Family Orientation

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 deeper understanding of the Miami Experience. 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.

Greetings from University Leadership

Welcome from our University President and University Ambassador

Greg and Renate Crawford

Welcome to Miami! We are so glad your student is part of our incoming class. Miami is an innovative and vibrant community, both inside and outside the classroom. We strive to empower students to set ambitious goals and to achieve them. Whether your student is the first in the family to attend college, or a third-generation Miamian, coming from around the corner or around the world, we know that Miami will quickly feel like home. We truly love to interact with our students, so look for us around campus and come say hello. We can't wait to welcome your student!

As you go through orientation, you will undoubtedly think about your student's education, their aspirations, career, and life. We also encourage you to think about how you will encourage your student to contribute to our community. You've heard the phrase, "I am Miami." That phrase acts as a constant reminder that being part of this community carries both privileges and responsibilities. As much as Miami will change your student, they have the power and responsibility to change Miami. That is why we selected them to be part of our Miami family. We know that they will contribute greatly to our community and have a positive impact on the world. From now on, both you and your student are part of Miami and Miami will always be part of you.

Love & Honor,

Gregory P. Crawford  Renate J. Crawford

Welcome from our Vice President for Student Life

Jayne Brownell

Hi, I'm Jayne Brownell, Vice President for Student Life, and it is my pleasure to welcome you to the Miami Family. I hope you and your student are getting really excited and looking forward to all the great things that are going to happen to you and them at Miami. This is a place where your student is going to learn, grow, and thrive in and out of the classroom. They're going to find that college is what they make it. Encourage them to get the most of their Miami experience, push outside of their comfort zone, take some chances and say yes to new opportunities. The more of themselves that they invest into this experience, the more they're going to gain. And orientation is where that starts.

During orientation, your student is going to learn about Miami's curriculum, meet with advisors, and register for spring classes. You're going to get information you need about supporting your student's transition to Miami. You're going to learn about the people and the resources who are here to support your student while they do all of that. Finally, you'll learn more about their new home on campus and in Oxford. Now, your student is free to complete these orientation modules at their own pace. But you should know that there are certain modules they have to complete in sequence to move forward. So it's going to be best if they could complete their content in a short as time as possible. Encourage them to schedule time on their calendar, just like they would for a class, and then be focused and know that this experience is designed to help them (and you) get the best start possible. I hope that the orientation experience functions to make you and your student even more excited about what's to come!

Jayne Brownell

A Note About COVID-19

This has truly been a year like no other, and hopefully once in a lifetime. As we complete fall semester and look forward to spring, the health and safety of our students and university community continues to be our top priority.

While we know things may change over the coming months, we are working earnestly to offer the quality residential education Miami is known for, while meeting the highest possible standards in protective health measures. We will continue to follow the guidance of public health officials and Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and will share information about our fall plans as they become available.

For additional information about Miami's planning and response to COVID-19, visit our coronavirus website »

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

University Academic Scholars Program

The University Academic Scholars Program (UASP) enables our best and brightest students to engage more deeply in their fields of interest by providing unparalleled access to Miami’s most renowned programs, distinguished faculty mentors, cutting-edge research and internship experiences, and personal connection with key university officials and guests.

Students in UASP receive the following:

  • $1000-2000 scholarship, in addition to other merit awards
  • Invitation-only receptions with Miami administrators
  • Opportunities for engaging internships and full-immersion preceptorships with alumni
  • Placement in the Honors Living Learning Community, if the student chooses
  • Designated study room and special borrowing privileges with the University Libraries
  • Exclusive UASP events
  • Guaranteed invitation to Omicron Delta Kappa (national leadership honor society)
  • Designation as a fellow in the Harry T. Wilks Leadership Institute, a program committed to developing leaders for a changing world

Each UASP cohort enjoys benefits relating to their academic and professional interests. UASP students will hear from the faculty coordinators of their cohort over the summer about fall opportunities specific to their area.

The University Academic Scholars Program is distinct from the University Honors Program. For more information for Honors students, see the University Honors Program information in this section.

Students who were admitted to the UASP were notified in their letter of admission to the university, and can find that information in the admission portal.


  • What is student required to do as a scholar? Each UASP cohort is unique, and may have different expectations of its students. Contact your faculty coordinators regarding expectations.
  • Can my student apply for admission to the UASP? Students can only apply for the UASP when applying to Miami. There is no opportunity for admission for current Miami students.
  • Isn’t the UASP the same as the Honors Program? The UASP and the University Honors Program are distinct programs with different expectations. Students can be in one program and not the other, or in both at the same time.

If you or your student have questions about the University Academic Scholars Program, your student should contact their faculty coordinator via email. Email addresses for faculty coordinators are listed below. For general questions about the University Academic Scholars Program, contact Teresa Radomski-Bomba at or 513-529-0393.

  • General UASP questions: Teresa Radomski-Bomba (, 513-529-0393)
  • Creative Arts Scholars: Chad Reynolds (
  • EHS Leadership Scholars: Denise Baszile (
  • Engineering & Computing Scholars: Brian Kirkmeyer (
  • Farmer School of Business Scholars: Michelle Thomas (
  • Global Studies Scholars: Walt Vanderbush ( and Nathan French (
  • Humanities Scholars: Pepper Stetler (
  • Law and Public Policy Scholars: Patrick Haney (, Maria Vitullo (, and Elizabeth Zimmerman (
  • Math and Stats Scholars: John Bailer (, Tom Fisher (, Paddy Dowling (, and Louis DeBiasio (
  • Premedical Scholars: Joe Carlin (
  • Social Justice and Impact Scholars: Kristen Budd (, Ryan Gunderson (, and Jacqueline Daugherty (
  • Sustainability Scholars: Jonathan Levy (
  • Writing Scholars: Jim Tobin (, Margaret Luongo (, and Michele Simmons (

Access Fellows

The Access Fellows Program provides support to students receiving the Miami Access Initiative Scholarship. With this scholarship, Miami University recognizes high-achieving students and allocates resources to bring their educational goals within reach.

Access Fellows become connected to a vibrant community of students with whom they can share many of the challenges faced as they embark on their Miami career. Further, they become connected to the vast network of resources available through the Rinella Learning Center, as well as dedicated staff who help them navigate the University setting and potentially find on-campus employment and financial assistance.

Visit us to talk about any questions your student has, including:

  • Finding employment
  • Undergraduate research
  • Service learning opportunities
  • Academic monitoring and support
  • Leadership opportunities

Among these leadership opportunities is the Access Fellows Council, which creates social events and helps guide the direction of Access Fellows under the supervision of the program coordinator. As a member of the Council, your student can take on a leadership role and pave the way for future Access Fellows! Your student can also amplify their voice as an advocate for low-income students on Miami’s campus.

Bridges Scholars

The Bridges Program is one of Miami University’s premier pre-college visit programs for high school seniors. Those who are admitted to Miami after successful completion of the program are invited to participate in the Bridges Scholars Program, an exclusive opportunity devoted to creating a successful transition to Miami.

This initiative is a joint effort between the Office of Admission and the Student Success Center. It was uniquely designed to intentionally develop a community around Bridges Program alumni and connect students with activities and resources geared toward success at Miami and beyond.

First Generation College Students

Is your student the first in your family to go to college? If so, they’re a first-generation student! But wait...what if an older sibling went to college? What about aunts and uncles? How are we really defining “family” - and what difference does it make if they are a first-generation college student?

Defining First-Generation (first-gen) College Students

There are many different ways to define first-generation college students; at Miami, we use the simplest and most inclusive definition: if your student's biological parents did not complete a four-year college degree, then your student is first-gen.

Why does this matter? Because navigating the often-complex reality of college can be challenging, especially because your family doesn’t have firsthand experience in this realm. While ALL Miami students are capable of achieving academic success and making important contributions to our campus community, first-gen students often benefit from the confidence boost of knowing they are not alone. Support from other first-gen students, faculty, staff and other resources can help you navigate the unique challenges your student may encounter as they achieve their goals.

First-gen facts:

  • As of fall 2019, there were 3,144 first-generation students at Miami
  • According to a national survey (RTI International), as of academic year 2015-16, 56% of undergraduate students in the U.S. were first-generation college students

Famous first-gen students:

  • Dr. Gregory Crawford, President of Miami University
  • Dr. Renate Crawford, Miami University Ambassador and Adjunct Professor of Physics
  • Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
  • Michelle Kwan, Olympic Figure Skater
  • Michelle Obama, 44th First Lady of the United States
  • Howard Schultz, Chairman and CEO of Starbucks
  • Colin Powell, 65th Secretary of State of the United States
  • Oprah Winfrey, Media Superstar

Miami resources:

Helpful college terminology

Academic advisor: a staff or faculty member who guides your student through academic choices such as choosing classes and fulfilling academic requirements. Your student can also talk with academic advisors about academic and career goals, or academic problems you encounter. Each student has an assigned academic advisor, listed on the “student” tab of your myMiami portal ( For more about academic advising, visit Miami’s academic advising page »

Bulletin: a comprehensive resource with all of Miami’s academic program requirements, course descriptions, and academic policies; available online at

Capstone: a requirement of the Global Miami Plan (sometimes called the ‘senior capstone’), completed near the end of your student's studies. The capstone integrates your student's learning into a project or culminating experience. Read more about Capstones in the Miami Bulletin »

Credit hour: unit of measurement to describe academic courses, indicating the approximate number of in-class hours per week. Most classes are three credit hours (and thus meet about three hours per week); some classes may be four or even five credit hours. Students must be enrolled a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester to be considered full-time students, and typically cannot enroll in more than 18 hours per semester (sometimes 20 hours, but more than 18 hours would be a very heavy academic load). In order to graduate in four years, students should take 14-17 credit hours per semester.

Curriculum: the academic content for a particular area of study.

Faculty: instructor of a course. Interchangeable with professor and instructor. Not all faculty have the title “Dr.” (which means they have a doctorate degree in their area of study). Many faculty will specify how they would like to be addressed (e.g., as Dr. Smith, or Professor Smith, or sometimes even by their first name). Your student's faculty member’s name and title will also be on their syllabus. If they’re not sure, opt for “Professor,” or ask how they prefer to be addressed.

FAFSA: Free Application for Federal Student Aid: Filed annually to determine eligibility for financial aid. Must be completed each year; priority deadline is December 1. Learn more about the FAFSA and financial aid at Miami on the One Stop website »

FERPA: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act: FERPA is a federal law that protects the privacy of student records. FERPA limits release of your student's financial and academic record information without their written consent (including to parents and family members). They can give access to their records through the myMiami portal, on the “Student” tab. Read more at »

Global Miami Plan: Miami’s name for the set of academic requirements that all students must complete in order to graduate. Described in the Guidebook for New Students » (PDF, opens in new window)

Guidebook for New Students: Academic guide specifically for new students, which focuses on the Global Miami Plan and other helpful academic transition information. Download the 2020-2021 Guidebook » (PDF, opens in new window)

Liberal education: The philosophy that underlies the Global Miami Plan - Miami’s set of academic requirements for all students. Liberal education means that students study a broad set of subjects and ideas that complement more specialized studies of the student’s declared major. Ultimately, a liberal education is designed to “help students understand and creatively transform human culture and society by giving students the tools to ask questions, examine assumptions, exchange views with others, and become better global citizens.” Read more about liberal education in the section below.

