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  Home > Academics > Support Resources > Academic Advising Center > FAQs


Q. How do I know who my adviser is & how do I contact that person?
A. Declared Students

  • Contact your specific major department for faculty advisement

A. All EOP undeclared majors

  • Contact the EOP Office for advisement at 516-876-3068

A. CSTEP participants

  • Contact the CSTEP Office for advisement at 516-876-2706

A. School of Business Students

  • Professor Joel Feiner advises all of the School of Business students, by appointment.
  • Contact information: 516-876-3331
  • Located in AV - D 300

A. School of Education Students

  • A special advisor advises all of the Teacher Education students regardless of the number of credits completed. All of the Secondary Education students are seen by the designated faculty advisors in their content area. Appointments are required.
  • Contact information: 516-876-3275
  • Located in AV - C114

Q. I am a transfer student with more than 42 credits. I want to major in Business, but I was not accepted to the program due to my GPA. Can the AAC help me for advisement?
A.Yes, we will help you initially to select a major. However, you must declare a major immediately and seek advisement in the major department.

Q. How do I register for classes?
A. Students need to meet with their advisers every semester to choose classes for the upcoming semester and monitor progress toward graduation. Once meeting with the adviser, students will be given a registration pin number that they can use to register online (http://owsis.oldwestbury.edu).

Q. How do I determine my class status?
A. Class status is determined by the number of credits you have earned. Classes that you are currently enrolled in do not count toward your class standing.

Number of Earned Credits Class Standing
0 - 31 Freshman
32 - 56 Sophomore
57 - 87 Junior
> 88 Senior

Q. How do I transfer credits?
A. Students can transfer up to 72 credits from other accredited institutions. In order to transfer the credits, an official transcript must be sent from the school you wish to transfer the credits from to the Registrar's Office. Once the official transcript is received, the Transfer Articulator will determine the transfer credit that you will receive.

Q. How does my 3-credit course transfer? Do I have to repeat the same course because I am 1 credit short?
A.No, you do not have to repeat the same course with a satisfactory grade. For example, if you have taken Freshman Composition I with 3 credits at a local community college, you can satisfy the ECI requirement, as long as your grade was a C or higher even though the OW course carries 4 credits. Likewise, as long as course contents are considered equivalent to OW courses, you do not have to repeat the same course you have taken.

Q. I am a native speaker of a foreign language. Can I get credits for the foreign language requirement in General Education?
A. If you speak a language that Old Westbury offers:

You will be referred to the Modern Language Department for verification of proficiency. Students will be waived for requirements, but no credit will be granted. Students seeking credit based on prior ability in a foreign language may take the CLEP exam (see www.collegeboard.com/clep for information).

A. If you speak a language that Old Westbury does not offer:

The student can provide documentation of completion of primary education abroad in a language other than English to the Modern Language Department. Students will be waived for requirements, but no credit will be granted. Students seeking credit based on prior ability in a foreign language may take the CLEP exam (see www.collegeboard.com/clep for information).

The student may take a language test administered by the Foreign Language Proficiency Testing Service of the NYU School of Continuing and Professional Services ( www.scps.nyu.edu ) and achieve a score of 8 or higher (a maximum of 8 credits granted.)

Q. How do I declare a major?
A. Indicating a particular department major on your Admissions Application constitutes an official declaration of major or acceptance into that department except for the School of Business and Criminology which have specific admissions requirements and criteria for continuing as a major.

If you have indicated "Undecided" on your Admissions Application, you must file a DECLARATION/CHANGE OF MAJOR/MINOR FORM with the Office of the Registrar by the time you accumulate 42 credits. The form can be obtained at the Office of the Registrar, the AAC, or any academic department offices.

The School of Business, Criminology and Teacher Education have specific admissions requirements and criteria for continuing as a major. Contact the department directly about admissions requirements and procedures.  A Declaration of Major form must be signed by the department Chair and submitted to the Registrar's office.

Q. When do I need to declare a major?
A. Students are encouraged to declare a major as early as possible and must complete the process before they have earned 42 credits (including transfer credit). Failure to declare a major by the time students have earned 42 credits will result in loss of eligibility for state financial aid (TAP).

Q. How many credits are required to be considered Full-Time?
A. To be considered full-time, you must be enrolled in at least twelve (12) credits.

