Academic Advising

Where is the SoHE Advising Center located?

Our office is located in the Mary E. Gearing Building (GEA) in room 37.  Enter in through the east side ground floor doors.

How do I make an appointment with an advisor? 

Appointments can be made by coming by the office in GEA 37 or calling the front desk at 512-471-7219. We do not schedule appointments through email.  You must include your UT EID in all communication by phone, voicemail, or email for our office to assist you.

When/ Why should I see an advisor? 

Advisors are available all year to assist with degree planning for graduation and course selection, help students who are struggling academically, provide information about UT's numerous resources, and help students facing non-academic problems.


What is a withdrawal and how can I do this? 

Withdrawal from The University is done after a student has completed registration for a semester or summer session, and then decides not to attend any classes that semester or session.  

The registration system will not permit you to withdraw by yourself. You must do this in the CNS Dean’s Office. If it is not possible to come to the office, please call (512) 471-4536. 

After the final deadline, students may not drop or withdraw unless there are serious non-academic circumstances, which occurred after the Q deadline date. Appeals will only be considered for documented, non-academic reasons. Contact the CNS Dean’s Office, WCH 1.106,  (512) 471-4536 for non-academic issues.

What grade do I need in my class to fulfill my degree requirement?

This is dependent on what class you are taking. Please consult your academic advisor.

For all CNS classes (including HDF, NTR, TXA, PBH, and MLS) and math or science courses required by your degree, you must make a C- or better.  This means that if you make below a C- on any of these classes, they will only count as electives or not at all and will have to be retaken for a grade of C- or better to count towards your degree.

If you are taking a core-curriculum course, foreign language course, or elective (i.e. UGS, GOV, HIS, Social Science, etc), you must make a D- or better to fulfill that degree requirement.  If you make less than a D- on a core-curriculum course or elective, it will not count and you will need to retake the course or choose another similar option.

When can I add/drop/withdraw from my class(es)?

The College of Natural Sciences uses the UT calendar for purposes of registration, add/dropping courses, and withdrawing from the university.

The general schedule for each semester is as follows:

Class Days 1-4: Add via online registration system
Class Days 5-12: Advisors may add students within the departmental classes (at their discretion)
Class Days 1-12: Drop via the online registration system
Class Day 13+: Drops can be initiated in the CNS Dean's Office in WCH 1.106.  Classes dropped after the 12th class day will show up on your record as a Q Drop (a drop without refund or penalty).  You are allotted 6 Q Drops in your entire undergraduate career.

If you drop a class up to the 12th class day, you will receive a tuition refund, if necessary, and classes do not appear on your permanent record. Not attending does not automatically drop you from classes or withdraw you from UT.  You need to do that yourself.

Always double check your final schedule before the 12th class day!

I'm not doing well in my courses this semester, what should I do?

You should seek out help by reaching out to your professor, TA's, and other tutoring resources such as residential tutoring or the Sanger Learning Center. If you feel that you cannot make the grade necessary for your degree, you should schedule an appointment with your academic advisor by calling 471-7219 to get the necessary forms for a Q-drop in the course.

The Q-drop deadline is 2/3rds of the way through the semester so you should check the Registrar's calendar to be aware of this deadline and give yourself adequate time to get the signatures necessary on your form before that date. 

If you are experiencing difficulty due to non-academic reasons, you should make an appointment to visit the CNS non-academic counselors by visiting WCH 1.106 or calling 471-4536. Non-academic Q-drops that are approved by non-academic counselors do not count against your Q-drop limit.

How do I drop a class?

  • If it is before the 12th class day: you can drop courses on your own in the Registration system. You will receive a tuition refund, if necessary, and classes do not appear on the permanent record. Not attending does not automatically drop you from classes or withdraw you from UT; you need to do that yourself. 

  • If it is after the 12th class day: but before the Q-drop deadline (which you can find on the Registrar's calendar), in order to drop a course for academic reasons, you will need to pick up a Q-drop form from either the SoHE Advising Center (GEA 37) or the CNS Dean's Office (WCH 1.106). You will need to
    • (1) sign the form
    • (2) get an advisor's signature
    • (3) turn it into the CNS Dean's Office (WCH 1.106) before 5:00pm on the Q-drop deadline.

Each undergraduate is allowed 6 academic Q-drops in their undergraduate career. This will show up on your record as a Q, rather than a grade and you will not receive credit for this class.

If you are dropping a class because of non-academic reasons, you should make an appointment to visit the CNS non-academic counselors by visiting WCH 1.106 or calling 471-4536. Non-academic Q-drops that are approved by non-academic counselors do not count against your Q-drop limit.

Be sure to check with financial aid and scholarships to ensure that you will not have an issue if your drop puts you below full-time hours for the semester.

Can I take a course pass/fail?

You should not take a course pass/fail if you need that class to fulfill a degree requirement. Courses taken pass/fail count towards your total number of residence hours and elective hours, but nothing else. They do not count towards your GPA (unless an F is earned) and do not fulfill prerequisite requirements. This means you should NOT take any SoHE courses as pass/fail unless you are using them for only elective requirements. Only electives should be taken pass/fail, unless you plan on repeating the course later for a letter grade.  You may not take a class pass/fail unless you have 30 hours completed.

College of Natural Sciences students may only count 16 pass/fail hours toward their degree (All BA Degrees and BS/BSA degrees prior to 14 -16 catalog) , and may only take two courses pass/fail per semester.  You may select this option when you register for the course, or you may go by the SoHE Advising Center in GEA 37 or the CNS Dean's Office in WCH 1.106 by the Q-drop deadline to change your grading to pass/fail.

For the 2014-16 catalog, BSA and BS students may only count 6 pass/fail hours toward their degree, and may only take two courses pass/fail per semester.

If you earn a 60 or D- or better in a pass/fail class, you will receive a CR on your transcript. This will not factor into your GPA. If you earn less than a 60 or below D-, you will receive an F on your transcript and this will count towards your GPA.

Can I drop a class after the drop deadline?

Yes, you can use a One-Time-Exception Q-drop once in your undergraduate career. This drop counts as one of your 6 allotted Q-drops. You can find more information about the OTE drop on the CNS Website. You can pick up the form in the Dean’s office in WCH 1.106 or in the SoHE Advising Center.  The form is due by the last class day of the semester.

If you are dropping a class because of non-academic reasons, you should make an appointment to visit the CNS non-academic counselors by visiting WCH 1.106 or calling 471-4536. Non-academic Q-drops that are approved by non-academic counselors do not count against your Q-drop limit (6 total).

Transfer Courses/Concurrent Enrollment

Can I take math or science classes outside of UT? 

You may ONLY take math and/or science classes outside of UT during the SUMMER semester. You cannot take them during Fall, Spring, Winter, Minimesters, etc. You should check the Automated Transfer Equivalency and check with your advisor if you are planning to transfer courses in required for your degree.

If a student chooses to have concurrent enrollment in math and science courses in at any time other than the summer semester, those courses will not apply to the student’s degree in the College of Natural Sciences and the School of Human Ecology.

If the math and/or science class is not needed for your specific degree requirement, then you may take that concurrently or at any time, so long as you understand that it is not needed at all towards your degree, not even electives. 

Can I take classes at a community college or through University Extension while also taking classes at UT?

If you are a student in the College of Natural Sciences, you CANNOT take any math or science courses required for your degree at a community college during the fall and spring semesters. You may take courses such as English, Social Science, History or Government, but you must still be enrolled in at least 9 hours at UT.

You may take courses via UT correspondence or UT Extension during the fall and spring semesters while also enrolled at UT. During the summer, students may take any classes at other institutions without any UT hour requirements. You should check the Automated Transfer Equivalency and check with your advisor if you are planning to transfer courses in required for your degree.

Can I transfer courses I have taken from another university?

Many students transfer academic credit from other colleges. Speak to your advisor if you plan to take courses at another institution. Information about how coursework transfers to UT from schools in Texas can be found on the Automated Transfer Equivalency website.

Students transferring courses from out-of-state schools should talk to an admissions counselor in the Office of Admissions, MAI 7. Any courses completed at another educational institution MUST be transferred to UT.

Students must receive a C- or better in any transfer courses to count towards their degree. Transferred coursework does not count towards your UT GPA, but rather counts as credit on your transcript.

How do I transfer in my coursework from another community college or university?

You must request an official transcript from the college or university to be sent to UT Austin and admissions will post those credits automatically to your record. Please be aware that this process can take time in order to go through all the processing steps.

For undergraduate admissions, drop your transcript(s) off in the Main Building Room 7, or mail transcripts to The University of Texas at Austin; Office of Admissions; P.O. Box 8058; Austin, TX  78713-8058.

Registration & Tuition

How can I get into a course that is full/closed? 

Students may add themselves to the automated waitlist option if available, and keep trying to add the course during all the add/drop access periods. Being on a wait list is not a guarantee for getting into a class, and advisors have no way of predicting your chances of getting a class via the wait list; therefore, it is necessary to have an alternative class planned as a back-up.

Students may also attend a course on the first day and request permission from the professor to be added after the 4th class day, however, doing so does not guarantee registration for the course. Students should continue attending all their other classes, in the event that permission to add the closed course is not granted.

In any case or if you are graduating that semester and need a specific course that is listed under your degree requirements, you must contact your academic advisor to notify them.

I have an advising bar, how can I get this removed?

All SoHE majors will have an advising bar and will be required to either schedule an appointment to meet with their academic advisor or complete an online advising worksheet in order to clear their bar.  Your bar must be cleared in order for you to register for your classes.  For more information, please refer to the Registration page.

How many hours can I register for per semester?

Students may take a maximum of 17 credit hours in the fall or spring semesters. During the summer, a student can take up to 14 hours with no more than 8 hours in either summer session.

To request more than maximum hours, schedule an appointment to meet with your academic advisor and turn in an overmax hours form to the SoHE Advising Center during your registration period or before the 12th class day. Please note that if approved for more than 17 hours, you may not add the additional hours until the first day of classes as long as space is available.  

It is not a guarantee that your over max hours form will be approved.

Do I have to be full time at 12 hours during my graduating semester?

The minimum number of hours for an undergraduate student to still receive Financial Aid during a Fall or Spring semester is 6 hours.  However, any changes in enrollment could affect eligibility for certain types of financial aid.

For more information, students should contact the Financial Aid Office.

What courses are considered upper division?

Courses with the last two digits between 20 and 79 (ex: NTR 342, HDF 378L) are upper division courses. Those with the last two digits lower than 20 are lower division (ex: TXA 316Q).

Those courses with the last two digits greater than 79 are graduate courses (ex: NTR 390).

How can I find an upper division writing flag?

In the course schedule, any upper division course that says "Contains a Substantial Writing Component" or "Wr" will fulfill the upper division writing component requirement. Every Course Schedule lists all the writing component courses offered that semester from every academic department.  Writing component courses can overlap with other degree requirements.

Can I take non-majors science classes for my science requirements?

No, only majors-level science classes can count for both the BSA, BA, and BS degree plans in the College of Natural Sciences. Also, CNS students cannot use any Astronomy classes to fulfill their science requirements.

Course Repetition

Can I repeat a course? 

University policy states that you may NOT for any reason retake a course if you have made a C- or better. 

Even if a student makes below a C- in a course and must retake it, no student may enroll in the same Natural Sciences course more than twice without permission from their advisor. Therefore, students taking a Natural Sciences course for a second time need to be aware it may be their last chance to pass that course. You may only repeat a CS Entry-Level course (CS 312, CS 313K/311, CS 314, M 408S/L/D) one time, no exceptions. Students may fill out a third time repeat appeal to take a CNS class for a third time that will have to be approved by an advisor. These appeals will not be approved for Entry-Level CS courses.

If I repeat a course, will the old grade go away?

No. Both grades will remain on your transcript and both will be averaged into your GPA. Students in the College of Natural Sciences are not permitted to repeat a course for which they have already earned a C- or better. In addition, no student may enroll in the same Natural Sciences course more than twice without permission from their advisor, therefore students taking a Natural Sciences course for a second time need to be aware it may be their last chance to pass that course.

Credit by Exam

How do I claim credit earned by an exam? (i.e. AP, IB, CLEP)

In order for credit by exam or AP credits to count toward a degree or as a course prerequisite, students must first claim the credit on the Center for Teaching and Learning website. Do not claim any credit before speaking with your academic advisor. Your academic advisor can help you determine which credits you should claim for progress in your degree.

Steps to Claim Credit

1.      Start on the Student Testing Services page. 

2.      Read the Placement Versus Credit information.

3.      Click on View Scores and Claim Credit, and log in.

4.      Claim your credit.


  • There is a fee of $6 per credit hour for claiming credit. For example, three credit hours would cost $18.  Payment options are available.
  • Claimed credit-by-exam will not affect your GPA.
  • If you take a course in residence for which you have already earned credit-by-exam, whether you have petitioned or not, you will NOT be able to claim the credit.

What classes can I test out of?

View a full list of classes, see the testing schedule, and register for these tests on the Student Testing Services website. Be aware, that if you are planning to test out of a course that is a prerequisite for a course you are planning to take next semester, your scores will need to be in by the time you register for the course.

Do not claim credit until you have been at UT for at least one semester and/or have talked with an academic advisor. A student can claim credit for an exam at any time prior to his/her senior year. A student may also elect not to claim any credit.


I want to apply for readmission to UT. 

You can apply for readmission through the UT Admissions website. You will need to submit as a part of your application transcripts of any course work (both online and in class) that you might have completed since your time at UT, and you will need to have maintained at least a 2.5 GPA in that transfer work.

I want to transfer to UT from another university, how long will it take me to graduate at UT.

Generally speaking, students should plan on a minimum of 2 & 1/2 to 3 years to complete a SoHE undergraduate degree. However, depending on how any existing university credits would apply to our degree program, a student might be able to complete their course work in a shorter time frame. Regardless, all UT degrees require a minimum of 60 in-residence (taken in a UT classroom) hours.  

Future or returning students should schedule an appointment to meet with an academic advisor.


How/when do I apply for graduation? 

Students apply for graduation during their final semester at UT before the mid-semester deadline (same as the Q-drop deadline).

Students completing their UT degree requirements at another institution must apply to graduate "In Absentia." Meaning you are completing your last degree requirements outside of UT Austin.

Can I still walk the ceremony even if I haven't completed all my degree requirements?

Summer graduates who want to walk in the May ceremony, and are within 12 hours of graduation after their Spring semester, should complete the Application to Participate in Commencement Ceremony (Walk Application) during the spring semester, and then complete the Graduation Application during the summer semester.

Study Abroad

What do I need to do if I want to study abroad? 

The steps you need to take to find out more information, apply to, and attend a study abroad program can be found on the Study Abroad website. You will need to talk to both the study abroad office and your SoHE academic advisor to ensure that the program you choose works for your degree and academic progress.


I am not a SoHE major, but I want to minor in a SoHe option 

Some, not all, classes are restricted to non-majors.  If a class is unrestricted to non-majors and the student meets the pre-reqs, they may add or waitlist for the class.  Please note that priority into SoHE classes are given to majors first.

I am a SoHE major and I want to minor in another subject area 

The College of Natural Sciences does not award minors to BS majors. There are several certificate options that you can look into on the Transcripted Certificate to gain experience in another area and get recognition for it. Many of our students choose to do the Business Foundations Program Certificate, Bridging Disciplines Program Certificate, Pre-Health Professions Certificate, or Food and Society Certificate but you are welcome to do any certificate that UT offers that you qualify for.

If you are BSA major, then you are required to either have a Minor or Transcripted Certificate as part of your degree requirements.

If you want to take enough courses to have the equivalent of a minor (typically 12 hours, 6 of which are upper division), you can do that and claim to have the equivalent of a minor on your resume, but this will not be reflected on your UT transcript.