Frequently Asked Questions

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Below are some frequently asked questions for undergraduate science majors that the associate and assistant dean's office often receive:

Academic Rules and Procedures


Academic Rules and Procedures

Main Building

Where is the dean's office?

Location: 215 Jordan Hall of Science

Hours: 8:30 a.m. to noon and 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday

The person referred to as the "student's dean" in the Academic Code and other regulations is generally one of the associate or assistant deans of the College. In the case of the College of Science, the student's dean is Dan Gezelter, associate dean of undergraduate studies. His office is in 215 Jordan Hall. His administrative assistant is Ms. Lori Goffeney, who is located in 319 Jordan Hall.

How can I add a course to my schedule?

The policy that governs requests to add a course is Sec. 5.3 of the Academic Code of the University:

"For the fall and spring semesters, the registration period in which students may drop or add classes continues for the first six class days of the semester."

During the first six class days, students use the same procedures to add a class as followed during pre-registration, web registration, or registration through special override procedures. In the case of special classes which require permission (e.g., research or music activity courses), students are expected to obtain all required permissions before the end of the sixth class day.

Some courses, e.g., the mini-courses or 1-credit courses, follow schedules different than the regular semester. Such courses can be added on up to the first class day of the course. The appropriate form to use in that case is the Academic Course Change form. The form may be accessed via insideND. The student or his/her advisor can initiate the form. Please follow the instructions as stated on the form.

How do I drop a course from my schedule?

The policy that governs requests to drop a course is Sec. 5.3 of the Academic Code of the University:

"For the fall and spring semesters, the registration period in which students may drop or add classes continues for the first six class days of the semester. After this period, any alteration of the student's schedule must be approved by the dean (or the dean's designee)."

"Alteration of a student's class schedule after the last day for discontinuance requires approval of the dean (or the dean's designee). Such requests will not generally be allowed, unless exceptional circumstances (normally, documented mental or physical illness) are present that demonstrate the need to make an exception to avoid inherent inequity, in the sole judgment of the dean (or the dean's designee). If allowed the class with a grade of “W” will be recorded on the official transcript."

During the first six class days, students use the same procedures to drop a class as followed during web registration. After the sixth class day, an e-form must be initiated. 

Why is the sixth class day of each semester important?

The sixth class day of each semester is the:

  • Last day to add classes.
  • Last day to use web registration (until 12 midnight).
  • Last day to complete the enrollment form.
  • Last day to declare pass/fail.
  • Last day to request part-time status.

How do I request an overload?

The policy that governs requests for an overload is Sec. 5.5.1 & of the Academic Code of the University:

"Except with special permission of the dean (or the dean’s designee) of a college, the maximum number of credits allowed for an undergraduate student is as follows: First Year of Studies, School of Architecture, College of Engineering, juniors and seniors in the Mendoza College of Business – not more than 19 credit hours per semester. College of Science students not more than 18 credit hours per semester. College of Arts and Letters students and sophomores in the Mendoza College of Business – not more than 17 credit hours per semester. The limits noted... above include ROTC and activity courses."

Consistent with the policy followed in the other colleges of the university, the College of Science will not consider overload requests until the first six days of the semester. Students may make their requests by initiating the in-house online form (not an e-form) only at the beginning of the semester. 

The overload decision is made by the student's dean. Prior performance in comparable class loads is considered, as well as the difficulty of the proposed load. The associate dean may also consult with the student's advisor before making a decision. If the dean approves the overload request, it is then the student's responsibility to add the additional course(s).

For summer session, a load of more than 8 credits is considered an overload and also requires the approval of the student's dean.

There is no tuition increase for students who take an overload schedule during the fall and spring semesters. Tuition for summer session is charged per credit hour.

I do not need to take a full course schedule. How do I request part-time status?

The policy that governs requests to be part-time is Sec. 5.5.2 of the Academic Code of the University:

"An undergraduate degree-seeking student must be enrolled in at least 12 credit hours in a given semester to be full-time. An undergraduate student who is in the graduation semester may seek permission of the dean (or the dean’s designee) to be part-time, if fewer than 12 credit hours are needed to complete the degree. Such requests must be submitted to the dean (or the dean’s designee) for consideration before the sixth day of classes."

Here are some details from the associate dean's office of the College of Science:

  • Part-time students are those carrying fewer than 12 credit hours in a semester.
  • Approval to be part-time is generally only given to students who will complete their degree requirements during the semester.
  • If a request is granted, the Associate Dean’s Office will reduce the maximum credit hours allowed for registration. (This action leads to the adjustment in tuition fees, and if applicable, financial aid.)
  • In fairness to the other students who are still looking for classes for completion of a schedule, students are asked to make this request prior to the start of the semester.
  • Consistent with the Academic Code, the conversion to part-time status must be made during the regular registration period. THUS, NO PART-TIME FORMS WILL BE SIGNED AFTER THE SIXTH CLASS DAY.

For those seniors who want to be part-time but who have not yet requested approval, here are the steps:

  • Check carefully which courses are required for graduation.
  • Consider carefully the nonacademic ramifications of becoming part-time. For example, some students receive a reduction in fees on their car insurance because they are full-time students. Some scholarships may require that a student be full-time. And, sometimes students must start paying back student loans once they become part-time.
  • If you then decide that you want to be part-time, you will initiate the Part-Time Status Request e-form via insideND. The form will be available through the first five days of classes. On the sixth class day you need to go to the associate dean's office. 
  • Finally, remember that no part-time forms will be signed after the sixth class day.

How can I take a class pass/fail?

The policy that governs requests to take a course pass-fail is Sec. 3.3.11 of the Academic Code of the University:

"Pass/Fail Option: Junior or senior undergraduates may file with their academic dean (or the dean’s designee), during the first six class days of the semester, the decision to take on a pass/fail basis one course per semester that is classified by the Registrar as a "Standard Grade Mode Course."  The course must be outside the department of the student’s major. Courses taken to satisfy University, college, or major requirements may not be taken on a pass/fail basis. Only the first course in a student's minor track may be taken on a pass/fail basis. Faculty, departments, and colleges may refuse pass/fail requests for selected courses. If approved, the filing is irrevocable and will result in conversion by the University Registrar of the instructor’s final grade report into an entry of “P” (pass) or “F” (fail) on the student’s record. The instructor will not be informed that the student has elected the pass/fail grading option. The University Registrar will interpret the final letter grades of “A” through “D” as pass. These grades will not be computed into the student’s grade-point average. If a final grade of “F” is issued, it will be computed into the student’s grade-point average."

The College has asked the associate dean's office to remind all students of the conditions that must be met before a course can be taken as pass/fail. In response to this, the following is read and signed by science students requesting the Pass-Fail option:

  1. The option is open only to juniors and seniors.
  2. No required courses may be taken pass/fail. For instance, a theology course cannot be taken pass/fail if you have not already met your 6-hours of required theology. This also includes science electives.
  3. The courses must be outside your major department. For instance, math majors cannot take math courses pass/fail, etc.
  4. Your filing for the pass/fail option is irrevocable, which means you cannot change your mind at a later date and decide you want a grade for a course.
  5. Only one course per semester may be taken pass/fail.
  6. If you want to be considered for the Dean's Honor List, you must take at least 12 credit hours for a regular grade (in addition to the pass/fail course).
  7. Beware -- some medical and graduate schools may not look favorably at the pass/fail option on your record.
  8. During the semester in which your science graduation requirements are fulfilled, an "extra" (concurrent) science course may be taken pass/fail as long as it is outside your major department (See #3.). This is allowed because the "extra" course is not interpreted to be a required course. But this means that you will not be allowed to drop those science courses which are being used to meet the graduation requirements.

Seniors and juniors make their requests to take pass/fail courses during the first six days of the semester by filling out the Course Pass/Fail Request form online or visiting the associate dean's office.

I've taken classes at another institution. How can I get approval for these transfer credits?

The following section discusses the process that a science major should follow when requesting approval to transfer a course to the University of Notre Dame.

Transfer Course Pre-Approval Form

The student should obtain approval to transfer the course prior to taking the course. The pre-approval e-form can be accessed via insideND. This e-form needs to list the course(s) to be taken, will show how these courses will be transferred, and will show that pre-approval was obtained from the appropriate departments. The following are the required signatures for the form:

  • Student's signature
  • Department's authorization
  • Advisor's signature
  • Associate Dean's signature (obtained after all other signatures)

Once the form has been completed, a copy of the form is retained in the student's academic folder and another copy goes to the student's advisor. The original of the form and the student copy of the form are given to the student. The student is responsible for giving the original "Institutional Representative" copy to the school where the transfer is being taken. Be advised that the transfer course approval applies only to the course(s) listed on the form. If a student takes a course other than the one approved, it may not be transferred.

The Notre Dame Transcript

After taking the pre-approved course, the student is responsible for requesting an official transcript from the college/university to be mailed directly to the Dean’s Office (see address below).

Office of the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies
College of Science
University of Notre Dame
215 Jordan Hall
Notre Dame, IN 46556

After receipt of the transcript by the Dean's Office, the transcript is matched with the Transfer Course Pre-Approval Form in the student's folder. If the grade earned is "B" or above, then transfer credit is added to the student's Notre Dame transcript. If the grade earned is less than "B," then no transfer credit will be granted.

Science Courses

A Science major is not allowed to transfer Science or Mathematics courses back to Notre Dame. Absolutely no exceptions will be granted.

Other Courses

We advise the student to seek approval first from the offering department. For instance, if a student wishes to transfer an economics course, then the student should first seek approval from the Department of Economics at Notre Dame. The student should bring as much information as possible describing the course for the department. The department may request any or all of the following types of information:

  • Name of institution
  • Number of hours that the course meets (e.g., bring the summer session schedule)
  • Course title
  • A bulletin description. This description should include number of credits awarded and how the course is used by students at the institution.
  • A course syllabus, if available.

Permission may be refused if the information provided is inadequate for assessing the course.

Reasons for Refusal

The departmental representative and the student's advisor will each be making judgments on the appropriateness of the transfer of a course. In some cases, the request for transfer will not be approved. Reasons for refusal could include the following:

  • The course is a requirement of the student's major and is thus not eligible for transfer.
  • The course is not of suitable academic quality.
  • The course is not of equivalent level to the one taught at the University of Notre Dame.
  • The course does not meet for a sufficient number of hours.
  • The course is a correspondence course.
  • The student has exceeded the number of credits that can be transferred.

Total Number of Credits Transferred

Students are normally allowed to take no more than two courses during a summer session.

Special Notes for First Year Students

First Year of Studies will help science intents fill out the Transfer Course Pre-Approval Form. First-year students who have questions should discuss them with their First-Year Advisor.

Late Approval

Sometimes students decide late to take a transfer course. It is strongly recommended that the student still take the required steps to fill out a transfer course pre-approval form.
If the student is at home, he/she should call the dean's office at (574) 631-6375 and ask for help at a distance. As needed, information can be mailed, emailed, or faxed by the student. As the dean's office has time, we will endeavor to help the student secure the required signatures if the course can be approved. The institutional copy and the student's copy will then be mailed to the home address.
A student who fails to seek pre-approval risks losing the possibility of transferring credit later.

University of Notre Dame students


I need my PIN. Can you give it to me?

You must see your advisor to obtain your PIN. The associate/assistant dean's office does not give out PINs.

I need to register for a course, but I am getting an error message. It will not allow me to add this course. 

If this course is appropriate for you to have on your schedule (only your advisor can make this decision), you will need to go to the department offering the course that you want to add to obtain permission.  If that department grants permission, they will enter the appropriate override code, so you can add the course to your schedule.

Example: You want to add a biology course to your schedule, but are unable to register for it. First, discuss this course with your advisor when you meet to pick up your PIN. If your advisor determines that this course is appropriate for your schedule, you would then go to the Department of Biological Sciences/Prof. David Veselik, to request the override to add the class to your schedule.

I need to register for more than 18.0 credit hours this semester. How and when can I get permission to register for more credits?

Students in the College of Science may add up to a maximum of 18.0 credit hours to their schedule. If you want/need more credits, you must wait until the beginning of the semester to request an "overload."

The form to request overloads will be available online mid-to late August/January (depending on the semester) to request an overload. Please watch future listserv messages for the announcement and for the link to complete the overload request form. As always, if you prefer to come into the office to complete the form, you may do so when you return to campus before at the beginning of the semester. Overloads are not reviewed until the beginning of the semester to allow fairness to all students when registering for classes.

If your request is approved, you will be notified by the assistant/associate dean's office with the maximum number of credits you can take for the semester. IMPORTANT: You (the student) are responsible for adding the class to your schedule within the first six class days. This deadline is set by the Registrar's Office and cannot be changed.

I want to take a class pass/fail for the fall semester. What needs to be done in making this request?

Juniors and seniors may take one course per semester as pass/fail. Requests for the pass/fail option will be reviewed at the beginning of the semester when you return to campus. The form to request an overload is available online during the first five days of classes only. Please watch future listserv messages for the announcement for the link to complete this form. Alternatively, if you prefer to complete the paper form, you may come to the associate/assistant dean's office prior to the beginning of the semester to complete the form. The form, either paper or online, will be reviewed by either the associate or assistant dean and you will be notified of their decision. If your request is approved, the grade type will be changed in the student database. You will not have to do anything else concerning this request.

How are Academic Program Selection Forms (also known as Change of Major/College forms) processed or routed?

The forms may be accessed via insideND. The student's advisor or the dean's office can initiate the form. Please follow the instructions as stated on the form.