If you learn to navigate Self-Service, Degree Audit, Blackboard, as well as other online systems, and familiarize yourself with the resources on the Registrar, Academic Advising, and Information Services websites, you will successfully manage a number of important academic and advising procedures, take ownership of your curricular planning and goal-setting, and stay on track to completing a degree in four years.

Managing Your Academic and Advising Processes and Procedures:

Classes and Scheduling

Academic Plans and Majors

Academic Resources and College Success

Classes and Schedules

Adding and Dropping Courses

You can add or drop classes and select credit/no entry during the seven-day add-drop period of any semester. If you are a new OWU student, your advisor will need to "authorize" you in Self-Service before you can make a schedule change during the add-drop period of the fall or spring term. 

Go to the Academic Calendar for add-drop deadlines for the fall and spring semesters.

Withdrawing from Full-Semester and Module Courses

You can withdraw from a courses through the 10th week of any term. Go to the Academic Calendar for withdrawal deadlines for the fall and spring semesters.   First communicate with your advisor if you are considering withdrawing from a course.  If you decide to do so, A "W" designation will appear on your transcript, and you may need to add a second module course so you do not fall below 3.25 units of credit—the required number of credits to be a full-time student.

Acquiring Your Textbooks

To complete assignments and be successful in your courses, you need access to books, course packs, and other materials, including interactive online systems that require access codes.  The resources below will help you to identify, price, and acquire your text books. For additional information, go to the Textbook Information for Students web page.

  • Use the Textbook Search in Self-Service to identify required course books, compare Campus Store prices with third-party vendor prices, and order online.
  • The Textbook on Print Reserve Program in Beegly Library includes many general education texts for 100- and 200-level courses. The collection does not include supplemental materials or course access codes. Reserve materials can be borrowed for several hours at a time, and access is on a first come, first served basis.
  • The Dean's office allocates funds to support students who cannot afford textbooks, course packs, and access codes. You may be eligible for assistance if you have completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form and accepted all of your financial aid, including loans, and still have demonstrated need. To request assistance, contact the Dean's office.

Identifying Courses to Take in Self-Service

The "Basic" and "Advanced" Search options in OWU Self-Service will help you to identify general education and major courses as well as activity, applied music and other courses.  Go OWU Self-Service and open Find Courses.

  • For the Basic Search, enter the Course Code abbreviation (e.g., ECON, PSYC, or SPAN) and correct Period (i.e., semester and year), and then click on Search. Go to Courses of Instruction--Key to Abbreviations for an alphabetical lists of course codes--from ACCT (Accounting) to ZOOL (Zoology).
  • Use the Advanced Search (in the Sub Type drop-down window) to identify applied music, varsity sports, and activity courses, as well as dual requirement courses—i.e., quantitative, diversity, and writing. You can also use time, day of the week, status, and other filters to narrow your search.

Registering for Classes and Managing Your Registration Cart

Before you register for classes each semester, you will meet with your academic advisor to discuss your course selections and academic plans so you advisor can authorize you to register.  The Registrar will notify students about the dates and deadlines for pre-registration.  You advisor will probably contact you about scheduling a pre-registration meeting, but you may also contact your advisor to arrange a time to meet.

Go to Self-Service for Students  on the Information Services Self Help Site to learn about registration procedures, including Logging into Self-Service, Using the Registration Cart, Requesting Permission to Add a Course, and Registering for Courses.

Taking Summer Courses at Another Institution

Only course grades of C- or higher will transfer to OWU.  Transfer credit with be determined by the Registrar's Office and count toward the 34 units of credit required for graduation. The grades from the transfer institution will not appear on your transcript and will not be counted in your cumulative grade point average. Courses taken for an academic major must have prior approval of the major department at OWU.

  • Print, complete, and then return the Permission to Transfer Courses to Ohio Wesleyan University form to the Office of the Registrar in University Hall 007. Go to the Forms page on the Office of the Register's website: https://www.owu.edu/academics/office-of-the-registrar/forms/
  • When you complete the course (s), request that an official transcript be sent to the OWU's Office of the Registrar.

Academic Plans and Majors

Learning about General Education and Major Requirements

Learning about general education and major requirements will help you to identify appropriate courses for the upcoming semester, develop or refine your academic plan, and stay on track to  graduate in four years.

Deciding on a Major

If you are exploring more than one subject area, or perhaps are uncertain about your current course of study, using the resources on the Deciding on a Major web pages can help you to identify a major that matches your interests, abilities, values, and skill sets and leads to a number of career opportunities. You can, for example: a) Learn about the myths and misconceptions of choosing majors and careers; b) Meet with a Career Connection Professional to better understand your VIPS—Values, Interests, Personality and Skills; c) Decide if it is time to choose a different course of study; and d) Find out much more information about important requirements for your major:

  • How many course are required for your intended major?
  • What pre-requisites must be completed before you can take additional courses in the major?
  • Are there minimum grade point requirements for certain courses?
  • What course are required or recommended for the first semester and year?

Declaring a Major

Declare your major when you achieve junior status (i.e., earned 15 units of credit), although you can do so prior to that time. Juniors will have a hold placed on their registration until a major is declared. If you have not decided on a major or have not met the requirement for a desired major by the deadline, declare your intention to major by selecting the "Conditional Major" option. Use the online Major/Minor Request Form to declare your major.

Using Degree Audit to Track Your Academic Progress Toward a Degree

Students use Degree Audit for tracking completed course work, planning semester schedules, and exploring "what-if" scenarios. To learn more about Degree Audit, go to Information Services Self Help Site.

Note: "Exceptions" may need to be added to your report if Degree Audit does not capture a requirement you have completed—e.g., two half-unit credits in the same discipline counting as a distribution requirement.  Contact your advisor or the Registrar Office if you need assistance interpreting your degree audit or if you believe your report needs updating with an exception

Academic Resources and College Success

Working in OWU Blackboard

Blackboard is a virtual learning environment and course management system used by many OWU professors to deliver course content and assignments, post grades, create discussion threads, engage in course chat sessions, and for many other course activities. Go to Blackboard for Students on the OWU Help Desk site for guidelines about logging into Blackboard, seeing all the courses you are enrolled in, submitting assignments, viewing instructor feedback on assignments, and setting and disabling notifications.  Your professor will provide information and instructions for any Blackboard pages for your specific classes.  Note: You will only have access to courses instructors have made available to you.

Checking Mid-Term Grade Estimates and Semester Grades

Mid-term grade estimates

Mid-term grade estimates are available in OWU Self-Service on the Monday or Tuesday after fall and spring breaks. Login to the OWU Self-Service grades page and click Grade Report.

See the table below for explanations of mid-term grade designations:

Grade Designations

Explanations of Mid-Term Grade Designations


Current grade of C- or higher


Passing negligent or not engaged (student is passing but has stopped attending class or is no longer engaged)


Current grade of D+ or lower (student is engaged but does not comprehend the material)


Current grade of D+ or lower (student is not attending/and or not engaged)


No basis for evaluation


No basis for evaluation due to negligence


Student registered but never attended (students should take steps to withdraw from this course, as it will revert to a failing grade at the end of the semester

Students who received two or more "U"s for mid-term grades estimates are encouraged to take these actions:

  • Communicate with Your Instructors: Email and possibly meet with your instructors as soon as possible to find out your current course grades and the percentage of graded work (i.e., quizzes, tests, papers, homework, and course projects) that remains for the second half of the semester. You might also review tests or papers with your professors and ask about study and test-preparation strategies.
  • Meet with Your Advisor: Your advisor will probably arrange a time to meet with you to discuss your mid-term grades and to determine if a schedule adjustment should be made—i.e., withdrawing from one of your courses and possibly adding a second-module class.  If your advisor has not contacted you, reach out to him or her as soon as possible to schedule an appointment before the last day to withdraw from full-semester courses--the Tuesday of the tenth week of the fall semester and Thursday of the tenth week of the spring semester.

Semester grades

Student can monitor their academic progress (i.e., number of credits earned and cumulative GPA attained) by checking their grades in Self-Service at the end of each semester (approximately a week after final exams have been completed).  Students should be aware of the the actions they should or could take if they receive one of the following semester grades: an "I" (Incomplete); a course grade of "D+" or lower, or earning a minimum course grade of "C-" for certain required major and other courses.

