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Center for Student Success

Advising and Registration FAQ

Making informed decisions as a college student is crucial. Be sure to ask questions early and often. Here are some common questions and answers to give you a head start in navigating your way forward.

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For Incoming Students

How do I enroll in courses once I’ve deposited?

All deposited students attend a Future Freshman Course Registration event in the spring or summer prior to their first semester at Carthage. You will be invited to a Future Freshman Course Registration event once you have made your deposit to enroll. At Future Freshman Course Registration, a student success advisor will work with you to create a tentative list of courses for your first semester, and learn more about Carthage academics, student and residence life, meal plans, financial aid, and tuition payment options. In addition, you will receive your Carthage ID card and official email address.

How do I read my schedule?

The top of your schedule will list your name, Carthage ID number, the degree you are seeking (BA or BN), your advisors’ name, and your major(s) and minor(s). Classes will be listed:

A mock schedule

Course: The capitalized portion stands for the area of study, the four numbers are the course number, and the final two numbers are the course section (some courses have multiple sections).
Title: The title of the class.
Credits: The number of credits you’ll earn.
Grading Type: Some courses are graded by letter (LT) and others as satisfactory/unsatisfactory (SU).
Faculty: Your professors’ names.
Meets: M – Monday, T – Tuesday, W – Wednesday, R – Thursday, F – Friday
Dates: The dates the courses begins and ends (a few courses are only seven weeks long).
Room: Main refers to the main campus and the capitalized letters are the building and the numbers the room number:

  • CC — Clausen Center
  • DSC — David Straz Center
  • HL — Hedberg Library
  • JAC — Johnson Art Center
  • LH — Lentz Hall
  • SIEB — Siebert Chapel
  • TARC — Tarble Athletic & Recreation Center

Why is my schedule different from the courses I requested during my registration session?

Student success advisors take many factors into consideration when registering you for classes. These may include: your major, course availability, athletics, and AP scores. Your advisor will identify major appropriate or courses similar to your original requests. Ultimately, all courses will count toward the 138 credits needed to graduate from Carthage.

What if I want to make changes to My schedule?

Prior to your arrival on campus, please contact your student success advisor to add or drop classes during the course change window. Once you are on campus, log into your Carthage account on to add and drop courses online (you will receive access to this account when you arrive on campus). Students will be able to add and drop courses online until the semester deadline. All add and drop deadlines are listed on the academic calendar.

How will I be assigned a student success advisor?

New students are assigned an advisor from the Center for Student Success to aid in their transition to Carthage and will continue working with that advisor throughout their time at Carthage on an as-needed basis. Carthage utilizes a holistic advising model that includes faculty advisors and career specialists. Faculty advisors and career specialists will be assigned to students following their transition to Carthage and work with students through their graduation.

How do I declare my program of study?

Many students will declare a major by the end of their freshman year. Students should declare a major before the end of their sophomore year. Students who do not declare by the end of the sophomore year may not be able to graduate in a four-year span. You can declare a major or minor at any time. Please contact your student success advisor if you change your major before arriving on campus.

Do I need to have a minor?

Certain programs of study may require a minor, however, it is not an overall graduation requirement at Carthage. Some students may decide to pursue a minor to study additional areas of interest without completing another major. Please contact your student success advisor to discuss if a minor would make sense for you.

Can I design my own major or minor?

Carthage has major and minor programs in more than 50 areas of study, but for students with special interests, Carthage offers the opportunity for students to design their own major/minor programs. Specialized major/minor programs must consist of existing courses; proposals should be thoughtfully prepared in consultation with a faculty advisor and the department chair(s) whose course offerings will be included in the major. A complete proposal must be submitted to the Curriculum Planning Committee for approval before the student has achieved senior standing. For more information on designing your own major, please talk with your advisor.

Are multiple majors or minors possible and can they be completed in four years?

