Frequently Asked Questions for Freshman Parents

How does a CMU class schedule differ from High School?

Each class meets on Monday-Wednesday-Friday or Tuesday-Thursday, for the most part. Each class meets for 50 minutes or 75 minutes. [Labs usually meet for 2 hours.]


How much study time is required for classes at CMU?

The general rule of thumb is that a student should be prepared to spend 1.5 to 2 hours of preparation time outside of class for each hour in class. That preparation can be reading chapters and other assigned material, reviewing or preparing notes, accessing online resources and other active learning activities, meeting with other students in a study community or seeing a tutor.


What are "credit hours"?

The number of credit hours is roughly equivalent to the number of hours a student spends in class each week. That is also the amount of credit towards graduation that will be awarded with passing grades.


How many hours are needed to graduate?

It takes a minimum of 124 credit hours to complete a Bachelors Degree.


What is elective credit?

Classes which count towards graduation but do not fulfill a graduation requirement become elective credit. (i.e., a student takes more math than required, but isn’t a math major-that extra math class is elective credit.)


Do Dual-Credit classes transfer to CMU?

Yes, an official transcript must be sent from the college to CMU. (No transcript is required for CMU dual-credit classes.) Admissions should be advised about all dual-credit classes completed or in progress.


How can I reach my son or daughter’s Advisor?

The Academic Advisor (or their representative) will be available at each Green Carpet Day and have set office hours once your student is on campus.


What is myCMU?

myCMU is an online resource for students which provides access to a wide variety of information. Financial Assistance information, billing statements, advisor contact information, class schedule, academic record and course announcements can all be found on myCMU.
Further, each class has a "webpage" on myCMU where students can find and submit assignments, read announcements, get course handouts or communicate with others in the class.


What information can I get from myCMU?

Parents who want to access myCMU need to get the login and password from their son or daughter. The information accessed will be their son or daughter's account. As mentioned above, financial assistance information, billing statements and other important information can be obtained there.


Does my son/daughter need to buy their textbooks?

Nationwide studies show that owning textbooks is one of the most important components of a successful freshman semester. On average, CMU students spend $475 per semester on books and online resources.


Where can I get textbooks?

The CMU Bookstore is ready to assist you with textbook selection and purchasing. You can reserve books ahead of time by contacting the bookstore. When books are purchased at the CMU bookstore, exchanges can be easily made when a student's schedule changes during the first week of classes.


Will there be tutors available?

Yes, there is at least one and often multiple tutors available for most freshman-level classes. These tutors can be found in the Center for Learning and Teaching. A schedule is available online at the end of the first week of classes.


How much do tutors cost?
There is NO charge for tutoring or other Learning Center assistance.


What is Validation?

Validation is a process at the beginning of each semester where each student finalizes all the bits and pieces of paperwork needed by various offices. This gives each student a chance to take care of everything before the semester begins.


How can I best prepare my son/daughter for CMU?

  • Help him/her learn to recognize his alarm clock.
  • Help him/her develop a time management system that works for them.
  • Encourage him/her to get involved in one activity on campus.
  • Make sure that money is available to purchase textbooks at the very beginning of each semester.
  • Encourage him/her to NOT travel home every weekend.


What about the Housing Application?

Each student should fill out a housing application, unless he/she qualified to live off-campus. The application is available on myCMU (your student must be logged in), and should be completed by the STUDENT, not a parent.


Who should I call with questions?

Continue to call and work with the Admissions representative (660-248-6251). They will forward your questions to Student Development, Financial Assistance or the Dean's Office as appropriate.


Who can help my son/daughter since I will not be there?

The staff in the Office of Student Development will assist. The office is located on the second floor of the student center (660-248-6223).  The Student Handbook is full of helpful information along with the Code of Conduct and rules of the university. Each resident student receives a copy from his hall director and commuting students may pick one up.


Where can I find the "rules" for CMU?

The student handbook and much more is available on the campus life website.