Parent & Family Resources

Welcome to the Miami Family!

We are dedicated to your student's success and to creating a smooth transition to Miami. Family Orientation is an important part of this transition.

Below, you'll find videos and information about important requirements, resources, and opportunities at Miami. Explore each section to gain a deep understanding of the Miami Experience. We recommend that you review content in the order listed. You're able to access this information often and at your own pace. We highly encourage you to explore sections in the order they appear below.

Welcome from University Leadership

University leaders - including our university president, Dr. Gregory Crawford, university ambassador, Dr. Renate Crawford, and Vice President for Student Life, Dr. Jayne Brownell - are active on campus and invested in supporting all Miami students.


We have created a series of videos supplement your student's orientation through a parental and supportive lens. You're able to watch and re-watch those at your own pace.

View all videos.


Information for Specific Populations (e.g., Honors, Athletes, First-generation)

Miami's Approach to a Liberal Arts Education

A traditional strength of Miami University is its emphasis on liberal education. Miami was founded on the belief that a liberal education provides the best possible framework for life in a changing world. The emphasis on liberal studies continues today and is referred to as the Miami Plan for Liberal Education, or the Global Miami Plan.

What is a liberal education?

Engaging in a liberal education has nothing to do with a particular political view; it means having a broad foundation of knowledge. Here, it means Miami requires all students to take classes outside of their major.

A liberal education complements specialized studies in your student's major and provides a broadened context for exploring social, academic, political, and professional choices. It will help your student understand human society by giving them the tools to ask questions, examine assumptions, exchange views with others, and become a better global citizen.

How do Liberal Education requirements shape the courses my student will take?

As your student fulfills requirements of the Global Miami Plan, they will take foundation courses focusing on the humanities, arts, natural science, social science, mathematics & formal reasoning, composition, and global perspectives. Your student will also take a thematic sequence (a series of courses which include some upper-level ones) focused on a topic of study. They’ll take an advanced writing course, an intercultural perspectives course, and participate in experiential learning. And they will have culminating capstone experience that includes a student-led project.

Learn more on the Liberal Education website.

Additional Academic Advising Preparation Information

Information in this section applies to many students and is helpful to review to further understand the factors that shape your student's advising and course registration experience. Students have information about scheduling their academic advising appointment in their orientation Canvas site.

In addition to the information in this section, you can find academic requirements and suggested classes for first-year students in the 2020-2021 New Student Guidebook »

Major List

Miami Regionals students are able to complete majors across the university (some may have additional admission requirements.

View the full list of majors and minors.

Foreign Language Placement

This section has information about how your student will navigate the foreign language assessment and how to get in touch with a language placement advisor. There are also foreign language placement frequently asked questions for your review. The placement assessment method for languages depends on the language your student intends to study.

  • French, German, Latin, Russian, and Spanish: Your student will complete an online placement exam via the Interactive Language Resource Center.
  • Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Italian, and Portuguese: Placement guidelines and advice are available via the Interactive Language Resource Center.
  • American Sign Language (ASL): Placement assessments are conducted by a full-time instructor in the Speech Pathology & Audiology (SPA) department for students who have previously taken ASL courses. For American Sign Language placement, students should email Ms. Megan Gross at to schedule a video assessment.

Foreign Language Placement FAQ

Language placement tests and guides are available through the Interactive Language Resource Center.

