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USD New Student Orientation. Welcome to the College Meeting for the University Studies Division!. We’re glad you’re here!. During this presentation, please follow along in your USD Orientation Handbook. Please stop me at any time during this presentation if you have any questions!.

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usd new student orientation

USD New Student Orientation

Welcome to the College Meeting

for the University Studies Division!

We’re glad you’re here!

During this presentation, please follow along in your USD Orientation Handbook

arthur l larry lawrence usd advisor

Arthur L. “Larry” Lawrence, USD advisor

I am one of several full-time advisors in the University Studies Division/Academic Advising Center. We see students on a walk-in basis in room 320-Student Service Center (713-743-8982) No appointment is necessary.

we think that you made an excellent decision in choosing to come to orientation

We think that you made an excellent decision in choosing to come to Orientation.

In getting to know the university, its policies & procedures, advisors, the campus, and services offered, you’ll be much more prepared to begin your college career


by August 21st . . .

“I wish they’d all come to Orientation!”

and welcome to the university studies division
And ...welcome to the University Studies Division!

You’ll often hear us referred to as “USD”.

Students are USD majors if their major is undecided

  • Students who have not yet declared a major
  • Students on Academic Notice
  • Pre-health professional students
  • Prospective students
  • Adult Admission Option students
  • TASP screening and advising

Although we’re not a degree-granting “college”, we are the primary resource and support for:

university of houston academic regulations
University of Houston Academic Regulations
  • Classification

Freshman 0-29 semester hours

Sophomore 30-59 semester hours

Junior 60-89 semester hours

Senior 90 or more semester hours

  • Maximum Course Load

Freshman 16 semester hours

Sophomore, Junior,

Senior, or Postbaccalaureate 18 semester hours

Student on Academic Notice

or Probation 12 semester hours

recommended course load
Recommended Course Load

Unlike high school, the vast majority of work done in your college courses will be done outside of class.

This requires a significant time commitment on your part--you’ll need to plan to spend 2 to 3 hours studying outside class for every hour in class. That means if you’re taking 13 semester hours, you’re going to be in class about 13 hours a week. Add 26 to that [13 x 2] and your time commitment ends up being about 39 hours a week, or about the same number of hours per week as needed for a full-time job.

Our very strong recommendation for a maximum full-time course load for any first-time-in-college freshman is13 semester hours.See the guidelines for maximum course load on p. 6 of your Orientation Guide (item #2).

ways to help maintain academic success
Budget your time

Balance work and school hours

Get to know your advisors

Get to know your instructors

Get off to a good start from the 1st class day

Use the facilities on campus for academic help

Read the catalog and class schedule

Check course prerequisites

If you want to be dropped from a course, it is your responsibility to do so

Keep everything you get from the university!

Do not depend on satisfying degree requirements in the summer

Ways to help maintain academic success
getting help
Getting help..….
  • Counseling and Testing, 200 Student Service Center, offers personal counseling and academic workshops in

study skills,

time management,

making the adjustment from high school to college, etc..

  • Learning Support Services,321 Social Work, offers tutoring in most subjects.
  • Math Lab,272 PGH, provides help for lower level math courses.
  • Career Planning and Placement, 100 Student Service Center,offers Gayle’s Career Guide., a computer based career search tool.
60 hour rule

60- hour rule

By the time you have 60 semester hours, you must declare a major. Begin thinking seriously about what discipline you plan to major in by your third semester (beginning of sophomore year, or when you have earned approximately 30 hours).

To declare a major, you need to go to the department in which your proposed major lies. That department will then become your “home base” for advising, although you are always welcome to come to the Academic Advising Center for general advising questions. The advisor in the department of your major will also do your official degree plan for graduation.

choosing a major

Choosing a Major

You may already have a particular major in mind, or you may be working toward pre-business or pre-health. But if you’re REALLY undecided about your major, don’t panic! You have at least 2 semesters in which to explore different majors, visit the various colleges on campus, talk to advisors in colleges and departments about their programs, to visit Career Planning and Placement and, of course, the University Studies Division/Academic Advising Center, to help narrow your choices. Come talk to an advisor in USD at least once per semester.

graduation requirements
Graduation Requirements
  • You will need at least 122 semester hours to receive a baccalaureate degree. (Many majors and colleges require more than this; check the catalog for your specific college and major requirements.)
  • You must have a degree plan on file before you can graduate. The degree plan is done by the advisor in the department of your major no later than your junior year.
  • You must satisfy all requirements of the core curriculum in addition to the requirements of your college and major.
  • You must satisfy the Writing Proficiency Requirement (see p. 8 of the Orientation Guide)
  • You must apply for graduation through the Registrar’s office by the stated deadline.
do you plan to major in a pre health professions area
Do you plan to major in a pre-health professions area?