  • Complete and submit all remaining work for the "I" (Incomplete) by the end of the third week of the next semester, excluding the summer session.  Extension of this time limit can only be granted through approval of a petition.  Unless an extension is granted, the grade of "F" will be assigned to Incompletes not removed by the end of the fifth week of the semester.
  • Consider repeating any regular course (at OWU) in which the grade was "D+" or lower.  Each time you take the course, the grade will appear on your transcript  Only the second (last) grade will be counted toward the cumulative GPA, even though the last grade could be a lower grade than the one received earlier.  Communicate with your advisor about the option of repeating a course.  Go to Reports and Grades in the Catalog scroll down for more information about Incompletes and Repeating Courses.
  • Be aware that you need a grade of at least "C-"  to receive credit for English 105 or to meet prerequisites for certain courses that count toward one or more major requirements.  For example, see the requirements and course prerequisites for Economics and Business, Chemistry,  Psychology, and other departments: See Majors and Minors in the OWU Catalog.

Learning about Tutoring Support, Disability Services, and Other Academic Resources

The Sagan Academic Resource Center (ARC) staff provides assistance at no charge to all students--under-prepared students as well as high-achieving students--who want to enhance skills, improve study habits, increase knowledge, build confidence, and earn higher grades.  Go to the Sagan Academic Resource Center website to learn about scheduling appointments and the available resources and support in these areas: Writing, Quantitative Skills, Academic Skills, and Accessibility Services.

In addition, Peer Tutoring services are offered for 100- and some 200-level courses in the following subject areas: ASTR, BIOL, CHEM, CS, ECON, MATH, PHYS, PSYC, and WLC.  Go to the  Departmental Tutoring website to access the semester tutoring schedule for information about tutoring times, days, and locations

Requesting a New Academic Advisor

You can submit a request for a new academic advisor by completing the online Change-of-Advisor form.  You should seek approval from the prospective (or new) advisor before completing and submitting the form.  Call or stop by the Office of Academic Advising, Corns 316, if you have questions about this process or would like assistance with identifying a new advisor.

Submitting a Petition

The Academic Status Committee reviews petitions for exceptions to the university's academic regulations, procedures, and policies. Exceptions may be approved if extenuating circumstances are evident and well documented. Petition requests are reviewed every Monday afternoon during the academic year, except during finals week.  If you decide to submit a petition, follow this procedure:

  1. Pick up a "Petition for Special Permission" form from the Registrar's Office or the Office of Academic Advising. A printable PDF is also available on the "Forms" page of the Registrar's website.
  2. Complete the Petition for Special Permission form: a) provide a detailed explanation of your request and justification for the special permission being sought; b) obtain supporting statements and signatures from advisors, professors, or other professionals; and attach appropriate/necessary documentation. Personal documentation will be treated confidentially.
  3. Submit the completed form and support materials to the Registrar's Office. Petitions submitted by Friday at 4:30 p.m., with all the required signatures and documentation, will be reviewed the following Monday afternoon.

Supporting Documentation includes

  • Medical: statements from physicians, psychiatrists, university counseling or health services.
  • Non-Medical: obituary notices, death certificates, accident or police reports, airline (or other travel) receipts/tickets, letters of explanation from lawyers, employers, or qualified/relevant parties or professions.
  • Course-Related: records or statements from instructors about grades, attendance, completed work.

The Register's Office will inform students through email about the decision within 48 hours after the Academic Status Committee has reviewed the petition.  The committee may request additional information and documentation from students before a final decision is made.

Note: Students will not have the opportunity to meet in person with the members of the Academic Status Committee, so all the necessary documentation should be submitted along with a detailed and well-written petition statement. 

Professionals in the Writing Center and Office of Academic Advising are available for consultations and tutoring sessions if you are interested.  Stop by Corns 316, the Sagan Academic Resource Center, or call to schedule an appointment: 740-368-3925.








Department Contact Info


Lauren Hensley
Director of Holistic Advising
University Hall 107C
P 740-368-3110
E lchensley@owu.edu