Yes. Many Carthage students choose to double-major, and typically, students can double-major and still graduate in four years. However, multiple factors affect a student’s ability to graduate in four years, including credit requirements for both majors, whether required classes overlap in each major, and how well a student plans each semester. Your advisor can assist you in this process.

What is the importance of a course catalog?

The course catalog consists of the College’s official academic policies, graduation requirements for all programs of study, course descriptions, and the general education curriculum. A new catalog is released each academic year with updates to any college requirements. You are held accountable to the requirements listed in the catalog of the year you enrolled at Carthage. Please consult with your student success advisor if you have questions about the catalog.

What is J-Term?

J-Term, or January Term, is a special month-long period of study in which Carthage students explore subjects outside their majors or minors, discover new interests, and test their creativity through classes held both on campus and around the world. It’s a month to experiment, create, and dream.

Can I study abroad as a new student?

New students can participate in a J-Term study tour in their first year. Study tours are announced in April and typically some will fill up before you arrive on campus, there will still be seats available in a number of study tours.
View J-Term study tours

What is the process for awarding AP, IB, dual enrollment and/or transfer credits?

All Advanced Placement (AP) courses are subject to departmental review of scores and/or booklet before credits are awarded. AP scores must be 3 or above to receive Carthage credit.

Credit may be given for International Baccalaureate (IB) scores of 4 or higher in selected higher-level examinations.

Students enrolled at Carthage wishing to apply transfer or correspondence courses taken elsewhere must secure advance approval from the involved department chair and the Registrar by the end of the term prior to enrollment in the course. Upon receipt of an official transcript from institutions accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools and similar regional associations, appropriate value will be given for comparable courses or areas taught at Carthage.

Courses at other institutions are counted as part of a student’s total earned credits. Credit will only be transferred for courses in which a grade of “C–” or better is earned. Credit will not be transferred from a two-year school after a student has accumulated 68 credits. College-level courses taken in high school are credited on the same basis as other transfer credits, provided that the courses have not been counted for entrance requirements. The maximum total credits allowed for specialized testing (CLEP) and correspondence courses is 32. Transcripts from institutions outside of the United States must be evaluated by Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc.

What subject areas at Carthage require placements?

If you have studied Spanish, French or German, you can take a language placement indicator online which will determine the course you can take. If you have studied Latin or Greek, you can contact the Classics Department to complete a language placement. If you have studied Chinese or Japanese, you can contact the Modern Language Department to complete a language placement. If you place at or above the 2010 level, you have the option to waive your language requirement. If you completed an online placement, you must retake it on campus in a proctored environment. If you choose to waive your language requirement, you will not receive any credit. If you place into the 1020 level or above, take the course, and earn a “C” or better, you can receive up to 12 retroactive credits for the previous courses (e.g., If you place into Spanish 1020 and earn a “C” or higher, you will also receive 4 credits for Spanish 1010). See more information on the language placement

Students with experience in another language will speak with the chair of the Modern Language Department to be assessed for placement. 

Carthage does not have a math placement test. Your student success advisor will review your ACT/SAT scores and your high school transcript to determine what level of math would be appropriate based on your program requirements. 

Carthage does not have a chemistry placement test. Your student success advisor will review your grades in any high school chemistry courses and determine what level of chemistry would be appropriate based on your program requirements.  

What if I am an athlete OR COMMUTER?

Practices are typically held 4-6 p.m. during the week. Some teams choose to practice earlier or later, depending on facility availability (contact your coach for specifics). Student-athletes in season typically have priority over students in the offseason.

During in-season semesters, you should try to avoid MWF 4-5:05 p.m. and TR 4:10-5:50 p.m. courses. An occasional lab or night course is possible and those athletes will need to communicate with their coaches to accommodate missing practice times for class. These situations are not out of the ordinary and student-athletes should not be concerned about a lab or night class interfering with practice.

Spring athletes may have some class conflicts in the fall. Fall seasons for spring sports are short and are lower priority in terms of registering for courses that fall into the late afternoon time slot. You can try to adjust your schedule, but we cannot guarantee a change can be made. Coaches are aware of this and will work with athletes.

For Current Students

When is the advising and registration period and how do I prepare?

See advising and registration dates on the academic calendar. To register for classes, you must be first be cleared to enroll by your assigned faculty advisor. If you do not have a faculty advisor, your student success advisor can clear you to enroll. Once cleared, you can login to your portal, select the “Advising and Registration” tab, and click the “Add/Drop Courses” button. Check to make sure you do not have any holds on your account that will prevent you from registering. Please contact your advisor for more assistance.

How can I tell if I have a hold on my account?

Login to your portal and select the “Advising & Registration” tab. On that page, you will see a “hold” category and details about your hold(s) if you have any. There two types of holds. If you have a REG hold, you will need to work with the Registrar’s Office to get the hold removed. If you have a UBAL hold, you will need to work with the Office of Student Accounts to get the hold removed.

how do I register for courses? when is the deadline to make changes to my schedule?

All add/drop deadlines are listed on the academic calendar. In the first week of classes, students are able to add/drop courses on their portal through their “Advising and Registration” tab. In the second week of classes, there is a restricted add/drop period. Students need permission from the instructor to add courses. The Registrar’s Office will add courses with instructor permission and drop courses for students during this time. No student is permitted to add or drop a course after the deadline. Any course changes after that date must be made with the permission of the Subcommittee for Academic Review and Recommendation. A student may withdraw from a course after the add/drop deadline (please refer to the academic calendar for specific dates). The course will show on the student’s transcript with a “W”.

What is the difference between dropping and withdrawing from a course?

Students are able to drop a course within the first two weeks of the semester. The course is removed from their schedule and does not show up on their transcript. After the add/drop period, a student may withdraw from a course until the withdrawal deadline (please refer to the academic calendar for specific dates). The course will show up on your transcript with a “W”.

What is a complete institutional withdrawal? Does Carthage have a leave of absence procedure?

Students who wish to completely withdraw from the institution must fill out the Institutional Withdrawal Form, available in the Registrar’s Office. Official withdrawal dates will be determined by the date of receipt. However, in unusual circumstances such as unforeseen illness or events beyond the student’s control, the College may use a withdrawal date determined by the student’s last date of attendance at an academically related activity, as documented by the College. This is the process students will want to follow to complete the official withdrawal process. Failure to do so can result in an unofficial withdrawal. 

Resident students must work with Residential Life staff to vacate their assigned rooms within 48 hours of the receipt of withdrawal forms. Extenuating circumstances will be considered by the Residential Life staff. Please refer to the academic calendar for the institutional withdrawal deadline. If you’re considering a complete withdrawal, please talk to your advisor for more information.

Carthage does not have a leave of absence policy. Any student intending to leave Carthage for a semester or more should fill out the Institutional Withdrawal Form. If a student wishes to return in a future semester, they will need to reapply and be readmitted through the Office of Admissions.

How many credits do full-time students need to take each semester?

Full-time students may register for 12-18 credits during the 14-week terms. While students can register for 12 credits, students planning to graduate in four years should take 16 credits each semester. Students wishing to register for more than 18 credits must obtain approval for the overload from the Subcommittee for Academic Review and Recommendation no later than the last day to add a regular course. There is an additional charge for registration in excess of 18 credits.

How do I change my program of study?

Login to your portal and select your “Advising and Registration” tab. Click on the “Registrar’s Forms” button and select “Go to Full View” under “Change Major/Minor/Advisor”. Select your desired major(s) and/or minor(s) and hit submit. Concentrations cannot be added or removed through this form. Please contact the Registrar’s Office directly to update concentrations. 

How do I self-design a major or minor?

Specialized major/minor programs must consist of existing courses; proposals should be thoughtfully prepared in consultation with a faculty advisor and the department chair(s) whose course offerings will be included in the major. A complete proposal must be submitted to the Curriculum Planning Committee for approval before the student has achieved senior standing. Student success advisors can help you navigate the self-design process, but cannot sign-off on proposals. For more information on designing your own major, please talk with your faculty advisor.

