Academic Advising

Introduction to USF College of Arts and Sciences

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Why Choose USF's College of Arts and Sciences?

The faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences strives to instill in its students an understanding of the history of human ideas, a sense of love for learning, and an appreciation of the means that scholars have used in their search for order and beauty in the natural and social worlds. The College effectively provides students with an opportunity to experience scholarship across the arts and sciences by offering 62 different majors in these areas.

Wide Range of Majors and Minors

The College of Arts and Sciences offers a wide range of majors in the social and behavioral sciences, natural and physical sciences, humanities and several professional programs. Some programs offer both the Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Science degrees.

Minors are offered in Africana Studies, American Studies, Anthropology, Biomedical Physics, Chemistry, Classics, Communication, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Criminology, Economics, English, Foreign Languages, Geography, Geology, Gerontology, History, Humanities, International Studies, Mass Communications, Mathematics, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Public Administration, Religious Studies, Sociology, and Women's Studies.

The College offers honors programs in Anthropology, Biology, Classics, Communication, Communication Sciences and Disorders, English, Geology, Mathematics, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Religious Studies, and Sociology.

USF Policies

First Day Class Attendance

Students are required to attend the first class meeting of undergraduate courses for which they registered prior to the first day of the term. Names of students who register prior to the first day of the term are printed on the first class roll for each course section. The first class roll is used by instructors to drop students who do not attend the first day of class. Students having extenuating circumstances beyond their control and who are unable to attend the first class meeting must notify the instructor or the department prior to the first class meeting to request a waiver of the first-day class attendance requirement. Students who add courses or late-register during the first week of classes will not be on the first class roll and, therefore, will not be dropped for non-attendance by the instructor. To avoid fee liability and academic penalty, the student is responsible for ensuring that he/she has dropped or been dropped from all undesired courses by the end of the 5th day of classes.

"I" Grades

An "I" or Incomplete grade indicates incomplete coursework and may be awarded to any student. "I" grades are awarded only when a small portion of the student's work is incomplete and only when the student is otherwise earning a passing grade. Until removed, the "I" grade is not computed in the student's GPA. The time limit for removing the "I" is to be set by the instructor of the course. This time limit may not exceed two academic semesters, whether or not the student is in residence, and/or graduated. "I" grades not removed by the end of the time limit will be changed to IF or IU, whichever is appropriate. If an instructor is willing, he or she may accept work from a student after an "I" grade has changed to an IF or IU grade, and assign the student a final grade in the course, unless the student has graduated. Whether or not the student is in residence, any change to IF grades will be calculated in the cumulative GPA and, if applicable, the student will be placed on appropriate probation or academically dismissed. Students are not required to re-register for courses in which they are only completing previous course requirements to change an "I" grade. However, if a student wants to audit a course for review in order to complete course requirements, full fees must be paid.

Grade Forgiveness

The Grade Forgiveness policy permits the student to repeat a course and have the repeated grade computed in his/her grade point average in lieu of the original grade, providing the repeat grade is a D or higher. The student must have taken and repeated the course at USF. Refer to the catalog under Academic Policies and Procedures for further information.

Repeat Surcharge

Students registering for a course for the third time will be charged approximately three (3) times the regular fee.

Cross Enrollment/Transient Students

Students who wish to enroll at another regionally accredited institution must have prior written approval from their academic advisor to receive credit for those courses. To prevent problems with financial aid and other registration issues, an advisor should be consulted for detailed instructions and course approval.


The student must submit an application for graduation to the Office of the Registrar. This application must be submitted in the term of expected graduation by the deadline noted in the academic calendar. A fee of $50.00 will be assessed for late applications.

Graduation Requirements

Students are responsible for meeting all graduation requirements as outlined in the academic policies and college section of the USF Undergraduate Catalog.

Liberal Arts General Education and Exit Requirements

Students are required to fulfill the Liberal Arts Requirement of 45 hours with a minimum overall grade point average of a 2.0. The Liberal Arts Requirement is comprised of two components:

The General Education portion consists of 2 courses or 6 semester hours each of English Composition, Mathematics, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, and Historical Perspectives; 1 course or 3 semester hours each of Fine Arts and African, Latin American, Middle Eastern, or Asian Perspective (ALAMEA).

The Exit Requirements portion consists of 2 courses or 6 semester hours of Major Works and Major Issues, and 1 course or 3 semester hours of Literature and Writing. All Exit courses must be taken at USF.

Gordon Rule

Gordon Rule is a state-mandated requirement with two components:

Communication: Twelve semester hours of English courses in which a student is required to demonstrate writing skills. For the purpose of this rule, an English course is defined as any semester-length course within the general study area of the humanities in which the student is required to produce written work of at least 6000 words. In order to receive credit for the fulfillment of this rule, students must receive a grade of "C-" or higher in each course (no "S" grades). ENC 1101 and ENC 1102 (Freshman English I & II) will count for half of this requirement, the remaining courses can be taken in conjunction with the completion of other requirements.

Computation: Six semester hours of mathematics coursework at the level of college algebra or above. For the purpose of this rule, applied logic, statistics, and other such computation coursework, which, may not be placed within a mathematics department, any be used to fulfill 3 hours of the 6 hours required by this section. In order to receive credit for this requirement, students must receive a grade of "C-" or higher in each course.

CLAST - College Level Academic Skills Test

CLAST is a state-mandated achievement test that measures mastery of communication and mathematical skills expected of students completing their sophomore year in college.


Students are required to take 3 courses or 9 semester hours of summer courses at a Florida state university before graduation.

Foreign Language

Students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree must demonstrate competency in a foreign language by completing either two semesters of a beginning college-level foreign language or one semester of a higher-level course and earning a grade of "C" or above in the appropriate course (no "S" grades), or by demonstrating equivalent competency by passing an examination.

Students pursuing the Bachelor of Science degree are not required to satisfy the foreign language exit requirement, provided the foreign language entrance requirement (two years of high school) has been satisfied.

Upper-Level Credit

The College requires completion of 48 semester hours of upper-level courses (numbered 3000 or 4000).


Major requirements are listed in the catalog. Students should work closely with their academic advisor to ensure graduation in a timely manner.

College Policies

Physical Education/ROTC

Students majoring in the College of Arts and Sciences are limited to two semester hours of Physical Education and nine semester hours of ROTC toward the required 120 hours to graduate (124 for Mass Communications majors).

"S/U" (Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory) Grades

There is a maximum of 20 semester hours of S/U grades. An S/U contract must be negotiated in writing within the first three weeks of the semester. None of the 20 semester hours of S/U grades are accepted in the student's major unless S/U is the only grading option, or with special permission from the department.

"D" grades are not acceptable for any of the major courses and most of the supporting courses. Important: All grades, including "D"s, "F" s, are used to calculate grade point averages for students in the College of Arts and Sciences. Refer to the University's catalog for further information. not acceptable in some of the major and supporting courses.

Residency Requirement

Departments may require that a minimum number of major applicable credit hours be taken in residence at USF.

Academic Advising

The College of Arts and Sciences' decentralized advising provides students the opportunity to work with a professional who has specialized knowledge and understanding of the major requirements, course offerings, and undergraduate research and career opportunities in their field. In addition to major advising, the college offers pre-professional advising for students intending to pursue careers in law and the health professions. Each program has its own advising office. The advisor should be contacted for information on curriculum planning, graduation requirements, and admission to professional schools.

Health Professions Advising

Health Professions advising is available through the College of Arts and Sciences Office of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies located in BEH 201 to make an appointment please call 813-974-6957.

Pre Law Advising

Pre Law advising is available through the Department of Government and International Studies located in SOC352 to make an appointment please call 813-974-2384.