Frequently Asked Questions

We have developed this special web page to help academic advisors. Below is a list of common items for which we receive questions. Click on the link for more information. If there is something that you would like for us to add here, please let us know.

Advising Holds

All undergraduate (and some graduate) students will have an advising hold on the Student Information System to prevent them from registering without first seeing an advisor.  Depending on the procedure set up in your department, the advisor may be clearing these holds, or it may be the department secretary. The hold must be cleared before the student will be allowed to register.

Please note that the hold form is not term specific -- meaning that in the Spring, once the hold is cleared, the student will be able to enroll for Summer I, Summer II, and Fall. Holds will be reset each October and February.

Class Rolls - What is the Importance?

In lieu of paper class rolls, beginning in Summer 2020, we have changed procedures to ask faculty to check their class rolls online through their class rosters in Banner (WebWorld).  During the Fall and Spring semesters we will ask that they be checked on the 1st, 4th, and 12th class days.  In Summer terms they should be checked on the 1st and 4th class days.  Verifying class rolls at the beginning of each term is one of the most important things to do.

If it is not the faculty member's policy to take roll regularly, at least on the above days, please physically take roll and note any problems using the Midterm Grades link as follows: 

  1. If a student has never attended or never logged in, enter a "0" (zero) in the "Attend Hours 0-999.99" column.
  2. If a student has ceased attending, enter a zero and also enter the last date the student attended in MM/DD/YYYY format.
  3. If an extra student who is not on the roll is in the class, contact the Registrar's Office in the manner listed below in #5.  (Ask if there is anyone whose name has not been called after roll is checked.)
  4. If every student has been in attendance or logging in, faculty do not have to enter anything or respond. 
  5. If there are corrections needed to the class roll, such as changing instructors, moving students (splitting sections), changing percentages of time among instructors, etc., the faculty must send an email from their MSU email account to, with the Subject, Course Number, Section/CRN in the subject line, and in the body of the email indicate any issues to be checked or corrections to be made.  (Please use a separate email for each individual course.)
  6. If the faculty is the primary instructor of more than one course, after completing the first course, at the bottom in WebWorld, click on CRN selection.  It may require the selection of the Midterm Grades link again, and then using the drop down box, click on CRN selection to select the next course.  Please repeat the steps until all class rolls have been checked and submitted, as needed.
  7. Faculty should check their emails and/or with the department secretaries about the deadlines in which to complete this process each term.

Be sure to go through each page of students if the class has multiple pages and click submit on every page for entries made.  This is to meet the federal mandate that students are in attendance.

Faculty are responsible for ensuring the rolls have students correctly enrolled and contacting the Registrar's Office if there are problems.

Please don't wait until a month or two into the semester to drop someone who has never attended -- report it early, and if you're going to drop them, do so.

Students must be paid in full or at least on a payment plan with a 1/3 paid by the 12th class day or they are voided. If they reinstate with payment by the 20th day (15th in summer) we can count them for funding, if not or if they register after the official census, we lose the funding -- this is why we need the rolls checked and correct enrollment errors early!  Students voided for non-payment will be subject to reinstatement fees.

This is important for many reasons:

  • Financial Aid status may be affected.
  • Athletic status may be affected.
  • Veterans status may be affected.
  • Official enrollment reports must be correct for reporting to state - errors need to be found as early as possible.

Core Curriculum

The MSU Core Curriculum can be viewed in the online catalog.


Degree Plans and Catalog Requirements

The degree plan is prepared by the student's advisor and approved by the heads of the major and minor program areas. The degree plan should be prepared as soon as the student's degree, major, and minor objectives have been determined, but no later than the semester in which the student reaches 45 total semester credit hours. The original signed degree plan should be sent to the Office of the Registrar when it is prepared.  (Some departments are participating in a pilot program to let Degree Works be the official degree plan for students in the 2016-2017 catalogs and later.  It is our goal to move everyone to the Degree Works degree plans eventually.)

Any course substitutions should be prepared at this time also. (Reminder: Core exceptions require the approval of the dean of the college of the course concerned, and the Provost.)

Bachelor of Arts requirements are often misunderstood. Only humanities or literature can be used to meet that part of the BA requirement. This is different from the core requirements.

Electives: Any course can be used as an elective, EXCEPT exercise physiology activities or developmental courses. If degree program specifies upper level electives, they must be filled by courses numbered 3000-4000's.

How to total up hours for the degree minimum of 120?

  • Take their earned hours (from the Student Information System),
  • subtract developmentals and extra EXPH activities (anything over two activities, regardless of the hours), and
  • add currently enrolled hours. If any of the currently enrolled hours are repeats of C or D, make sure they are only being counted once, and
  • add hours for required courses to be completed. The result will show if elective hours are needed.

Some students think if they complete the core and their major and minor, that they have completed the degree, but this is not so in most cases. Questions can be directed to the Degree Audit Team in the Registrar's Office (940-397-4116).

Distance Education Questions

Distance Education questions should be referred as follows:

  • Advising questions such as what course to take, CRN, advising holds, etc. should be directed to the department (BAAS, Radiologic Sciences, Nursing, etc.)
  • Distance Education Questions - Desire2Learn questions or problems should be directed to the Distance Education Office (
  • Registration questions should be directed to the Office of the Registrar (940-397-4321).

Drop/Add forms

When do we switch from using the big, blue drop/add forms to using the small drop slips?
The big, blue drop/add forms are to be used during regular and late registration only for students who are adding, dropping, or both. Students can complete their changes on the web during this time.  (Remember in summer there is no late registration.)

Once late registration is over, the student should only be able to choose to drop, not add.  Beginning in Spring 2020, drop slips will not longer be used, but rather students will continue to drop course on the web through WebWorld.  Additional Drop Instructions.

Early Orientation

This is a comprehensive orientation program through which students not only receive vital information, but also interact with a number of students (both new and returning) as well as faculty and staff.  Students receive comprehensive information about MSU and its services and also participate in a variety of socially stimulating, intellectually challenging, and spirit-driven workshops designed specifically to enhance the new student experience.  For more information, visit the Orientation website.

FERPA - Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

Financial Aid

What Faculty and Advisors should know:

Financial aid recipients are awarded grants, loans and other types of assistance based on information provided to the Financial Aid Office which includes, but is not limited to, enrollment status (full-time, half-time, etc), classification (undergraduate, graduate, etc) and types of aid requested (loans, college work-study, etc.).

While it is important to understand that the student’s financial aid is based on the aforementioned criteria, it is equally important to understand that the student’s prior academic performance can directly affect his/her eligibility for future financial aid.  The student has a responsibility to attend class and satisfactorily progress towards his/her degree. For example, if a student enrolls full-time and fails to complete any coursework (or, receives ‘all F’s’), this should be taken into consideration and the student carefully advised before being allowed to enroll for a full-time course load in a subsequent semester(s).

Additionally, failure to attend class should result in the following action being taken by the instructor:

  • if a student has NEVER ATTENDED class(es), an ‘Instructor Drop’ form (available from the College Dean or from the MSU Print Shop) should be submitted and noted with the Last Date of Attendance as ‘Never Attended’.
  • if a student simply stops attending class(es), the Dean of Students Office should be contacted  to initiate a ‘Conduct and Attendance Referral’ form – OR the Referral can be submitted online at (click on ‘Student Referral’).  If the instructor does not receive any response from the student after the Referral has been issued (i.e., the student still fails to attend class(es)), the instructor is encouraged to submit an ‘Instructor Drop’ form – and note the student’s Last Date of Attendance.
  • if the student drops the course online, the instructor may be contacted by Financial Aid to determine the student’s Last Date of Attendance.

Removing students from class rolls who never attend OR who cease attendance is critical. Federal law prohibits the university from retaining Title IV Student Financial Assistance funds (such as Pell Grant, student loans, etc…) for a student who never attends or stops attending class.  Inappropriately keeping someone on class rolls will create a potential financial liability for the university.

Honors Students and Courses

The Redwine Honors Program is an academic program for high achieving students. Honors students must complete eight required courses, including Leadership MSU, a research methods course, and two Senior Seminars. Most honors courses are limited enrollment sections of core curriculum courses.  Honors courses are limited to 20 students. Non-honors students with a GPA of at least 3.25 may enroll in honors courses, on a space-available basis, and with permission of the Honors Director.

To identify students in the Banner Student Information System who are in the Honors Program each term, a student attribute of "HONR" is added to their record each term he/she is an honors student.  Then these attributes are tied to the honors courses for allowing registration. If a student receives a "prerequisite or test score not met" or "student attribute missing" message when they web register, or if they have any questions regarding the Redwine Honors Program, they would need to contact the Honors Program Coordinator at (940) 397-4534. Click here to go to the Honors Program website.

How do students drop courses (on-campus vs. distance education)?

Beginning Spring 2020, all students (on-campus and distance education) will complete any course drops online, through WebWorld.  See additional Drop Instructions.

Learning Community Courses

Learning Community courses are introduced as part of the overall plan which is being developed to enhance the first year experience for students entering the university.  Learning Communities at MSU consist of courses typically taken by first year students, which will be linked together with a paired course, in which students’ learning opportunities will be enhanced by developing interpersonal relationships by having the same classmates in at least two classes, by participating in cross-curricular assignments among the paired courses, and by the collaboration or interaction of the respective professors.  While every learning community pair will be unique based on the different instructors and course content, they will all work to achieve enhanced learning, critical thinking, and a sense of community.  These courses are intended for new first-time students out of high school with less than 30 college semester credit hours and should not be taken by returning or continuing students who should choose among the many other options available to them.

Learning Community Courses have section numbers that begin with an "L" (for example, POLS 1333-L10).  They are listed in the schedule of classes for each term in which they are offered.


NCBO (Non-Course Based Option for TSI)

The Non-Course Based Options are available for certain students who have failed the TSI Assessment.  Please check with the math or English departments regarding details on the program and which students are eligible to participate, etc.


Orientation is managed by the Office of Admissions (940-397-4334).  All new undergraduate students are required to attend a session of orientation prior to their first semester at MSU. Please refer students to the Student Orientation webpage.

PAA (Pre-Assessment Activity for TSI Assessment)

Pre-Assessment Activity (PAA):  Students who must take the TSI Assessment are first required to complete the online Pre-Assessment Activity.  The PAA gives information about the TSI Assessment, what to expect, sample questions, and resources which MSU offers.  Before taking the PAA, make sure you know your TSI status and if you are required to test and for which sections.  When ready to take the PAA, go to:  The PAA is required prior to taking the TSI Assessment.

Personal Identification Number (PIN)

The PIN is a six digit number that students have used in the WebWorld system -- which is our web registration system, but also where they can pay online, check financial aid, check grades, change their address, and even change their PIN, plus more.  However, with the MSU Portal, all current and newly admitted students have a different login and can gain access there now to WebWorld.

PREQ Test Score -- What is this?

When looking at the test score screen in the Student Information System you may see test scores labeled PRRD, PRWR, PRMA, PRMB. The only scores you should ever see are 0, 50, 75 (on PRMB only), or 100.

These are not actual tests that the student took, but a prerequisite indicator for meeting our developmental-level courses (ENGL 0043, MATH 0003, 0053, 0203, 0233, 1003). If the score is zero, the requirement is not met, if it is a 100, the requirement has been met.  (On PRMB only, if the score is 50, that means the student made a D in Math 1003 and he/she is only eligible to go on to MATH 1053.  If the score is 75, that means the student is TSI complete non-algebra pathway and could only take MATH 1053.)

There are many ways in which the requirement can be met: certain scores on the ACT, SAT, TAKS, STAAR, TSI Assessment, etc., by passing the actual developmental or corequisite courses, and also by taking/transferring in college-level courses in these areas. Meeting TSI requirements is a separate issue. If they have failed a section of a TSI test, even if a 50 or 100 is on any of the PREQ scores, developmental work may still be required. Do not assume 50/100 means TSI is passed.  Click here to see more information on the Texas Success Initiative.

Student Information System (Banner) access and/or training

If you need a sign-on for the Student Information System (Banner), for academic information, please send an e-mail to the Registrar, Amanda Raines.  Training is required before any logon will be distributed.  Various training sessions are held throughout the year.

TSI - Texas Success Initiative

Please visit the TSI website for exemptions and other details. If you have any other questions, please contact Jamie Wilson in the Registrar's Office at or 940-397-4320.

Transfer Courses and Equivalencies

New transfer student evaluations are completed by the Admissions Office when the student submits an application for admission and all transcripts have arrived. These are available for you to view on Banner.

American Government from out-of-state schools often transfers in as POLS 1433, not 1333. Advisors should check Banner and be very careful which political science they advise a transfer student to take.

Visit the Admissions website for Transfer Equivalencies for some Texas community college equivalency guides and more information.

Unofficial transcript - how to get a copy for advising

Advisors can use the Student Information System (Banner) to view the student's MSU transcript (since Summer 1986) and transfer credit accepted. If you need a copy of MSU work prior to 1986, advisors/secretaries may call the Registrar's Office and ask that we campus-mail you an unofficial transcript for the student. There is no need to have the student come to our office to request this.

What is College Connections?

MWSU 1233 - College Connections: This course assists new students in their transition to the college environment and focuses on the cognitive and behavioral dimensions of learning. Emphasis is placed on the disciplines of written and oral communication. A career exploration project is required. It is highly recommended that students enroll in this course. Limited to new students.
(Note:  Students who are admitted under "Admission By Review" are required to enroll in this course their first term.  These students are also limited to no more than 15 hours each long term.  They will be released from this status upon successful completion of 24 semester hours.  Tutoring and Academic Support Programs monitors these students.

What is Skills for Success?

MWSU 1003 - Skills for Success: This course is designed for students with previous college experience to assist them in improving learning strategies and enhancing their success in college and in life. It is highly recommended for students who have experienced difficulties in studying, reading or writing strategies, or are returning to an academic environment. Opportunities are provided for students to understand, develop and maximize individualized learning strategies. Students on scholastic probation or who are returning from academic suspension may be required to enroll in this course. 

What is Supplemental Instruction (SI)?

Supplemental Instruction is an academic enrichment program that targets historically difficult academic courses and offers free, peer-assisted study sessions to all enrolled students in a designated section of selected courses.

An SI leader will present information about this program during the first class meeting. Students who enroll in an "SI" section may choose to attend free study sessions which are regularly scheduled, out-of-class review sessions held each week of the semester.

Research indicates that students earn one-half to one full letter grade higher if they attend "SI" sessions regularly during the semester. To see which SI classes are being offered, call Tutoring and Academic Support Programs at (940) 397-4684.

What is the First Year Probation Program?

In an effort to provide early intervention for freshmen who are placed on probation, the First Year Probation Program was developed in Fall 2002.  Students in the program are new freshmen who have less than 30 hours, and a grade point average (gpa) of less than 1.70.

A probation hold is placed on SIS for each of these students and they are sent a letter listing their requirements for the next semester. They are required to enroll for MWSU 1003 - Skills for Success, repeat two classes in which grades of D or F were earned, and can choose to take one exercise physiology activity and one other course - limiting their hours to no more than 14. These students must clear their schedules with their academic advisors. 

At the end of each Fall and Spring term, a new cohort will be selected. We are hopeful that this early intervention will direct the student's academic studies toward success.

What is Leadership MSU?

MWSU 1333 - Leadership MSU.  This course is designed to introduce students to leadership concepts and develop an increased awareness of individual interests and abilities.  The course relies heavily on student involvement and is designed to encourage challenging and stimulating interaction.  It is required for President's Leadership Scholars.  This course requires the instructor's signature for enrollment.  (See the current schedule of classes for offerings.)

What is Military Science - Air Force ROTC?

MSU students are given the opportunity to participate in the Air Force ROTC program as crosstown students at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas.  Students are required to attend an academic class, leadership laboratory and physical training at UNT once a week during the fall and spring academic semesters.

The AFROTC mission is to develop quality leaders to serve our country as officers in the United States Air Force.  As a part of the program, students will prepare themselves to become an Air Force Officer while completing their degrees as college students.  Students enroll in AFROTC classes at the same time and in the same manner as other university courses.  Students may participate in the four-year or three-year programs.

For more information, visit or email