Be sure to attend the Allied Health and Pre-Health Professions Seminar which will be held on Friday morning from 8-9 a.m. Check your Orientation Itinerary for the exact room location in the University Center. You will be given specific information about which courses to take relative your particular pre-health professions area.

a reminder of the minimum grade point average gpa requirement

A Reminder of the Minimum Grade Point Average [GPA] Requirement:

Students of all classifications must maintain a cumulative(overall) GPA of at least2.00 to remain in good academic standing.

Freshmen students who earn less than a 2.00 GPA in their 1st semester at UH are placed on Academic Notice.

Grading: See p. 4 of your Orientation Guide for an explanation of grades and how to calculate the cumulative GPA


The Core Curriculum Path Sheet

The Core Curriculumis required of students of all majors and consists of 3 levels, plus State-mandated and University requirements.

Total Core Curriculum hours: 56-64 semester hours

Your Summer/Fall Class Schedule has a complete list of approved courses for the Core Curriculum, starting on p. 13

Please follow along on your Core Path Sheet and p. 13 of Class Schedule.

typical 1st semester freshman course schedule for undeclared majors
Typical 1st-semester-freshman course schedule for undeclared majors:
  • ENGL 1303 Composition I --3 hours
  • MATH 1310 College Algebra --3 hours
  • PSYC 1300, SOC 2300, or other approved Social Science core course --3 hours
  • HIST 1377 or 1378 (U.S. History), or

POLS 1336 or 1337 (Government) --3 hours

  • PEB 1100 or PEB 11__ (activity) --1 hour

TOTAL: 13 semester hours

NOTE: if you have received advanced placement, dual

credit, etc., your schedule will vary from the above. Talk to an advisor about your individual situation.

core 1201 a gateway to the core curriculum and core study
CORE 1201: A Gateway to the Core Curriculum and Core Study

USD advisors teach this two-hour graded course that will help you:

  • define your educational goals,
  • understand how the Core contributes to the realization of these goals,
  • become aware of campus resources to promote your academic success, and
  • learn strategies for academic success through classroom exercises and assignments from Dave Ellis’s excellent textbook Becoming a Master Student.
next semester looking ahead
Next Semester: Looking Ahead
  • Register early for next semester
  • Meet with your advisor before registration
  • Be prepared for your advising session
  • Be responsible for your academic future--you have the primary responsibility for planning each semester’s schedule and meeting graduation requirements
  • If you find that you are in academic notice or probation status after your first semester, take immediate action. See your advisor right away to discuss your academic difficulties
usd is on the world wide web
USD is on the World Wide Web!

Next time you’re surfing the ‘Net, visit the University Studies Division’s Home Page at

The site contains lots of useful information; check it out.

advising locations for friday
Advising Locations for Friday

All USD [undeclared] majors will meet for advising tomorrow morning as a group in the Fort Worth Room (2nd floor, University Center) beginning at 10:00 a.m. We will begin with a brief group overview, then see students for individual advising. No appoint-ment is necessary.

true colors workshop

“True Colors” Workshop

From 11-12 tomorrow, Mr. Robert Winter from Career Services will be presenting the True Colors Workshop in the Bayou City Room in the University Center. We strongly encourage you to attend this very useful workshop immediately after you’ve been advised tomorrow morning. It’s the first step in helping you choose a major!

if you are in the honors college
If you are in the Honors College--

Go to the Honors College office (room 16-Library) at 5:00 p.m. today to sign up for an advising appointment.

Advising for honors college students will take place in room 16-L tomorrow.

if you are in the scholars community
If you are in the Scholars Community--

Go to the Scholars Community office at 5 p.m. this afternoon to set up an advising appointment for tomorrow morning. The Scholars Community is located in room 130-Law Hall; phone--743-0720.

thanks for your attention

Thanks for your attention!

OK . . . Do YOU have a question? PLEASE feel free to ask it now!

We’re glad you came to Orientation. Come visit us in room 320 of the Student Service Center building (320-SSC) if you ever have any questions or concerns about academic issues. Our phone number is 713-743-8982.

level 1 english writing 12 hours
Level 1: English/Writing - 12 hours

(Prerequisite: TSWE score of 40+, ACTE score of 19+, or TASP writing score of 240+)

  • ENGL 1303 (Composition I)
  • ENGL 1304 (Composition ll)


  • 6 hours of 2000-Level Literature

(Choose courses from ENGL 2301-2311; see p. 15 of your Class Schedule for more information)

Level 1: Math/Reasoning - 6 hours(prerequisite: SATT 900 (before 4/1/95) OR SATM 530 (after 41/195) OR ACTC 21 OR placement)
  • MATH 1310 (College Algebra)
  • ------------------plus--------------------

(Note: Some degrees require additional and

specific Math courses; see your major advisor)

  • Non-Sci Major
  • Math 1313 or
  • MATH 1314 or
  • MATH 2311 or
  • PHIL 1321
  • Sci/Engr Major
  • Math 1330 then
  • MATH 1431

Take the math placement exam if you want to take a math course higher than MATH 1310 (College Algebra) but lack the prerequisite course(s).

level 2 natural sciences 6 hours suggested courses
Level 2: Natural Sciences - 6 hours Suggested Courses


(Note: Some degrees require additional and specific Science courses; see your major advisor.)

  • Non-Sci Major
  • BIOL 1310; 1320
  • CHEM 1301;1302
  • GEOL 1330; 1376
  • PHAR 2362
  • PHYS 1305: 1306
  • Sci/Engr Major
  • CHEM 1331-1332
  • BIOL 1431; 1432
  • PHYS 1301; 1302
  • PHYS 1311; 1312 (calculus based)
level 2 social sciences 6 hours suggested courses
Level 2: Social Sciences - 6 hoursSuggested Courses
  • (Minimum Prerequisite : Concurrent enrollment in ENGL 1303)
  • ANTH 1300 (INTRO)
  • ANTH 2305 (CULTURAL)
  • PSYC 1300 (INTRO)
  • SOC 2300 (INTRO)


(Prerequisite: Concurrent enrollment in MATH 1310)

  • ECON 2304:2305 (MICRO: MACRO)
level 2 cultural heritage 6 hours suggested courses
Level 2: Cultural Heritage - 6 hoursSuggested Courses
  • ARTH 1380:1381 (Art History)
  • HIST 2351:2353 (Hist of Western Civ)
  • PHIL 1301 (Intro. to Philosophy)
  • PHIL 1305 (Intro. to Ethics)
  • THEA 1331 (Intro to the Theatre)


(Prerequisites: ENGL 1304/MATH 1310)

  • MUSI 3300:3301 (Music Masterworks; World Music)
  • THEA 3335:3336 (History of Theatre)
level 2 prerequisites natural sciences social sciences cultural heritage
Level 2 Prerequisites(Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, Cultural Heritage)

You must have successfully completed or be enrolled in

  • ENGL 1303 (Composition I) or
  • MATH 1310 (College Algebra)

to enroll in any Level 2 course of the Core Curriculum.

(See the class schedule for additional prerequisites.)

enroll in one course per semester until requirement is complete
(Enroll in one course per semester until requirement is complete)

State Mandated: 12 hours

  • HIST 1377 (BFR CIV WAR
  • HIST 1378 (AFT CIV WAR)
  • POLS 1336 (TX GOVT)
  • POLS 1337 (NATL GOVT)
university requirement phys ed 2 hours peb 1101 plus peb activity your choice

University Requirement: Phys Ed - 2 hoursPEB 1101 plus PEB activity (your choice)

Core Level 3: Knowledge Integration

6 sh selected from Level 3 courses or Approved Minor (Note: See your major advisor.)

advanced course prerequisites
Advanced Course Prerequisites

You must have completed

  • ENGL 1304 and
  • MATH 1310

to enroll in any 3000-4000 (I.e., junior -senior) level course at the university.

(See the class schedule and the catalog for additional prerequisites.)

building a strong foundation
Building a strong foundation...
  • English 1300
  • Math 1300
  • Reading 1300

Enroll in this courses if you do not have placement scores or to build your skills.

Hours earned in these courses are counted in determining classification but not in determining grade point average.

course numbering system

Course Numbering: ENGL 1303

  • The first digit of the course number indicates the level of the course (this is a freshman-level course). Lower level = 1000 and 2000. Advanced coureswork = 3000 and 4000.
  • The second digit of the course number indicates the number of semester credit hours given for that course (this course is worth 3 semester hours).
looking ahead

Looking ahead...

At the end of the fall semester, review your work--your study habits, note-taking skills, test-taking skills, time management, etc. Did you accomplish your academic goals for the semester? Were your goals realistic? What areas need improving? If the results of your semester were below your expectations, seriously consider utilizing the academic support facilities on campus: