DePaul University College of LAS > Academics > Modern Languages > Student Resources > Academic Advising > Degree Progress

Navigating Academic Life

Navigating college can be daunting, but you don't have to muddle your way through. Review the following information to better manage your degree progress and you're in for a smoother ride as you navigate the many outstanding resources and tools available to you at DePaul University.

Academic Advising in the Department of Modern Languages (MOL)

What is academic advising?

The MOL staff advisor is here to help you make sense of your college experience, life after college and direct you to the appropriate resources, policies, procedures, etc. The staff advisor will provide you with one perspective and encourage you to seek multiple perspectives to enable you to make more well-informed decisions.

For a more in-depth answer of who does what (university, advisor, student expectations), please review DePaul's statement on academic advising.

How do I find an advisor?

The MOL staff advisor is located in the Schmitt Academic Center, suite 310. Please set up an appointment using Campus Connect's Bluestar system.

Advisors are officially assigned by major/college and are listed in Bluestar under your Success Network. Want to avoid being bounced around? ​Learn more about advisor assignments and the structure of advising at DePaul through the DePaul Academic Advising Network (DAAN), an internal organization for DePaul advisors. Understanding the advising structure can help you to better access the advisors who are able to help you. You can also get a better feel for the DePaul advising experience by reviewing advising videos.

What will I learn from an academic advising appointment in MOL?

  1. University policies/procedures info
  2. Requirements for language programs (major, minor, graduate program)
  3. Co-curricular experiences
  4. College experiences and the skills gained therein
  5. Where to find...
  6. Making sense of your options for life after college
In general, advisors will give you perspective. Learn to focus on the rationale behind an advisor's perspective, seek multiple perspectives (i.e., speak with many advisors) and develop your critical thinking skills. Why does this advisor believe/feel xyz? Why does s/he recommend xyz? This will enable you to make well-informed decisions that fit your needs and interests. Your college experiences and life after college are in your hands. Take ownership and responsibility of your life experiences by making well-informed decisions for yourself, rather than simply doing as you're told.

We want you to come away from DePaul with many skills and abilities (DePaul's learning outcomes). You are already educated. You have a high school diploma + college experience! Choose to do/not do something because you thoroughly researched your options, thought critically about the implications of your decision(s) and considered multiple perspectives.

Learn more about what we want students to learn from advising services here.

I have multiple advisors. Which one do I go to?

In general, consider where the advisor is situated. Are you speaking with a Career Center advisor? Study Abroad advisor? College staff advisor? Center for Students with Disabilities advisor? Financial Fitness advisor?
You will experience less frustration throughout college if you are able to direct questions to the appropriate university employee who can help you. Navigating bureaucracy is an important life skill that will serve you well after college and can be honed while in college. Learn more about faculty and staff advisors (and their roles) by reviewing the Advising Guidelines to increase the likelihood of directing questions to the appropriate advisor.

If you have a question about study abroad, think about what question(s) you have for study abroad. Is it related to degree progress? Program options? Visa status? Housing? Anything related to degree progress would be directed to a college/staff advisor. All other study abroad questions would be directed to a study abroad advisor. Learn more about study abroad advisor vs academic advisor through Advising FAQs. Do you have questions about financial aid? Those would be directed to DePaul Central (also known as Financial Aid).

Training yourself to think about a person's role and responsibilities is a great way to help yourself learn how to better navigate bureaucracy.

Degree Progress

Short video tutorials on how to manage and read a Degree Progress Report, fit in multiple programs and understand the basics of a college degree can be found online through the Department of Modern Languages youtube channel.

Run your Degree Progress Report (DPR) before and after class registration every quarter

Visit the DePaul Central website to learn more about the DPR (includes video tutorials).

DPR tips:

  1. Click "print" at the top right corner for the "worksheet" view, which provides a downloadable pdf with program requirements outlined in a bulleted list.

  2. Click on the circled "i" next to program (e.g., major/minor) titles for additional details on program requirements. (e.g., can't apply...., must complete..., only ...applies, etc.) 

  3. Click on any box for specific course details. 

  4. Click on "View Course List" for a list of specific classes approved to fulfill that box/category requirement of the program. Focus on the classes with an "X" listed under the column for the upcoming quarter to see course options available next quarter to fulfill that requirement. If there's an "X" in the column for the upcoming quarter, the class is scheduled to be offered. *Note that the ability to ascertain which courses are available by quarter (with an "X" under the quarter column) is only available BEFORE a quarter begins.* Pay attention to "topics" courses, as not all topics for the course number are approved/applicable. Only the topics listed in the course catalog (and DPR view course list) are approved to satisfy the requirement and will populate automatically in the DPR as satisfying that requirement box/line.

Thoroughly review the course catalog

You are held to the requirements that are in place when you declare a major/minor. In the Course Catalog (after you select the program), click on the top left menu options to review specific college requirements, Liberal Studies Program req
uirements, major requirements, etc.

Map out the courses listed in your DPR to better understand degree progress

Use this template to create a four-year plan outlining which courses to take and when. After completing it, email it to a staff advisor for verification. This will help in planning for study abroad, internships and other goals. Completing a four-year plan is one of the best ways to help understand and take ownership of college experiences. Employers will expect employees to have the ability to process information, plan, prioritize and organize responsibilities. Take the time to create a college four-year plan and help develop/polish these important skills.

Manage your DPR

The DPR is an internal tool designed as a check list to help keep track of the necessary classes to complete degree requirements. It often needs to be manually updated by an advisor. Manual updates do not generally happen automatically/without you initiating an update. Review your DPR reguarly and contact your staff advisor or college advising office (email address at the top of the DPR worksheet view) to request a DPR update if you believe something needs an update. 

Things to keep in mind when using the DPR:

  1. In general, no one outside of DePaul University is going to be looking at your DPR unless you choose to share it with them.
  2. The DPR is programmed to populate courses that are approved courses (listed in the course catalog and in the View Course List option within the DPR) in that category. 
    1. If a course is not listed in the approved course list for a major/minor requirement you are looking to fulfill, but you wish to take the class and apply it toward that major/minor requirement, you have two potential options: 
      1. Seek faculty approval to apply the course toward that requirement. 
        1. Contact the faculty member responsible/who has authority over that requirement. For LAS majors/minors, contact the Program Director or Department Chair for minors or faculty advisor for major. 
        2. If written approval is received, forward/submit to the college advising office to request a DPR update (email address listed at the top of the DPR worksheet view pdf).
      2. Email a staff advisor or college advising office (email address listed at the top of the DPR worksheet view pdf) for a DPR update.
        1. Program substitutions will require faculty approval in writing (see above).
        2. Any DPR updates due to a technicality can usually be managed with an email to the college advising office or your assigned staff advisor.
        3. Technicality examples: 
          1. Course is on the current list of approved courses in the course catalog, but it wasn't on the list when you declared the program.
          2. Course is cross-listed with an approved course, but you enrolled in the section that's not listed in your DPR View Course List. (e.g., You enroll in ENG 389 Topics in Comparative Literature - Japanese Culture, which is cross-listed with MOL 310 Japanese Culture. MOL 310 is on the DPR View Course List for approved Japanese Studies allied courses, but ENG 389 Japanese Culture is not. You would need to request a DPR update.)
  3. All DPR boxes need to be green for you to be eligible for graduation. 
    1. Check in with a staff advisor or the college advising office to verify that your DPR is accurate/up-to-date or if you don't understand why something is still red/incomplete.

Quirky and useful DePaul degree progress tid bits you should know...

Completing multiple program (major/minor) requirements

  1. Pay attention to both the credit requirements (e.g., 8/12 credits) and class/content (e.g., SPN 220) requirements.
  2. For many majors (but not all) the first page of the DPR worksheet view outlines the requirements (classes and credit hours) for the degree, which generally (depends on the major) equal 192 credits [4 credits x 4 classes = 16 credits per quarter x 3 quarters per year = 48 credits in a year, 48 credits x 4 years = 192 credits]
    1. To graduate "on time" (4 years), students interested in pursuing double majors/minors would generally determine where on the first page of the DPR worksheet view the double major/minor requirements will place/populate (open electives, Liberal Studies Program, primary major). 
    2. Each class that doesn't fit onto the first page of the DPR worksheet view could potentially be considered "extra" and may require extra time in which to complete the degree requirements (5th class/20 credits per quarter, summer class, December intersession class). There are many caveats to this - speak with an advisor.
      1. e.g., You started at DePaul with zero credits as an entering first-year student and are interested in adding a minor. You're now a senior and 4 of the requirements/classes for the minor don't fit on the first page of your DPR worksheet. This means you would stay one extra quarter (students typically complete 4 classes/16 credits per quarter), or take 5 classes/20 credits for 4 quarters (one "extra" class per quarter on top of your regular 4-class load), or take summer and/or December intersession classes to make up for the 4 extra classes to complete the minor.

Calculating time to completion/graduation

To check when you might be eligible for graduation, review your unofficial transcripts, review your DPR worksheet (click "print" at the top right corner) and count how many credits/classes you have remaining. ALWAYS confirm with an advisor after you complete a preliminary check. You would challenge yourself to verify and understand this for yourself, first, because it is essential for future workplace success that you possess the skills necessary to complete tasks such as the verification of graduation eligibility (be able to read, understand and apply information, complete basic math calculations and take responsibility).

e.g., It's spring quarter and you're in your third year at DePaul. Last quarter you dropped one class/only completed three classes (12 credits). You didn't transfer any credit, didn't take extra/5th classes along the way or begin DePaul with AP/IB credit. This means you're "behind" by 1 class (4 credits). Generally speaking, you need to complete 4 classes (16 credits) every fall/winter/spring quarters to graduate in 4 years (48 credits per year X 4 years = 192 credits). You run your unofficial transcripts to review your student records and see that once your spring quarter grades/credits are posted, you'll have 140 credits. You need 192 credits to graduate so you're short 52 credits. You look at your DPR and see that you have 2 Liberal Studies Program classrequirements (8 credits), 9 major class requirements (9 classes x 4 credits each = 36 credits) and 8 credits remaining under open electives. You would normally complete 12 classes a year (4 per quarter), but since you're 1 class (4 credits) behind from dropping a class winter quarter, decide that you'll "catch up" by taking 2, 2-credit open electives fall and winter quarter of your senior year. Your tuition covers up to 18 credits per quarter so you will not have to pay "extra" to take these 2-credit open elective classes (4 classes x 4 credits each = 16 credits + 2-credit 5th class = 18 credits).

Class Selection

Liberal Studies Program requirements

  1. Review your options in advance and put them in your planner.
  2. View the Typically Offered column in Campus Connect's course descriptions area (main menu, class search/browse catalog, course descriptions)
  3. Call or email the Department Assistant or Department Chair to find out when the course might be offered if the Typically Offered column is too vague and/or to verify that it will be offered the term listed (*note the "typically offered" language used*).

Scheduling

When looking for classes in Campus Connect, check your DPR to ensure you know which classes you need. Here are a few tips to help you with scheduling:

  1. Schedule around the classes for which you know you absolutely must take and which only have a few options. (e.g., JPN 201 - only one section available, only offered fall quarter and it's a sequence class, meaning you take it after JPN 106 and before JPN 202)
  2. Each class generally costs over $2000. Take classes you are interested in, apply toward your degree requirements and help you develop the skills you need/want. *Notice time preferences are not mentioned.*
    1. If you know you absolutely cannot make an 8:30 a.m. class twice a week, then you probably shouldn't register for an 8:30 class. However, keep in mind that employers expect you to be able to manage your time, be organized and know how to prioritize your responsibilities. Many jobs require you to be in the office by 8/9 a.m. Consider how much time you may need to adjust to an early morning routine and give yourself the time to adjust by initiating a morning routine several months in advance. (e.g., consider taking morning classes senior year)
    2. In terms of any current job responsibilities, job experience is important and an income is usually necessary. However, keep in mind that each class is generally costing you over $2000. If you were planning for a spring break trip costing you thousands of dollars, you would undoubtedly plan around your trip. Negotiate with your employer and, whenever possible, schedule work and other experiences around your class schedule - i.e., Make classes (and the several thousand dollars you're spending on tuition) your priority.
  3. Use something like this time grid to help you keep track of the courses you are considering next quarter and what days/times the classes are offered.

Study Abroad

If you're planning to participate in a study abroad experience before you graduate, review the study abroad program class options and compare them to your DPR class requirements. Review the Advisi​ng FAQ area under study abroad for more on degree progress and study abroad.

Exploring Class Options

You have thousands of course options! While this can feel overwhelming, it's also liberating because you need not be limited to only taking classes in one specific area. When you pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree with a language major, you have many open electives. This allows you to explore your interests and further develop skills and enhance your knowledge in areas that are important to you. Take the Life Values Inventory and VIA Character Strengths survey to learn more about yourself. The results may help you to better identify and define the skills and knowledge of relevance to you, which in turn may help you to select courses best suited to you. 

Though it will take time, you may also review course options under My Planner and select "add to planner" for courses of interest to you. This will help you to further explore the many disciplines available at DePaul and enable you to make more well-informed decisions in relation to your courses.

Major Program Requirements

Faculty typically meet at least once a quarter to discuss things related to the program, such as class scheduling for upcoming quarters, among other things. Establish rapport with your major program faculty and ask them about which classes they plan to offer/team in the upcoming year(s).

What happens if I am on a class waitlist?

You'll be added to the class based on your number on the waitlist. As other students drop, students are automatically enrolled from the waitlist. You'll be blocked from being added to the class if you're enrolled in a class that conflicts with another class offered at the same time or if you don't meet the prerequisites. To avoid enrollment blocks due to class scheduling conflicts, be sure to add yourself to the waitlist through the swap feature. Thoroughly review the information listed here to understand how to do this.

Graduate a quarter early with 2-credit courses!

​Students with at least 16 credits of open electives could potentially graduate a quarter early by taking a 2-credit class, in addition to their standard 4 class/16 credit course load, for at least 8 quarters (2 credits x 8 quarters = 16 credits). Bear in mind this does not factor in course scheduling issues, such as course sequencing, availability and prerequisites. In addition, the Department of Modern Languages offers Foreign Languages Across the Curriculum (FLAC) courses, which are 2-credit language courses connected to related course taught in English.
  • e.g., LST 202 Constructing Latino Communities (course taught in English), coupled with SPN 395 (taught in Spanish)

What are "FLAC" courses?

Foreign Languages Across the Curriculum (FLAC) courses are supplementary two-credit courses in the target language (e.g., FCH 395 = French, JPN 395 = Japanese) that enable students to continue their language study through other subjects.  The main, four-credit hour course will be taught in English and the FLAC language course will be taught in the target language and serve as a corresponding course that covers material that is related and complementary to the main course taught in English. Students cannot register for the FLAC course only – they must register for the main course taught in English if they wish to take the corresponding FLAC course.  A student’s tuition package covers up to 18 credit hours, so should a student register for 4, four-credit hour courses, they may also register for a 5th course that is only two credit hours and not worry about extra tuition charges.  Two-credit courses are not as intensive as four-credit courses and will meet less frequently.  Students taking FLAC courses must have at least 106 level proficiency or higher.  These are advanced courses, taught entirely in the target language.