Undergraduate FAQs | LSU School of Music

Undergraduate Advising FAQ

Table of Contents

The Office of Student Success within the College of Music & Dramatic Arts stands ready to assist students with a wide range of advising and guidance needs to help ensure their success in the classroom and beyond. The following FAQ is designed to address many common concerns and point students in the right direction to get the assistance they need.

 Click on a category below to jump directly to that section, or keep scrolling to browse the questions and answers in the order they are listed. 

Advising

  • Where is the Office of Student Success located?
  • Who is advised by the Office of Student Success?
  • Who provides advising services to undergraduate students?
  • What are the services offered?
  • How do I schedule an appointment?
  • myLSU says I need advising. What should I do?

Courses / Scheduling

  • When do I schedule?
  • When is my scheduling priority?
  • I received an email about a CATS hold. What is that?
  • A course I need is full and someone recommended waitlisting. What is waitlisting, and how do I take advantage of it?
  • I haven't met the prerequisite for a course. Can I enroll in that course anyway?
  • How do I complete registration?
  • My classes were purged / dropped. What should I do?
  • If I need to drop all of my classes for the semester, what do I do?

Changing Majors / Minors

  • How do I change my major to Theatre?
  • How do I change my major to Music?
  • How do auditions work?
  • What are the requirements for a Music minor?
  • How do I change concentrations within the same major?
  • I am already a College of Music & Dramatic Arts student. How can I declare or drop a minor?

General Questions

  • What are the General Education Requirements?
  • What should I do if I am experiencing circumstances impacting my academic performance in a semester?
  • What is the Grade Exclusion Policy and how can I implement this policy?
  • How many "W" grades (course withdrawals) can I use?
  • When is the last day to resign from the university?
  • When are final exams? What should I do if I have three finals within 24 hours, or two finals at the same time?

 

Transfer Student Advising

  • What services are available to transfer students?
  • How do courses transfer?
  • I am an incoming transfer student. How do I schedule classes at LSU?

Graduation

  • How do I declare my graduation date and when should this be done?
  • What is the graduation check-out process?
  • Where and when can I get information about graduation?
  • How do I graduate with University Honors?

Special Items for Music

  • Teacher Certification for Music Education Students (PRAXIS)

Tools and References

  • Recommended Course Load
  • Credit Hour Maximum
  • Degree Audits
  • Distance-Learning
  • Financial Aid / TOPS / Scholarships
  • LSU General Catalog
  • Request A Transcript

 


 

Advising

  • Where is the Office of Student Success located?
    • The Office of Student Success is located in the School of Music Building, Room 102. Office hours are 8:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. Monday through Friday. The Office of Student Success is closed on weekends and during University designated holidays.

 

  • Who is advised by the Office of Student Success?
    • Undergraduate students admitted to Louisiana State University and the College of Music & Dramatic Arts. In addition, current LSU students interested in pursuing a degree program or minor through the College, UCFY and UCAC students who are pre-Music & Dramatic Arts, and potential LSU undergraduate transfer students or incoming freshmen.

 

  • Who provides advising services to undergraduate students?
    • Amy Smith is the Academic Counselor for undergraduate Music and Theatre students. Please contact Amy Smith at asmith10@lsu.edu if you are in need of advising assistance or general academic and career guidance.

 

  • What are the services offered?
    • The Office of Student Success assist students via telephone, email, and individual appointments. Advising services include, but are not limited to the following areas:
      • Academic Appeal
      • Advising
      • Change (Declare) Major or Minor
      • Classes Purged
      • Drop/Add a Class
      • Financial Aid Appeal
      • Grade Exclusion
      • Graduation Check Out
      • Holds
      • Military Form Review
      • Online Enrollment
      • Personal
      • Residential College
      • Resignation
      • Return to LSU
      • Scholastic Probation/Warning/Drop Conference
      • Transfer Advising

 

  • How do I schedule an appointment?
    • Students are required to download the Navigate Student App, which can be used to schedule appointments with counselors and other features like To-Dos, Study Buddies, Resources, Holds, and Class Schedule. After downloading, please use your existing myLSU credentials to sign in to the app. Navigate is available for both Apple and Android devices using the direct download links below. To make an appointment for advising, you can download the Navigate app on your phone and select the “Appointments” widget, and then select “Academic Advising.” From there you can select the reason for your visit and the time/date. The app will send you a confirmation email/text to let you know the appointment has been created. Students will need their LSU Tiger Card or LSU ID (#89 number) to check-in for an advising appointment.

