Advisor's Toolbox

Good academic advising is a collaborative effort between advisee and advisor.

Advisors support students' effort to realize their full potential. Both roles should know what to expect from advising.

Advisee List

Your list of advisees is dynamic, potentially changing throughout the semester as students add and drop academic programs. A current list of advisees is available through Fish 'R' Net > Faculty Services > Student Menu > Advisee Listing > Select a Term*. This provides you not only with your advisees’ names, but their Student ID#, a link to their email address, their alternate PIN (used for course registration), and a link at the very bottom of that list to email all advisees.

*Note: if you are looking up your advisee listing to obtain alternate PINs for the upcoming semester, be sure to select that upcoming term.


Advisor/advisee relationships benefit from good communication. Advisors should establish expectations early each semester, and new advisees should be encouraged to introduce themselves to their advisors well before the course registration advising period.

Best Practices: Communication Plan

Early in the 1st Month – Welcome (Back)

Email advisees that you are their academic advisor. Suggest to them how best to contact you, what you expect from them as an advisee, and what they can expect from you. Include information about applying for graduation. For the sake of simplicity, craft a single email that applies to all new student and another for returning advisees. Utilize FisherLink to bulk email. Here is an example of an email for new advisees:

Welcome to the start of the new semester and being a XX major. I am happy to be your academic advisor. I want to support in your academic path. To do that, we must get to know each other. Let's meet to look at where you are in your academic progress and where you'd like to go. My contact information is in your Success Network in FisherLink. Please use that to make an appointment with me during my office hours. You can also stop in my office at XX if you see my door is open.

I’m looking forward to meeting you and watching your success grow at Fisher.

Kindly yours,

Later in the 2nd or 3rd Month – Preparing for Course Registration Advising

Inform advisees of the course registration week date, the date that you plan to begin advising appointments, how they reserve an advising appointment with you, a list of or link to advising resources, and how you expect them to be prepared for their advising appointment with you.

[attach Web Registration Worksheet and Course Planning Worksheet]

The advising period for Spring/Fall Course Registration begins next week! Here's what you should do to be prepared.

Schedule an advising appointment with me through FisherLink. Make your appointment for a time when you'll be fully prepared! Appointments will begin __________ and run through __________.

To prepare for your advising appointment:

  • View your Registration Status on Fish 'R' Net (Fish 'R' Net -> Student Services -> Registration -> Registration Status) to be sure that you don't have any holds on your account. If you do have a hold, resolve it with the appropriate office. If you need assistance with that, please see a CAP advisor. Note that your Registration Time Slot should be posted ____________. 
  • Compare your courses completed and in progress with your remaining degree requirements on UAchieve.
  • View the Course Offerings to develop a list of courses you plan to take toward completing your major and any minor and Core requirements. Web Registration Advising Worksheet [pdf]. List the Subject, Course Number, and Course Registration Number (CRN). For example, ENGL 212, #05323. Be sure to include if it's a major, minor, or core requirement in the notes section.
  • Use the Course Planning Worksheet [pdf] to help you arrange your schedule.
  • Bring these materials to your appointment.

Any advisee who doesn't complete these basic steps will not be able to obtain their alternate PIN.

Preparing in this way will make for a productive meeting. However, we realize this can be overwhelming for a first year student, so do what you can. The most important part is to make a meeting and come to it.

Once you've met with me, obtained your alternate PIN, and your registration time slot has opened (in order of hours earned and currently enrolled), you'll be able to register for your next semester. A tutorial on how to register is available in the Online Registration Guide video. Registration remains open through the first week of classes in the next semester, but course availability goes quickly. It is in your best interest to register ASAP!

Common Advising Issues

Which Catalog Are You Following?

Students must fulfill the graduation requirements for the year they entered the University.

Transfer students' catalog year is indicated on their Transfer Credit Evaluation.

Students may move their catalog year forward to follow new degree requirements (core always remains the same), but they may not move it backward. Degree requirements must be followed from only 1 bulletin. It is important to know which catalog is being followed when using the online degree evaluation. Archived undergraduate catalogs are available online.

Catalog year changes are made by submitting the Academic Program Change Request to the Registrar's Office.

Catalog Year
The Core

Students who begin as freshmen must complete the entire Core. Advanced credit earned in high school, such as AP, IB, CLEP and transfer credit, may be applied toward completion the core.

Transfer students may have part or all of their Core Foundations Tier 1 waived. See the student's Transfer Credit Evaluation (TCE) for details.

Core Requirements
Double Major vs. Double Degree

There are significant differences between earning a double degree and adding a 2nd major to a program of study. Students often declare second majors in pursuit of their college degrees. If a student meets all of the course requirements for both majors, the student may graduate with one degree and have two majors listed on the academic transcript. With careful planning, degree requirements for two majors can be completed within the minimum 120 credits needed to earn the one degree.

Sometimes students wish to pursue two distinct degrees—either a B.A. and a B.S., or two B.S. or B.A. degrees. In these cases, the requirements for each major and each degree must be met, and students must earn a minimum of 150 credit hours.

In the case of a student returning to earn a 2nd degree after the awarding of the student's first degree, the student must earn a minimum of 30 additional credit hours and meet all requirements for the second degree. Please refer students to the Registrar for clarification.

Dual Degrees
Foreign Language (P5 Core) Requirement
  • B.A. degree students must complete the two semester sequence of a foreign language. The introductory foreign language sequence also satisfies two P5 Core requirements.
  • Placement details at are available at Modern Languages and Cultures. If further clarification is needed, refer students to the department.
Core Requirements
Study Abroad Eligibility

You are considered eligible for the study abroad program if you are a:

  • sophomore with a minimum 3.0 GPA, and have declared a major and secured approval from your department.
  • junior or senior with a minimum 2.75 GPA.

You also must be in good disciplinary standing with the University. 

Study Abroad
GPA Requirements
  • 2.0 overall for all undergraduate students
  • 2.0 in the major
  • 2.0 in the minor

Transfer course grades are not included in the Fisher GPA. In the case of major and minor electives (courses not specifically required), all courses that may be applied are used in determination of the GPA, even if the student takes extra electives.

Some majors, including education, sport management, and nursing, require minimum grades of C (2.0) for individual major courses. Other majors, including sport management and education, require specific GPAs for eligibility for practicums, internships, and student teaching.

Inter-Institutional Policy

St. John Fisher University is a member of the Rochester Area Colleges Consortium. The Consortium allows undergraduate matriculated students to enroll in undergraduate courses on a space-available basis at any RAC college. The student must be enrolled full-time (12 credits minimum) at the home school and receive the appropriate permission on the "Inter-institutional Undergraduate Student Enrollment Form" available from the Registrar.

There is no tuition charge for Inter-institutional enrollment at the RAC schools, which include Nazareth, MCC, SUNY Geneseo, SUNY Brockport, RIT, U of R, FLCC, and Keuka College. This is not available in the summer. Academic and administrative policies, dates, and procedures of the host school govern students. Credit earned from the host school is applied as transfer credit to the Fisher student's record. See the Registrar for more information.

Registrar's Office
Latin Honors

Fifty-four (54) hours of Fisher graded coursework must be earned in order to be eligible for Latin Honors at Commencement. Coursework graded only on an S/U basis that is required by the major may also count in the graded hours determination.

Transfer students who complete fewer than 54 hours at Fisher are ineligible to receive Latin Honors at Commencement. Please make sure to make all transfer students aware of this stipulation. They may want to consider not transferring some electives so they can make the 54 at Fisher.

Academic Honors
Liberal Arts Requirement

The B.S. degree requires 60 liberal arts credits. The B.A. degree requires 90 liberal arts credits (plus a foreign language sequence and a minor).

Applied coursework in most professional programs is not considered liberal arts, including NURS, MGMT, MKTG, HRMG, ACCT, and FINA. Many ITDY, SPST, MSTI, and EDUC courses are also not considered liberal arts.

Search the Course Offerings for liberal arts courses by selecting "All Courses" and the attribute "YLIB" (Yes Liberal Arts) at the bottom of the list.

Courses that transfer from other institutions in the areas of COMM, ARTS, criminal justice, and CSCI-related fields may not transfer in as liberal arts. For clarification, view the student's TCE (Transfer Credit Evaluation) or check with the Registrar.

Liberal Arts and Sciences Requirements
Repeating Coursework

A course may be repeated as many times as desired unless restricted by a program, i.e. nursing. When a course is repeated, the original grade is not removed from the student's record, but only the most recent grade is calculated into the cumulative GPA. When a student repeats a course in which any passing grade has been earned, additional credits are not earned for the course.

199C courses, regardless of their departmental designations, are repeats of one another. A student may not receive credit for more than one 199C course.

Graduate schools may consider all graded attempts at a course as part of the cumulative GPA. This varies by School and program.

A student wishing to repeat a course at Fisher for which transfer credit was already awarded must consult the Registrar.

Repeated coursework might not be considered toward full-time enrollment for some kinds of federal/state aid. Additional aid questions regarding full time-status should be directed to Financial Aid.

Grading and Transcripts
Residency Requirement

The maximum transfer credit awarded for any combination of 2-year schools, AP, CLEP, IB, and ACE recommendations of credit from non-collegiate sources, such as the Armed Forces, is 66 credits.

All students must complete at least 30 of the final 36 credits of the degree at Fisher. This means that no more than 6 credits may be transferred once a student is in the final 36 credits of degree completion. Students should plan transfer of credits early in their program rather than wait until their senior year.

Every student must complete at least 1/2 of the major and earn a minimum of 30 credits at Fisher in order to earn a degree. See Academic Programs to view major requirements and Degree Requirements for Graduation for full details.

Degree Requirements
Transferring Course Credit

Awarding transfer credit is based on receipt of official college transcripts and official score reports (AP, IB, CLEP). Fisher does not award credit from a high school transcript. Once credit is awarded, the articulated credit is posted on the student's Fisher transcript, viewable via Fish 'R' Net.

Students need to know what coursework has transferred in order to avoid enrolling in the same course at Fisher. Credit cannot be earned twice for the same course.

Consult the Transfer Articulation Guide for more details and to access the Transfer Credit Request Form, which is required to verify transfer course equivalencies.

Course Credit Information for Transfer Students
Course Withdrawal Considerations & Advising Discussion Points

When advising students who are struggling with a course, consider the following questions, courses of actions, and their consequences.

Q: Have you met w/your instructors to discuss your academic progress through midterm?

Q: What is your goal grade for the course? Is it still realistically achievable?

Q: What have you done to try to improve your standing in the class? Are there additional resources you could be using to further assist your efforts?

Q: Is this course required for your major? Do you plan to continue in the major? If so, what are your plans to complete this requirement?

  • Notes: Certain major requirements are only offered once per academic year. Sciences, math, and computer science majors have especially strict sequencing considerations.
  • Resources: Undergraduate Catalog, Course Schedule

Q: Will dropping this course put you below full-time (12 credits)?

  • Notes: Dropping below 12 credits can impact financial aid, housing, and/or athletic participation. 
    • For financial aid, It may be possible to drop to part-time between midterm and the last day to W, but it's important to see a financial aid counselor (Kearney 204) to assess your individual situation.
    • Resident students need written permission from Residential Life to remain in the residence halls w/less than 12 credits. See Residential Life office on the second floor of the Campus Center.
    • Athletes must be full-time to compete. Students are encouraged to discuss their academic needs with coaches as well.