Frequently Asked Advising Questions

Sometimes navigating college can be confusing. You may not know which questions to ask or where to begin. Your advisor is a great resource to start with! Below are some common advising questions along with helpful responses and links to additional information, forms, and resources.

Transfer and Alternative Credits

Can I take a course at another school?

Yes, students can often take a class or two from regionally accredited institutions and transfer in credit for the course to meet requirements for their degree. The student’s advisor is a best first resource for this process. Students will need to make sure the course transfers in to meet the requirement needed, and also make sure they will complete their last 30 credits at Viterbo University. Additional information is available in Viterbo's Transfer Credit Policy.

How do I find classes?

Viterbo uses a Transfer Equivalency System which helps students see how credits transfer from other institutions. Transferology is also a helpful resource.   

Do I have to apply for other schools?

Yes, students usually need to apply to the other school, often as a non-degree seeking or visiting student. Questions about this process and registering for the class should be directed to the Admission Office at the other school.

When can I transfer in credits from another school?

Students can take and earn credits at another institution anytime, though the last 30 consecutive credits for an undergraduate degree must be taken at Viterbo University and cannot be brought in as transfer or alternative credits. Typically, this means that students can take courses elsewhere up until their third year, though students should work with their advisor to ensure they are meeting requirements and adhering to this policy. See the Baccalaureate Degree Requirements.

How do I get the course approved for transfer?

Once you find one or several classes you may be interested in taking, make sure you submit the Viterbo Transfer Course Request form to have the courses approved before you register for them. This will be your guarantee that the classes will transfer. DO NOT register for the course until you have received confirmation that the course will transfer. 

How do I get credit?

Students must earn a C or higher to transfer credit from a course. See the Transfer Credit Policy for details. After completing the course, order an official copy of your transcript to be sent to Viterbo.

How/where do I send transcripts?

After completing the course, order an official copy of your transcript to be sent to or Viterbo University Transcripts, 900 Viterbo Drive, La Crosse, WI 54601. Unofficial transcripts, transcripts sent from the student, and transcripts sent to advisors WILL NOT be accepted. 

I took AP/IB in high school: do those count for anything?

Students who took AP exams must request to have their scores sent to Viterbo directly from the College Board. Scores must be 3 or above to receive credit, and accepted exams are listed on the Advanced Placement page.

Students who are International Baccalaureate graduates must request official scores from the International Baccalaureate Organization. More information on accepted scores are on the International Baccalaureate page.

How do I transfer in dual-credit courses I took during high school?

The student needs to have an official copy of the college transcript sent to or Viterbo University Transcripts, 900 Viterbo Drive, La Crosse, WI 54601. Dual credit listed on the high school transcript is not sufficient to transfer in college credit.

Summer Course Information

Can I get summer financial aid?

Undergraduate students taking summer classes at Viterbo must be at least half-time (6 or more credits) to be eligible for summer financial aid. Financial aid for summer is typically student loans only. The federal student loan used for summer will often reduce the loans available to you for the next school year. The school year from which you are offered aid will be indicated on the Award Offer. The current summer financial aid application will be found on the following pages.

What is the cost? Are there extra charges?

Summer classes follow the tuition and fees schedule for the previous academic year. See the Tuition and Fees Schedules on the Student Information page.

Students are required to confirm their enrollment by the Friday before the start of the summer session. For more information, see the section on Minimum Payment Requirements/Enrollment Confirmation.

Are Viterbo summer classes online?

Many, but not all, Viterbo summer classes are online. Instructional Methods are listed for each course in Self Service Student Planning, and online components of a hybrid or fully online course are listed as (ONLN) in the Meeting Information for the course.

Graduation Planning

A Graduation Plan is a helpful tool that simplifies registration, ensures you will meet all degree requirements, and confirms you are on track to graduate. Each student should complete their Graduation Plan within their first year at Viterbo. See our guide, How to Complete Your Graduation PlanStudents will also need a copy of their major’s sample plan.

How can I lighten my course load?

Students should plan to take at least 15 credits per semester to ensure graduation in 4 years. To lighten the course load, consider taking summer classes. See the section on Summer Courses for more information.