  • Is my student required to take a foreign language? All students completing a degree in the College of Arts and Science must fulfill a foreign language requirement. If your student's major is outside the College of Arts and Science, they should consult their academic advisor to determine whether foreign language study is a part of their curriculum.
  • My student has a disability and have previously received accommodations for foreign language requirements. Will they be exempt from completing this requirement? The Miller Center for Student Disability Services coordinates foreign language course substitution requirements for eligible students with disabilities when reasonable and appropriate. Students should register for services to request an accommodation. Contact the Miller Center at with questions.
  • Can my student study a foreign language even if they are not required to do so? Yes! However, please note enrollment in French and Spanish courses is restricted to students in the College of Arts and Science during summer orientation. Those restrictions will be removed for open registration later in July.
  • What languages does Miami offer?
    • American Sign Language (found under SPA and DST)
    • Arabic (ARB)
    • Chinese (CHI)
    • French (FRE)
    • German (GER)
    • Italian (ITL)
    • Japanese (JPN)
    • Korean (KOR)
    • Latin (LAT)
    • Portuguese (POR)
    • Russian (RUS)
    • Spanish (SPN)
  • Can my student take a different language than the one they have studied previously? Students may start a new language if desired; there is no requirement to pursue a previously studied language. Students beginning a new language should enroll in a course numbered 101. If considering French or Spanish, they must complete a placement test.
  • Can my student take multiple languages at the same time? Before adding a second language to their first-semester schedule, students should take a close look at the requirements for their major and graduation. While the opportunity to take a language that was not offered at their high school is exciting, that opportunity should not obscure the long term goal of timely graduation.
  • Can my student start their language studies at any point during their time at Miami? Most language sequences begin in the fall semester, though there are some exceptions. Check the Course List website for each semester’s offerings. Keep in mind, if your student needs to start in the 101 course, it will take them four semesters to complete the 202-level course. Typical sequences follow one of these patterns: 101, 102, 201, 202 OR 111, 201, 202.
  • Does my student have to take a language placement test? If your student has already earned some credit in the language they plan to study (e.g., transfer credit from another college or university, known credit from AP/IB tests), they should continue in the sequence rather than taking the placement test. All students beginning Spanish or French must still complete the placement test, even if they have never studied these languages before. For all other languages, we strongly recommend they take the placement test so they do not begin in a class that is below or above their current skill level.
  • Should my student prepare for the placement test? No. They should take the test without preparing and without the use of dictionaries or other aids. The purpose of the test is to assess their current skills.
  • Can my student complete the requirement if they score high enough on the placement test? No academic credit is awarded for placement tests. Placement tests only tell us where your student should begin their studies. Foreign language course credit is only awarded by completing course work at Miami, through transfer credits from another college or university, or through a credit-bearing examination such as Advanced Placement (AP) or College Level Examination Program (CLEP).
  • My student doesn’t see a placement test for American Sign Language. How do they know which class to take? All placement assessments for American Sign Language are conducted by a full-time instructor in the Speech Pathology & Audiology (SPA) department. Students who have not taken a formal course should start with SPA/DST 101. Students who have taken formal sign language courses should take a placement assessment. Students will be assessed based on their receptive/expressive knowledge of conversational vocabulary as well as appropriate grammatical features. All students wishing to complete the assessment should contact Ms. Megan Gross at to schedule an appointment. Placement assessments will be done via video conference.
  • My student is unhappy with their placement. Can they take the test again? No. Your student can only take the placement exam one time.
  • My student thinks their placement is too high. Can they start in a lower-level class? We recommend your student starts where they place, but they should talk to their instructor within the first days of class if they still feel out of place. Students should avoid starting a language sequence below the level of testing advice in order to ‘get a better grade’ or to ‘make up for a deficient high school experience’. Doing so wastes their own time, credit hours, and money. For French and Spanish: Students may only register for the class into which they placed, as their placement score is programmed in the registration system as a prerequisite for the course. If they have been advised by a foreign language advisor to enroll in a different course, they should let their advisor know during their advising appointment or course registration.
  • Can my student skip to a higher or lower level if their class is too easy/hard? Wherever a student starts in a course sequence, the usual course sequence (101→ 102 → 201 → 202 or 111 → 201 → 202) may not be interrupted until completion of 202. Courses in the sequence may not be skipped. Only ‘real’ beginners may start with 101.
  • My student is fluent in a language that Miami offers. What should they do? Miami's language programs focus on the skills of literacy (reading and writing), as well as speaking. They should follow the usual placement for the language, except for Spanish (see below). It may be that a fluent speaker who does not read or write their language, especially for languages with non-Latin scripts (Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Russian), might start at the 101-level. Speak with a foreign language placement advisor. Individuals who grew up speaking Spanish should discuss SPN 311, section H (focus on Latino/a experience for Spanish Heritage Learners) with a language placement advisor.
  • My student is fluent in a language that Miami does not offer. Do they have to study another language? If their major is in the College of Arts and Science, they should contact the College of Arts and Science Academic Advising office (513-529-3031) during the fall semester and schedule an appointment to speak with an advisor about the details of their situation.

Math Placement

The Tutoring and Learning Center will contact a student directly if the university needs additional information to best help you choose appropriate classes for you. If you have questions about this process, please contact them directly at 513-785-3139.

Portfolio for English Credit

What is the Portfolio Writing Program?

Miami’s Portfolio Writing Program offers your student the opportunity to earn credit for Miami’s first-year writing requirement (ENG 111) by submitting a portfolio of their high school writing. A portfolio is a collection of written work they select and assemble to showcase their writing talent. In your student's portfolio, they will include writing genres that resemble the kind of writing done in Miami’s first-year composition classes, and their portfolio will be read and evaluated by Miami composition instructors for possible credit.

What is included in my student's portfolio?

All portfolios must contain the following:

  • A Reflective Letter that introduces the writer and pieces of writing and provides evidence of critical reflection used to assemble works;
  • A Persuasive Research Essay that integrates multiple sources, supports claims, and demonstrates critical thinking, audience awareness, and attention to context;
  • An Analysis of a Text that interprets all or part of a “text” (which can be written, oral, etc.) and moves beyond summary to build ideas;
  • Writer’s Choice (any writing genre) that highlights writing skills that may (or may not) be represented in other works.


Where can they find more information?

You and your student can visit our Portfolio Credit website.

First Year Experience (FYE) Courses

First-year students tend to make stronger connections with one another and with the university when they take a first-year experience course. While FYE courses vary, they generally serve to introduce you to academic and student life resources, including involvement opportunities and faculty expectations. They provide tools and resources to help you prepare for academic advising and register for spring semester classes. Through this course, your student will likely develop more confidence, a stronger sense of belonging, and clarity about your academic, co-curricular, and career goals.

Campus Services

This section contains information about the essential services available at Miami:

  • On-campus housing
  • Dining at Miami
  • Academic support
  • Tuition, financial aid, and student records
  • Student Health and Student Counseling
  • Services for students with disabilities
  • Campus retail, including textbooks and laptops
  • IT support and benefits

Access the Campus Services page

Campus Life

Connecting with other Miamians and opportunities on campus complement your student's classroom learning. This is what makes the Miami Experience so special and sets our students up for success after graduation. This section has information about ways students make deeper connections and make the most of their Miami experience. This section includes information about:

  • Involvement through organizations, leadership development, and community service
  • Career development resources and opportunities
  • Resources and connections for students commuting from home
Students have information about connecting with their Regional Orientation Leader (ROL) in their orientation Canvas site.

Access the Campus Life page.

Student Expectations and Campus Policies

Our student expectations and campus policies help create and maintain a safe and respectful Miami community where everyone can succeed. It is important for new students to understand and uphold campus policies, and understand their accountability. The Miami Policy Library includes information about:

  • Academic Requirements
  • Community Standards
  • Title IX and Sexual Misconduct
  • Academic Integrity

Supporting your Miami Student

How does all of this information apply to your student, the person you know better than anyone else? First, learn about supporting your student through four transition issues commonly experienced during the first year of college.

Then, make sure you're connected with additional resources specifically for parents and family members, outlined below: