Stephen F. Austin State University


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What classes will I be taking my Freshman year?
Most majors concentrate on taking University Core Curriculum their Freshman year. See Typical First Year Schedule for more information.
2. What is the Core Curriculum?
For a detailed list of the core curriculum see the Core Curriculum Requirements page. In general the core curriculum (42 - 46 hrs.) is a set of required courses which guarantees all SFA graduates will have a broad-based academic foundation. Most of the core requirements are common to every major. In the categories where there are choices, your advisor will help you select the appropriate course(s).
3. What can I do with my major?
See "What Can I do with a Major in . .?" for more information.
4. How can I find out what courses are required for a specific major?
You can read the General Bulletin, talk with an advisor in the Academic and Career Advising Office, or talk with an advisor in the department of interest.
5. Do majors and minors need to be in the same college?
Not at all. A minor should be selected which compliments your major and better prepares you for the career opportunities you will be seeking.
6. Am I required to have a minor?
Most majors do require a minor or a double major. You do not have to declare your minor or double major your first year.
7. What is TSI and what are the requirements for completion?
TSI stands for Texas Success Initiative and involves either scoring high enough on a state or national test or being exempt from the test because of earlier testing (such as TAKS, SAT, or ACT). If a student has taken any of the state approved tests (the THEA, Accuplacer, ASSET, or COMPASS) and has scored at or above the required score, then the student is ready to take college-level courses in English, mathematics, and reading-intensive courses. Information about the THEA and Accuplacer tests can be obtained from SFA's Testing Services.
8. I have several questions related to developmental classes.

1. Do grades in developmental classes count in my GPA?

2. Do developmental classes count toward my semester load?

3. Do developmental classes apply to my degree plan for graduation?

4. Do developmental classes count against my 30 hour cap?

9. Can I test out of courses and receive college credit?
Yes. Information about the tests available can be obtained from SFA's Testing Services
10. What are "holds" on my record and how do I get them lifted?
Holds on your record can be but are not limited to academic holds, financial holds, library fines or parking fines. When you have a hold on your record, you are not able to adjust your schedule in any way. In order to have the hold removed, you will need to contact the appropriate office or department.
11. What is the repeat policy?
When a course is repeated the first time at SFA, the higher of the two grades will be used to calculate GPA.
IF an equivalent course is taken at another educational institution, the grade from that school does NOT replace the grade received from SFA. In order to receive replacement of a SFA grade, the course MUST BE REPEATED AT SFA.
When a course is repeated for a third or more times at SFA, ALL grades earned for that course are used to calculate GPA. In addition, 3-peats are subject to extra fees. ALL grades remain on SFA transcript, even when the course is repeated and a higher grade is earned.
12. If I repeat a class, does it have to be with the same instructor?
No, but you must take the same topic. For example, MUS 140-Music Appreciation has three different topics, should you need to repeat MUS 140, you must retake the same topic of study
13. What is Academic Probation?
The first semester a student's cumulative GPA falls below a 2.00, that student is placed on academic probation.
14. If I go on Probation, what do I do?
All students who are put on academic probation will receive an email from their Dean's Office after the close of the semester indicating that they must be re-advised in order to keep the next semester's schedule they already have or to register for the upcoming semester. Probationary students should meet with an advisor to determine the best course of action to take to return to good standing by the end of the upcoming semester. If students on probation do not return to good standing (2.0 or higher), they are placed on suspension. In most cases, advisors will suggest that you repeat courses, which is the quickest way to bring up your GPA.
15. What is Academic Suspension?
A student is placed on academic suspension after a regular semester that immediately follow a semester of probation if the student's semester GPA is below 2.0. Students who are on suspension may not attend SFA for one (1) regular semester (Fall or Spring) for the first suspension or two (2) regular semesters for a second suspension.
16. How do I get reinstated from Suspension?

A student on academic suspension may be allowed to continue in the university through any of the following procedures:

1. Following the student's first suspension, attend summer classes at Stephen F. Austin State University and:
A. raise his/her GPA to the minimum university standard, or
B. pass with a C average or better at least nine semester credit hours as specified by his/her dean.
2. Following the student's first suspension, be reinstated on probation automatically after one regular semester's absence from the university.
3. Following the student's second or subsequent suspension, be reinstated on probation automatically after an absence from the university of two regular semesters. Summer terms are exempted from periods of academic suspension.
4. Follow procedures established by his/her dean.