The Catholic University of America

Frequently Asked Questions about Courses

Students are always encouraged to contact their faculty advisors directly to discuss their schedules and progress. This page is not intended as a substitute for direct contact with faculty advisors, but rather as a starting point for meeting with them.

What are my choices? What courses are being offered?

Check the 2-year plan (.pdf) to know what term the courses you are interested in plan to be offered so you may take prerequisites and other classes on time. Each term has a schedule page where course updates are listed. You may also receive notifications about courses sometimes on the LIS Google group.

All courses at all sites are open to everyone, as long as there's space left and you have completed the prerequisites. Prerequisites for each course are listed in the official course descriptions in the course catalog. This is a short program - just 12 courses (10 for students with advanced degrees) - so choose wisely!

What courses should I take?

First, consult with your advisor. It's important. For students interested in school library media, it's absolutely essential: students meeting school certification requirements have no room for electives! All school media students will be assigned the SLM advisor.

Also, talk to professionals who have jobs you'd like to have, and ask what courses they recommend. Browse job ads too - what jobs sound interesting, and what do employers expect when they advertise these jobs? Check sites like Library Job Postings on the Internet or Lisjobs.com and our career portal.

Whatever you're advised, start with the four required 500-level courses (551, 553, 555, 557). Don't forgo an elective if it could be your only chance to take it, but please finish the cores in your first 18 hours (6 courses). They are the foundation for the rest of the program, and serve as prerequisites for many advanced courses. Check the course catalog for more advanced classes you really want to take - and take the core courses needed for those first.  You may also select a Course of Study for your degree, which can help guide your course selection.

You can also view past syllabi at the CatholicU Syllabus Repository, or view past course evaluations for the class or professor you're interested in.

Should I take courses on or off campus?

There is no requirement for taking courses on campus so you can take courses at any site - and are welcome to do so. Everything can't be offered in all locations and most students find they may do some coursework both on and off campus during the program.  When you are ready to register for classes through Cardinal Students you might find it can be a little tricky so consult our How to Register page for helpful tips.

When do courses start and end? When are finals? How about comps? Etc.

Consult the CatholicU Academic Calendar for answers to all these questions as well as other useful information (e.g., when the drop-add period ends, what days your class won't meet due to academic holidays, what's the last day you can drop a course). You may also add the Google Student Calendar to your calendar to always have that info.

How do I find out about textbooks and other course details?

Many courses have required textbooks and/or recommended books. In Cardinal Students, browse the catalog, click on the show sections for your term, and in the course detail the textbooks will be listed. Barnes and Noble may or may not have received the information. The syllabus will also list textbooks.

I'm having trouble registering on Cardinal Students - what should I do?

This depends on the problem. If you don't have the user ID and password you need to register, phone 202-319-4357 or email techsupport@cua.edu and ask for help. Also consult the registration guide (pdf).

Please contact the Webmaster if you would like to suggest a FAQ for this list.