How to & FAQ's

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Student Advisor Working with a Freshman

Frequently Asked Questions

If you can't find answers to your questions below, contact our Advising and Academic Services office for more details.

Academic Policies

Students should be aware of their Academic Right and Responsibilities. Understanding academic policies and registration guidelines is an important part of an undergraduate education.

  • The Academic Affairs Policy Library contains information ranging from Academic standing, credit, grading and transcripts, academic holds and more. Review the link to explore all policies.
  • Registration Guidelines details information such as the "first day of class attendance policy," Multi-Institutional or Cross Institution registration, repeating courses and more. 

Advisor Info

  • Who is my advisor? The assigned advisor is typically a faculty member in the declared major or a professional advisor in the Swenson College advising office. Your advisor’s name is found in MyU within the academics tab. It is also found at the top of the APAS (Academic Progress Audit System) report, transcript, Enrollment Summary and more.
  • Can I change my advisor? To request a change of advisor in the same department, go to Swenson College Advising and Academic Services office located in Engineering Building 140.
  • How do I contact my advisor? A link to your advisor's contact information is in MyU. Or use the UMD People Search to find phone numbers, office locations, and email addresses.
  • How do I schedule an appointment with my advisor? Advisors can be reached by phone, email, or during their office hours. UMD email is the official means for online communication. Just prior to course registration each semester, advisors post sign-up sheets outside their offices, or provide an electronic calendar for appointments just prior to course registration each semester.
  • How do I remove an Advising Hold? Swenson College students are required to meet with their assigned advisors each semester prior to registration. The Advising Hold prevents online registration and will be released after the advising meeting. Check the “effective date” of any hold, which may be a future date that will not prevent your registration for the current semester.

What is APAS?

APAS (Academic Progress Audit System) report is the official student tool used to verify how degree requirements are being met. Students can explore undergraduate majors and minors using the “What if” function in APAS. APAS also generates a Transfer Course Evaluation report. The APAS report should be reviewed by students before and after course registration. 

APAS report amendments: How do I request an update or substitution?

Requests are made by submitting one or both of the forms below to Swenson College Advising & Academic Services, 140 Engineering Building.

Swenson College APAS Amendment Form - For already approved department updates such as:

  • Catalog Year Specification - students may choose to fulfill degree requirements identified in any combination of UMD catalogs in effect since entering a college or university.
  • Transfer credit waiver

Swenson College uses the UMD Academic PetitionFor requests requiring departmental approval:

  • Transfer Course Substitution - a transfer course from another college/university to substitute for a required course within the major at UMD
  • Course Substitution - an elective course within the major to substitute for a required course within the major
  • Course Waiver - waiver of a required course

How to calculate your GPA

You can calculate either your current semester GPA or your cumulative GPA by using the online tool in the One Stop GPA Calculator. If you need specific information (including repeats) use the GPA credits and GPA points found in APAS to make calculations.

How to apply for financial aid

To be considered for financial aid at UMD, complete a FAFSA for the current year, either online (FAFSA on the Web) or by using a paper application available at the Student Assistance Center. UMD encourages all students to apply and complete the FAFSA early. Some financial aid programs have limited funding and deadline requirements. Late application may lose eligibility for some awards. View the UMD Financial Aid application website for guidelines.

How to apply for graduation

Check your APAS report to ensure that the major(s) and minor(s) you are completing are declared on the system. After completion of 90 credits, complete the online Application for Degree. Earning more than one degree? Complete a separate application for each degree.  Apply for the term in which you expect to complete all your degree requirements (i.e., last term of enrollment). Apply up to one year before you expect to complete all degree requirements. You must apply no later than the deadline for each term. Go to "Commence! UMD Commencement Manager" to verify name, address, and sign up to participate in commencement.. For more information, see the Application for Undergraduate Degree FAQ.

How to change your expected graduation term

If you have previously applied to graduate and need to change your Expected Graduation Term, complete the Petition to Change Expected Graduation Term. The request should be for the term in which degree requirements will be met.

Graduating with Honors

At UMD, 15 percent of the graduating class of each college can graduate with Latin honors. The top 3% of the class graduates summa cum laude; the next 5% graduates magna cum laude; and the next 7% graduate cum laude. Those receiving honors must have a course completion coefficient at least 90%. To be eligible for honors, students must earn at least 45 credits from UMD.

How to apply for a scholarship

The general UMD Scholarship Application, available from the UMD Office of Admissions, is used for most freshman scholarships. Check scholarships criteria. Some scholarships may require a student to show financial need or meet demographic criteria; demonstrate interests, talents or abilities. Freshmen and current UMD students can find scholarships on the UMD Financial Aid office’s Scholarship web page. Additionally, each department within Swenson College offer some scholarship awards. See the Swenson College  Scholarships page for a complete listing, and stop in at each department’s home office for applications.

How to apply for Upper Division status in a Swenson Engineering Major

Students are admitted into Swenson College Engineering majors as “pre” engineering. Application to upper division is competitive and based on performance in lower division courses and space availability. To be considered students must complete a set of course and meet the GPA requirements determined by the department. Students should attend department group advising meetings and review the catalog for requirements in the major. Application for upper division is found on the Civil Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Industrial Engineering and Mechanical Engineering Department’s websites.

How to apply for Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Students have the opportunity to do undergraduate research through three Swenson College Programs:

  • UROP (Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program)
  • SURP (Summer Undergraduate Research Program)
  • BURST (Biological Undergraduate Research in Science and Technology)

These programs encourage students to conduct research and pursue academic interests outside of their regular courses by employing them to work on special research projects. Applications and more information are available here: Research.

How to change colleges within UMD

Complete a Change of College form to change majors from one collegiate unit to another within UMD.  (example: from the College of Liberal Arts to Swenson College). Submit the Change of College form to the Advising and Academic Services office of the new college.

How to change or add a major/minor/advisor in Swenson College

Swenson students can use Swenson College: Add or change Major, Minor or Advisor Form (for online submission, log into MyU and UMD email).  Paper forms are also available in the Swenson College Advising and Academics Services office (Engineering Building 140). Your request will be reviewed and you will be notified whether or not your desired department is accepting new students and your major will be changed if approved. The change can be viewed in APAS.

What is the University Catalog?

The UMD Academic Catalog contains information about academic programs, degree requirements, course information, Academic Policies. Both current and archived catalogs are available online.

  • All students should get to know the information in the catalog and use it during academic planning.
  • Returning and transfer students should review  “About Catalog Use”.

Joining a club/organization

Swenson College sponsors several of the 150 UMD registered clubs and student organizations. Some organizations are limited to students within a particular major, but many are open to the entire student population. The Kirby Student Center maintains a complete listing of opportunities to explore interests and gain experience beyond the classroom.

How to re-enroll after having been away

Students previously enrolled in the Swenson College and returning after an absence of two semesters (or longer), need to complete a Re-enrollment Form. Students returning after dismissal are also required to include a Petition. The form(s) should be submitted to Swenson College Advising and Academic Services office, Engineering Building 140.

How to withdraw from a course/courses or from the University

Refer to UMD Calendar for withdrawal information and Cancel/Add & Refund Deadlines.

Medical withdrawals from one course or all courses require completion of a Petition. A Medical Condition Verification by a medical professional is also required.

Make informed decisions and talk with professionals before withdrawal from the University. There is a range of reasons students change registration status. Please follow the steps for Leave of Absence, Transfer Credits and Return. If only out for two semesters, a student can simply register. Beyond two semesters a student will need to submit a Re-enrollment Request.

Additional Registration and Financial Aid forms can be found on the UMD One Stop Forms page.