Download Navigate (Apple iOS)  Download Navigate (Android)

 

  • myLSU says I need advising. What should I do?
    • Students who encounter an advising flag are required to meet with an academic counselor. Advising flags are placed on every first-year student’s account prior to registration. Advising flags can be placed if a student has not yet earned 24 hours, a graduation date has not been declared, are re-entering the University after a semester away, is a first semester transfer student, has not completed graduation check-out, is on scholastic warning or probation, or is not meeting minimal academic progress according to CATS tracking requirements.

 


 

Courses / Scheduling

  • When do I schedule?
    • Registration for fall semester, winter session, and summer intersession typically begins in late March or early April of each year. Registration for spring semester, spring intersession, and summer semester begins in late October or early November. Information on registration deadlines and scheduling priorities are published in the semester schedule booklet on the Registrar's Office website each semester.

 

  • When is my scheduling priority?
    • Scheduling priorities are determined based on a student’s number of credit hours completed and those currently in progress. For a complete list of all priorities, including the dates and times scheduling becomes available to various groups, please reference Scheduling Priorities for the specific semester. Enrolled students will also be contacted via email by the Registrar’s Office with information on their scheduling priority.

 

  • I received an email about a CATS hold. What is that?
    • CATS (Comprehensive Academic Tracking System) is LSU’s academic monitoring system that provides students with an assessment of progress toward degree requirements. Email notifications will be sent to students to let them know if they are not meeting Minimum Academic Progress. These emails are the result of assessments that will be run mid-semester and after final grades are posted. The email notification will contain a link to direct students to their CATS Status screen on their myLSU account. Students will receive a Hold on their registration if they are not meeting Minimum Academic Progress. Please email Amy Smith at asmith10@lsu.edu or schedule an advising appointment to request a CATS hold be lifted.

 

  • A course I need is full and someone recommended waitlisting. What is waitlisting, and how do I take advantage of it?
    • Please see Instructions To Join A Waitlist For A Course. Online waitlists are a way for students to get open seats in full sections. When students drop out of a full section, or the department opens more seats, students are automatically moved off the section’s waitlist and enrolled in the class. Being on a waitlist does not guarantee that a student will get into the class, but adding a waitlist is the best way for a student to get an open seat in a full class. Students may join only one waitlist per course and a maximum of three waitlists at one time. Students will automatically receive an e-mail when moved off of a waitlist and into a class. It is critical to regularly monitor positions on a waitlist to determine if an alternative course needs to be added.

 

  • I haven't met the prerequisite for a course. Can I enroll in that course anyway?
    • Students are expected to consult the LSU General Catalog to ensure that they meet all prerequisites or co-requisites before they schedule courses. myLSU automatically checks the prerequisites for a number of courses and will alert you when you do not meet the given requirements. Please be aware that students are responsible for meeting prerequisites whether or not they are automatically caught by the system. If you schedule a course and do not meet all prerequisites or corequisites, your enrollment in the course may be canceled.

 

  • How do I complete registration?
    • Students complete registration when they pay all necessary fees and submit all needed documentation in order to enroll for the upcoming semester. Students who have a fee balance of $0 still need to complete registration by clicking the “Complete Registration” button on their myLSU account under Registration Services, Fee Bill.

 

  • My classes were purged / dropped. What should I do?
    • Courses are typically purged due to failure to complete registration. If a student's classes are purged prior to the last day to add courses according to the academic calendar, the student can re-add available courses on myLSU. If your courses were purged after the last day to add courses, please schedule a “Classes Purged” appointment as soon as possible. If your classes have been purged or you are resigning (dropping all of your classes), please report to the School of Music Building, Room 102 during office hours for assistance.

 

  • If I need to drop all of my classes for the semester, what do I do?
    • If you complete registration and decide by the last day to drop a course or to resign (drop all of your courses), please contact Amy Smith at asmith10@lsu.edu to initiate this process.

 

Changing Majors / Minors

  • How do I change my major to Theatre?
    • Schedule a “Change (Declare) Major or Minor” appointment with the Office of Student Success. Please contact Joshua Allred, School of Theatre Recruiter, at jallre3@lsu.edu for information on production and performance opportunities through the LSU Theatre and Swine Palace, the school’s professional equity theatre company.

 

  • How do I change my major to Music?
    • Students who wish to enroll in the LSU School of Music must be admissible to Louisiana State University and successfully pass an audition with the School of Music. These two steps occur simultaneously. Students must successfully complete an audition prior to scheduling classes or requesting a major change. Audition info can be obtained by contacting the faculty member listed for your instrument on the website, please see School of Music Undergraduate Audition Requirements. For additional audition information, please contact Alexia Perez, School of Music Recruiter, at apere43@lsu.edu. Following an audition, please schedule a Change Major/Minor appointment with an academic counselor. Degree information can be found on the SOM website in the current Undergraduate Student Handbook.

 

  • How do auditions work?
    • An audition on a performance instrument, in voice, or in composition is required for admission into the School of Music to declare a major or minor. Performance courses and applied lessons open to non-music majors and may be taken only after a successful audition. For more information regarding auditions please consult the Undergraduate Audition Requirements.

 

  • What are the requirements for a Music minor?
    • Students must successfully complete an audition and 17 total hours of music courses passed with a grade of “C” or better. Please reference the General Catalog Music Minor Requirements. To graduate with a minor in music, students must complete: MUS 1705 (offered fall semesters), MUS 1799 (This is a General Education Art Class), and 11 hours of applied lessons or academic courses in the School of Music. Of the 11 hours at least 3 hours of music electives should be at 3000 and/or 4000 level. There are no restrictions on the 11 hours of academic courses in the School of Music, therefore, applied lessons and performance courses such as ensemble(s) meet requirements.

 

  • How do I change concentrations within the same major?
    • If you would like to review the requirements for your new concentration, schedule a “Change (Declare) Major or Minor” appointment with the Office of Student Success.

 

  • I am already a College of Music & Dramatic Arts student. How can I declare or drop a minor?
    • Please schedule a “Change (Declare) Major or Minor” appointment with the Office of Student Success.

 


 

General Questions

  • What are the General Education Requirements?
    • The general education of LSU students spans the four years of undergraduate study. Students must complete the 39-hour general education requirement prior to graduating from LSU. LSU Undergraduate study requires students to complete 39 hours across the following six major areas: (1) six hours of English composition (2) six hours of Analytical reasoning (3) three hours of Arts (4) nine hours of Humanities (5) nine hours of Natural sciences (6) six hours of Social sciences.

 

  • What should I do if I am experiencing circumstances impacting my academic performance in a semester?
    • Please contact Amy Smith, Academic Counselor, at asmith10@lsu.edu or (225) 578-8854.
    • If you believe you are unable to reach your counselor, contact the LSU Student Health Center's intervention/referral service, “The Phone” at (225) 924-5781.

 If your situation becomes urgent or a medical emergency arises, immediately call 911. 

