Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  What is a credit hour? A:  A credit hour is approximately the amount of time you spend in class per week.
(3-hour course = 3 hours in class per week)

Q:  What is a full-time load?
A:  A full-time load is a minimum of 12 credit hours.

Q:  How many classes should I take if I work?
A:  If you work full time, take one or two courses, and find your comfort level.

Q:  May I take a course overload (more than 19 credit hours)?
A:  You must have a 3.0 GPA and submit a registration and overload request form to the Assistant Vice-President for Faculty and Programs, Director of Academic Success Center and Lead Adviser, Director of any extended campus location, or Division Chair for approval.

Q:  How much time do I need to study?
A:  Plan to study two to three hours for every hour you are in class.

Q:  What is a prerequisite?
A:  A prerequisite is a class that must be completed before taking a more advanced course. (ENGL 1020 must be completed before a Literature.)

Q:  What is a corequisite?
A:  A corequisite is a class that requires taking another class at the same time. Prerequisites and corequisites are listed in the course descriptions in the catalog.

Q:  What does audit mean?
A:  Audit means to sit in a credit course and not earn credit. Audit courses require the same payment as credit courses and require the approval of the instructor and must be entered into the system by Records.

Q:  How long do I have to change my classes after classes begin?
A:  Read more: Refunds, Drops and Withdrawals.

Q:  How many courses should I take in a summer semester?
A:  A minimum full-time load in summer is 12 hours; however, summer courses are accelerated. Think about work and family commitments as well as vacation time. Part-time in summer may be better for you.
Q:  Where do I go to get advised?
A:  Columbia State has a system of front-line and faculty advisors. If you are a new student you must sign up for a mandatory Orientation/Right Start Advising session through Student Services. Currently enrolled students are advised by full-time faculty.

Q:  Why should I contact my adviser?

  • To learn how to raise your GPA
  • To plan for graduation
  • To discuss potential changes of major
  • To discuss best sequencing of classes for success
  • To discuss transfer choices
  • To file Requests for Course Waiver and/or Substitution
  • To make a faculty friend
Q:  How do I know my advisor's name?
A:  Currently enrolled students should look in myChargerNet under their Student Tab and click on My Adviser. The directory on the college web page lists the adviser's location, telephone number, and e-mail address. Advising may be accomplished by personal appointments or via telephone or e-mail.

Q:  What if I'm undecided?
A:  Entering as undecided is fine, but a decision by the end of 30 hours will help you avoid taking unnecessary courses. Take steps to narrow your choices and see Columbia State's Career Services. Also, talk to your faculty advisor.

Q:  How do I know what courses I lack for graduation?
A:  Print your degree audit in myChargerNet under the Student Tab. You can also print current degree program flyers. Go to and click on current year's program fliers to check off your required courses. (Fall 2007-Summer 2011 check sheets) (hyper-link:

Q:  How will I know if my classes will transfer?
A:  The Tennessee Transfer Pathway degree programs are designed to allow students to transfer seamlessly to the public university of their choice.  However, some program-to-program agreements are on the articulation web page along with the degree check sheets. Otherwise, use the course-to-course equivalency tables and go by your chosen transfer university's catalog.

Q:  What if I change my major?
A:  You must complete a Change of Major form with records or your closest extended campus.  If you are changing a degree, complete the Change of Major-Degrees form. If you are changing a certificate, please complete the Change of Major-Certificate form. Your faculty advisor may change once the form has been processed. 

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