Advising FAQs

What is academic advising and why does it matter?

The goal of our department's academic advising is to help students clarify what they want to get out of their university studies and to help them succeed academically. Our academic advising includes discussions about career goals, changing majors, choosing courses, and navigating the university bureaucracy when unexpected situations and problems arise.

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Who provides the advising?

All permanent faculty (Professors Darrah, English-Lueck, Faas, Gonzalez, Meniketti, Pitchon, Sunseri, and Weiss) provide drop-in academic advising in their offices during their regularly scheduled office hours. A schedule of advising hours is posted on the door of Clark Hall 469 and the department website each semester.

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Whom do we advise?

The Department of Anthropology advisors serve all students who are (1) majoring or minoring in Anthropology; (2) majoring in Behavioral Science; or (3) minoring in Values, Technology and Society or Native American Studies. We also provide advising for graduate students in the Applied Anthropology Program.

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What are our responsibilities?

We are responsible for advising students about our degree programs. We answer some basic questions about general education requirements, but we do not assess transcripts or make decisions about whether students have fulfilled university graduation requirements. We are responsible for answering questions about your major and how you can best progress toward graduation, and for getting those questions answered when we are in doubt.

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What are your responsibilities?

You should become familiar with the basic resources that guide students through their academic careers at San Jose State and with the basic academic requirements for graduation. Any student seeking advising is expected to be able to use the following resources:

Department of Anthropology Website. This is where you can find course syllabi, various academic resources, and news about the department's many projects.

Class Schedule. Each semester's class schedules are posted on the SJSU website. Most students are eager to get to the list of courses so they can plan their semester, but the “instructions” section of the class schedule is equally important since it provides information about deadlines, general education courses, and most everything you need to get through the semester; read through it.

University Catalog. This is the basic document that describes individual courses, degree requirements, and academic policies. Almost everything you need to know about SJSU can be found in it and you should be comfortable using its index to search for information. It is available both online and in the campus bookstore. Please go here to access the University Catalog: Catalog

Advising Hub. The Hub is available on the university website and it is the best source for current policies and the latest petitions that you might need to download. Please go here to access the University Advising hub: Advising Hub

You are also responsible for tracking your progress toward meeting the major requirements by using one of the degree progress-to-degree trackers we provide and that can be picked up outside Clark Hall 469. One side of the page lists the degree requirements and the other is a checklist that you maintain to chart your progress. We neither trackers the worksheets for you nor do we print and assess your MySJSU transcripts: these are your responsibilities. When meeting with the department chair have the progress-to-degree tracker compeleted and hard copy of your trancrispts.

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How do I change majors?

Locate a Change of Major Form on the SJSU Advising Hub, provide the required information, and bring the completed form to Clark Hall 469 for approval by the department chair. You will take the approved form to Student Services.

  • The Department of Anthropology accepts continuing SJSU students into the Anthropology, Behavioral Science, or Organizational Studies majors if they have an All College GPA of 2.5 or above.
  • Students who do not have an All College GPA of 2.5 or above and who wish to declare the major in anthropology must take three SJSU anthropology courses (at least two of them upper division) and receive an average GPA of 2.5; no course grade may be below 2.0. A student may attempt each course a maximum of two times.
  • Students who do not have an All College GPA of 2.5 or above and who wish to declare a major in Anthropology, Behavioral Science, or Organizational Studies may be able to do so by taking three upper divison courses that count towards the appropriate major. Students seeking this option should consult with the Anthropology Department for details. All students submiting a change of major form should consult with the Department Chair.  

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What are the terms of academic probation for Anthropology, Behavioral Science, and Organizational Studies students?

The criteria for probation in the Anthropology, Behavioral Science, and Organizational Studies majors are those for SJSU probation at the University level.

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How do I get reinstated after being disqualified?

The criteria for disqualification from the Anthropology, Behavioral Science, and Organizational Studies majors are the same as those for SJSU disqualification at the University level. Following a first disqualification, may be reinstated only once to either major. The forms for reinstatement are available on the University's Advising Hub.

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How do I begin the major after transferring from a community college?
  1. Begin by picking up the appropriate anthropology or behavioral science progress-to-degree from the materials rack outside Clark Hall 469. List any community college courses that you took that will fulfill major requirements. For example, community college equivalents to ANTH 11, ANTH 12, ANTH 13, and STAT 95 will be counted toward the anthropology B.A. Likewise, courses equivalent to ANTH 11, PSYC 1, SOCI 1, STAT 95 or SOCI 15, PSYC 18 or 30 may count toward your behavioral science degree. Be sure to list the community college courses that articulate with SJSU courses under the community college course numbers since you will need them later when you apply to graduate.
  2. Sign up for the WST as soon as possible (and pass it!) so you can begin taking SJSU Studies courses. Taking the required 100W course is also a prerequisite for some upper division major courses: be sure to read the portions of the University Catalog than cover your major.
  3. Sign up for the courses that will fulfill major requirements. Anthropology majors should pick up a Course Rotation from outside Clark 469. It lists when the department plans to offer specific courses and is invaluable in planning your program of study.
  4. Introduce yourself to an advisor and get answers to any questions you still have, and make sure you keep a folder in which you store all paperwork from the university until after you have graduated. Keep your graded papers, too, just in case you need them.

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How do I decide when to apply for graduation?

If you are regularly checking your transcript on MySJSU and maintaining the Progress-to-Degree Tracker Clark Hall 469 then you can estimate how many courses you will need to take in order to graduate. University policy is that students should apply to graduate as soon as possible after completing 90 units. The deadlines for submitting your application to graduate are available on the department website’s Graduation Guide. The department provides workshops in the fall and spring semesters about how to apply and all students should plan on attending one of them.

Students who transfer from a community college on the quarter system may discover that although their courses are equivalent to SJSU ones, they lose fractions of units when quarter units are converted to semester units. (One quarter unit equals .67 semester units, so a 4 quarter unit class equals 2.68 semester units and a 5 quarter unit course equals 3.35 semester units.) Students must complete at least 42 units for the anthropology major, 48 units for the behavioral science major, and 33-39 units for the Organizational Studies major. Please note that the Organizational Studies major requires a minor.

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How do I apply to graduate?

Make sure you are using an Anthropology, Behavioral Science, or Organizational Studies Progress-to-Degree Tracker available in the display rack outside Clark Hall 469 to keep track of the major courses you have taken. Follow these steps when you are ready to apply for graduation:

1. Navigate to the department website and click on “Graduation Guide”. Then download (1) the University Application for Graduation Baccalaureate Degree (also called the Application to Graduate) and (2) an appropriate major form: Anthropology, Behavioral Science, or Organizational Studies. Save both forms to your computer. Title the major form as your: (last name)_(first name)_(form name). For example, if your name is Diana Smith your major form should be saved as “smith_diana_major”.

2. Fill out each form, frequently saving your data.

The Application to Graduate is quite straight forward and easy to complete. Under “Major” you should write Anthropology or Behavioral Science or Behavioral Science/ANTH or Behavioral Science/PSYC or Behavioral Science/SOCI. Only use the Double Major line if you are completing two completely separate degrees, such as anthropology and biology. Print out a hard copy of the completed Application to Graduate, sign and date it, and submit it to the front desk in the Department of Anthropology office (Clark Hall 469).

Be sure to carefully read the instructions for completing the major form. All the information you need to complete it is on the major progress-to-degree tracker that you should be maintaining. Carefully complete the major form, save it, and send it as an email attachment to anthropology@sjsu.edu. The department will only accept major forms that are submitted in this way.Incorrect or incomplete forms will be returned to students, possibly delaying their graduation.

3. You will be notified by email when your major form is approved. The major form and application to graduate will be left for you in the student pickup cabinet inside Clark Hall 469. Take the envelope to Window R in Student Services and file your application. That’s all there is to it!

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What if I don't take all the courses I listed as To Be Completed (TBC) on the Major Form I filed?

Download a Course Substitution Petition from the SJSU Advising Hub and save it to your computer. Make sure you have your Graduation Worksheet (sent to you by the University after you file your Application to Graduate) or your major form handy, and fill out the petition. Make sure that you have the courses you were going to take and the courses you actually took in the correct columns! Print out the form and bring it to Clark Hall 469 for approval. You will be notified when the form is approved and it will be placed in a sealed envelope and left in the student pickup cabinet inside Clark Hall 469. Just take it to Window R in Student Services. Please submit only one Course Substitution Petition that has all your substitutions listed. Wait until early in your final semester at SJSU to complete the petition.

 

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What if I am completing a minor degree in Anthropology or Native American Studies or Values, Technology and Society?

Make sure you are using an Anthropology, Native American Studies, or Values, Technology and Society minor Progress-to-Degree tracker available in the display rack outside Clark Hall 469 to keep track of the minor courses you have taken. Follow these steps when you are ready to apply for graduation:

1. Navigate to the department website and click on “Graduation Guide”. Then download the correct minor form. Save it to your computer and title it as your: (last name)_(first name)_(minor). For example, if your name is Diana Smith you will have a file saved as “smith_diana_minor”. You do not have to indicate which minor you are completing.

2. Fill out the minor form, frequently saving your data. Be sure to carefully read the instructions for completing the minor form. All the information you need to complete it is on the minor progress-to-degree tracker that you should be maintaining. Carefully complete the form, save it, and send it as an email attachment to anthropology@sjsu.edu. The department will only accept minor forms that are submitted in this way and incorrect or incomplete forms will be returned to students, possibly delaying their graduation.

3. You will be notified by email when your minor form is approved. The minor form will be left for you in the student pickup cabinet inside Clark Hall 469. Take the envelope to Window R in Student Services and file it.

 

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There are, of course, many other questions you may have and we are happy to help you answer them during academic advising.