Frequently Asked Questions
If you don't find the answer to your question, please contact the Registrar's Office.
I would like to make more changes to my schedule, but no longer have my PIN letter. Where can I find my PIN?
Returning students that have registered in at least one course can retrieve thier PIN through MyOxy under the Academics tab by clicking on the "Registration PIN Retrieval." Those who have not registered must obtain their registration PIN from their advisor. If an advisor has already given the PIN letter to the student, the advisor must contact the Registrar’s Office by phone or email before a staff member can release it to the student.
My professor gave me an override to enroll in a course, but I am still having issues. What should I do next?
Students should first check to see if the override is still active. Enrollment Limit and Instructor Permission Overrides expire after 48 hours. If you find that the override has expired, please contact the instructor to re-issue the override. If the override has not expired, and you are still unable to enroll in a course it is likely that additional or different overrides are necessary. It is often the case that a student will need multiple overrides in order to enroll in a course. If a student is still having trouble enrolling in a course, it will be necessary for them to submit a Schedule Adjustment Form to the Registrar’s office so the course can manually be added. Listed below are the possible overrides an instructor can grant to students:
Enrollment Limit Override
Instructor Permission Override
How do I know which override is necessary?
Enrollment Limit Override: This override will allow you to enroll in a course that is closed. This override is also necessary for courses that have a waitlist or reserved seats when the enrollment and reserved seats equal or exceed the max seats.
Instructor Permission: When looking at Course Counts, if the course description indicates that “instructor permission” is required you will need to contact the professor in order to enroll.
Pre-requisite override: This will allow you to enroll in a course despite not yet having completed any prerequisite coursework.
Co-requisite override: If a co-requisite is listed in the course description, but you have made arrangements to forgo or complete the co-requisite requirement with the professor or department chair, you will need this override to enroll in the course.
Why can’t I drop my final course?
Students that have enrolled in classes cannot drop their final course online. Once registered, a student must be enrolled in at least one course at all times. Oftentimes, students experience this problem because they are attempting to enroll in another course, but can’t because of a time conflict. To circumvent this issue you will need to add/drop a course at the same time eith in person with a Schedule Adjustment Form or by completing both requests in one step online.
If you are looking to take a leave/withdraw from the college you must complete the Leave/Withdrawal Form and we will drop the courses from your schedule.
I am trying to enroll in a course and I am receiving notice that there is a Course-Time Conflict, what should I do?
Students will receive this message when attempting to enroll in courses that are either offered during the same time period or are offset by only a few minutes. Our software automatically issues this message and prevents you from enrolling in the course if the difference between the end and start time of two courses is less than the average travel time students need to arrive on-time to their next class. For students who would like to enroll in this course despite this, they must submit a Petition for Special Consideration in order to enroll in a course that conflicts with another course’s time slot. The petition must be signed by the professors of both courses and the student’s advisor. This form can be found in the Registrar's Office or online on our website.
What is the maximum number of units I can enroll in without a petition?
The maximum number of units a student can enroll in without a petition increases from 18 to 20 on the first day of classes for those Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors that have earned a 3.0 cumulative GPA or higher. Students who meet these criteria will be allowed to enroll in up to 20 units without a petition. If a student does not meet these requirements a maximum of 18 units will be permitted. A student that needs to enroll in additional units and does not meet these requirements or would like to enroll more than the 20 allowable units will be required to submit a Petition for Special Consideration.
How can I add a course after the second week of classes?
In order to add courses after the online registration closes (Monday of Week 3), students must submit a Schedule Adjustment Form (Add/Drop) to the Registrar’s Office. For more specific deadlines please see the Academic Calendar. There will be a late fee associated with adding a course after the 4-unit add deadline that will increase $30 each week that it is late (see Academic Calendar for this and other deadlines).
Can I take a course pass/fail?
Students have the option of taking a course for credit/no credit (CR/NC; a.k.a pass/fail). In order to do this students must submit a “Contract for Completion of Work in a Course Graded Form.” This form can be found in the Registrar’s Office. This is not a form that can be downloaded online. The deadline to submit this form is Thursday of the 4th week of the semester. The exact date can be found on the academic calendar.
Important things to know before submitting the form:
Once a course has been approved to be graded on a CR/NC basis, the decision can not be changed or reversed. Students will not be allowed to petition for the grade to revert back to a letter grade.
Any course that is graded CR/NC cannot be used to fulfill any core, major, or minor requirements.
Please be sure to speak with your advisor about the implications this decision may have on your record prior to submitting the form.
TRANSFER CREDIT/FILING PETITIONS
How can I transfer a course I took at another institution to Oxy? Can the course fulfill a major, minor, or core requirement?
Students can transfer coursework from an accredited institution to Oxy for credit. However, students currently registered at Oxy must obtain prior approval to take courses at another institution. Courses offered at Oxy cannot be taken at another institution for transfer during the fall and spring semesters. In order to transfer credit, please follow the instructions below:
Fill out the Current Student Transfer/Course Substitution Form (available online or in the Registrar’s Office).
Acquire the required signatures: advisor, corresponding department chair, and Core Department if using the course to fulfill a Core requirement. Double check that all necessary information has been included on the form.
Please note: If the course will be used to fulfill a specific requirement for your major, be sure to refer to your Degree Evaluation or the catalog in order to precisely identify the requirement. If the requirement to which the course will be applied is not accurately identified, the execution of your petition will be delayed and possibly voided. Additionally, it is the student’s responsibility to collect the necessary signatures for any petitions that are submitted to our office. We will not hold or print any electronic signatures from faculty members on the student’s behalf. Incomplete petitions will not be processed.
Once complete, submit the petition to the Registrar’s Office.
**The petition will be reviewed by the Student Progress Committee. Students will be notified of the decision to approve or deny the transfer credit petition by email. This process can take two weeks or more depending on various factors.
Upon completion of the course, you must request an official transcript be sent directly to the Registrar’s Office from the institution where the course was taken. We will accept hard copies and/or electronic copies of official transcripts. We will not accept personally delivered transcripts from the student. A minimum grade of “C-” or better is required to transfer credit to your academic record.
** Keep in mind that quarter units are not equal to semester units. Courses taken at an institution that is on the quarter system are worth less units than those taken at an institution on the semester system. A quarter converts to .667 of an Oxy semester unit.
I, or my professor/advisor, is not on campus, but I need to submit a petition. Is it possible to submit the paperwork electronically?
Yes, our office accepts electronic signatures from our faculty members for all our forms. Students are responsible for collecting the necessary signatures for any petitions they are submitting. Our office will not process petitions without the necessary approval(s). We will not print signatures separately or hold incomplete petitions. Please note the following:
If opting to submit a hard copy of the petition with electronic signatures, students must print the entire email chain and attach it to the petition. This will allow us to confirm that the approval has been granted for a specific request. Be sure to write your Student ID Number on each page of the printed email. Emails must be submitted at the same time as the petition.
If opting to submit an electronic/scanned copy of the petition along with electronic signatures, students must print & scan email chains and send all documentation to email@example.com as ONE email. Any documents attached to your email should be in PDF format. You also have the option to fax the necessary paperwork to (323) 341-4886.
CHANGING FROM FULL-TIME STATUS
How can I become a part-time student?
Currently enrolled students looking to change their status from full-time to part-time must submit a Petition For Special Consideration with the appropriate signatures. This option is primarily reserved for seniors that have completed all requirements, have a sufficient number of units, and are otherwise on track to graduate by their expected graduation date. It is imperative that students considering part-time status speak with Financial Aid/Student Accounts prior to submitting their petition. In order to be classified as a part-time student, you must be enrolled in 11 units or less.
I am experiencing unexpected/personal hardship, is there any way to take a break from Oxy?
Currently enrolled students have the option to withdraw from the college or take a Leave of Absence to accommodate any health or personal issues that may arise during the course of a semester. See the Leave/Withdrawal Form, available on the Registrar’s website for complete information and instructions. If you need help navigating the Leave/Withdrawal process or are having difficulty obtaining the necessary signatures please contact the Dean of Student’s Office for assistance. Students that decide to Withdraw from the College or take a Leave of Absence, will always have the option to return to Oxy.
What must I do in order to graduate this May and participate in the Commencement Ceremony?
