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Frequently Asked Questions

How many credits must I take to be a full-time student?

Any undergraduate student registered for 12 or more credits will be considered a full-time student. In order to live in the residence halls, receive certain types of financial aid and be eligible for inclusion on a parent's health insurance coverage, students must maintain full-time status. Graduate students are considered to be registered full time if they are taking 9 or more credits.


What is a semester hour?

This term (also referred to as credit hour) refers to the number of credits received by the student for successfully completing a specific course. The semester-hour credit may not be equal to the actual number of hours spent in the class. This is particularly the case with laboratory or art studio classes.


When is common hour?

On Wednesdays from 11:15 a.m. to 12:40 p.m., there are no classes scheduled to allow students and faculty to participate in various extracurricular and co-curricular events scheduled for that time.


What are electives?

Electives are courses that students choose to take because of special interests. The number of electives a student can take will depend upon the major selected.


What is the class meeting schedule at Hofstra?

Most day classes either meet three times a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) for 55 minutes a day or twice a week (Tuesday and Thursday) for 85 minutes a day.  Evening classes are also offered in many subjests.


Will I be registering for the whole year of classes at once?

Hofstra offers two regular semesters each year: Fall and Spring sessions. Students register for one semester's worth of classes at a time.  There are also classes offered in Jaunary session (2-3 weeks long), Summer I and Summer 2 sessions (5-6 weeks long) and Summer 3 (3-4 weeks long).


What is a bulletin?

The Bulletin contains information about degree requirements, policies and procedures, and descriptions of courses offered. Students are responsible for fulfilling the requirements outlined in the Bulletin that was in effect the semester that they entered Hofstra.


What is a distribution class?

Distribution classes are specific courses in the humanities, natural sciences, mathematics/computer science, social sciences, history/philosophy/religious studies, cross-cultural and interdisciplinary studies that have met special standards set by the faculty of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Almost all Hofstra University's bachelor's degree programs include distribution courses among their general requirements.


What is a prerequisite?

A prerequisite is a course that must be successfully completed before a student may take another higher-level course.


How does the P/D+/D/F option work and exactly what does it mean ?

When a student has elected the P/D+/D/F basis on a particular course and passes it with a C- or better, the grade of "P" is entered on the transcript instead of a letter grade. The P indicates that full credit is given, but there is no effect on the grade point average. Grades of D+, D or F are, however, posted to the transcript and do apply to the grade point average. A student must elect the P/D+/D/F option during the first third of the term (5 weeks in a regular semester), by completing the "Request for Pass/D+/D/Fail Form," having it signed by an advisor, and returning it to Student Financial Services in Memorial Hall. Only elective courses are eligible for this option; ineligible for this option are Writing Studies and Composition 001 and 002, courses used to fulfill the distribution and foreign language requirements, courses in the Zarb School of Business, and courses for major and minor credit. In HCLAS and in the School of Communication, the P/D+/D/F grade option is restricted to 15 credits. Please consult the Bulletin for any further restrictions.


Do I need to apply to the Zarb School of Business in order to start taking business classes?

Any student may take business classes without being a declared as a business major. However, there are some classes that are restricted to upperclassmen only. Students should always check with an advisor to make sure that they are taking appropriate classes.


Does Hofstra University offer any tutoring services?

The University Tutorial Program offers free tutoring for all subjects.  You can apply for a tutor on Tutor Trac, an application available on your portal under "My Apps."  Visit the Undergraduate Tutorial Program on line for more information.


Can I declare elementary education as my co-major now?

Students must apply to the School of Education during the second semester of their sophomore year (after earning 45 credits or more) and be accepted in order to declare the major.


What grade point average must I maintain in order to be in good academic standing?

Any student who fails to maintain a 2.00 cumulative average will be placed on academic probation. After two semesters on probation a student may be subject to dismissal from the University. All students on academic probation are required to meet with an advisor in the Center for University Advisement to discuss their standing and strategies for improving their grades.


What is a minor?

Minors are designed for students with an interest in a particular area as a way to supplement their major. A minor is an effective use of elective credit space and generally requires 18 credits of course work in a particular subject. All minor requirements are listed in the Bulletin, and students must obtain permission from the department before declaring a minor.


What is my class standing?

Class standing (freshman, sophomore, junior or senior) is determined by the number of earned credit hours. Students with fewer than 30 credits are considered freshmen. Those with 30-59 credits earned are classified as sophomores. Those with 60-89 credits earned are considered juniors, and students with 90 or more credits earned are classified as seniors.


When should I register for classes?

Generally, it is best to register for classes at the earliest point possible to ensure the largest class selection afforded to you. Typically, registration for the fall semester begins in March, and registration for the spring semester begins in October. Please check your assigned registration time on your portal each semester (under Student Records).  You may also view registration information here.


What is a degree audit?

A degree audit is a tool used to determine the required courses for a specific degree. Students can access their degree audit through the Hofstra Portal to review degree requirements, and help ensure they are completing the necessary requirements for graduation. For more information on the degree audit, please visit the Degree Audit web page.


Can I take classes outside of Hofstra?

Once matriculated, current students may not take courses at other educational institutions. Only in rare cases and for exceptional and extenuating circumstances will a request to attend another educational institution be considered. To request a waiver from this policy, please contact the appropriate Dean's Office who must approve any waiver in advance. Please note that documentation of the extenuating circumstance(s) may be required.

Study Abroad courses taken at other institutions are the exception. Students studying abroad either directly at foreign institutions or under the auspices of other U.S. institutions may still arrange to have their credits counted toward the completion of Hofstra degree requirements. It is important to remember, however, to get permission from the Office of Study Abroad Programs to transfer those credits BEFORE going abroad.


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