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Academic Planning & Support

Beginning Your Studies

Making Choices as a Student. You have many academic decisions to make. You will choose a major and possibly a minor, and enroll for courses that lead toward a desired degree. Students enrolled on the Mt. Pleasant campus will be required to declare a major or sign a statement of intent to major by the time they earn 56 hours of credit. Some students have already made these choices when they begin their university studies, but most appreciate the opportunity that CMU offers to sample many areas of study through the University Program portion of the General Education Requirements. The University Program is required of all students and is explained later in this Bulletin. While taking University Program classes, you prepare yourself to make career and life choices from a broadened perspective, while fulfilling needed General Education requirements for graduation.

Your Advisors. As a main campus freshman or a transfer student, you will receive individualized advisement on course selection during academic orientation. The registration process is computer assisted to help you obtain preferred courses. The Academic Advising and Assistance Office (Ronan Hall 250, 989-774-7506) offers general advising in the areas of the University Program, Competencies, and Degree Requirements. When you are ready to consider a major, arrange an appointment with a faculty advisor in the department teaching courses of interest to you. You may want to visit with faculty in several departments, but once you have selected a major, you will be assigned a faculty advisor in that department.

There are additional offices to help you:

The Career Development Center (Ronan Hall 240, 989-774-3068) offers professional assistance in career decision making.

The Registrar’s Office (Warriner 212, 989-774-3261) provides a number of services regarding academic credits earned at other schools.

Academic Schedule

Academic programs and course offerings of the university are in a constant process of change and revision in response to advancements in knowledge, and to changing student needs and societal demands. In accordance with this process, academic programs and courses may be changed, deleted, or rescheduled. The time you will need to complete a degree depends on your decisions concerning such variables as the academic load you will carry, whether or not you will attend summer sessions, and how well you use academic advisement services. You may complete a bachelor’s degree in less than four years or it may take you longer. Conditions producing high demand for certain courses and programs where resources are limited may require some students to take more than the estimated minimum amount of time to complete their programs. There may also be special requirements for certain degrees as well as major and minor programs.

These requirements may include a particular grade point average, specific demonstrated competencies, or other prerequisite experience as specified in the Bulletin. You should be aware that students who have entered academic programs may be dropped or suspended from these programs for unsatisfactory academic performance or for other program-related problems.

You are urged to discuss your progress toward a degree periodically with your academic advisor as you continue your program of study at CMU.

Progress Toward Your Degree

The rate at which you move toward completion of your degree and how efficiently you progress depend largely on the decisions you make. Making use of the academic advisement services available on campus is strongly recommended. The advisors can help you clarify your plans, as well as help you plan the most efficient route toward your degree. You can also check your own progress on the Degree Progress button on It is still important to see your advisor for assistance and verification of your progress.

Academic Load

The following is a typical academic load for a CMU undergraduate:

Semester/Session Typical Academic Load
Fall Semester14 -18
Spring Semester14 -18
3 weeks of Summer Session3
6 weeks of Summer Session5-7
12 weeks of Summer Session12-14

A degree requires a minimum of 120 hours of credit. Some degrees and majors have minimums above 120. In order to graduate within four years with a degree, a student must average at least 30 hours of credit each year.

Abilities and circumstances of students vary greatly. Each student should carefully weigh these factors when deciding the number of hours to carry during a semester or session as well as the length of time to be expended in fulfilling requirements for a degree. Some students will carry lighter loads and take longer to fulfill the requirements. As a guideline, freshmen are advised to take no more than 15 hours of credit during the first semester on campus.

No undergraduate student will be permitted to be enrolled in more than 21 credits per semester. Exceptions may be granted with approval of the dean or his/her designee.’

Global Campus: No undergraduate student will be permitted to be enrolled in more than 21 credits during any of the following periods:

  • Spring (January-May)
  • Summer (May-August)
  • Fall (August-December)

Amended by the Academic Senate on 4/22/03 to include restriction to 21 credits per semester. Editorially amended 3/21/18 to change mimimum hours to 120 and semester average to 30 for Senate-approved degrees with 120 minimum hours.

First Year (Freshman) (0-25 credit hours)

  • Meet with your General Academic Advisor during your first semester to clarify requirements on the University Program, competencies, or any other questions you have encountered since academic orientation. Review your Bulletin carefully.
  • At CMU, several advising services, classes, and self assessment instruments are available to assist you in your academic and career decision making. Some suggestions include:
  • Talking to CMU advisors in academic departments, Academic Advising and Assistance, or the Career Development Center regarding academic programs that interest you.
  • Considering taking CED 101 (1 credit) Career and Self Exploration.
  • Participating in various self assessment exercises designed to match your interests and abilities with academic and career opportunities. CMU offers the following personalized and computerized self assessment exercises: Focus Program and Strong Interest Inventory (see the Career Development Center website:


  • Contact Business Student Services (Grawn Hall 105, 989-774-3124) for information regarding the College of Business Administration or to schedule a meeting with a business advisor.

The Arts and Media (Art, Broadcast & Cinematic Arts, Communication, Journalism, Music):

  • Contact the advisor in Moore 221A, 989-774-7506.

Health Professions:

Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (English Language and Literature; History; Military Science; Philosophy and Religion; Political Science; Psychology; Sociology, Anthropology & Social Work; World Languages and Cultures:

  • Contact the advisor at Anspach 212A, 989-774-7506.

Pre-professional Studies (pre-law, pre-med, etc.):

  • Talk with the appropriate pre-professional advisor.


Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics:

Second Year (Sophomore) (26-55 credit hours)

  • Continue your search for a major and/or minor.
  • If you have decided on your major and/or minor, consult with the appropriate departmental advisor(s) to declare the major/minor and define requirements for graduation.
  • Continue coursework on the University Program, competencies, and major/minor. Most competency requirements must be completed by 56 credit hours. Review your progress on completion of the University Program and competency requirements with your general academic advisor. Search for a study abroad or an internship opportunity by contacting CMU’s Office of Global Engagement (Ronan Hall 330, 989-774-4308) or an internship coordinator in the Career Development Center (Ronan Hall 250, 989-774-3068). Your academic department of choice may also have advice for you.


  • Follow the procedures for admission to the Teacher Education Program.

Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor.


  • Complete the requirements for admission to the College of Business Administration outlined in the Undergraduate Bulletin.
  • Meet with a CBA advisor in Grawn Hall 105, 989-774-3124;

Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics:

Third Year (Junior) (56-85 credit hours)

  • Declare your major and/or minor in the appropriate department(s) if you have not done so.
  • Once you have declared your major and/or minor, schedule an advising appointment with the Academic Advisor in the college of your major. This person will review your individual courses and determine remaining degree requirements.
  • Register with the Career Development Center (Ronan Hall 250, 989-774-3068)
  • Apply for admission into an Accelerated Master’s Degree Program if applicable.


  • If you have completed Cycle I, and if you plan to student teach during the following fall semester, apply for student teaching in January (see Standards Leading to Teacher Certification).
  • Follow the procedures for admission to the Teacher Education Program.
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor.
  • Visit the Center for Student Services website at for admission information.

Fourth Year (Senior) (86-120 credit hours)

  • Once you have earned 86 credit hours, apply for graduation through Degree Progress or the Registrar’s website. Questions about graduation can be addressed by the Registrar’s Office.
  • Complete graduation requirements as indicated on your Graduation Audit. Develop skills for your job search at the Career Development Center (Ronan Hall 250, 989-774-3068). Skill development workshops and information are available regarding job search techniques, interviewing skills, and portfolio development.
  • If you are interested in attending graduate school, you should talk to faculty members in the field you would like to pursue. They will have information on how to go about selecting, applying to, and preparing for graduate school. You may also contact Graduate Studies for information on all graduate programs available at CMU by visiting, sending an e-mail to, calling 989-774-1708, or visiting Graduate Student Services in Foust 100.

Special Notes for Transfer Students:

  • During your first semester, check with the Registrar’s Office to be sure that a final transcript from each of your previous colleges is on file.
  • If you have questions following orientation, meet with a general academic advisor or college advisor to review your transfer credit evaluation, University Program and competency requirements.
  • Review the above steps to verify your progress toward completion of all CMU degree requirements.

Academic Supports

Central Michigan University’s comprehensive advising and counseling services offer an important resource for all undergraduate students. Academic advisors make every effort to familiarize students with university requirements, career, and academic information. Students with emotional or personal concerns have opportunities to work with professional counselors (see Counseling Center for more information). Using these support services is easy, convenient and critical to success.

All new freshmen and transfer students register for first semester classes at Academic Orientation. After that, students are urged to regularly discuss academic progress with any or all of the following academic support services.

Academic Advising and Assistance

Ronan 250; 989-774-7506

The Academic Advising and Assistance office provides academic guidance, assistance and support to undergraduate students through advising, tutoring, Supplemental Instruction, and academic support classes. The university academic probation, suspension and dismissal policies are monitored by this office. Staff members are also responsible for the planning and delivery of the undergraduate orientation program. The website is

General Academic Advisors. All undeclared undergraduate students are assigned a general academic advisor. Advisors assist entering and returning students with course selections, fulfilling General Education and other degree requirements. General Academic Advisors also offer advice on career and academic decision making, transfer credit, study skills and referrals to specific on-campus services. Global Campus students are assigned advisors at the time of admission.

Student Success Centers. One of the features of the Academic Advising and Assistance office is the convenient access students have to the office services. Four Student Success Centers are conveniently located in residence hall quads, enabling new students to meet with advisors where they live. Since General Academic Advisors also assist off-campus and undecided upper-class students, appointments are scheduled in Student Success Centers. A centralized advising and assistance office is located in Ronan Hall 250, to offer comprehensive services to students in the area of tutoring or on-campus referrals.

Academic Assistance. Academic assistance is available to help students who, in the process of earning a degree, find they need to know more about study skills and reading techniques. Staff members provide one-on-one assistance that is geared to the student’s needs.

Tutoring. Tutoring is available for undergraduate students who need assistance in understanding course material. Students experiencing difficulty in any undergraduate math class may obtain assistance at one of the walk-in Math Assistance Centers. The Writing Centers specialize in helping students with all types of writing. Undergraduate students seeking assistance in most other subjects can request a one-on-one or small group tutor from the Tutoring office in Academic Advising and Assistance, Ronan Hall 250. Note: Tutoring is not available to main campus students for most online classes.

Supplemental Instruction. Supplemental Instruction is provided for students enrolled in courses which have historically proved difficult as evidenced by the number of students who earn low grades or withdraw from the course. Supplemental Instruction (SI) is comprised of a series of review sessions conducted by an SI Leader who prepares a review for each lecture given by the professor. Students experiencing difficulty in the course are encouraged to attend SI sessions regularly.

Academic Skills Courses. Courses in study and reading strategies are offered to help students increase their academic experience. Skills covered include time management and organization issues, motivation, note-taking skills, test taking techniques, stress management and problem solving methods. A course in reading improvement is offered to assist students in comprehension and critical reading skills.

Academic Departmental Advising

When students are ready to consider a major or minor program, it is recommended that an appointment be made with a faculty advisor in the department teaching courses of interest. Students may want to visit with faculty in several departments before making a decision. Once a major/minor is selected, a faculty advisor is assigned by the academic department.

Transfer Credit Evaluation. This area of the Registrar’s Office receives and reviews transcripts for evaluation of undergraduate transfer credit. Students may schedule an appointment with the Assistant Registrar if they have questions regarding transfer credit. Transferability of coursework from Michigan community colleges as well as partial listings from other colleges and universities can be viewed at Students planning to complete coursework at colleges not listed should check with this office in advance by emailing course information to

Graduation Audit. During the semester or session in which students will complete 86 credit hours, an application for graduation should be submitted. Applications for graduation can be submitted online through Degree Progress or the Registrar’s website. An official graduation audit indicating remaining requirements for your degree will be e-mailed to students.

Applications are processed in the order they are received for each graduation. For further information including submission deadlines, refer to Requirements for Graduation in this Bulletin.

Office of Student Success

230 Ronan Hall


The team in the Office of Student Success provides students with personal coaching services to aid the development of their campus experience focusing on academic and personal success strategies. Coaches are available in the Student Success Centers within each residence hall and most academic departments. Coaches and students work together to set personal and academic goals. Coaching provides structured, on-going interventions to assist students in creating a network across the university, to seek out resources, experiences, and support services. Efforts result in a plan for the achievement of academic milestones including the declaring of a major, and graduating in four years.

Students and coaches work together on topics that include navigating the process to gain admission to a competitive program of study, declaring or changing a major or minor, helpful study strategies, preparing for exams, managing priorities and time, financial planning, and effective reading and note-taking practices.

Coaching is personalized and available to all CMU students.

MI GEAR UP Program

MI GEAR UP (Michigan Gaining Early Awareness & Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) is a grant funded program at Central Michigan University designed to significantly increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. It is funded by the Michigan Department of Talent and Economic Development, King-Chavez-Parks (KCP) Initiative. The pre-college program facilitates student tutoring, mentoring, and offers workshops on college preparation, and financial aid. It also assists schools and teachers to better prepare middle and high school students for college studies. The MI GEAR UP grant serves over 800 students in four schools. MI GEAR UP coordinates with CMU departments to provide on campus experiences for project students. CMU students gain valuable mentoring, volunteer and hands-on experience working with MI GEAR UP student programs. Contact information: Bovee University Center 108-B; 989-774-1585; e-mail:

Pathways to Academic Student Success

Pathways (Pathways to Academic Student Success) is a grant funded program at Central Michigan University designed to increase the retention and graduation rates of first generation and Pell grant eligible students. It is funded by the King-Chavez-Parks Initiative Michigan Department of Talent and Economic Development. The program will serve a cohort of 150 low-income and/or first generation CMU students each year with the goal of achieving increased grade point averages, advancement of academic standing, increased acceptance into majors and increased graduation rates. Pathways coordinates with campus partners to provide academic guidance, leadership development and mentoring. Contact information: Bovee University Center 108; 989-774-3630.

Upward Bound

The CMU Upward Bound is a federally funded pre-college program through the U.S. Department of Education and is designed to help economically disadvantaged and/or first generation college-bound students complete high school and prepare for college. CMU is the host institution for Upward Bound. The program intent is to encourage youth to complete high school and enter post-secondary education. Resource and assistance is offered in all aspects of the college admissions process, including, but not limited to, financial aid and scholarships completion, college applications and visits, as well as academic support workshops. It is here that students are offered free tutoring in all subjects. Weekly programs that highlight education, career, and social awareness are provided to open the eyes, hearts, and minds of the students. The Upward Bound motto is “Where Preparation Meets Opportunity!” We strive to give each student opportunities to allow them to be prepared for every opportunity and assist them in their ambitions toward a college education. Contact information: 313-215-0738.

Testing and Diagnostic Services

Center for Community Counseling and Development. The Center for Community Counseling and Development provides counseling and assessment services for community residents, area schools, and Central Michigan University students. Advanced graduate students in counseling ordinarily perform these services under the supervision of the counselor education faculty members. Among the services provided are: individual counseling for children, adolescents and adults; family and couples counseling; play therapy for children; general counseling for emotional problems and life adjustment concerns; career and employment counseling; referral help in finding appropriate services for identified problems; and consultation with community agencies and schools. In addition to serving the needs of referrals during the school year, the Center for Community Counseling and Development provides counseling and consultative services during the summer months. The clinic is administered by the Department of Counseling and Special Education (989-774-3532; EHS 322).

Psychological Training & Consultation Center (PTCC). The PTCC is a CMU training clinic which offers free psychological services, including psychotheraphy and psychological assessment, to CMU students, faculty, and staff, and community residents. Services are provided by CMU psychology graduate students who are training at the PTCC, and all services are supervised by Psychology Department faculty. In addition, speciality services are offered through the PTCC, including the Trauma and Anxiety Disorders Clinic, Neuropsychology Clinic, School Psychology Clinic, and Learning Acceleration Clinic. For further information about the PTCC or to request services, please call 989-774-3904.

Speech, Language, and Hearing Clinics. The Speech, Language and Hearing Clinics are operated by the Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders at CMU and at various ancillary facilities in the Central Michigan area. These clinics are part of the Carls Center for Clinical Care and Education. The clinics emphasize complete programs in evaluation, diagnosis, and rehabilitation of children and adults with communication disorders. The academic and clinical service programs in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology are nationally recognized by full accreditation from the Council of Academic Accreditation of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. In addition, the Audiology program is the first in the USA to be nationally recognized by full accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Audiology Education of the American Academy of Audiology.

