Frequently Asked Questions

How do I make an appointment? Can I just drop in?

The Academic Advising and International Exchange offices have an online appointment booking system through WCOnline.  This means students are able to see advisor availability and book their own appointments.

  • Visit https://stfx.mywconline.com/
  • Create a profile (if you haven’t already done so).
  • Select the Academic Advising schedule for an appointment with an academic advisor. (It should come up automatically.)  If you want to meet to discuss international exchange, choose the relevant option from the drop-down menu to book an appointment with the International Exchange Coordinator.
  • Locate the name of the advisor you would like to see.  Availability is indicated by white spaces.  Click on the white space of a time that is convenient for you and enter the information for your appointment.  You can book a 30-minute or a 60-minute appointment.
  • Note that all advisors can assist with all undergraduate programs.
     

If you would prefer just to drop in, walk-in times are available for Academic Advising on Wednesday mornings from 9:00 - 11:30 am and on Friday afternoons from 1:00 - 4:00 pm.  These walk-in times are open for both locations, Lane Hall A4 and Schwartz Room 362.

How do I declare my major?

To declare your major, or to apply for an advanced major or honours program, you must complete a declaration form.  The forms are available online at the following links, on the website of your faculty's dean.

Faculty of Artshttp://www2.mystfx.ca/dean-of-arts/student-resources
Faculty of Business:  http://www2.mystfx.ca/dean-of-business/major-declaration-advanced-major-and-honours-application#overlay-context=
Faculty of Science (includes all Human Kinetics)http://www2.mystfx.ca/dean-of-science/declaration-forms

First-year students in the Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Science degrees are strongly encouraged to declare their major by the end of March if they have decided on their major subject. First-year students wishing to declare an advanced major or honours are encouraged to declare a major in their first year and then apply for the advanced major or hounours in March of their second year.

Second-year students are required to declare their majors by the end of March.  (Students in the BSc in Nursing and the BSc in Human Nutrition are not required to do so unless they intend to apply for an advanced major or honours degree option.  Students in the Diploma in Engineering do not declare a major.)

Procedure:

  1. Read the Academic Calendar:  The relevant chapter for your faculty outlines the various degrees available (for example, major, advanced major, honours).  Chapter 4 is Faculty of Arts; Chapter 5 is Faculty of Business; Chapter 7 is Faculty of Science. Chapter 9 is sectioned alphabetically by departments and programs. Read your faculty chapter, and consult the relevant section(s) of Chapter 9 for course requirements for your intended program, major, and minor (where applicable).
  2. Print the declaration form, and your grade report from mesAMIS:  Declaration forms are found at the links above.
  3. Fill out the declaration form:  List the courses you have already completed, those in which you are currently registered, and those that you plan to complete in future years.  Ensure that your proposed courses fulfill the various requirements for your degree, including all requirements for relevant major(s) or minor (where applicable), and any concentrations that you wish to pursue (where applicable).
  4. Make an appointment with the department chair/faculty advisor:  The chair or coordinator (or a designated faculty advisor) of your intended major or honours subject(s) will need to approve your declaration form.  You can ask questions about your program and about your proposed course list when you meet with that faculty member.
  5. A list of department chairs can be found here.  This information can also be accessed through the Registrar's Office site.
  6. Submit the declaration form:  Declaration forms that have been approved by the department chair (or designate) are then to be submitted to the appropriate Dean’s Office for final approval.  In some departments, the chair will retain the forms and send them to the Dean's Office on your behalf.  In other cases, the chair will give you the form after approving it, and it is your responsibility to submit that form to your Dean's Office.

NOTE:  You must be prepared and have the declaration form completed prior to meeting with the department representative. 
Be sure to complete this official form in INK.

What is a pair?

Electives are courses which are not specified in a degree program.  Electives may be open, that is, chosen by the student, or approved.  Approved electives require permission from either the chair of the department of the student’s major, or the chair of the department in which the student wishes to take a course.  Arts/Science electives do not include professional program courses such as Aquatic Resources (AQUA), Business Administration (BSAD), Engineering (ENGR), Human Kinetics (HKIN), Human Nutrition (HNU), or Nursing (NURS)

What is an Arts/Science elective?

An Arts/Science elective is an elective course from either the Arts or Science Faculties.  It cannot be a “professional” course such as Aquatic Resources (AQUA), Business Administration (BSAD), Engineering (ENGR), Human Kinetics (HKIN), Human Nutrition (HNU), or Nursing (NURS).

What is a Pair?

A pair is 12 credits in one subject, with six credits at the 200-level or higher.  As exceptions, language pairs in French, Celtic Studies and Classics may be composed of 12 credits at the 100-level.  A student may complete only one pair from a department, and may not complete a pair in the major, honours, or minor subject.  A pair may not be completed using any of the following professions or applied program disciplines:  Aquatic Resources (AQUA), Business Administration (BSAD), Engineering (ENGR), Human Kinetics (HKIN), Human Nutrition (HNU), or Nursing (NURS).

  • A pair is not necessarily 2 courses:  A pair could be comprised of two 6-credit courses; four 3-credit courses; or one 6-credit course plus two 3-credit courses.

How do I transfer a course from another school?

If you wish to take a course at another institution, for transfer back to your StFX degree, you MUST obtain written permission PRIOR to taking the course.  This permission is granted through a specific form called a "Letter of Permission".  Failure to obtain an approved Letter of Permission prior to taking a course at another school will result in denial of transfer for that course.  (This requirement also pertains to students wanting to use the French Explore program, or any other language immersion program, for credit toward their degrees.)

The Letter of Permission form is found in your mesAMIS account, in the list of online forms, and is submitted electronically online.  When you submit your "LOP", ensure that a confirmation window pops up on your computer screen.  If you do not receive a confirmation pop-up, the submission did not go through and you will need to resubmit it.  (Sometimes the form "times out".)  The LOP is sent electronically to a dedicated email account in Academic Advising, lop@stfx.ca.

After submitting your Letter of Permission, you should send a follow-up email to lop@stfx.ca outlining your reason for wanting to take the course(s) at another institutiuon.  In that email, you should also include the course description (and course outline or syllabus, when available), or a link to those resources, for each course you wish to transfer.

The picture below shows a portion of the one-page Letter of Permission form.

 

Once submitted, the dean of your faculty will review your request.  You will be notified of the decision through your StFX e-mail account, and approved forms will be sent to you as a pdf document.  Letters of Permission are approved for valid reasons, but not all requests are granted.

Once your LOP has been approved, you will need to apply to the host university as a “visiting student” (the term most commonly used by most universities).  DO NOT apply as a transfer or degree student.  Once admitted as a visiting student, you will need to register in whatever manner the host institution requires.  Be aware that many universities allow their own degree students to register before any visiting or non-degree students, so a course in which you're interested may not always be available to you.  Approval of your Letter of Permission request does not guarantee your registration into the course(s) at the host institution.

An approved Letter of Permission gives you the assurance that StFX will accept that course for credit toward your degree.  Most universities also require a copy of the form.  Some universities may have other requirements for admission, such as an official copy of your StFX transcript, but many simply require an admission form, the application fee, and your approved Letter of Permission.

Once the course is completed you will need to order an official transcript from the host university, to be sent directly to the StFX Registrar’s Office.  The credit will be granted to you upon receipt of the transcript showing you have passed the course and have been granted credit at the host institution.

PLEASE NOTE: StFX does not represent the grades of other institutions on its official transcripts. The StFX transcript only indicates that credit has been granted from the other school.  If you apply to another university in the future, you will be required to submit to that institution official transcripts directly from every post-secondary institution at which you were registered in the past (even those from which you took only one or two courses).  With those official transcripts, the new university will be able to assess all of your past academic work.

Thinking of dropping a course?

If you are feeling like you are not able to recover from a failing midterm or assignment, you are not alone. However, we want you to know that there may be options and additional considerations before you make it official and drop the course.
 
