for the new major on your degree progress once the change is made. Switching majors may delay your original degree completion time frame. You should complete the Transfer Form and follow the prompts to submit it via DocuSign. On DocuSign, you must put the contact of Ms. Kea Jones [kea.jones@howard.edu] who will approve/deny your DocuSign. You can also use this contact information for your DocuSign: coas.asahelp@howard.edu

I am on probation, what does that mean and what do I need to do?

  • It’s a warning that your semester GPA is below 2.00. You must earn a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or higher the next semester that you are enrolled to avoid being suspended from the university. Note: Please note that any credit hours earned outside of Howard University (or outside the Consortium) will not be calculated in your Howard GPA.

Who can I contact about my probation?

  • The Office of the Registrar

I have been suspended, what are next steps?

  • When the registrar notifies you that you have been suspended, this email will include prompts to submit your appeal through Canvas. OUS will pre-review your application. To check the status of your application, you can contact the registrar. If you have a hold on your account (i.e., Bursar hold), you will not be able to do an appeal, you will have to contact Mr. Nana Gyesie (nana.gyesie@howard.edu), who will assist you with the completion of this process.

Who can I contact about my suspension?

  • The Office of the Registrar

Placement Exams

Program of Study:

How do I go about selecting a major/minor? Do I need a minor? Can I double major/minor?

  • If you did not select a major or minor prior to enrolling at the university, you must complete the Transfer Form for approval and follow the prompts to submit it via DocuSign. On DocuSign, you must put the contact of Ms. Kea Jones [kea.jones@howard.edu] who will approve/deny your DocuSign. You can also use this contact information for your DocuSign: coas.asahelp@howard.edu
  • All students in the College of Arts and Sciences must complete a minor which consists of 15-18 credits in a discipline other than your major. Note: You may select approved minors outside the College of Arts and Sciences (e. g., School of Communications, Business).
  • Students can declare double majors and minors. Note: You must have a minor for each major. Major 1 will satisfy the minor requirement for your major 2. Major 2 will satisfy the minor requirement for major 1. For instance: if you are a double major in Spanish and Economics, Spanish will satisfy the minor requirement for economics and economics will satisfy the minor requirement for Spanish.

Who can I talk to about a major/minor?

  • You should get in touch with an advisor in the department that offers the major/minor. If you don’t hear back from your advisor, please contact Mr. Nana Gyesie (nana.gyesie@howard.edu), you can also reach out to the undergraduate advisor and/or the Chair of your major department.
  • If you are a Freshman or a Sophomore, you have two advisors: one from OUS and one from your major department. If you are a Junior or a Senior, your advisor is from your major department. If you don’t hear back from your advisor, please contact Mr. Nana Gyesie (nana.gyesie@howard.edu), you can also reach out to the undergraduate advisor and/or the Chair of your major department.
  • If you are a Junior or a Senior, your advisor is from your major department. You can also reach out to the Chair of your major department if you are unable to locate your advisor. 

Minor Declaration

All students must declare a minor. (even if your degree has a built-in minor, you must still declare it).

How do I change my major/minor?

  • You should complete the Transfer Form and submit it via DocuSign and follow the prompts to submit it via DocuSign. On DocuSign, you must put the contact of Ms. Kea Jones [kea.jones@howard.edu] who will approve/deny your DocuSign. You can also use this contact information for your DocuSign: coas.asahelp@howard.edu

What are Gen Ed courses? How do I satisfy them? What are COAS required area courses?

  • All students must complete the core General Education requirements (African American Cluster courses, English, Foreign Languages, Freshman seminar, Mathematics, Philosophy, Physical Education, and Speech). Additionally, all students must complete divisional requirements (ten three credit hour courses) in the Humanities (A), Social Sciences (B & C), and the Natural Sciences (D). The requirements are listed in Degree Works (in your BisonWeb) for your specific major. Also, consult your major department regarding specific requirements for your major.

Graduation:

What are my graduation requirements?

  • All students must complete of minimum of 120 credit hours with a GPA of 2.00 or higher. There are no exceptions to this policy. You must complete courses in the four categories: General Education, Divisional A, B, C, and D), Major, and Minor.

When should I apply for graduation? Do I need to apply for graduation? How do I apply for graduation?

  • All students must apply to graduate during the semester before they plan to graduate (i.e., if you plan to graduate in spring 2024, you should apply for graduation in fall 2023). All the deadlines and procedures for applying to graduate are located at https://howard.edu/registrar/graduation.
  • If you want to change your graduation semester, you must update your application to indicate your new graduation semester.

Registration:

What is the process for an override?

  • Students should seek a course override from the department in which the course is taught. Students can reach out to the instructor of that course, the administrative assistant, or the advisor of that major department.             

  • If the course override is approved, the Department chair over the course can send a formal request to the Office of the Registrar to have the student registered. 

What happens when a course is closed/full?