During the fall semester of your Senior year you will be asked to complete an Application for Graduation. This form must be completed and returned to the Registrar’s Office by the date specified in the Academic Calendar. The Registrar’s Office will complete an audit of your academic record to ensure that all necessary requirements have been met. Students will be notified of any issues prior to the beginning of Spring semester. Graduating seniors must submit any missing paperwork or resolve missing requirements no later than six weeks before graduation.
**For more information regarding important deadlines please visit the Academic Calendar.
What is my catalog year?
The phrase “catalog year” refers to the Academic Catalog by which a student’s major, minor and core requirements are assessed to determine eligibility for graduation. For students entering Oxy before Fall 2013, requirements are assessed according to the published catalog for the year in which they entered Occidental College. For students entering Oxy Fall 2013 or after, requirements will be assessed according to the catalog year in which they declare their first major. Please note that regardless of which policy is applicable to any given student, graduating seniors should not be following the current catalog year requirements to complete their major or minor requirements.
How do I declare my major/minor?
In order to declare a major or minor a student must submit a major/minor declaration form. Both forms are availble in our office or online.
Students are required to declare their major by mid-term of their second semester sophomore year. If not submitted prior to registration for the following fall semester, students will be required to declare in order to fulfill the "Clearance" process. When a student declares a major they must select an advisor within the major. If a student chooses to pursue a double major, they must select an advisor from each department. However, only the advisor the student has selected as their primary advisor will receive their PIN letters.
Minors must be declared no later than the last day of classes of a student's penultimate semester. Students may declare multiple minors. However if it becomes apparent that the requirements will not be complete by the student's final semester, the minor may be dropped in order to clear a student for graduation and participation in the commencement ceremony.
Where can I find more information about my major or minor requirements?
It is important that students become aware of their major/minor requirements by familiarizing themselves with the academic catalog that is applicable to him/her. Additional, inquiries about major/minor requirements or questions about potential transferable courses, must be directed to the student’s advisor or the appropriate department chair. If a student feels he/she is not receiving adequate advising from his/her current advisor, it is always possible to change advisors by submitting the “Advisor Change Request Form” available in our office or on our website.
Can I change my advisor?
Students have the option to change their advisor if they feel they are not receiving adequate advising from current advisor at anytime during his/her stay at Oxy. You can access the “Advisor Change Request Form” on the Registrar’s Office website. If you have already declared a major, students must request a faculty advisor within the major.
I need my transcript, how can I request one?
Current students can request an official or unofficial transcript from Transcripts on Demand. Current students can access the site through MyOxy under the Academics Tab.
What are the requirements to make the Dean’s List?
To be placed on the Dean's List students must complete 16 units (for a letter grade) and earn a GPA of 3.5 or better for the semester in question.
Can I receive credit for participating in an internship program?
Students in their sophomore year or above have the option to register their internship with the Career Development Center (CDC) in order for it to appear on their transcript. Students are only allowed to receive credit for one internship each semester. The student can receive a maximum of two units of elective credit for each internship. Students interested in receiving credit for their internship experience must visit the CDC prior to the start of the internship for enrollment and approval purposes. For more information regarding the internship programs available to you, please visit the CDC online at their website or in person.
What are the Art Center and CalTech Institutional Exchange Programs?
The Art Center and CalTech Institutional Exchange Programs offer students the opportunity to study at either institution while in attendance at Oxy. The exchange program is available to full-time students (a minimum of 12 credits) looking to take courses that may not be offered here at Occidental. Students will receive elective credit for any courses taken at the Art Center or CalTech. The program is available during the fall and spring semesters only, with the permission of both institutions.
Additional tuition payments are not required, but there may be special laboratory or studio fees. In order to participate in this program, please contact the Registrar’s Office for exchange program forms and permission. Courses taken at the Art Center or CalTech are added to the student's transcript as transfer coursework and do not calculate in the students GPA.
Will I receive credit for AP/IB classes that I took in high school?
Students that score a 4 or 5 on an AP Exam will receive 4 units of elective credit. However, exams are not given course equivalency without a petition. Students can petition to use an AP course to fulfill a major/minor requirement by submitting a Current Student Transfer & Course Substitution Form with the appropriate approvals (Department chair & current advisor).
For students that have taken an IB Exam, credit is given for scores of a 6 or 7 on the Higher Level Exam. We do not give credit for Standard Level IB examinations.
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