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FAQ

FIU Admissions

1. What are the University’s admission requirements?

Please refer to the FIU Undergraduate Catalog for a detailed description of general admission requirements.

2. How do I apply for admission?

Students not admitted to the university will need to go through the following admissions process:

3. Who must apply for readmission and how to do it?

An admitted degree-seeking student, who has not enrolled in any course at the University for two (2) or more consecutive terms, excluding summer terms and military withdrawals, will be required to apply for re-admission. The student must meet the University and program regulations in effect at the time of re-admission. Students must contact the Office of Admissions to apply for re-admission. Students must apply for readmission through the undergraduate admissions website at Undergraduate Admissions. Please allow a minimum of 6 weeks for processing of this application. Communications majors who are readmitted will be held to current degree requirements, not the requirements previously in effect. Students who have been readmitted need to contact their academic advisors as soon as possible.

4. How can I check on my admission status?

Students who have applied for admission should contact the FIU Admissions Office.

SCJ Admissions

Note: The School of Communication + Journalism has a higher standard for admission.

5. How do I get into the School of Communication + Journalism?

To be fully admitted into the program, FIU undergraduates and transfer students must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • 60 credits
  • minimum cumulative GPA of 2.85 (transfer +  FIU earned)
  • successfully pass MMC 3003 (Mass Communication Orientation)

6. What is an intended major?

SCJ students will be intending one of the majors until they have met all the full admissions requirements (see #5). As an intended major, students will not be able to take courses within the track that have full admission status as a prerequisite.

It is strongly recommended that you consult with your assigned SCJ advisor, while you are working towards fulfilling the requirements for full admission.

All students pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Communication, regardless of major, are advised by an advisor in the School of Communication + Journalism.

7. How can I find out the requirements for my major?

Students who are interested in a particular major should see an SCJ advisor for information on exact requirements in order to become admissible into the major. However, for general information, students can refer to the university catalog.

8. Who can help me decide on a major?

There are resources that can help you decide on a major. First, FIU has provided students with MyMajorMatch. The MyMajorMatch tool matches your interest with FIU majors. There are also Discover Your Major courses (SLS1402). An academic advisor can give you input regarding the courses required for a particular major.

Career Services office offers workshops and interest inventories that can assist you in choosing a career which can in turn direct you to a major.

9. How do I change my major?

A student currently enrolled at FIU as a degree-seeking student will need to complete a Change of Program Plan form and submit it to an SCJ advisor.

Students who submitted a Change of Program Plan form can then check their Panther Degree Audit or their student dashboard.

1. Am I required to see an academic advisor?

Since program requirements are subject to change the School of Communication + Journalism encourages students to meet with their assigned advisor at least once a semester. The best way to keep informed about any changes is to keep in touch with the Office of Student Services.

Students with junior or senior-standing who are not fully admitted into their respective major must see an SCJ advisor before registration. may be prohibited from continuing to study in the School of Communication + Journalism. It is imperative to stay in constant contact with an advisor to further ensure a successful transition thru the college.

2. What is an SCJ advising hold?

SCJ majors who have not completed MMC 3003 (orientation) or have not been fully admitted into their respective majors will receive an advising hold.  Students who receive the hold are required to meet with their advisor immediately prior to registration. The advisor will work with the student to develop a plan to gain full admission to the college. The requirement for advising will be noted on your Registration Access Information. All pertinent advising information is emailed to students’ FIU assigned email addresses

3. How often should I see an advisor?

It is strongly recommended that students should see their assigned advisor at least once a semester. Furthermore, undergraduate students with around 30 credits who are interested in the SCJ program should start contacting the SCJ Office of Student Services for further guidance.

4. Am I assigned an advisor?

All SCJ students are assigned to an advisor. Students can find the information on their Student Dashboard by logging onto my.fiu.edu.

5. Where should I go to be advised?

SCJ majors are advised at the Biscayne Bay Campus and Modesto Maidique Campus. The campus depends on where your assigned advisor is located. Advising hours may vary, so students should check their Student Dashboard to see their assigned advisor’s calendar. Students who are not SCJ majors should contact the Office of Student Services directly to inquiry about office hours and make appointments.