 

  • What is the Grade Exclusion Policy and how can I implement this policy?
    • Under this policy, students may improve the undergraduate LSU and cumulative GPAs by repeating a maximum of three courses (up to 12 credit hours) in which a grade of “D” or “F” was received and requesting that the repeat grade be the only one that is used in the calculation. The specific regulations of the Grade Exclusion Policy can be found in the LSU General Catalog or on the Office of the University Registrar’s website. Students are only able to implement grade exclusion for courses initially taken and then retaken on the LSU-Baton Rouge campus. Transfer courses from other institutions are not eligible for grade exclusion. Students must file a written petition to invoke the policy with the dean of the college in which the student is enrolled by the last day to add courses in the semester or term in which the subsequent attempt is made. Please schedule an advising appointment to submit a grade exclusion request.

 

  • How many "W" grades (course withdrawals) can I use?
    • The University Undergraduate “W” Grade Policy establishes three tiers and the number of “W” grades students may receive in each tier. Student tier placement is determined by the hours earned to date. In the W Grade Status section under the myLSU Registration Services, a student can check the amount of W's used or available in a current semester. “W” grades do not affect a student’s GPA; however, an excessive number reflects negatively on a student's status with the university.

 

  • When is the last day to resign from the university?
    • Students should consult the Academic Calendar maintained by the University Registrar to determine deadlines each semester. A “W” grade will be entered on a student’s record for any course dropped between the seventh class day and the final date for resigning from the University and/or dropping courses. To drop a course(s) and receive a “W” grade please schedule a “Drop/Add a Class” appointment with the Office of Student Success.

 

  • When are final exams? What should I do if I have three finals within 24 hours, or two finals at the same time?
    • Each semester the Final Exam schedule can be found in the Schedule Booklet on the Registrar’s Office website. It is recommended that students check the final exam schedule early in the semester. If a student has three or more final exams covering more than seven hours of credit scheduled within a 24-hour period, the student may request permission to take no more than two exams on the assigned date. In addition, students who have two exams on the same date at the same time may request that one of the exams be rescheduled. To make these requests, students must schedule an advising appointment. Students must have all arrangements completed by 4:30 P.M. on the last day to resign from or drop classes for the semester.

 


 

Transfer Student Advising

  • What services are available to transfer students?
    • The Office of Student Success provides academic services to any undergraduate student interested in enrolling at LSU, whether they have been admitted or not. A transfer student is any student who has graduated from high school and attempted college coursework after graduation. Please keep in mind, without an evaluated transcript, it may be difficult for the academic counselor to make course recommendations or advise transfer students.

 

  • How do courses transfer?
    • When students are admitted to LSU, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions will send your courses to our academic departments to be evaluated for LSU equivalencies. For transfer students admitted to the LSU School of Music, Music course placement is contingent upon faculty evaluation and successful completion of placement examinations in Music Theory, Music History, Aural Skills, and Group Piano. For transfer students admitted to the LSU School of Theatre, Theatre coursework is evaluated by Theatre faculty. Any remaining course evaluations may need to be addressed at Transfer Student Orientation. We encourage students to submit all transcripts, course descriptions, and requested materials to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions as soon as possible for the most seamless transfer experience.

 

  • I am an incoming transfer student. How do I schedule classes at LSU?
    • Once accepted to LSU and the College of Music & Dramatic Arts, students are encouraged to register for Transfer Orientation through the LSU Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Transfer Orientation is a required program designed for all incoming students. During the Orientation session, students work with advisors from their academic senior college to complete course scheduling. Transfer students who register for orientation will have courses that transferred by title sent for evaluation to faculty members in the individual departments. For questions about Orientation, please contact the LSU Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Transfer students are eligible to be advised prior to orientation and may schedule according to priority level / date. To schedule a Transfer Advising appointment, please contact Amy Smith at asmith10@lsu.edu

 


 

Graduation

  • How do I declare my graduation date and when should this be done?
    • Once a student has earned senior standing, meaning that the student has completed 92 credit hours, an anticipated date of graduation must be declared. In order to identify yourself as a degree candidate, use MyLSU to set your anticipated date of graduation. Students can declare their graduation date via their myLSU accounts by selecting the Student Services link in the navigation menu. Students are encouraged to update their anticipated date of graduation every semester.

 

  • What is the graduation check-out process?
    • Students with a declared graduation date for the following semester will be contacted via email with graduation checkout instructions one to two weeks prior to the start of course registration for their final semester. Students will participate in a “Graduation Check Out” appointment to complete necessary steps. As a part of the checkout process, students must complete an Application for Degree and review/sign their final degree audit indicating remaining requirements for graduation.

 

  • Where and when can I get information about graduation?
    • Commencement and Diploma Ceremony information can be found on the LSU website by visiting the LSU Commencement webpage. Students on the graduation list will receive graduation ceremony information via email during the semester they are scheduled to graduate.

 

  • How do I graduate with University Honors?
    • Students must satisfy all of the requirements of their colleges, schools, and departments in order to be awarded a baccalaureate degree with honors. University Honors are determined, with summa cum laude if the lowest GPA is at least 3.9, magna cum laude if the lowest GPA is at least 3.8, and cum laude if the lowest GPA is at least 3.7. The determination of University Honors is made after computing two GPAs for each student, one on all work completed and the other on all work completed on all LSU system campuses. The two GPAs are inclusive of all grades, including grades previously excluded through the Grade Exclusion Policy, so all grades are used to determine University Honors. The lower of the two GPAs are used to determine eligibility for University Honors.

 


 

Special Items for Music

  • What is the PRAXIS Series and when should I take the required tests?
    • The PRAXIS Series is a set of teacher certification tests required in the state of Louisiana. There are two required portions of the PRAXIS Series: the PRAXIS Core Academic Skills for Educators and the PRAXIS II. Students pursuing degrees resulting in teacher certification must pass all required portions of the PRAXIS prior to graduation.
    • Music Education students can obtain information on PRAXIS requirements for their specific major and certification area, registration information, and study tips by contacting the Office of Student Services in the College of Human Sciences & Education at chseinfo@lsu.edu or (225) 578-2331.

 


 

Tools and References

  • Recommended Course Load
    • The course load attempted by a student should be based upon that student’s situation, e.g. academic background, as indicated by placement data/grades, hours working per week, level of difficulty of classes, etc. To graduate in four years, a student should complete at least 15 hours per semester. Undergraduate students who carry 12 or more hours of credit in a regular semester (Fall & Spring) and six hours in a Summer semester are considered full- time.

 

  • Credit Hour Maximum
    • Initially, undergraduate students’ credit hour maxima are set to 17 hours. After all students have had an opportunity to schedule classes, the credit hour maxima is automatically raised to 19 hours. Upon registering for classes, a student's enrollment status will be based on the number of hours for which they enrolled. Enrollment status is not official until after the last day to add classes for the semester.

 

  • Degree Audits
    • A degree audit is a computer-generated document indicating courses completed and unmet requirements needed to complete your degree. The degree audit changes each semester as you complete courses. You access your Degree Audit through the myLSU Portal:
      • Go to myLSU; select Student Services, select Degree Audit.
      • Select either Current Major or Another Major using drop down to locate a listing of how previous and current courses satisfy the degree’s graduation requirements.

 

  • Distance-Learning
    • Distance-program course work cannot exceed more than 25 percent of a student’s degree program. Distance-program course work in theory and applied music courses taken through other institutions must be verified by examinations and auditions at LSU.

 

  • Financial Aid / TOPS / Scholarships

 

  • LSU General Catalog
    • Provides current academic policies, procedures, recommended paths, course descriptions, and more information that is valuable to students. Please view the General Catalog and select the appropriate academic year. The LSU General Catalog is published entirely online. It can be accessed via the LSU homepage or through the web-site catalog.lsu.edu

 

  • Request A Transcript
    • The University Registrar is responsible for all transcript requests. Current students may use their myLSU portal to request a transcript. You may request a copy of your academic record at any time. You may request that your transcript be released to a third party, such as an employer, or to another university.