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Advising tips, tools and FAQ

View resources, tips and commonly asked questions about advising and student services and the Cronkite School.

Cronkite students are strongly encouraged to schedule an appointment with their academic advisor every semester, and not less than once per year. Students are welcome, of course, to come in for an appointment as often as needed. Click here to schedule an appointment with your academic advisor.


Major Map

Your My Major Map Progress provides a customized view of your degree requirements to help track your progress throughout your program. Courses that are completed, transferred or in progress are indicated to ensure you have a clear understanding of fulfilled and remaining requirements. Major Maps provide recommended terms in which to fill specific requirements, though our programs have some flexibility as to when a class should be taken. The major map is found in the My Program box on your My ASU by clicking on the Degree Progress link. Your Academic Advisor can help you find, understand and follow the Major Map.

Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS)

The Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS), also referred to as a Graduation Audit, is used by ASU students and academic advisors to track student progress towards graduation. A degree audit is an automated report that matches courses a student has completed with the requirements of a particular academic degree program.

Students may request degree audits from the My Program box on My ASU by clicking on the Degree Progress link. You can request your audit by selecting Run Audit, then Run Default Programs, and then clicking on View Audit. You can learn more about the DARS/Graduation Audit by watching the DARS Explainer Experience video, also found on my ASU below the DARS/Graduation Audit link. Your Academic Advisor can help find, understand and follow the DARS/Graduation Audit.

GPA Calculator

The ASU GPA Calculator can be found at


General Advising Questions

How do I add classes to my schedule?

To add classes, go to My ASU and in the My Classes box click on Class Search. In the subject and number windows type the class you want to take. Once the classes come up, select the specific section you want and click the big red Add button. On the new page you will see the class, and in the upper right a green button titled Add to Cart. Click that, and then in the same spot click the Enroll button. There will be a pop-up asking if you are sure – click Yes and you should be set. On the left you can go back to the class search or go view your schedule.

How do I remove classes from my schedule?

To drop a class (or withdraw – the word just designates when in the semester you do it), go to My ASU and in the My Classes box find the Registration link (bottom of the box in the gray bar, on the far left of the box). Click that and a pop-up window will appear. Click Drop/Withdraw and you will see your classes, all with blank checkboxes in front of them. Check the box of the class you want to drop/withdraw from. In the upper right, click the green Next button and then on the next page the green Drop Classes button. There will be a pop-up asking if you are sure – click Yes and you should be set. That should do it, but you can go back to My ASU and check your schedule to see that the class is actually gone.

When are the deadlines for withdrawing from a class?

See the Academic Calendar box on My ASU and look for the 100% Refund deadline, the Single Course Withdrawal date, and the Complete Session Withdrawal date (the Complete Session Withdrawal date means the last time a student can withdrawal from ALL courses in a session). You may also contact your academic advisor, or for a faster response you can call 855-278-5080 and ask about withdrawal deadlines.

IMPORTANT: Be aware that typically Financial Aid or 3rd party reimbursement does not pay for withdrawn or failed classes. Withdrawing from classes may also affect scholarship renewal. If you have questions about the financial consequences of withdrawing from a class or classes, please call Financial Services at 855-278-5080.

What is the add/drop period? What is the withdrawal period?

ASU determines the dates during which students may add or drop classes (see the Academic Calendar box on My ASU). The add/drop period is the time during which a student may add or drop a class without any record of the change. This is the time to try a class out briefly and decide whether to keep it or replace it with another class. The add/drop period for C session classes (full semester) is 7 days into the term. The add/drop period for A or B session classes (half semester) is two days into the session.

ASU also determines the dates during which students may withdraw from classes. During this period the student cannot replace the class. Classes removed during the Withdrawal period show on the transcript with a W grade. A grade of W does not affect GPA and is generally not considered a concern by anyone viewing a transcript (typically the only people who review transcripts following graduation are schools to which students have applied for Master’s programs). The withdrawal period for C session (full semester) classes is roughly two months. The withdrawal period for A or B session (half semester) classes is roughly two weeks. After the deadline for withdrawing from classes has passes, students may not withdraw from individual classes. Students may withdraw from all classes in a session at any time by doing a Complete Session Withdrawal. Again, this process withdraws students from all classes in that session with no exceptions. NOTE: withdrawing from classes does not guarantee a refund, and there may be long-term financial consequences to withdrawing. Please contact Financial Services at 855-278-5080 to discuss any potential financial consequences of withdrawing from one or more classes.

What is the maximum number of classes I can take at a time? How can I request an exception to take more?

ASU caps the number of credits a student may take in a fall or spring semester at 18, with a maximum of 9 credits per session. In summer the maximum is 7 credits per session with a total semester cap of 14 credits. Students requesting more credits may complete and submit this form to their assigned Cronkite advisor or to NOTE: overloads requests are not granted for students in their first semester at ASU.

What are A, B and C session classes? What are dynamically dated classes?

C-session classes are full-semester classes. All in-person classes and a few online classes are C-session classes. (A notable exception is the in-person ASU 101-CS class for on campus students, which is an A- or B-session class.) A-session and B-session classes are half-semester classes. Nearly all online classes are either A-session or B-session classes.

All three-credit courses, regardless of session or modality, require the same amount of student work. (Session A and B classes require the same amount of work and time as a Session C class, but that work is condensed into a shorter time period.)

To be considered a full-time student, undergraduate students must take 12 credits in a semester. Immersion students may take four session C classes, or some combination of session A, B and C courses. Online students who wish to be full-time students take two classes (6 credits) in session A and two classes (6 credits) in session B, totaling 12 credits. Students may take up to 9 credits in any given session, although that’s a difficult workload for students with commitments outside of class, such as work or family.

Dynamically dated classes are typically shorter classes that do not follow the A, B or C structure. Study abroad classes are often dynamically dated, as are ASU 10, 11 or 44 Connect: ASU Orientation. If you have a dynamically dated class on your schedule, keep a close watch on the start and end dates.

Is an Accelerated Master’s Program offered?

The Cronkite School offers an Accelerated Master’s Program for Journalism and Mass Communication, BA and Sports Journalism, BA students. Learn more about the Accelerated Master’s Program.

I have questions or concerns about a non-Cronkite School class (classes that are not directly offered by the Cronkite School). Who do I ask?

For questions about classes offered by other academic units (general studies classes, minor classes, concurrent major classes, etc.) you should contact the unit offering the class. The course syllabus should have that information. If you are still unsure who to reach out to, your assigned Cronkite advisor can likely help you determine who to contact.

How do I appeal a grade?

To appeal a grade you received in a Cronkite School class, please contact assistant dean Melanie Alvarez at For grade appeals in classes offered by units outside the Cronkite School (e.g. general studies classes) you must contact the schools that offer those classes directly.

Questions About Holds

What is the MMR Immunization Hold?

All newly admitted students born after Jan. 1, 1957 must provide proof of measles/rubella immunity to the ASU Health Center located on the first floor of the Edson College of Nursing and Healthcare Innovation Building, 500 N. 3rd St., Suite 155, Phoenix, AZ 85004. Students typically cannot register for classes with a MMR Immunization hold. Learn more about Immunization Hold.

What is an Advisor Hold. What does this mean?

An advising hold may prevent you from registering for future terms. Learn more about an Advisor Hold.

What is a Change Major Hold. What does this mean?

Students whose progress is deemed Off-Track for two consecutive semesters are advised to change majors. Learn more about a Change Major Hold.

What is Good Standing, Academic Warning, Academic Probation and Academic Disqualification?

These are all forms of Academic Standing.

Questions about changing my major:

How do I change my major to a Cronkite School program?

The easiest way to change your major is to go to the Changingmajors webpage. About halfway down you will see several large maroon buttons. The one on the right will be titled Change My Major. Click that and answer the questions. Once you submit the form it will be reviewed and you will be contacted with your next steps.

To change your major to a Cronkite School program, visit the Changing My Major page. Look for several large maroon buttons about halfway down the page; click the “Change My Major” button and answer the questions. One question will ask if you are sure you want to make the change, or if you would like to speak with someone first: We suggest you do, and submit the form to be contacted by a Cronkite representative within three days. Once you’re confident that you want to switch programs, the formal change will be made.

Current ASU students interested in changing majors to a Cronkite online degree program (Digital Audiences, Digital Media Literacy, and Mass Communication and Media Studies) must have a minimum 2.0 GPA. Current ASU students interested in changing majors to one of our on-campus degree programs (Journalism and Mass Communication, Sports Journalism and Digital Audiences) must have taken a minimum of 12 ASU credits and earned a minimum 3.0 ASU GPA.

Recent high school graduates who have been accepted to ASU but have not yet started ASU classes may submit a change of major form based on their high school GPA.

How do I change my major to an ASU program outside of Cronkite School?

Contact your academic advisor.

Questions about professional programs

Am I required to complete a Professional Program for the Journalism and Mass Communication (JMC) or Sports Journalism program?

Yes! All students in the Journalism and Mass Communication (JMC) and Sports Journalism programs are required to complete at least one 3-credit professional program. The professional program is an immersive full-day experience during two or more days a week. Students typically participate in their professional program during their junior or senior year. Here is the list of professional programs, their prerequisites and a link to the application (if open).

Your academic advisor will work with you to determine which experience best suits your interest. Students taking a professional program in fall or spring and participating two days a week will earn 3 credits. Students taking a professional program in fall or spring and participating three days a week will earn 6 credits. Students taking a professional program in fall or spring and participating four days a week will earn 9 credits.

Professional programs may be taken in more than one semester, and students may take multiple programs (for example, a student may take Cronkite News for 3 credits and the Digital Audiences Lab for 3 credits, either in the same semester or one each in two semesters). Credit earned beyond the required 3 can be used to fill an Advanced Skills requirement or a JMC or MCO Upper Division elective requirement.

Do I need to complete a professional program or capstone course to graduate from the Digital Audiences program?

Yes, the Digital Audiences program requires the completion of the Digital Audiences Lab (immersion) or MCO439 (online).

Do I need to complete a Professional Program or capstone course to graduate from the Digital Media Literacy or Mass Communication and Media Studies program?

No, these online degree programs do not require professional program or capstone courses. The requirements for those programs are listed in the Graduation Audit (DARS) and major map.

Can I take a Professional Program in summer?

Yes, most Professional Programs are offered during summer. However, since the summer session is shorter than fall or spring sessions, summer Professional Programs require one extra day per week for the duration of the program. Also, please remember that Professional Programs are classes so you will need to pay tuition for a summer Professional Program. Scholarships and grants do not typically pay for summer classes. Loans will typically not pay for classes unless at least 6 credits are completed in the term. Therefore, if you take a 3-credit summer Professional Program you would need to complete another 3 ASU credits to allow loans to pay for the class. Students are strongly encouraged to talk with Financial Services about summer costs and funding options before securing a Professional Program. That office number is 855-278-5080.

What is the difference between an Internship and a Professional Program?

Internships are essentially jobs taken at organizations outside of the Cronkite School, and are approved by (and often secured through) the Cronkite School’s Career Services office. Professional Programs are classes taken in one of the Cronkite School’s newsrooms or labs and are secured by submitting an application to the Cronkite School (usually before registering for classes for the semester you want to take the Professional Program). Students are required to take one 3-credit Internship as part of their degree, although they are encouraged to take on additional internships for their own benefit. Students may take up to 9 credits of Professional Program coursework and apply that to the degree. For more information on the difference between internships and professional programs please talk with your academic advisor and/or the career services office.

Other questions

How do I apply for graduation?

To apply for Graduation, which students must do in order to graduate, go to My ASU, look in the box on the right side titled My Programs, click the Graduation tab, then click the Apply for Graduation link. The deadline for application for each term is listed above the link, but students can apply any time before then. The application consists of a short series of questions, a $50 graduation fee and an ASU survey that must be completed in order for the form to be submitted. Students who complete that process by the deadline and successfully complete their classes should be set for graduation. 

Many students choose to attend graduation ceremonies, although that is optional. There are two types of ceremonies: Commencement, which is university-wide and open to all students who are completing their degrees in that semester; and Convocation, a ceremony limited to specific academic units (Cronkite students would look for the Cronkite School Convocation). Commencement dates are listed on the Academic Calendar. Cronkite Convocation is usually the next evening but that can vary by semester. 

Students who plan to walk in graduation ceremonies will need a cap and gown, which can be ordered through the Bookstore or online. Detailed information about participating in university commencement or Cronkite convocation, including how to secure guest tickets, will be sent to students via email.

How is residency determined and how can I change my designation?

Residency (tuition) status initially is determined by the Admissions Office at the time a student is admitted to ASU. Non-resident students who feel they may qualify for resident tuition status must file a petition for reclassification. Learn more about the residency navigator.

What if I have other questions?

ASU has a trove of FAQ articles called Knowledge Articles that contains over 1,500 short articles about a variety of subjects which can be accessed from the HELP tab at the top of My ASU. The articles cover many of the questions students have about the university policies and procedures and is a great starting point for non-Cronkite specific questions.


Academic Advisor – a staff member who helps students understand and navigate degree requirements. Academic advisors may have some basic knowledge of other areas (including financial, housing, transportation, events, career, admissions, etc.) and of other majors programs, but are experts on Cronkite School majors and their requirements. If an advisor does not know enough to be helpful in a specific area they can typically suggest a person or office that might be more helpful.

Credits – also, hours or units. Each class is assigned a certain number of credits which indicates the number of hours students can expect to be spent in class. Each classroom hour is expected to be associated with approximately two hours of homework time. So, a 3-credit class should reflect about 3 hours per week in the class and about 6 hours per week of homework. The most common number of credits per class is 1, 3 or 4, though other numbers of credit per class sometimes occur.

Elective – classes that do not fill specific requirements, but which do contribute to the total number of credits needed for the degree. Classes may be general electives (short for General Studies electives), or major electives (classes offered from within the major that do not fill specific requirements). ASU provides this article about finding general electives if you need them.

Financial Aid – funds made available to students to help cover the cost of going to school. Financial aid can include a combination of scholarships, grants, loans and work study. Each has specific rules for eligibility and rules that must be followed in order to maintain the funding for upcoming years. Financial Aid will generally not pay for failed or withdrawn classes. Questions about Financial Aid should be directed to the experts in the Financial Services office at 855-278-5080.

General Studies – classes that are required for a degree but are offered outside the specific major courses. For students at the Cronkite School, any ASU class that is not a JMC or MCO prefix is a general studies class.

Graduation – graduation is actually a very specific administrative activity. Graduation occurs when the university determines a student has met all the requirements of their degree program and confers the degree. In essence, the school notes in its records that a student has graduated. Diplomas are always mailed to students a few weeks after they officially graduate. Graduation does not happen until ALL requirements are filled – students may not graduate before they finish taking classes. In order to start the graduation process, students need to apply for graduation during or just before the semester in which they intend to graduate.

Graduation Ceremonies – graduation ceremonies are celebrations of graduation and do not denote officially graduating. Students may participate in graduation ceremonies if they have a small number of requirements remaining (see an advisor for details).

Lower Division – first-year and sophomore level classes. These classes tend to be beginning or intermediate level classes, and are generally expected to entail a little less work at a little slower pace, and be a little less in depth than Upper Division classes. In ASU’s class numbering system, 100 and 200 level classes (for example MCO 120 or JMC 201) are considered Lower Division.

Prerequisite – a requirement that must be met prior to taking a specific class. For example, a student must complete ENG 101 before starting ENG 102.

Upper Division – junior and senior level classes. These classes tend to be advanced level classes that are a bit more difficult than Lower Division classes. Students are expected to do a little more work at a little faster pace, and the content is a little more in depth. In ASU’s class numbering system, 300 and 400 level classes (for example, MCO 335 or JMC 402) are considered Upper Division.