6. How can I make an appointment to see an advisor?

SCJ majors can make an appointment with their assigned advisor by logging onto their Student Dashboard on my.fiu.edu. Non-SCJ majors can make an appointment by calling the SCJ Office of Student Services at (305) 919-5625. Advising by email is also available at scj@fiu.edu.  For more details visit our Office of Student Services webpage.

7. What is a PDA report and how do I find mine?

PDA stands for Panther Degree Audit and it is a degree audit available through the myFIU page. This report is an advising tool used to assist students in meeting degree requirements. All transfer coursework on file with the university and all courses taken at FIU are included in the PDA. Students should check their PDA report frequently to verify completion of degree requirements. Any errors should be reported to an advisor for review. Visit the Panther Degree Audit Tutorials & Training to learn how to retrieve your PDA report.

1. How do I register for classes?

Each FIU student is assigned a registration appointment date and time based on academic status. Students can also find their assigned registered dates and times by logging onto their myFIU page. Students must use their PantherSoft ID and password in order to access the system. See the Academic Calendar for the semester registration periods. All students are able to retrieve their grades, registration appointment time and day; classroom assignments; registration holds (if any) and to register/drop/add courses using the PantherSoft web-based system. See Course Catalog

2. What is a hold and how can I find out if I have one?

A hold prevents students from registering for courses. Various university offices have holds to ensure that students comply with their rules and regulations. Students should always check their records on the PantherSoft Web site, at a kiosk, or the phone to check on any holds before their registration appointment time.

3. Can I take classes if I am not admitted to the college?

Students admitted to the university, but not the college, may take some SCJ courses. However, prerequisites are enforced for all courses and there is no guarantee these SCJ courses will remain part of the degree program. Students who are planning to pursue an SCJ major are discouraged from taking third- and fourth-year courses until they consult with an SCJ advisor.

4. Where do you offer courses?

SCJ courses are mainly offered at the Biscayne Bay Campus, though some are offered at the Modesto Maidique Campus and online.

5. Where can I find a course schedule and an academic calendar?

Course schedules can be found by logging onto your myFIU page. You can also pick up a tentative schedule for SCJ courses at the SCJ Office of Student Services. Classes are offered at various times of the day and evening. The Academic Calendar provides pertinent dates.

Please note that all information is subject to change without notification. In the event of last minute changes, all notifications will be sent directly to students’ FIU email address. It is important that students monitor this email regularly.

For a complete list of dates, deadlines and university closures, visit the Academic Calendar online.

6. Do you offer online courses?

While we offer some courses online, the majority of our courses are offered on campus.

7. What can I do if a course I want to take is closed?

Please contact your advisor immediately.

8. What are prerequisites and are they enforced?

Prerequisites are courses/requirements that must be met before enrolling in a specific course. Prerequisites can change from one semester to the next. Students should consult the prerequisite on their particular program track before enrolling in courses. Prerequisites are strictly enforced for all students enrolled in any communication course. Students lacking the proper prerequisites or documentation will be administratively dropped. This may occur after the add/drop period which may result in student being financially liable for the course.

Students will be notified of the administrative drop via their FIU e-mail account only. However, if a professor issues an administrative drop, students might not receive any notice.

9. What can I do if I am administratively dropped from a course?

Students who were dropped should see an advisor immediately. Students who do not have the stated prerequisites will not be allowed to remain in class. Instead, students should plan to take the appropriate prerequisite course(s) first.

10. What does it mean when a course requires permission?

If a course requires permission or department consent, the student will need to contact the respective professor for that course.

11. How much is tuition?

There are two categories for undergraduate tuition: in-state and out-of-state rates. Please consult the Registrar’s Office for current tuition and fees information. Costs: For Current Academic Year.

12. Where can I find out about scholarships?

FIU offers scholarships to all its students. These scholarships can be found on http://scholarship.fiu.edu. In addition to the FIU scholarships, the School of Communication + Journalism has scholarships specific to its students. SCJ students are encouraged to visit the scholarship page for specific information.

1. What degree do I earn when I’m finished?

Students will earn a Bachelor of Science in Communication after successfully completing all the major and FIU requirements.

2. When should I declare my major?

You should declare a major as soon as you meet the current School of Communication + Journalism admission criteria. A delay in declaring your upper division status to the college could affect your graduation requirements and date.

3. How do I change my major within the college?

A student who has been fully admitted to the School of Communication + Journalism and who wishes to change program track within the school must complete the Change of Program Plan form. This form must be submitted to an SCJ advisor. The student is subject to the program requirements in effect at the time of the change of major. Please consult with an advisor.

4. What majors/minors can I pick?

Students can pursue any one of the five majors offered by the School of Communication + Journalism: Advertising, Broadcasting, Digital Media Studies, Journalism, or Public Relations. However, they cannot pursue more than one major within SCJ.

SCJ majors cannot minor within the School of Communication + Journalism. SCJ majors may choose to minor in a discipline outside the college. Students interested in such programs should refer to the FIU Undergraduate Catalog for available non-SCJ minors. For Non-SCJ majors can find a list of available minors and certificates by clicking here and consulting an SCJ advisor.

5. Besides the majors, what other programs does the college offer?

The School of Communication + Journalism also offers a variety of undergraduate certificate programs and minors separate from the degree programs. Visit the Minors and Certificate webpage for more information.

6. What is the difference between a major and a minor?

An integral part of the bachelor’s degree at SCJ is a major concentration of coursework in an approved academic discipline or area. A minor program is an arrangement of courses that enable students to develop some degree of expertise in one area of study. A minor is awarded upon completion of the bachelor’s degree (major) and is not interdisciplinary in nature.

SCJ majors cannot pursue a minor in any of the SCJ programs.

7. Am I required to have a minor?

Minors are not required. However, students are required to complete an Area of Concentration for the School of Communication + Journalism. For more information about the Area of Concentration requirements for all SCJ students please contact your academic advisor.

8. How do I declare a minor?

Students may declare a minor by completing the change of program plan form available in Enrollment Services or the college’s Office of Student Services. In most instance students may begin taking courses before formally declaring a minor in the School of Communication + Journalism. However, students must see a School of Communication + Journalism advisor if they wish to pursue a minor.

9. What is the Language Skills Test (grammar exam) & do I need to take it?

The language skills test formerly known as the grammar exam, is no longer a requirement for the School of Communication + Journalism, and as such it is no longer being offered.

10. What is MMC 3003 and do I really need to take it?

Yes. MMC 3003 (Mass Communication Orientation) is a 0-credit course that is a full admission requirement for all the majors in the SCJ. The sooner you take MMC 3003 the better and here’s why.

You will learn everything you need to know about the SCJ, subjects covered include:

  • The five tracks and their requirements
  • SCJ program requirements
  • SCJ admission requirements
  • Graduation requirements
  • Clubs and organizations in the SCJ
  • Internships and other pertinent info

It is also one of the program requirements needed to advance within the major.

11. If I took communication courses at my previous institution, will they transfer?

Students can transfer a maximum of 6 upper division level (3000/4000) credits toward their SCJ track.  Transfer courses must be approved by the department chairs.  To evaluate a course, obtain a copy of the syllabus and fill out a Course Substitution Form, available on our website in the Resources & Forms page. Course substitution forms and syllabi should be dropped off for review at the Office of Student Services.

12. What is an internship and how do I get one?

The School of Communication + Journalism has dedicated internship coordinators who can assist students in obtaining information about internships. There are two types of internships: internship for academic credit, and paid internship. An internship for academic credit must be approved in advance and monitored by the internship coordinator. Students must also meet all the prerequisites in order to do the internship for academic credit. Internships are not mandatory but recommended as experience in the field gives you a better chance of getting a job after graduation.

Students should also visit Career Services about internship information.

13. What is the 65/ 72 rule?

To graduate with a B.S. in Communication at FIU, at least 72 of the total hours (depending on the track between 120 and 125) that you need to complete must be outside the School of Communication + Journalism. These 72 credits can be FIU earned as well as transfer credits. The 72 credits can be at any level: 1000, 2000, 3000, or 4000. The 72 credits cannot be Communication + Journalism type courses.

Of the 72 credits a minimum of 65 must be liberal arts. Liberal arts are any of the courses in the College of Arts and Sciences, art, art history, photography, theatre, dance, speech communication or communication arts. Business, engineering, education, nursing, and public affairs courses are not liberal arts and will not count as part of the 65 credits needed.

For more information please speak with your assigned advisor.

14. What is an Upper Division Liberal Arts/Area of Concentration requirement, and how do I satisfy that requirement?

Depending on the major, students are required to complete 9 credit hours of Upper Division Liberal Arts (3000/4000 level) courses. Additionally, students are required to select a coherent series of four upper division (3000/4000 level) courses (12-credit semester hours) in a chosen area of focus outside the SCJ in coordination with an SCJ advisor. This requirement is referred to as the Area of Concentration (AOC).  For more information please consult with your advisor.

1. How do I calculate my grade point average (GPA)?

To calculate your GPA, total the number of graded credit hours (including failing grades) you have taken. Determine the number of grade points by multiplying the credit hours by the points per grade. See the FIU Undergraduate Catalog for point values. Add the grade points and divide this number by the total credit hours. FIU students can obtain these two sets of numbers from their unofficial transcript, available through SIS. Refer to the line titled INST (institution) and the columns titled FOR-GPA and GRDPTS.

2. What is the difference between the SCJ Cumulative GPA, Institutional GPA (FIU GPA) and Major GPA?

The cumulative GPA for SCJ full admission purposes is calculated using the GPA earned from courses taken at all higher education institutions; FIU and transfer. A cumulative GPA of 2.85 minimum is required in order to be fully admitted into the SCJ major.

The institutional GPA (FIU GPA) is a summary of the GPA earned from all FIU courses taken over that student’s career. Transfer course grades are not included in the FIU GPA calculations. The FIU GPA is the official GPA used to determine a student’s academic standing. The semester GPA is calculated using the courses taken in any one semester.

The major GPA is comprised of two separate GPAs: SCJ GPA and Upper Division Liberal Art/Area of Concentration GPA. Students must maintain a 2.75 GPA for SCJ courses as well as for the outside requirements—UDLA (upper division liberal arts) and AOC (area of concentration) courses—listed on the track sheet. The grade point averages will be computed separately to maintain the 2.75 standard in both categories.

3. What is the SCJ grade policy?

You must earn a final grade of at least a “C” to pass any of your major courses (SCJ, UDLA & AOC). A final grade of “C-” or lower will have to be retaken. A “P” (pass) grade is only acceptable for (0) credit courses.

4. What GPA must I keep to remain in good standing with the university and the School of Communication + Journalism?

The institutional GPA must remain at a 2.0 or higher for you to be considered in good academic standing. However, once a student has been fully admitted into the program he/she must maintain a 2.75 FIU GPA for SCJ courses as well as for the UDLA (upper division liberal arts) and AOC (area of concentration) courses—listed on the track sheet. The grade point averages will be computed separately to maintain the 2.75 standard in both categories.

5. What is the forgiveness policy and how does it work?

The forgiveness policy is a method by which students may repeat a failed course up to three times to improve their GPA at FIU. Students must file a Grade Forgiveness Form with the Registrar’s Office to have the initial grade removed from the GPA calculation. Once this form is submitted, it cannot be changed. There is no time limit on the use of forgiveness but a form cannot be filed once a student has been awarded a degree. Forgiveness policy can only be applied to any grade lower than a “C”. For more information speak with your assigned academic advisor and consult the University Catalog.

6. What is an incomplete grade (IN)?

An incomplete grade is a temporary grade given at the discretion of the instructor for work not completed, because of serious interruption not caused by the student’s own negligence. An incomplete must be made up as quickly as possible but no longer than two consecutive semesters after the initial taking of the course or it will automatically default to the grade that the student earned in the course. The student must not register again for the course to make up the incomplete. There is no extension to the two consecutive semester deadline.

Students who have incomplete grades on their records, must remove the incomplete by the end of the fourth week of the term in which they plan to graduate. Failure to do so will result in a cancellation of graduation. The student will need to reapply for graduation.

It is imperative that students contact their professors immediately to determine what needs to be done to earn a final grade. After one calendar year, the professor can no longer change a student’s grade without permission from the vice president of the university. (See Course Catalog)

7. Can I have a grade changed if a mistake was made?

Once submitted, end-of-semester grades (except incompletes, which default at the end of two consecutive terms) are final. They are subject to change only through a Change of Grade form to correct an error in computation or transcribing, or where part of the student’s work has been unintentionally overlooked. If an error was made with a grade, a student should contact the professor immediately so that the correct grade can be given. After one calendar year, the professor can no longer change a student’s grade without permission from the vice president of the university.

8. What are the academic warning/probation/dismissal policies?

Warning: an undergraduate student whose cumulative institutional GPA falls below a 2.0 will be placed on academic warning. Probation: an undergraduate student on warning whose cumulative institutional GPA remains below 2.0 will be placed on probation. Dismissal: an undergraduate student on probation whose cumulative and semester GPAs fall below a 2.0 will automatically be dismissed from his/her program and the University.

9. What are my options if I am dismissed?

An undergraduate student on probation whose cumulative and semester GPAs fall below a 2.0 will automatically be dismissed from his/her program and the University. An undergraduate student will not be dismissed prior to attempting a minimum of 20 semester hours of coursework. The student has ten working days to appeal the dismissal decision. This appeal must be made in writing to the dean of the College or the School in which the student is admitted. The dismissal from the University is for a minimum of one year. After one year, the student may apply for re-admission to the University in the same or a different program, or register as a non-degree seeking student.

Dismissed students returning to the university are placed on academic probation. (See Course Catalog)

1. How many credits do I need to graduate?

Students need a minimum of 120 credit hours to be eligible for a bachelor’s degree. However, in some instances a student may need to complete additional hours before meeting all degree requirements.

2. What kind of a GPA do I need to graduate?

FIU requires a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA. However SCJ majors are required to have a minimum 2.75 in the SCJ GPA requirement and a minimum cumulative 2.75 GPA in the upper division liberal arts/ area of concentration requirement. The grade point average will be computed separately to maintain the 2.75 standard in both categories.

3. What is the procedure to apply for graduation?

Students need to apply for graduation at http://my.fiu.edu. A student must complete a form that details the proper spelling of the name, address of record, and all majors and minors. This process should be completed when the student registers for the final semester. Students are encouraged to have a “pre-graduation check” done before applying for graduation.

4. How can I graduate with honors?

There are three levels of honors based on the FIU institutional GPA:

3.5 to 3.699 – Cum Laude
3.7 to 3.899 – Magna Cum Laude
3.9 to 4.0 – Summa Cum Laude

For commencement, honors status is based on the FIU institutional GPA as of the previous semester, since final grades are not available when the ceremony takes place. However, the GPA notation on the official transcript and diploma is based on final grades.

5. What is a “pre-graduation check” and how do I get one?

A pre-graduation check is simply a meeting with your assigned SCJ advisor to review whether all requirements for graduation have been met. Students should schedule an appointment with an advisor some time during their final year at FIU. They should not wait for the final semester to begin this process. If there is a problem, students should give themselves ample time to correct it.

6. Is there a fee to apply for graduation?

There is no fee for graduation or for the original diploma. A small fee is charged for official transcripts.

7. What degree will I receive?

All SCJ majors will either receive a Bachelor of Science in Communication (Advertising, Broadcast Media, Digital Media Studies, Journalism or Public Relations), or a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Arts.

8. Will my major/minor be on my diploma?

Majors and minors are not listed on the diploma. They are listed on the official transcript.

9. How can I find a job with my degree?

The Career Services office helps students with the job search process. They sponsor the Career Fair, which takes place each fall and spring semester. In addition, they provide a variety of services that can help students locate jobs.

We also recommend that you do internships while you are pursuing your degree as this may lead to full-time positions after graduation.

10. How can I find out about graduate (master’s) programs?

There are a variety of graduate programs offered at FIU. Students should consult the SCJ Graduate School web site for details on the various programs and contact the appropriate offices.