Academic Advising

Academic Advising is a significant function at Gardner-Webb University. Advising is viewed as a developmental process of decision-making through which a student explores and seeks information from professionals in the campus community.

Undergraduate student advising is coordinated through the Academic Advising Center, located on the 3rd floor of Tucker Student Center. The Center is designed to coordinate the following:

  • New student registration
  • New transfer student advising
  • Advising for students with undecided majors
  • Declarations of major and minor fields of study
  • Advisor assignments and changes
  • Faculty advisor training and evaluation

The advisor helps students by providing information and advice concerning academic programs, policies and procedures, and campus resources which allow students to make informed decisions.

Gardner-Webb University advocates student responsibility in academic outcomes, and therefore, the ultimate responsibility for making decisions about educational plans rests with the individual student. Please visit the Gardner-Webb University website ( to view your GWU Undergraduate catalog.

The Advising Relationship between Student and Academic Advisor

Gardner-Webb recognizes that students coming to college for the first time have much to adjust to when arriving on campus: living in a residence hall; separation from parents, friends and community; finding one’s place on campus; meeting new people; deciding on a major/career; and developing strategies for academic success are some of the issues faced by every first-time college student. In order to assist the student with these concerns, GWU assigns each first-time student to a Freshman Experience class, University 111. The primary role of the freshman experience instructor/advisor is to provide information, guidance and support along the way.

Contact between Parents, Advisors, and Professors

Release of private information is restricted to anyone other than the student, except under a few legally defined circumstances. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 (20USC & 1232g), also known as the Buckley Amendment, governs how student records should be handled.

Private information may not be released to anyone other than the student. However, students can allow access for parents or guardians by completing a FERPA consent waiver. This waiver can be accessed through Webb Connect under the Maintain Information tab.

Full-Time Status

It is important to remember that international students on an F-1/J-1 visa have to be full time students in order to maintain their student status. This means that undergraduate students must register for a minimum of 12 credits per semester. Graduate students must check with their departments to know the number of credits to register for in order to be full-time, since they vary at Gardner-Webb University per academic programs. Taking classes in the summer session is optional.

Online Courses

Please be advised there are strict limitations on international students F-1/J-1 in regards to online courses. Undergraduate students may only take 1 online course of the 12 hours necessary for full-time status.

ID Numbers

At Gardner-Webb University, every student is assigned a 9-digit identification number (GWU ID Number). A University Identification Card is required to borrow books from the library, make copies, use certain facilities or equipment, access your on-campus residence, and gain free access University athletic events. You can go to the University Police Office in Poston Center to obtain your ID card; your picture will be taken to process your ID Card.

Deadline/Late Fees

The Registrar’s office sets specific dates for registration process. These dates are published each term and appear in a variety of University publications. Failure to meet these deadline dates may result in late fees. It is therefore important for you to adhere strictly to these deadline dates and ask questions if you have any doubts.

Definitions of Important Terms

Academic Year: The academic year at the Gardner-Webb University is divided into two semesters (fall and spring) of approximately 16 weeks each. Typically, awards such as scholarships and assistantships or work study cover two semesters (fall and spring). At the end of each semester, there is a final exam period. There is a short break between each semester.

Note: International students are not required to enroll for summer classes; therefore you are not required to be full-time in summer as long as you are a continuing student. However, as long as summer is your first semester at Gardner-Webb University, you are required by USCIS to be a full-time student to be in status.

Major: The field in which you are trying to get your degree.

Grades: The quality of a student’s academic work is measured by letter grades; A (excellent), B (above average), C (average), D (lowest acceptable), F (failing). Under certain circumstances, letters such as IP (in- progress), N (no grade), WP (withdrew passing), WF (withdrew failing), S (satisfactory), or U (unsatisfactory) may appear in grade reports. These letters are not grades and are not included in the calculation of a grade point average.

Mid-Term: A test given around the middle of each semester.

Final: An exam given at the end of a semester, usually on all the academic material covered in class. The final exam schedule is published online at

Quiz: A test given during the semester, sometimes unannounced.

Assignment: Out-of-class work required by a professor; for example, reading books, writing papers, or doing a lab report. Your professor will expect the assignment by a certain date.

Vacations and Breaks: Starting with the fall semester, the first vacation comes during October. This is Fall Break. The next break is the Thanksgiving holiday. A long vacation comes during the Christmas to New Year’s holidays, usually averaging over three weeks in duration. Many students go home or visit with friends. The vacation comes to an end a few days after New Year’s Day.

During the spring, there is a weeklong break in mid-March. Many students head for Florida or other warm beach areas during this time. It is a time of freedom and enjoyment. The longest vacation occurs between spring commencement and the start of the fall semester. During the three months involved, many students travel, work (provided it is authorized or just relax and rejuvenate for the next academic year. More information may be found on the full Academic Calendar.

**Important Reminder: **
Students who are considering either dropping a course or withdrawing from the course or from the University should consider the minimum course requirements for international students for maintaining their visa status.