Q. A class that I want to register for is closed. How do I overtally?
A. Once a section is closed, you cannot register for that section. The only way to be granted permission to overtally into the class is to have an Overtally card signed by the professor of the class. The signed overtally card must be submitted to the Registrar's Office in order for you to be enrolled in the course. (Note: As of Spring 2006, it is very difficult to get an overtally permission due to the Fire Department Safety Code. You should not count on overtallying; it's better to select another "open" class.)

Q. How do I petition for a course overload?
A. The normal maximum full-time course load is 18 credits. Students wishing to register for more than 18 credits must have approval on a Petition for Course Overload Form signed by the Dean of their major program based on an advisor’s recommendation. Overloads will be granted only to students who have fulfilled the English Proficiency requirement and whose academic record suggests that they are capable of handling additional work. Overloads above 20 credits must be approved by the Dean of their major program, in addition to the advisor and department chair. Students on probation are not eligible to take a course overload under any circumstances. Petition for Course Overload Forms may be obtained at the Office of the Registrar.

Q. What is a pre-requisite?
A. If a course has a pre-requisite, it means that the class listed as the pre-requisite must be taken prior to enrolling in the course. For example, to enroll in MA 2310 - Calculus & Analytic Geometry 1 you must have already taken its prerequisite, MA 2090 - Pre-Calculus or its equivalent at another school..

Q. What is a co-requisite?
A. If a course has a co-requisite, it means that the class listed as the co-requisite must be taken at the same time that you enroll in that class. For example, to enroll in a FY 1000 Freshmen Seminar you must also enroll in its co-requisite, a linked elective course at the same time.

Q. What is Common Hour?
A. Common Hour is the period of 12 pm – 1pm, Monday – Friday when different events are scheduled. No classes take place during this Common Hour so all students can take advantage of the programs offered.

Q. Can I elect to take a class "Credit/No Credit"?
A. A student can elect a credit/no credit option with the permission of the instructor. The student's request must be filed in the Registrar's Office before the end of the third week of the semester. After the third week, this contract cannot be approved or cancelled. Courses taken for a grade of CR (credit) or NC (no credit) do not affect the GPA. Specific restrictions on the credit/no credit option vary by departmental major. Students should consult with an academic adviser in his/her major program.

Q. I received an "Incomplete" for a class, what do I need to do?
A. A grade of "I", incomplete, remains in effect for one semester. A student must make appropriate arrangements with his/her instructor to complete the course requirements. The instructor will inform the student concerning the specific scope and nature of the work that must be completed. To certify fulfillment of course requirements, the instructor is expected to submit a letter grade by the end of the following semester. If the instructor does not submit a grade, the Registrar will automatically assign a grade of "F", unless the instructor submits a written request to the Registrar for an extension, or the student has filed an application for CR/NC, in which case a grade of NC would be assigned. Students who are completing an incomplete should not re-register for that course in the semester that they are completing the incomplete.

Q. Which General Education Program should I fulfill?
A. When you started your college career and began study at Old Westbury will determine which General Education program you should follow. See the General Education site to see which program applies to you.


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Accounting B.S.

Accounting M.S.

Adolescence Education(7-12)- Biology (BA,BS)

Adolescence Education(7-12)- Chemistry (BA,BS)

Adolescence Education(7-12)- Mathematics (BA,BS)

Adolescence Education(7-12)- Social Studies BA

Adolescence Education(7-12)- Spanish BA

American Studies B.A.

Biochemistry B.S.

Biological Sciences B.A., B.S.

Business Administration B.S.

Chemistry B.A., B.S.

Childhood Education (1-6) B.S.

Childhood Education with Bilingual Extension (1-6) B.S.

Comparative Humanities B.A.

Computer Science B.S.

Criminology B.S.

Health & Society B.S.

Industrial & Labor Relations (B.A., B.S.)

Language & Literature: English, B.A.

Management Information Systems B.S.

Mathematics B.S.

Media & Communications B.A.

Middle Childhood Education (5-9) - Biology B.S.

Middle Childhood Education (5-9) - Chemistry B.S.

Middle Childhood Education (5-9) - Mathematics B.S.

MiddleChildhood Education (5-9) - Spanish B.S.

Philosophy & Religion B.A.

Politics, Economics & Law B.A.

Psychology (B.A., B.S.)

Sociology B.A., B.S.

Spanish Language, Hispanic Literature & Culture B.A.

Special Education & Childhood Education (1-6) B.S.

Special Education with Bilingual Extension (1-6) B.S.

Visual Arts B.A., B.S.

SUNY College at Old Westbury, P.O. Box 210, Old Westbury, NY 11568-0210 - (516) 876-3000
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