  • Approval for an override is at the discretion of the instructor of record. If the instructor approves the override, the instructor will send an email to the advisor making the request on behalf of the student.  If the course has no listed instructor, students can contact the Department (Associate) Chair and/or Undergraduate Director who will contact your assigned advisor on behalf of the not-yet-named instructor.  

Why can’t I register for a course?

  • There might be restrictions on a course to allow only a special group/class of students to register for that course or reserved sections of the course. You can consult the department (instructor or chair) to request that the restriction be lifted (removed) if they approved.

What does it mean when a class is wait-listed? Do all classes have a wait list?

  • When some classes are filled, the department might offer a waitlist to allow students to register for the course if enrolled students drop the course. Waitlisted students are allowed to register based in their order on the waitlist. Students on the waitlist are given the opportunity to register before waitlisted students are allowed to register if the course shows open seats. You can only get on the wait list when/if somebody drops from the list; you can continue to check BisonWeb to see available seats.

How do I register for my courses?

  • Eligible students register for courses using their BisonWeb account. In some cases, the Office of the Registrar might be requested to register students in documented exceptional cases (i.e., when you cannot register after the registration period or due to a financial hold). The Office of the Registrar requests this approval from the Office of the Dean.

What is the difference between drop and withdraw from a course?

  • To drop a course means that you deleted the course from your schedule during the official drop/add period for the semester. The course will no longer appear on your academic record. To withdraw means that you decided to leave the course after the official deadline for dropping the course. In that case, the course remains on your academic record with a “W” as the final grade. It is not counted in your GPA.

How can I withdraw completely from my courses? What is a total withdraw from the university?

  • During the withdrawal period, you cannot withdraw from all the courses you attended –unless you go through the total withdraw process. For more on total withdrawal, consult this link: https://howard.edu/registrar/withdrawal. Questions should be directed to the Office of the Registrar.

When is the deadline to drop/add/withdraw from a course?

  • See the university calendar for specific dates and always check your email for any changes in the dates/deadlines. Some professors list the deadlines on the course syllabus.

I have an error code, what does it mean?

  • An error code generally means that you are not eligible to register for a particular course. The course is reserved for a specific group/class of students. You can click on the course in BisonWeb to find out why you are not eligible for the course. You may request an exception from the department offering the course.

I have a restriction, who addresses it?

  • If a course is restricted to a specific group of students by a department, then you must consult the department (Instructor or chair) to request that the restriction be lifted (removed) if it is approved.

I have a hold (academic/financial/medical) preventing me to register, what do I do?

  • The College of Arts and Sciences (COAS) does not place holds of any kind on students’ records. You should consult the following offices to discuss and request removing holds: Office of the Registrar (academic), Office of the Bursar (financial), and Student Health Center (medical).

Who can I contact about my suspension?

  • The Office of the Registrar

Holds

If you have a hold, please contact the following offices:

Academic Grievances:

What is an academic grievance? What does it include?

  • An academic grievance is reported when students believe that a final grade is not justified. Students should first consult their instructor to determine how the final grade was calculated. If there is no resolution with the instructor, you should consult the department chair who may escalate the appeal to the college-level Grievance Committee.

How do I appeal a grade?

  • Step 1: reach out to professors teaching course 

  • Step 2: if you cannot consult with the professor, or it needs to be escalated, reach out to department chair 

  • Step 3: no resolution is achieved the chair can submit a formal grievance with grievance committee. A formal grievance. 

I have a complaint about my instructor, what are next steps?

  • Step 1: reach out to professors teaching course 

  • Step 2: if you cannot consult with the professor, or it needs to be escalated, reach out to department chair 

  • Step 3: no resolution is achieved the chair can submit a formal grievance with grievance committee. A formal grievance. 

Freshman Seminar:

Is Freshman seminar required for all students?

  • All first-year students must complete and pass the Freshman Seminar course. The final grade in this one-credit course is P (Pass) or F (Fail).

I am a transfer student; do I need to take the Freshman seminar?

  • No. The course will be listed as one of your College of Arts and Sciences (COAS) requirements, but you can request from the Office of the Dean to be exempt from the requirement if you have taken a similar course at your previous institution.

Is Freshman Seminar offered during the entire academic year?

  • No. It is offered only in the fall semester. All first-year students should complete the requirement during the fall of their first year. Arrangements will be made for students who first enroll in the Spring semester. Please contact Drs. Muhammad, Kim, or Carter for further questions: bahiyyah.muhammad@howard.edu ; jacoby.carter@howard.edu; sung.kim@howard.edu

Honors Program:

How are students accepted into the program?

  • Participation is by invitation only (from the Honors Program) based on students’ high school GPA and standardized test scores. You can direct your questions to Dr. Brown-Robertson: l.brown-robertson@howard.edu

I was not selected during my Freshman year, can I be selected during my sophomore year into the Honors Program?

Letters of Good Academic Standing

Where can I get a letter of good academic standing?

For a letter of good academic standing, students can get an enrollment verification letter or an official transcript that shows their academic standing.

Enrollment Verification