The Catholic University of America

Frequently Asked Questions about Course Selection

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?

The list of course offerings on the LIS web site is more reliable than the one on Cardinal Station, so look there first. Also, subscribe to the LIS student listserv, since we use the listserv to warn you of changes to posted schedules.

All courses at all sites are open to all admitted students, as long as there is space left and you have had 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!

Refer to the 2-year plan so you can complete any prerequisites needed for the electives you will be taking. 

What courses should I take?

First, consult with your advisor. It's important. For students interested in school media, it is absolutely essential: students meeting school certification requirements have no room for electives! Other students may change their advisors at any time for any reason. Just (a) get another faculty member to agree to be your new advisor, (b) inform your old advisor that you're making a change, and (c) send the LIS office an email so the change can be reflected in Cardinal Station.

Also, talk to professionals who have jobs you would 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

Whatever you are advised, start with the four required 500-level courses (551, 553, 555, 557). Do not forgo an elective if it could be your only chance to take it, but please finish the core in your first 18 hours (6 courses). The cores are the foundation of 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.

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 cannot 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 Station, 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 CUA 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). Since summer terms vary, go into Cardinal Station and click on the calendar icon to the left of your course to get exact add/drop schedule.

How do I Find out about Textbooks and other Course Details?

There are two ways to find out about course textbooks. 

One is through the Barnes and Noble/CUA textbook search.

The second way to see textbooks assigned (and other course details):
Go to Cardinal Students Home@CUA, but do not log in.  In the bottom center of the Cardinal Station page is a link for “Course Catalog.”  Click on this.

Under “Browse Course Catalog” browse to and select LSC – Library and Information Science.  Below will be a list of links to courses.  Click on the course Title or number.  On the Course Detail page, click on the “View Class Sections” button on the upper right.  Under Couse Schedule (at bottom of page), click on your course section.  At the bottom of the Class Detail page is a section listing assigned textbooks.

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

This depends on the problem. It could be as easy as having a class in your shopping cart that would need to be removed. Please check your enrollment appointment. Continuing degree students begin registering for classes about a month before new students and nondegree students. Look on Cardinal Students to view your Open Enrollment Dates. If you still have a difficulty please and ask for help. 

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