Miami Plan: common term for Global Miami Plan (see above)

Office hours: time that faculty set aside to meet with students; usually scheduled weekly, and listed on the course syllabus. During office hours, your student can ask questions about upcoming assignments, review graded assignments/exams (especially if they don’t understand the grade or want input on how to improve), or just get to know them by asking about how they became interested in their area of study, what qualities they see in successful students, and what advice they have for you in their class. Note: if your student's availability doesn’t align with faculty office hours, they should ask the faculty member to make an appointment with them at another time. Don’t let them be shy about going to faculty office hours - faculty want to talk with your student!

Prerequisite: a course that must be taken before another course.

Syllabus: the outline of a course, including the course policies, required texts, meeting times, instructor information, grading scale, and description of content. The syllabus may also include course assignments and information about point value for each assignment (though sometimes the instructor will provide assignments/point values separately). Instructors generally review the course syllabus on the first day of class.

Thematic sequence: a Miami-specific term referring to a series of related courses (usually three) focusing on a theme or subject. Miami students must complete at least one Thematic Sequence outside the department of their major. Exceptions to this requirement include either students with majors in two different academic departments or students with minors outside their department of major. Usually, Miami students do not begin courses for a thematic sequence in the first year, since there are often prerequisites for courses in a thematic sequence. For more information, your student should consult their academic advisor or read about thematic sequences in the Miami Bulletin »

Transcript: a record of the courses you have taken and your grades in those courses. Sometimes required as official documentation of your academic enrollment (e.g., for discounts by insurance companies - like car insurance) or for scholarships or graduate school applications. For instructions on accessing unofficial or official transcripts, visit the One Stop website »

Undergraduate: a college student who has finished high school but has not yet graduated from college. Undergraduate students (most students at Miami) are typically working toward a Bachelor’s degree. Students who finish college and go on to graduate school are referred to as graduate students. Graduate students can be working toward a master’s degree, doctoral degree (like Ph.D.), or professional degree (like a law or medical degree).

Work-study: government-subsidized student employment program that gives students federal funding through on-campus employment. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year; work-study funds are awarded annually based on financial need. In order to utilize a work-study award, your student must be hired for an on-campus student job. Read more about work-study and student employment on the One Stop website »

Gradu8 Program

From day one through graduation, GradU8 Scholars work with a Success Navigator to make sure students know about campus resources, organizations, tutoring, internships, study abroad, as well as leadership and research opportunities. The Success Navigator also communicates dates that are important to students' success. Students are selected for the GradU8 program during the admissions process.

University Honors Program

The University Honors Program supports learning that is interdisciplinary in nature and broad in application. Honors students explore their interests and individually design their paths through distinctive academic and co-curricular experiences. The program offers an intentional residential living-learning community, personalized academic advising, and curricular exploration designed to encourage critical thinking, individual growth, and community development. The University Honors Program challenges students to grow into exemplary and responsible leaders and change-makers.

Students admitted to the University Honors Program (UHP) will be contacted by an Honors advisor regarding beginning the Honors Program this spring. Ideally, incoming Honors students will meet with their Honors advisor prior to meeting with their academic advisor for registration. After registering for orientation, your student should watch their Miami email for a message from an Honors advisor.

Students admitted to the UHP were notified in their letter of admission to the university, and can find that information in the admission portal. Current Miami students can apply to the University Honors Program during their first semester at Miami. The application will be available on the Honors Program website in the fall semester. If your student wants to receive an email in the fall when the application information is available, they should email from their Miami email account.

The University Honors Program is separate from the University Academic Scholars Program (UASP); find information about the University Academic Scholars Program above.

Intercollegiate Student-Athletes

With eight men's teams and ten women's teams, Miami University Athletics has a proud tradition of excellence. The RedHawks compete in the NCAA Division I Mid-American Conference (MAC), the National Collegiate Hockey Conference, and the U.S. Figure Skating Association.

The information below is for new students who have been selected as members of an intercollegiate athletic team. Intercollegiate athletes are supported not only by their coaches, but by staff members in Student-Athlete Academic Support Services (SAASS). Student-athletes will receive additional information from SAASS staff members. In addition, here are some frequently asked questions with helpful information:

What is the purpose of the Student-Athlete Academic Support Services office? SAASS provides secondary support to student-athletes and ensures NCAA compliance. SAASS works to continue the athletic department goal of Graduating Champions and maintain academic excellence of 30 straight semesters of a 3.0 or higher average department GPA.

How many hours must my student be enrolled in each semester to be eligible? As a student-athlete, your student must be enrolled in at least 12 credit hours every semester (Fall/Spring). To graduate in 4 years from Miami, students should take an average of 16 hours per semester to hit the required 124 credit hour mark. We recommend student-athletes take at least 15 credit hours every semester.

Where is the Student-Athlete Academic Support Services office located? Our offices are housed in the Walter L. Gross Center, near Millett Hall (Miami’s basketball arena), Yager Stadium (home of Miami Football), and several other athletics fields and facilities.

How can my student contact the SAASS office? Student-athletes are invited to email with questions. Your student's coordinator will also reach out to them in May.

Miami Pathways Program

The Miami Pathways Program is an exclusive opportunity for eligible students who are invited to join through the admissions process. The following information is only relevant to students who have been admitted to Miami through Pathways.

As a Pathways students, your student should complete the orientation process and steps outlined in their orientation Canvas site. Your student will receive information regarding program requirements and additional resources in early June to prepare them for the fall semester. This essential information will be sent to their Miami email account from the Pathways Academic Advisor, Virginia “Ginny” Engwall.

General information about the Pathways Program can be found on the Miami Pathways Program website. You can find answers to frequently asked questions about the program at Pathways FAQs. If your student is admitted to the Pathways Program, you (and your student) may send any additional questions to Virginia “Ginny” Engwall at

Scholastic Enhancement Program

The Scholastic Enhancement Program (SEP) is an admission-based program providing support to select student populations as they attend Miami and work toward completing their degree. Our goal is to provide each incoming SEP student with personalized academic support and a tailored study plan - all with the goal of ensuring their academic success during their first few semesters at college.

Each SEP student is assigned an Rinella Learning Center (RLC) staff member as an advisor. SEP advisors meet with students weekly to work on such topics as:

  • Transitioning to college
  • Time management and organization
  • Selecting classes and priority registration
  • Creating course schedules
  • Major selection and degree planning
  • Enrichment opportunities: leadership, research, and service

Learn more in this 3-minute Scholastic Enhancement Program video. Students in SEP are required to complete an SEP Interest Inventory, which is available in their orientation materials.

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.

The video below outlines rationale and requirements for the Global Miami Plan. Please pay close attention to this information and revisit this page as needed to review the details.

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 »

Majors List for Miami's Oxford Campus

Below you will find an alphabetized list of Miami University majors offered at the Oxford campus.


Some of the areas listed below are co-majors. The term "co-major" indicates that it must be completed with another, primary major in one of the divisions at Miami.

Interested in adding a second major or minor?

Your stuent will be able to declare a second major (or more) and add a minor (or more) in the fall. For the purposes of orientation, your student should focus on their current (primary) major. However, they should share their plans to add major(s) and/or minor(s) with their orientation academic advisor.

The next section, Your Student's Academic Curriculum, dives deep into requirements for each college and major.

Majors in the College of Arts and Science

  • American Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Biochemistry
  • Biology
  • Biological Physics
  • Botany
  • Chemistry
  • Classical Studies
  • Critical Race and Ethnic Studies
  • Data Analytics
  • Data Science and Statistics
  • Diplomacy and Global Politics
  • East Asian Languages and Cultures
  • Economics
  • Engineering Physics
  • English: Creative Writing
  • English: Literature
  • English: Professional Writing
  • Environmental Earth Science
  • French
  • Geography and Sustainable Development
  • Geology
  • German
  • Gerontology
  • History
  • Individualized Studies
  • International Studies
  • Italian Studies
  • Journalism
  • Latin America, Latino/a, and Caribbean Studies
  • Linguistics
  • Mathematics
  • Mathematics and Statistics
  • Media and Culture
  • Medical Laboratory Science
  • Microbiology
  • Organizational Leadership
  • Philosophy
  • Physics
  • Political Science
  • Professional Writing
  • Psychology
  • Public Administration
  • Public Health
  • Quantitative Economics
  • Religion
  • Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies
  • Social Justice Studies
  • Sociology
  • Spanish
  • Speech Pathology and Audiology
  • Strategic Communication
  • Urban and Regional Planning
  • Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
  • Zoology

College of Arts and Science Co-Majors:

  • Analytics
  • Comparative Media Studies
  • Energy
  • Environmental Science
  • Film Studies
  • Food Systems and Food Studies
  • Global and Intercultural Studies
  • Neuroscience
  • Premedical Studies
  • Sustainability

Majors in the College of Creative Arts

  • Architecture
  • Art
  • Art and Architecture History
  • Art Education
  • Composition (in Music)
  • Emerging Technology in Business + Design (formerly Interactive Media Studies)
  • Games + Simulation
  • Interior Design
  • Music
  • Music Education
  • Music Performance
  • Theatre

College of Creative Arts Co-Majors:

  • Art Therapy
  • Arts Management
  • Fashion

Majors in the College of Education, Health and Society

  • Community Nutrition
  • Dietetics
  • Education Studies
  • Foreign Language Education (grades PK-12)
  • Inclusive Special Education
  • Integrated English Language Arts Education (grades 7-12)
  • Integrated Mathematics Education (grades 7-12)
  • Integrated Social Studies Education (grades 7-12)
  • Integrated Science Education (grades 7-12)
  • Kinesiology
  • Middle Childhood Education (grades 4-9)
  • Primary Education (grades PK-5)
  • Public Health
  • Social Work
  • Sports Leadership and Management (SLAM)

Majors in the College of Engineering and Computing

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Computer Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Engineering Management
  • Manufacturing Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Robotics Engineering
  • Software Engineering

Majors in the Farmer School of Business

  • Accountancy
  • Business Economics
  • Finance
  • Human Capital Management and Leadership
  • Information Systems and Analytics
  • Interdisciplinary Business Management
  • Marketing
  • Supply Chain and Operations Management

Farmer School of Business Co-majors:

  • Analytics
  • Entrepreneurship

Nursing Department

  • Nursing (Oxford BSN Program)-Students must be selected for direct admission to the Oxford Nursing Cohort

Combined Undergraduate/Graduate Degrees

In partnership with Miami’s Graduate School, several academic departments offer combined bachelor’s (undergraduate) and master’s (graduate) degree programs. Pursuing a combined degree means that your student can graduate from Miami with both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree - often in five years, and sometimes even less. Not only does this approach save time (because master’s degree programs commonly take two years), but combined degree students begin graduate courses before finishing their undergraduate degree, which means they have the opportunity to make deeper connections with faculty in their discipline.

Learn more about combined degree programs at the Miami Graduate School combined degree programs website »

Foreign Language Placement

This section has information about how your student will navigate the foreign language assessment. 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.

For planning purposes, please note that the majority of our langauge sequences begin in the fall semester. For example, students should plan to take their x01 classes in a fall semester and x02 classes in a spring semester.

Foreign Language Placement FAQs

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! 
  • 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 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.
  • 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) and schedule an appointment to speak with an advisor about the details of their situation.

Math Placement Information

Placement tests help your student and their advisor determine the appropriate classes for them to take. Learn about Mathematics and Statistics Placement through the FAQs below. Placement in mathematics (MTH) and statistics (STA) courses is determined by the ACT or SAT Mathematics test subscore. Students who do not have ACT or SAT scores need to contact the College of Arts and Science Academic Advising Office ( to be registered for an online placement exam.

Some of the responses below refer to a CLEP test as another way to earn credit. You should speak with your academic advisor to determine whether this is an appropriate option for you based on your intended plan of study. The College Board’s College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) is an examination program through which students can earn college credit based on exam scores. Miami awards academic credit through CLEP for College Algebra, Precalculus, and Calculus. See the 2020-2021 General Bulletin for additional information about scoring and potential credit.

Course numbers and titles referenced on this page.

For course descriptions, visit the 2020-2021 General Bulletin.

  • MTH 025: Algebra for Precalculus
    • Note: This course does not award credit hours toward graduation; however, it may be necessary to prepare for higher-level mathematics courses. It is only offered in the Credit/No Credit grade mode.
  • MTH 125: Precalculus
  • MTH 151: Calculus I
  • MTH 249: Calculus II
  • MTH 251: Calculus II
  • STA 261: Statistics
  • STA 301: Applied Statistics
  • STA 363: Intro to Statistical Modeling

Does my student have to take a math or statistics course for their degree program? All students have to complete the Global Miami Plan Foundation V – Mathematics, Formal Reasoning, Technology requirement; however, there are multiple course options to meet this requirement. Whether your student needs math or statistics, specifically, will depend on the majors/minors they are considering. They should talk with their academic advisor about course selection. If they anticipate credit for AP Calculus or AP Statistics, these will complete Foundation V.

Does my student have to take math in their first semester? No, your student is not required to take a math course in their first semester. Depending on their major, however, their advisor might suggest they avoid taking a break in their math education.

If my student takes Precalculus in the fall, can they wait and take Calculus next summer? Yes, they can wait. However, they should speak with an academic advisor prior to making this decision to make sure they have considered all of the potential ramifications.

How does my student know which math or statistics course they are ready for? Miami uses the ACT/SAT math test scores to determine their placement. See pages 31-32 of the New Student Guidebook (PDF, opens in new window) for more details.

Are there any other ways my student can earn credit for math classes? If your student has taken Calculus in high school, the Math Department offers a MTH 151 Proficiency Exam (like a final exam) during the first week of the semester. The exact time and location will be available in the Math Department’s office, Bachelor 123, on the first day of classes. Your student also has the option to take the CLEP exam.

My student took Calculus in high school, but my ACT/SAT score places them in MTH 025 or MTH 125. Do they really have to take Algebra or Precalculus again before taking MTH 151? Yes, your student needs to register and successfully complete the course in which they placed before moving on. they could also consider taking a CLEP exam.

My student thinks their placement is too high. Should they take a class lower than their placement just to be safe? If they think they will struggle in the math course in which they placed, then they do have the option to take a lower-level course. We want to make sure they succeed.

My student thinks their placement is too low. Can they take a class that is more advanced? No, your student needs to register and successfully complete the course in which they placed before moving on. Your student could also consider taking a CLEP exam.

My student is not sure of their performance on the Calculus AP test. How should they register? They should discuss the details of the situation with an academic advisor.

My student is expecting credit for MTH 151. Should they take the course at Miami to gain a better understanding of the content? This depends on their major and interest level. If your student earned a 3 on the AP Calculus test and they are required or would like to take more Calculus, then they should still take MTH 151 here to make sure their foundation is solid before moving on to MTH 251.

My student is expecting credit for MTH 151, and is interested in studying mathematics. What class should they take? If they earned a 3 on the AP test, then your student should retake MTH 151 here to make sure their foundation is solid before moving on to MTH 251. If your student earned a 4 or 5 on the AP Calculus AB test, then they should take MTH 249. If your student earned a 4 or 5 on the AP Calculus BC test, then they should consider taking MTH 222 or MTH 252 or MTH 222T/331T. They should discuss these options with an academic advisor.

My student is expecting credit for STA 261, and they are interested in studying statistics. What class should they take? If your student have a general interest in data analysis or quantitative methods, they should consider taking STA 363: Introduction to Statistical Methods Do not take STA 301, as it is considered duplicate credit of STA 261.

Can my student take their math/statistics courses from another college or university? Yes, they can. Please consider whether or not the course taken outside of Miami will set them up for success in subsequent math courses needed. Your student should work with an advisor to make sure the course they take elsewhere will come back with a direct transfer equivalency.

How does my student know if the Calculus/Statistics course at another college or university is equivalent to the courses at Miami? BE CAREFUL! Just because a course has the word “Calculus” or “Statistics” in the title does not mean it matches our courses. They should use to find equivalent course numbers for their Miami requirement(s).

MTH 249 and MTH 251 are both called Calculus II. What’s the difference? MTH 249 is for new first-year students who have credit for Calculus I (MTH 151) via AP, CLEP, IB, or credit earned from another university. This course includes a review of some concepts from Calculus I, then covers the same content as MTH 251. Placement into MTH 249 is only advised if your student received a 4 or better on the Calculus AB AP test or similar credit for MTH 151.

First Year Experience (FYE) Courses

Your student may be pre-registered for some courses before orientation advising/registration. One course commonly pre-registered for first-year students is UNV101, a one-credit hour, first-year experience course designed to support their academic and social transitions to Miami.

If your student is not in UNV101, they may be in a similar first-year course for students in their area of study. For example, Farmer School of Business students take a course called BUS106, and students in the College of Engineering and Computing take CEC101 (these may or may not be pre-registered). Other first-year experience courses include (not an exhaustive list):

  • BIO147 (Biology/Zoology/Botany majors)
  • CHM147 (Chemistry/Biochemistry majors)
  • GLG 147 (Geology/Earth Science/Environmental Earth Science majors)
  • IMS 101 (Emerging Business in Technology & Design/Interactive Media Studies majors)
  • IMS 111 (Games + Simulation majors)
  • HST 147 (History majors)
  • MBI 147 (Microbiology, Med Lab Science, Public Health majors)
  • MTH 147 (Mathematics, Mathematics & statistics majors)
  • PHY 147 (Physics majors)
  • THE 107 (Theatre majors)

Why FYE?

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.

Can my student drop their pre-registered FYE class?

We don’t recommend it. Your student won’t be able to add, drop, or change their FYE course without discussing the decision with their academic advisor. If necessary, their session can be adjusted (e.g., if it conflicts with another class they need to take). Orientation and Transition Programs staff will be available during all orientation registration days to make these changes. After orientation, your student can request a change by completing the FYE course change request form »

My student isn't registered. Can they add an FYE course?

Yes. Orientation and Transition Programs staff will be available during all orientation registration days and can find a section that fits your student's needs. After orientation, they can request to add an FYE course by completing the FYE course change request form »

Your Student's Academic Curriculum

In this section, everyone should review the section for the specific college(s) in which your student's major is housed. If your student is interested in a major in another academic college, view the Academic Exploration section for further information about that college.

Note that students have information about scheduling their academic advising appointment in their orientation Canvas site.

Learn more about curriculum in the College of Arts and Science

Learn more about curriculum in the College of Creative Arts

Learn more about curriculum in the College of Education, Health & Society

Learn more about curriculum in the College of Engineering & Computing

Learn more about curriculum in the Farmer School of Business

Academic Exploration

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
  • Fraternities and sororities
  • Career development resources and opportunities
  • Resources and connections for students commuting from home
  • Living in the residence halls

Students have information about connecting with their Student Orientation Undergraduate Leader (SOUL) 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. This section includes information about:

  • Miami Policy Library
  • Community Standards
  • Title IX and Sexual Misconduct
  • Academic Integrity
  • Residence Hall Policies

Access the Student Expectations and Campus Policies page »

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.

Access information about these issues on the Supporting your student page »

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

There is so much more at Miami! Explore these additional Campus Resources and Opportunities »

Visit Orientation and Transition Programs for information about orientation for students.