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Advising FAQ

How do I change my advisor?

We encourage you to stay with the same faculty advisor once you have declared a major. Sometimes, however, advisor-advisee relationships do not work out. Here is what to do if this is the case:

  1. If you are Undeclared, go to your School's office (Business, Liberal Arts, or Science) and ask for a change of advisor.
    • School of Liberal Arts  SH 204
    • School of Business SH 301
    • School of Science RB 212
  2. If you have declared a major but do not have a successful relationship with your advisor, contact the Director of Academic Advising (SH215) to discuss a change.

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How do I change schools?

Based on your academic interests in your admissions application, you were admitted to Siena College as a member of the School of Liberal Arts, the School of Business, or the School of Science. If you want to declare a major in a new School, discuss it with your advisor and then visit the school office of your intended major.  

Students changing Schools will be assigned an advisor in the new School and need to complete the form entitled: Change of School Request . While students are between schools, they may contact the Office of Student Success and Academic Advising.


How do I declare or change my major?

Complete the Student Academic Record Change Form  indicating your change of major. The staff in your School's office (Business, Liberal Arts, or Science) will assign you a new advisor in the department of your new major. If you wish to declare a major in another School, you must go to that School's office to complete the process.  

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How do I declare a double major?

You can graduate from Siena with a major in two disciplines when you complete the requirements for both. You must officially register as a major with the primary department (the major you want listed as primary at Commencement), and file a form at the Registrar's office for recognition of the second major. Bear in mind that declaring a double major will reduce your options for taking elective courses.

There are several rules governing the completion of a double major. See the college catalog statement on double majors for details. You are strongly encouraged to discuss any questions about a double major with your academic advisor.

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How do I earn a double degree?

You can earn a double degree, that is, earn a second bachelor's degree, if you complete 30 additional credit hours beyond the 120 required for the first degree (that is, 150 credits). You can earn the second degree either simultaneously with your first degree, or after it. See the college catalog statement on double degrees for more information.

Remember that the major difference between a double major and a double degree is that the latter entails earning a total of 150 credit hours.

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How do I declare a minor?

Minors require 18 credits.  Be sure that you have enough elective credits available and are able to fulfill all the requirements of the minor. You can do this by running a 'What If' Analysis in the CAPP report and selecting the minor or your choice.  Some minors have specific course requirements, others are less structured. If your advisor cannot answer specific questions about a particular minor, she/he will refer you to someone who can from the minor department.

Note that there are several rules governing minors at Siena:

  1. A minor must be declared by the end of your junior year.
  2. You must maintain a 2.0 average in the courses that you want to count towards the minor; this means that any course in which you earn less than a C will not be included.
  3. No courses in the minor may be taken pass/fail.
  4. You may not use the same course in your major department to fulfill both major and minor requirements.
  5. One half of the courses in the minor must be taken at Siena.

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How do I find out my advisor's phone number and office hours?

Most advisors will get in touch with you at the beginning of each semester and give you their office hours, phone number, and e-mail address. This is often done via email. If you do not know who your advisor is contact your school office or the Office of Student Success and Academic Advising in SH 215.

You will see a listing of your advisor's name, location, phone number, and (usually) office hours. If you do not see office hours listed on the page, go to the Faculty Office Hours page and look under your School.

If you have trouble contacting your advisor, contact the Academic Support and Advising Center.

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How many credits are required for a major?

Depending on the department, requirements for a major range between 30 and 39 credit hours, except for certain programs in Teacher Education. NOTE that no more than 48 credit hours in any one subject field may be applied toward the degree requirement of 120 hours.

For more information on a specific major, go to the Academic Programs at Siena home page.

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I am a transfer student. Do I need to take First Year Seminar?

Your School office will decide if you need to take First Year Seminar, based upon the transcripts sent from your previous college(s). In most cases, if a student transfers in with 24 or more credits, he or she will not be placed in First Year Seminar, but will substitute two other core courses (3 credits each from two different areas). If you entered Siena prior to the 2011-2012 catalog year, you are under different requirements. See your School office for more detail.

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How do transfer students register for classes in their first semester?

Each of the three Schools: Business, Liberal Arts, and Science, contact new transfer students individually. Students in the Schools of Business and Liberal Arts meet individually with an Assistant Dean and review transfer credits and develop a schedule for the first semester. Students in the School of Science meet with their faculty advisor and register for classes with this individual. Ideally, all transfer students are registered prior to Transfer Student Orientation which is the day before classes begin.

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When can I begin to access my Siena email account?

Typically, new students can begin to access their Siena email accounts in mid-June. Later accepted students have access 24 hours after they are registered.

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Can I take a class over the summer and transfer it into Siena?

Prior to registering for a course at another institution, students must provide their School's Assistant Dean with a description of the desired course, a CAPP report and complete a transfer credit permission form. Courses consistent with the mission of the college will be approved. Any course that is 300 or above must be taken at a four-year institution. Keep in mind that the maximum number of credits that can be accepted from a 2-year college is 66 credits and a maximum of 75 from a 4-year college. A grade of C or better is required to transfer a course into Siena. Students in the School of Business follow additional rules.  Contact the School of Business for details.  Credits are processed upon receipt of an official transcript from the transfer college. Students must request this be sent to Siena's Registrar's Office.

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How will I know when my credits have been processed?

After the official transcript is received by the Registrar's Office, the credits are recorded on the student record. Students can run a new CAPP report which should include these credits. If the credits do not appear on the CAPP report, you should follow up with your School Office.

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Why weren't some of my credits from my other school accepted?

Only courses that are consistent with the mission of Siena College will be accepted toward your degree. Courses such as physical education, nursing, engineering, etc. are not similar enough in nature to our courses and typically do not transfer. If students have questions about the content of courses and their transferability, they should speak to the Assistant Dean in their School Office.

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What can the Career Center do for me?

The answer is: a lot! Go to the Career Center to find out more.

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What is a CAPP audit and why is it important?

CAPP stands for "Curriculum, Advising, and Program Planning." This report provides both you and your advisor with a complete academic history of courses you have taken and core, major, minor, certificate, and graduation requirements that have NOT been met.

It is important to obtain and to know how to read the CAPP report because you, the student, are responsible for knowing and fulfilling all of your graduation requirements. To ignore the CAPP report is to run the risk of coming up to what you think is your last semester, only to find out that you are missing a required course that is not being offered that semester. This is less likely to happen if you see your advisor every semester and go over the latest CAPP report with him or her.

Your CAPP report is the only authoritative listing of what you have taken and what part of the CORE each course satisfies. If your CAPP report does not reflect what you think it should, see your advisor immediately.

CAPP reports can be accessed through Web for Students, the college-wide web based program. Training is offered early in every semester. You will be able to access your CAPP report at any time via Web for Students. If you experience a problem, contact the Registrar's Office or your School Office. You may also request "What if" CAPP reports ("What if I want to switch to an English Education major? What would my requirements be?")

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What should I do when I am having trouble in a class?

The first thing you should always do is see your professor! The thing you should never do is just stop going to classes and hope that the problem will go away. In most cases, the professor will give you suggestions about how you can improve your performance. The professor may recommend that you get a tutor for the class.

You can also visit your advisor and talk over your difficulties. This is especially recommended if you are having trouble in more than one class. Seeing your advisor should not be a substitute for seeing your professors, though. If you are having serious problems in one or more classes, your advisor will be informed and will let you know this when you come in for consultation.

If for any reason you decide to drop a course, continue reading.

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What is the procedure for dropping a course?

Although it is not required, we recommend that you consult your advisor before dropping a course. If you decide to drop, you can do so via Web for Student.  Remember that deadlines exist for Withdrawal.  Check the college calendar for dates.   

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Where can I get information about the Washington Semester program?

Go to the Washington Semester page.

If you have been accepted into the Washington Semester program, here is what you need to do:

  1. Bring your packet of material received from the Washington Semester your School Office. They need to sign one of the forms and officially REGISTER you into the proper Siena course codes. You are not automatically registered for the program by merely receiving your acceptance letter and the accompanying material.
  2. Check with the Housing Office to
    • let them know that you will be off campus for a semester
    • ask that they make sure that you will have campus housing (if you so desire) for the subsequent semester when you return to the campus
  3. Check with the Financial Aid Office to let them know that you will be attending the Washington Semester and make sure that whatever aid you are currently receiving goes with you toward your Washington Semester tuition costs.
  4. Pay the initial down-payment of the Housing fee directly to the Washington Semester Program. Check with the Siena Business Office (not the School of Business Office) to arrange how you wish to pay your tuition, room and board costs for the Program.
  5. If you haven’t done so already, please update your resume. You will need to have a recent resume for your interviews for an internship site.

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Where can I find information about study abroad?

To start, check out Siena's International Programs web page. For further information, go to the Study Abroad office in Foy Hall 215. The director of the program is Br. Brian Belanger. His phone number is 786-5047.

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What do I do if I have a question that is not listed here?

Send e-mail to Dr. Ellard at

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