Before you drop a course:
1.    Talk to your professor, they are there to help.
2.    Do the math; it may still be possible to recover. Perhaps this midterm or assignment is only worth 10% of your final grade. Review your syllabus and insert the valuations you have.

For example:    From a sample Syllabus (Note: Not all professors will calculate the grade based on this example; please consult your course syllabus for the correct breakdown)
   Participation 10%
   Quizzes (3) 30%
   Term Paper 20%
   EXAM    40%

Example using your grades:
   Participation ?/10
   Quizzes (3) = 14.3/30
        a.    36/100
        b.    59/100
        c.    48/100
   Term Paper 10/20
   EXAM    ?/40
 
•    If you assume 5/10 for participation, you need to achieve 20.7/40 or 51.75%on the final exam to pass with a 50 for the course. Do you still want to drop this course?

3.    Are there other academic implications?
      a.    Is this course a pre-requisite for a course you need to take next year? If so, have you discussed options with Academic Advising?
      b.    Is this a course required for your program? (example: progression requirement)
      c.    Would dropping the course prevent you from continuing in your program?
      d.    Dropping a course could put you slightly off track, what are your plans to pick up a replacement?

4.    Are there financial implications?
Do you have a scholarship or external funding that may require registration in a minimum number of credits?

•    Have questions about StFX Scholarships? Contact scholarships@stfx.ca
•    Have questions about student loan funding? Contact financialaid@stfx.ca

How do I drop a course?

To drop a course, you would follow the following steps:

  1. Ensure the deadline has not passed
  2. Log into Banner (the same place you went to register in your courses)
  3. In the Registration menu, click Add/Drop Courses
  4. Choose Full Academic year
  5. Find the course you wish to drop and click the drop-down menu.  In the drop-down menu, there should be an option to Drop.  If not, come see Academic Advising as soon as possible.

Please be aware of the deadlines to drop courses.  If you have a hold on your record, please discuss the hold with the student Accounts office and seek assistance with the registrar’s office or with academic advising to drop the course if it is before the deadline to drop.

If you are adding a course in 2nd term, to replace a dropped course in 1st term, please also be aware that there may be additional charges.

 

What if I want to change or remove my minor?

What if I want to change or remove my minor?

To change your Minor:

  • In the Faculties of Arts and Science, to change a minor, you would complete a new Declaration form and submit it to the Dean for Approval. There is no need to have the Chair of your major sign the new form if you are not changing your Major. 
  • If you are in Business and with to change your minor, complete a new declaration of Major form and bring it to the Dean’s office. 

To remove a minor:

  • If you are in the Business program, send an email to adurant@stfx.ca and request that your minor be removed.
  • If you are in the Science program, you will need to complete a new declaration of Major without the minor.

When do I see an Advisor?

There are two things to do before you meet with an advisor: 

  1. All students should read chapter 3 and the chapter for their faculty and the relevant sections of chapter 9.
  2. If you know what subject in which you would like to major, you should speak with the department chair of that department.

Make an appointment with an Academic Advisor if:

  • you have already met with the Chair of your department and still have questions or concerns regarding your program options;
  • you have read the academic calendar and you still have questions;
  • you are having academic difficulty and would like to discuss options.

What does an Academic Advisor do?

  • Assists students with understanding the academic regulations and references in the academic calendar as it pertains to their degree;
  • Assists with questions about declaring a major, advanced major, honours, etc;
  • Discusses Letter of Permission options to take courses at another institution;
  • Assists students who are having academic difficulty:
    • Make recommendations as to how to be more successful, academically;
    • Speak to the Dean of the student’s faculty regarding specific exceptions (ie:  dropping a course after the drop deadline);
  • Acts as a liaison between Deans and the student regarding various issues;
  • Performs a degree audit to ensure degree compliance for graduation;
  • Recommends the services of other offices on campus (ie:  Financial Aid, Student Accounts, Student Career Centre, Health and Counseling, Writing Centre, Non-academic Advisors, etc).