How can I graduate early?

Students may be able to graduate in less than four years by taking more than 15 credits each semester or by taking summer classes. See the section on Summer Courses for more information.

Majors, Minors, and Academic Programs

How do I add/change majors?

Exploring and changing majors is an exciting process! Students should meet with their assigned advisor to discuss the requirements of the intended major. Some helpful items to consider when declaring or changing majors are course requirements, pre-requisites, course rotations, and time-to-degree. Students are also encouraged to meet with a faculty member or advisor in their new program of study to learn more about the program, ask questions, and ensure it’s a good “fit.” When students are ready to declare of change a major, they should fill out the online Academic Changes form.

 Students can also add a second major (using the same online form linked above). Students with a second major must meet requirements of both majors. Additionally, when the majors are interdisciplinary, 18 credits of the first major cannot count toward requirements in the second major. Advisors can help students determine options and plan to accommodate this university policy outlined in the University Catalog. If the second major constitutes a second degree type, then a student must earn 30 credits that are unique to the second major, and earn at least 150 total credits for graduation.

How do I add/change minors?

Adding a minor can be a strategic, interesting, or simply fun way to add a smaller program of study to your major discipline. While not required, students are encouraged to consider adding a minor, as these are intended to enhance a student’s knowledge base and skill set beyond a major. Viterbo minors typically range in credits from 15 – 22 and represent a variety of academic subject areas. Eight credits of the minor must be unique and not counted in a student’s major, though can be used to fulfill core curriculum requirements. Students are encouraged to work with their advisor to plan out the minor(s) requirements and review the University Catalog for more information on pertinent minor-related policies. When students are ready to add or change a minor, they should fill out the online Academic Changes form.

What career exploration resources are available?

Your advisor is a terrific resource to help you learn about your current or new major or minor. Faculty and instructors in that area are also experts. The Advising and Career Development office provides free, helpful tools, including self-assessments, to aid students in their exploration. Check out our online resources.

Students are also encouraged to take the 1-credit UNST 110 Major Exploration course. This course is designed to facilitate life and career decision making. Students will be involved in activities that examine personality characteristics, interests, and personal/ occupational values, as well as abilities, skills, and aptitudes. Students will explore the world of work and requisite academic preparation, generate occupational and academic goals, and make informed, appropriate decisions. This course is offered in both fall and spring semesters.

Additional ways to explore majors and minors is to participate in campus events and speakers, completing Job Shadows or Internships, or get involved in the greater community through volunteer service.

Scheduling and Course Registration

How do I drop a class?

Schedule changes (add or drop) can be made online through the last day of the first week of classes. Please confirm with your advisor before dropping a class. Dropping a course after the first week must be done by completing a change of schedule form or contacting your advisor. Drop dates for full-semester courses are listed in the Fall Semester Important Dates or Spring Semester Important Dates pages on the Registrar’s main page. Courses shorter than full semester will have pro-rated drop dates, which can be found in a link on the Important Dates pages.


Athletes must obtain permission from their coach and the Athletic Department by completing the Athletic Schedule Change form. The athlete will receive a confirmation e-mail stating they are allowed to drop the class. This e-mail MUST be forwarded to to drop the class.  

What are important dates?

Important dates for each semester are listed on the Registrar's website under Fall Semester Important Dates, Spring Important Dates/Deadlines, and Summer Important Dates. These dates include the first day of the semester, last day to add and drop classes, semester breaks and no class days, registration, finals, commencement, and grade deadlines.

What do I do if a class I want to take is full? Is there a waitlist?

Viterbo does not use the “Waitlist” function in Student Planning. Instead, contact the instructor of the course you wish to take to see if they have started a waitlist. Alternately, you are welcome to check back on the class regularly to see if someone has dropped or if seats have been added.

I have a placeholder planned; how do I pick a course?

See Tips and Tricks for Finding a Class that Fits your Schedule.

How do I find and pick a section for courses?

View the Guide to Choosing Sections and Registering.

What do I do if a course I want to register for overlaps with another course?

Students need permission from instructors to take overlapping classes. Register for one of the classes in Student Planning, then complete the Change of Schedule form. After both instructors have approved the time overlap, the Registrar's Office will register you for the class.

What does it mean when a class says “No sections available” in Student Planning?

Class sections are not released until about half-way through the previous semester. If you are viewing a semester a year or more ahead, “No sections available” means the sections have not been planned yet. If you are planning sections for the next semester or registering for classes, “No sections available” means that the class will not be offered that semester.

Where can I find my registration time?

Your registration time for the following semester is posted in Student Planning in the middle of the previous semester (e.g., your registration time for spring can typically be viewed sometime after mid-semester break). Here is guide to finding your registration date and time.

Why can’t I register for classes?

If you are unable to register during your registration time, you may have a hold on your account. The most common types of holds are Business Office, Registrar, and Advisor holds. 

Business Office Hold

If you have a Business Office Hold, you likely have an outstanding balance on your account or you need to turn in paperwork. Contact the Business Office at 608-796-3850 or or Murphy 214 for more information.

Registrar Hold

If you have a Registrar’s Hold you likely need to complete paperwork, possibly a transcript from a previous school or Vector Training. Contact the Registrar’s Office at 608-796-3180 or or Murphy 204 for more information.

Advisor Hold

If you have an Advisor Hold, your advisor needs to approve your schedule before you can register. Contact your Academic or Faculty Advisor for more information.

Can I take a class for credit/no credit?

Yes, per the academic policy, students may take a class for credit/no credit. Students must register courses as credit/no credit during the first 11 class days of the semester by contacting their advisor or the Registrar. The tuition and fees for credit/no credit courses are the same as graded courses and count toward total enrolled credits in that semester for billing purposes.

Can I audit a class?

Yes, per the academic policy, students may audit a class, resulting in a grade of AU. Students must complete the Audit Course Form no later than Friday of the first week of class. Audited courses do not count toward the student’s degree requirements. The tuition and fees for audit courses are the same as for credit courses and count toward total enrolled credits in that semester for billing purposes.

Why can’t I drop all my classes online?

Students must complete a Withdrawal Request online if they wish to drop all their classes and withdraw from Viterbo. Students should also contact their academic or faculty advisor to complete an exit interview.

Grades & GPA

When are grades posted?

Grades are posted after noon on the Tuesday after finals week.

Where can I find my grades?

You can find your grades in two places in VitNet Self-Service.  When you log in, you can  select the "Grades" option, or you can click on "Student Planning" and then "Go to My Progress" for a more detailed analysis.

What is an incomplete and how do I file for one?

An incomplete is given rarely and only under unusual circumstances beyond a student’s control, such as serious illness or death in the family, or unanticipated complications in an original research project.  To be conserved for an incomplete, the student must have completed at least 50% of the coursework and currently have a passing grade.  To request an incomplete, students should fill out the form on the registrar’s web page.  The student must seek approval of the instructor, department chair, and dean or Vice President for Academics.  The form, with signature approval, needs to be submitted to the registrar by the last class period (not counting finals week).  The student will need to complete the required course work by the agreed upon deadline.  If the incomplete grade is not removed and replaced with a grade from the instructor by the following mid-semester, the incomplete converts to an F. 

How can I appeal a grade?

The most up-to-date policy on appealing a grade can be found under Academic Regulations and Policies.

Getting Connected

How do I schedule an appointment with an advisor?

Advisors in the Academic Advising office, Academic Resource Center, and Career Services use Starfish to schedule appointments. All students have access to Starfish at time of acceptance. Students should schedule an appointment with their assigned or formerly assigned advisor. If you need assistance in using the Starfish software, user guides are available. It is also common for advisors to have drop-in hours; consult with your assigned advisor for additional information. 

Faculty Advisors do not use Starfish to schedule appointments, and often utilize their instructor office hours for drop-in advising conversations. Office hours are posted on a faculty member’s office door; consult with your assigned advisor for additional information and their preference on how to make an appointment.

What are other resources for student success?

One of the primary roles an advisor has is to connect students to resources that will aid in their success. Academic advisors work with a variety of offices to ensure students have the support they need to be successful:

 Students can make appointments with many of these services in Starfish.