Each summer, the Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders operates a five-week coeducational specialty program on campus for children and adolescents up to the age of 18 years, with speech, language, voice, fluency and hearing disorders. Participants receive approximately 60 hours of therapy at the Carls Center for Clinical Care and Education. Since its inception in 1946, this specialty clinic has served thousands of children with a wide range of communication disorders. Enrollment in this clinic is approximately 75 children each summer. The staff is comprised of university faculty; practicing speech, language, and hearing professionals; graduate students; and selected undergraduates.

The Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders offers students in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology diverse clinical opportunities. Practicum experience may include medical care facilities, educational settings, preschool language programs, hospital clinics, voice clinics, otolaryngologists’ offices, and adult work activity centers. Students completing the master’s degree program in Speech-Language Pathology or the professional doctoral degree (Au.D.) in Audiology fulfill the academic and clinical requirements for the Certificate of Clinical Competence issued by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

The Carls Center for Clinical Care and Education, Health Professions Building, 989-774-3904.

Certified Testing Center

The Certified Testing Center, located in Park Library, provides testing services for students. This includes CLEP testing, testing for competencies, and graduate entrance examinations, as well as other tests. Call 989-774-1092 for additional information or visit the website at 

Career Development Center

Julia Barlow Sherlock, Director

Ronan Hall 240


The primary goals of the Career Development Center are to assist individuals in recognizing career development as a lifelong process and to develop decision-making and job search skills that are useful throughout life. Career development is an important element of an individual’s sense of identity and personal happiness. Successful career development is dependent on two factors: self-knowledge and knowledge of the world of work. The likelihood of career success is increased dramatically when individuals invest incremental effort over a significant period of time. We believe you should continue the process of career exploration and selection during your first semester and throughout your CMU experience. By utilizing the Career Development Center, you will enhance your ability to make an informed career decision. All of us at CMU are committed to providing you with quality experiences and helping you prepare for your career.

Support Services

Advising. A professional staff member in the Career Development Center is available to advise students in all fields of study. You may call to make an appointment with an advisor to discuss industry trends, salary trends, available resources, time frames for conducting a job search, preparations for your job search, and information about internships. You are encouraged to communicate with a career advisor throughout your CMU career beginning with your first semester. Frequent contacts with an advisor will enhance the quality of your career development and increase your knowledge of resources and job market trends. Visit for information on planning for career success.

Resume Critiques. The Career Development Center offers individual assistance in the development of this most critical tool.

Mock Interview Program. This program is designed to provide an opportunity to practice your interviewing skills prior to actual scheduled interviews with employers. This practice interview is a session with an intern who is trained to provide feedback about verbal and nonverbal techniques.

Register. Searching for Internships, Employer Referrals, and On- Campus Interviewing. Individuals who are actively pursuing professional employment or internship opportunities register with the Career Development Center by using Handshake. This system is available to undergraduates, graduating seniors, graduate students, and alumni. Registering allows you access to the on-campus interviewing program, internships, the employer referral program, and our job database.

Assessments (Career “Tests ”). Try the free FOCUS2 assessment tool to help clarify your interests, values, skills, personality, education preferences and leisure time interests. Use this information as a basis for further discussions about your choice of major and future with a career advisor, friends, and family members. Additionally, this tool can be used to research job titles that fit your personal profile. Also available through the Career Development Center, for a nominal charge, are the Myer’s-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and the Strong Interest Inventory (SII). You must make an appointment with a career advisor to receive and discuss your results.

Career Events. There are numerous Career events held throughout the academic year. These events are focused on the following career-related activities:

Career/Job Fairs

Employer Spotlights

Capital City Internship Program

Fire Up Your Career Information Workshop

How a major “fits” into the world of work.

Go to for a current list of Career Events (you will need a global id).

On-Campus Interviewing Program

This program is designed to give students access to a well-established base of employers who schedule and conduct interviews on campus for a variety of entry-level positions. A list of employers and their interview dates is available in Handshake (, and the Career Development Center.

For more information, contact the Career Development Center, Ronan Hall 240, 989- 774-3068,, or online at