What is holistic advising? When will I be assigned a faculty advisor and career specialist?

Carthage utilizes a holistic advising model designed to meet each undergraduate student where they are on their college journey and provide guidance and mentorship along the way. At the core of this model are three key roles: student success advisors, faculty advisors, and career specialists who will work with you to plan coursework, discuss co-curricular and extracurricular engagement, and create short- and long-term academic and career plans. Career specialists will be assigned in your first semester. Your faculty advisor will be assigned to start your second semester, as long as you have a declared major.

How is my GPA calculated?

The College maintains progress records that are furnished to students on a regular basis. Upon completion of a course, each student is assigned a letter symbol: “A,” “A-,” “B+,” “B,” “B-,” “C+,” “C,” “C-,” “D+,” “D,” “D-,” “S” and “P” for passing grades; “I” for incomplete, which is given only in special cases of illness or some other uncontrollable factor; “W” for official withdrawal; “U” for unsatisfactory; and “F” for failure or unofficial withdrawal. All incomplete work must be satisfied 30 days following the final exam. If not, the grade will be recorded at the professor’s discretion. Letter grades convert into the following point system for determining cumulative grade point average:

  • A 4.00
  • A- 3.67
  • B+ 3.33
  • B 3.00
  • B- 2.67
  • C+ 2.33
  • C 2.00
  • C- 1.67
  • D+ 1.33
  • D 1.00
  • D- 0.67
  • F No points


Freshman 0 - 31 credits
Sophomore 32 - 67 credits
Junior 68 - 101 credits
Senior 102 or more credit

What are midterm low-grade reports?

At the midpoint (7th week) of each term, all faculty members are asked to submit midterm low-grade reports for all students doing “D” or “F” work. Reports are distributed through the Registrar’s Office to students and their advisors. If a student receives two or more reports, the student’s parents also will be informed unless the student is financially independent. Financially independent students must bring proof of their independence to the Office of Student Financial Planning (Financial Aid) at the beginning of the academic year. Students who have not shown proof of their independence are assumed to be financially dependent on their parents.

Can I repeat a course?

Only courses with a grade of “C-” or lower may be repeated. When a course is repeated, the earlier grade remains on the student’s transcript. However, only the last enrollment and grade will be used in computing the cumulative grade point average, regardless of whether it was an improvement. Courses must be repeated at Carthage for the grade to be replaced in GPA calculation. 

What are my degree requirements?

Students can view their degree requirements in the Carthage catalog. If your major(s) and/or minor(s) are declared in the system, you can also view your degree requirements and progress towards graduation on your degree audit through your portal.

WHAT is the process to attain an internship?

Field placement and internship programs provide students with meaningful work experiences that either directly relate to their career objectives, or assist in determining those objectives. The central feature of the programs is the opportunity for significant interaction between students’ work experiences and academic programs. The following policies govern field placement and internships during the regular term. Learn more about internship opportunities

Does Carthage offer summer courses?

Summer studies at Carthage meet the needs of traditional and nontraditional students. There are two sessions during the summer: Summer I and Summer II. All courses are offered in a 7-week accelerated format. Summer classes are open to Carthage Adult Undergraduate Studies students, Carthage traditional students, college students from other institutions, teachers, other professionals, and high school students with special permission. Contact the Office of Continuing Studies for more information.

Can I take courses at other institutions and apply them to my degree requirements?

Yes. Students can view transfer equivalencies through the “Transferring Courses” link under the “Advising & Registration” tab on their portal. Once you have an idea of the course(s) you want to take, you need to fill out a transfer credit approval form through the Registrar’s Office. 

Courses at other institutions are counted as part of a student’s total earned credits and can fulfill degree requirements if the course has an appropriate equivalency. Credit will only be transferred for courses in which a grade of “C-” or better is earned. The grade for your transfer course will not be recorded on your Carthage transcript and will not factor into your GPA. For this reason, students wishing to retake a course to replace a grade should only retake the course at Carthage. Credit will not be transferred from a two-year school after a student has accumulated 68 credits.

  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2020), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • The Tower, Carthage’s newest residence hall, provides some of the best views on campus — if not in the Midwest! In addition to #carthageviews of the lake from seven stories up, residents enjoy suite-style living and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about all housing options.

    • You’re going to need brain fuel. Grab a morning coffee and a snack and Starbucks or Einstein Bros. Bagels. Later, meet friends at “The Caf,” where the specials change daily but the staples are constant, or swing through “The Stu” for wings, a burrito, or a sub. A new option, Carthage Cash, even covers some off-campus meals.

    • More than 90% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit Career Services.

    • 91% of employers say critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills matter more than your major when it comes to career success. Learn more about how the liberal arts prepare you for a successful career.

    • Lots of schools wear the four-year label. Carthage stands behind it. More than 90% of Carthage graduates earn their degrees in four years. Learn more

    • Oscars. Emmys. Tonys. Golden Globes. The playwrights we’ve brought in have them. Each year, the Carthage Theatre Department commissions an original script by a renowned playwright for its New Play Initiative. Carthage students then work with the writer to stage it. 

    • Carthage has ranked as a top Fulbright producer for four of the past five years. Read about Carthage Fulbright winners.

    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our science center, student union, athletic and recreation center, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 15 years.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from archaeology to neuroscience, nursing to music theatre.

    • Our Summer Undergraduate Research Experience offers select students a research budget, one-on-one mentoring with a professor, and 10 weeks of analyzing, deciphering — and getting paid.

    • So the lake is kind of a focal point, but there’s a lot more to love about our campus — like the fact that our more than 80-acre campus is also an arboretum and wildlife sanctuary. Focused on keeping campus lush forever, we plant between 50 and 75 new trees every year from a variety of species.

    • Carthage was founded in 1847. That’s more than 170 years of leaders, makers, and go-getters going out and going forth. Read more about Carthage’s rich history.

    • More than 90 percent of students receive financial aid. Carthage awards more than $20 million in scholarship and grant assistance. That includes $5.5 million in competitive scholarships in business, mathematics, science, languages, the fine arts, leadership, and overall academic strength. Learn what’s available.

    • Abraham Lincoln was an early Trustee of the College, and U.S. Secretary of State John Hay was a Carthage alum. The two still have a proud place on our campus. Spend some time with them in our Sesquicentennial Plaza. On warm days you’ll find professors leading their classes here.

    • Come to Carthage; hear yourself think — think … think …
      Legend has it that Sesquicentennial Plaza holds a perfect echo. Just stand with both your feet on the “1847,” face Straz, and start talking. “You’re the only one who can hear you, but you’ll be crystal clear,” promises English and theatre alumna Mikaley Osley.

    • Our Great Lake provides Carthage students with some amazing views. Think classes on the beach, lake views from the lab, and sunrises from your dorm room. “I love waking up in the morning with the sun shining off the lake. Nothing compares to the view in the morning,” recalls biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 35 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from $20,000 up to full tuition. Learn more.

    • For a full decade, NASA has selected Carthage students to conduct research aboard its zero-gravity aircraft. Lately, the stakes have risen. A team of underclassmen is grinding to prepare a tiny but powerful Earth-imaging satellite for launch to the International Space Station. Learn more about the space sciences at Carthage

    • Carthage is the only college or university in the Midwest where every freshman takes a full-year sequence of foundational texts of the Western intellectual tradition. Learn about the Carthage core.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 12:1, your professors will know who you are. They will also know who you want to be — and how to get you there. Meet our faculty.

    • There are more than 130 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Fencing to Frisbee, Chem Club to Stand Up Comedy. See how easy it is to get involved.

    • True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Some highlights: The nationally recognized Racine Art Museum, the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more about our location.

    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked No. 3 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …