Frequently Asked Questions

You have questions, we have ANSWERS (most of the time!).  Below, UAC Advisors have provided answers to questions we frequently receive here at the UAC. If you have additional questions, please call the UAC Front Office at (201) 200-3300/3422 during hours of operation.

When should I declare my major?

Students should declare their major as soon as they have earned 30 credits and a Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 2.00 or above. Some majors, like Education and Business, require over a 2.00 CGPA. Students are advised to meet with their academic advisor prior to declaring their major to ensure that they have met all pre-requisites the major.

How long will it take me to graduate? 

This will depend on your personal circumstances but you need 120 credits to graduate.  If you go to school full time (12-18 credits each Fall and Spring semester), most students will graduate in 4-5 years.

What are credits?  How many do I need to graduate?  How many should I take each semester? 

Credits are how much each class counts towards your graduation.  Typically classes that demand more time, are worth more credits.  You need at least 120 credits to graduate.  Full time students take between 12-18 credits in each Fall and Spring semester. If you want to graduate in 4 years, you need to carry an average of 15 credits a semester.

If I change my mind, can I switch my major?

Yes, you can change your major.  Please be aware though that all of your credits may not count towards your new major.  If you decide to change majors, you should meet with an Academic Advisor in the UAC to review the requirements in advance.

How many times should I see my Academic Advisor each semester?

There is no limit. You should meet with your Academic Advisor periodically throughout the semester, especially at the beginning of ever registration period. If you have questions about your progress, schedule an appointment to meet with you Academic Advisor.

What is a degree progress report? Where do I find it?

The Degree Progress Report (or Degree Audit) is an online self-service tool that allows you to track your progress toward completion of degree requirements.
The generated report will:

  • List course work completed at NJCU and at other schools from which you submitted official transcripts
  • List course work currently in progress
  • Place course work into degree requirement sections

What if my transfer credits do not satisfy general education or major requirements?

If you are a transfer student and some of your transfer credits does not satisfy general education or major requirements, they will be counted as elective credits. If you have questions regarding your transfer credit evaluation or transfer credits, please contact the Transfer Resource Center at 201.200.3418.

What is the difference between General Education and Major requirements?

General Education Requirements

No matter what major you pursue at NJCU, you’ll have to take general studies courses. Taking General Education courses in college is similar to taking core courses of English, History, Math, and Science in high school, however, college courses go into each subject in depth.

So why do you need General Education courses as part of your degree? These courses ensure that every college graduate has the same basic set of skills. Colleges want you to graduate with strong analytical problem solving and writing skills, plus a basic understanding of contemporary society. General education courses ensure that Physics majors can communicate via writing and English majors have a basic understanding of the scientific method. In taking General Education courses, many students discover a hidden passion for a field of study they wouldn’t have considered if they didn’t take that required General Education course. After enjoying a class, students have themselves minoring or even majoring in a topic they would have never considered.

General Education courses at NJCU are comprised of 44-49 credits of English Composition I, English Composition II, Math, plus 4 Modes of Inquiry sections: Creative Process and Production, Language Literacy and Cultural Studies, Scientific and Quantitative Inquiry and Social and Historical Perspectives.

Major Requirements

A major is a program of study that gives a student basic knowledge of a particular field and contains at least 36 credit hours. Majoring in a specific subject means mastering everything about it. This program may also prepare students for graduate work. Here at NJCU, majors are offered by department within a college.  At NJCU, we have 3 colleges and 1 school: The College of Arts and Sciences, The College of Professional Studies, The College of Education and the School of Business.

The College of Arts and Sciences include the departments of; Art, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Economics, English, Earth and Environmental Sciences, History, Mathematics, Media Arts, Modern Languages (Spanish), Music, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology and Anthropology and Women’s and Gender Studies. The College of Professional Studies include the departments of: Criminal Justice, National and Professional Security Studies, Fire Science, Public Health Sciences, and Nursing. The College of Education include the departments of: Elementary and Secondary Education, Early Childhood Education, and Special Education. The School of Business include the departments of: Accounting, Economics, Management, Marketing, Finance and Global Business.

Can I drop a class after the “ADD/DROP” period?

No, you cannot drop a class after add/drop period, which is exactly one week after the start of each of full semester (Fall/Spring) and one day after the start of each Winter/Summer session. Your only option is to withdraw from the course which is completed through the Registrar’s Office.  Students are encouraged to meet with their major Academic Advisor prior to withdrawing from a course to ensure that they will stay on track toward degree completion.

How can I reduce the amount of debt I’ll have after I graduate?

The best way to reduce your debt is by keeping your information updated with the Financial Aid office to ensure you are qualifying for the maximum amount of aid.  Also, if you do well academically, you can apply for additional scholarships and paid opportunities at the University to offset the cost of your education.

What is a professional academic advisor? How is it different from a high school guidance counselor?

Your high school guidance counselor will usually tell you what classes would best fit your interests, requirements, and schedule and most of your classes are assigned to you.

Your academic advisor will help you choose your own classes, and develop a strategic academic plan based on your strengths. However, you are in charge for registering for your own courses.

High school guidance counselors are often mainly focused on college prep, while academic advisors play a more holistic role, providing students with personal and academic support. Academic advisors assist students with developing the proper skills to not only succeed academically, but navigate proficiently through their programs and prepare for their careers.

What is the difference between an Academic Advisor and a Faculty Mentor/Advisor?

Faculty mentor/advisors are experts in their academic discipline, having taught, researched and published in their respective field. Faculty advisors are knowledgeable about specific courses in their divisions, and in the educational and career opportunities in their area of concentration. Your faculty advisor can also be an excellent resources for internships and networking.

Academic Advisors are available to assist students throughout their undergraduate studies with academic, career and personal counseling.  Academic Advisors will review your degree requirements, help with academic planning and declaring a major. Academic work closely with faculty in your major program area to enhance the advisement process. Professional academic advisors can help you connect with people and offices across campus to get the information you need.

What is the difference between a Peer Advisor Liaison (PAL) and an Academic Advisor?

A PAL is a student staff advisor as opposed to an Academic Advisor who is professional staff. PALs will assist academic advisors as they are the liaison between advisor and student.