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Academic Advising

Realize your Potential

Contact Us

La Plata Campus
301-934-7574

Leonardtown Campus
240-725-5320

Prince Frederick Campus
443-550-6000 or 301-870-3008

Waldorf Center
301-632-2900 or 301-870-3008, ext. 2900

College of Southern Maryland
8730 Mitchell Rd
PO Box 910
La Plata, MD 20646-0910
advisor@csmd.edu

Frequently Asked Questions

1) What programs of study does the college offer?

2) Does CSM offer Bachelor level programs of study?

3) What is a credit?

4) What is considered a full-time student/schedule?

5) Will my credits completed at CSM transfer to another institution?

6) When can I take my classes?

7) How do I register for a course? Join a waitlist? Drop a class?

8) How can I find out more about the content of a course?

9) What should I do if I am failing a course?

10) Am I assigned a specific Academic Advisor?

11) How can I change or update my Program of Study?

12) Where can I get information on how my courses from another institution will transfer to CSM?

13) What is the maximum number of credits that I may take in one semester?

14) What is a prerequisite?

15) What is a developmental course?

16) What does it mean to Audit (AU) a course?

17) What does it mean to withdraw (WD) from a course?

18) If I stop attending a class, will I be automatically dropped?

19) How do I view my final grades?

20) Does a higher course number indicate a more advanced course?
(Ex. MTH 2300 vs. MTH 1120)

21) Should I attend a course for which I am waitlisted?

22) How do I check to see what courses I still need to complete for my degree?

23) I need to be a full-time student (taking 12 or more credits) but I am required to take courses in which I do not receive college credit, how will these courses apply?

24) When I attempt to register for a course, I receive a message that states I am ineligible. Why?

25) When I attempt to register for a course, I receive a message that states I have not met the prerequisite but I have, what do I do?

26) I am currently a student at another institution and want to take a course at CSM over summer break to transfer back to my school. This course requires a prerequisite that I have completed at my other school. What do I need to do in order to register?

1) What programs of study does the college offer?

The college offers associates degrees, certificates, and letters of recognition.
Program Descriptions:

  • Associate of Art (AA), Associate of Science (AS), and the Associate of Arts in Teaching (AAT)-are designed for students seeking transfer to a four year institution.  These programs are generally between 60-70 credits and can be completed in about two years (with full-time attendance). 
  • Associate of Applied Science (AAS)-The Associate of Applied Science degree is designed for students seeking entrance in the workforce. These programs are NOT transfer programs (exception to UMUC). These programs are generally between 60-70 credits and can be completed in about two years (with full-time attendance).
  • Certificate (CE)-Certificate programs are designed to prepare students for entry-level positions in the workforce and resume building. These programs are generally between 12-48 credits.
  • Letter of Recognition (LOR)-Letters of Recognition are designed to prepare students for entry-level positions in the workforce and resume building. These programs are generally 9 credits.

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2) Does CSM offer Bachelor level programs of study?

No, however, CSM does offer many partnership and alliance programs with several four year institutions. Please refer to the Bachelors Degree Opportunities page for more information.

3) What is a credit?

A credit designates the number of hours spent in class. Credits are awarded for courses upon successful completion of the course objectives. Most of the courses offered are 3 credits.  These courses meet for 3 hours a week during 15 week sessions (called a semester) and generally 6 hours a week for condensed sessions (called mini sessions).  Developmental courses are non-credit and these courses will not apply to a degree program but are prerequisites for required courses.

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4) What is considered a full-time student/schedule?

Twelve credit hours (generally 4 courses) are required to be considered a full-time student

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5) Will my credits completed at CSM transfer to another institution?

Generally, yes. General Education courses transfer to Maryland schools, as well as many out of state schools. The Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, and Associate of Arts in Teaching are designed for students to transfer.  However, the transfer school will have to evaluate your courses to determine how they will apply to your degree. You should contact the school you want to transfer to determine acceptance and visit the Transfer Services website for more information.  Early in your program planning at CSM, you should also make an appointment with an advisor to discuss transferring.

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6) When can I take my classes?

CSM offers two 15 week semesters, spring (January-May) and fall (September-December). During the fall and spring, we also offer two 7 week sessions called mini-sessions .  Additionally, two summer sessions are offered between May and August.

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7) How do I register for a course? Join a waitlist? Drop a class?

Access myCSMD, CSM's Online Services to register, add yourself to a waitlist or drop a class.  If you are on academic probation or are an athlete or international or energetics student, you must contact an advisor to make adjustments.

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8) How can I find out more about the content of a course?

Course descriptions are available in the academic catalog. You can also access Faculty webpages for contact information and sample syllabi.  From the CSM homepage (www.csmd.edu) click on "Academics" and then "Academic Divisions." 

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9) What should I do if I am failing a course?

You should first contact your instructor for recommendations for improvement.  You should also visit the Student Success Center for tutoring services and assistance. Students have the option of withdrawing from a course before the final withdrawal date (check the current calendar for dates). 

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10) Am I assigned a specific Academic Advisor?

No. Students may contact any advisor at any campus location for assistance. Students admitted into the Associates degree in Nursing program will meet with a specific advisor after the petitioning process is complete and will be notified directly.

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11) How can I change or update my Program of Study?

Contact an Academic Advisor at any campus.

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12) Where can I get information on how my courses from another institution will transfer to CSM?

Access the Transfer Services, Transferring In page for more information.

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13) What is the maximum number of credits that I may take in one semester?

When registering for courses using your Online Services account, you can register for up to 19 credits in the fall or spring session and 10 credits in the summer session.

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14) What is a prerequisite?

A prerequisite is a requirement that must be satisfied first in order to take a course. A prerequisite can be satisfied using your placement test results, SAT/ACT scores, AP scores, transfer credits from another institution or by completing another course first. 

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15) What is a developmental course?

A developmental course is required based on your placement test results. A developmental course is non-credit with a P (Passed) or F (Failed) grading scale. These courses are required as prerequisites for college-level courses within your degree program.

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16) What does it mean to Audit (AU) a course?

Auditing a course is a contract between you and your instructor. You must request an audit and process all paperwork before the last day to withdraw without a grade for the semester (check the current calendar for dates). The instructor will determine what you will be required to do but generally you may attend the course and participate in the coursework but will not receive a final grade. Your transcript will reflect "AU" upon successful completion of an audit. Audited courses may not be used as prerequisite requirements.

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17) What does it mean to withdraw (WD) from a course?

You may withdraw from a course anytime in your Online Services account (exception: athletes, probation, international, and energetics students must contact an advisor) before the last day to withdraw without a grade for the semester (check the current calendar for dates). Your obligation to the course has ended and your transcript will reflect "WD" and you will not receive a grade for the course.
If you receive financial assistance at CSM, withdrawing from classes after they begin may affect your award amount. If you have questions, please contact Financial Assistance at 301-934-7531.
If you are receiving VA Benefits, withdrawing from classes may affect your benefits. If you have questions about your benefits, please contact the Registrar's Office at 301-934-7588.

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18) If I stop attending a class, will I be automatically dropped?

No. It is your obligation to withdraw yourself from any course that you do not intend to complete. You can drop your courses in your Online Services account before the last day to withdraw without a grade for the semester (check the current calendar for dates). If you are on academic probation, an international student, athlete or energetics student, you must contact an academic advisor to drop a course.

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19) How do I view my final grades?

CSM does not mail final student grades. You must access your Online Services account.

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20) Does a higher course number indicate a more advanced course?
(Ex. MTH 2300 vs. MTH 1120)

Not necessarily. All students should access the course descriptions of each course they intend to register for to determine the prerequisite requirement that must be completed. Ex. MTH 2300 and MTH 1120 have the same prerequisite requirement.

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21) Should I attend a course for which I am waitlisted?

No. Until you are officially registered for a course, you may not attend. You must monitor both your personal e-mail and your Online Services account to determine your waitlist status. You should consider registering for an alternative course in case a seat in your waitlist option does not become available.

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22) How do I check to see what courses I still need to complete for my degree?

You should access your Program Evaluation in your Online Services account or make an appointment with an Academic Advisor to discuss.

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23) I need to be a full-time student (taking 12 or more credits) but I am required to take courses in which I do not receive college credit, how will these courses apply?

Courses numbered 1000 and below are non-credit courses. These courses are required based on your placement test results and will satisfy prerequisites of required courses within your degree. Although, no credit is received, these courses will count towards a full-time schedule.

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24) When I attempt to register for a course, I receive a message that states I am ineligible. Why?

There are various reasons why your registration attempt may be stopped because of an ineligible error. Check out the Common Registration Errors page for more information.

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25) When I attempt to register for a course, I receive a message that states I have not met the prerequisite but I have, what do I do?

If you have completed the prerequisite at CSM or have officially transferred the prerequisite to CSM, contact an advisor for assistance. If you have completed the prerequisite at another institution but have not provided proof to CSM, you can fax your transcript to 301-934-7674 and include your CSM student ID number, course/section number you want to register for, and your contact information. An advisor will only use this transcript to register you for the course, your prerequisite course will not be evaluated and applied to your CSM record until you submit an official and sealed transcript (only required if you want to receive a degree from CSM). Check out the Common Registration Errors page for more information.

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26) I am currently a student at another institution and want to take a course at CSM over summer break to transfer back to my school. This course requires a prerequisite that I have completed at my other school. What do I need to do in order to register?

Click here for the procedure

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Couldn't find the answer to a question you were looking for? Check out the links to the left for further advising information or e-mail us using the Online Advising Form

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