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Information for MSU Texas Parents

New to MSU? Welcome to Midwestern State University!!  We commend and congratulate you on your decision to send your student to our institution of higher education.  This is an exciting time to be part of MSU, and the faculty, staff, and students look forward to meeting you this year.  You are embarking on a truly exciting time in your student’s life, filled with many new opportunities and challenges.  The intellectual and personal growth students gain through the positive decisions they will make and the challenges they successfully take on will benefit them well beyond their time here at Midwestern State University.  

Encourage them to open their mind to the rich and wonderful possibilities MSU will offer them—everything from community service opportunities and study abroad programs to biochemistry. Sending your student to college can be challenging for those of us who don't have our own experience as college students to rely on. Here are a few common questions that can help you to help your student as they transition to college.

What is Orientation?  Why can't my student just jump right in?
Now that your student has been accepted to the University, you need to know the terminology, procedures, and choices they'll experience in the next few months.

**NEW - This year, Admissions will host the orientation completely online for all new students, in order to maintain social distancing protocols. The program should still deliver the same great information to help students start their first year at MSU well.

Our orientation program helps prepare your student for life at Midwestern by providing:

  • important information on services and activities
  • an introduction to university policies and procedures
  • the opportunity to meet other MSU students, ask questions, and have fun

Who is my student’s Academic Advisor?
Your student’s academic advisor has important information about academic life at MSU:

  • requirements for the degree program (major) they’re seeking
  • rules, regulations, and procedures they should follow to complete their course requirements for graduation
  • inside information about the field your student is studying, including graduate school
  • resources for academic success, career and internship options, and helpful information about campus services

Generally, students with 25 or more hours and declared majors are advised in their academic colleges. Those who are undeclared or have 24 hours or fewer (UNDC) are advised through each colleges academic counselor(s). To find the list of advisors by major and their contact information, visit the Academic Advising page.

How do we use the University Catalog?
The Midwestern State University catalog is like an operator's manual.  The University expects your student to know it thoroughly.  It includes the information they will to help their academic career run smoothly and also describes their responsibilities -- as well as the University's.  The catalog contains the following valuable information about the University:

  • degree requirements for each major
  • a list of university services    
  • a course "dictionary," including course descriptions
  • academic policies and procedures

Catalogs are available on the Registrar's webpage.  Make sure you familiarize yourself with its contents.

What is the Schedule of Classes?
A schedule with courses, class times, and sections offered for each semester is available online from the Office of the Registrar.  The schedule has five important areas:

  • course listings
  • the final exam schedule (fall/spring only)
  • a calendar of events and academic deadlines
  • registration procedures
  • tuition and fees deadlines and information

Courses are listed alphabetically by academic programs.  Each program has an abbreviation used in course identification (for example:  History is HIST, English is ENGL).  Look through the listings to find which courses interest your student.  You may be surprised by the kinds of courses you'll see.  Use your University Catalog to find descriptions of courses that interest you and your student.

How do we use the Schedule of Classes?

  • Find each course alphabetically by program; then look at the days/times the course is offered.
  • If you find a course is only offered at times already chosen for other courses, go back to the earlier course and select an alternative section.
  • Sometimes a conflict will occur with no alternatives.  In that case, replace the less desired course with a second choice.

In a typical course schedule listing, columns include course title, course number, meeting days and times. Here is an example of what the course schedule looks like:


Columns include course title, course number, meeting days and times.












Intro to College Composition



PY 205

Button S




Intro to College Composition



PY 205

Button S

How do classes work?
Most degrees require 120 semester hours for graduation.  A semester hour is 50 minutes spent in class per week for a semester-long course.  Most classes are three credit hours, meeting three times a week for 50 minutes, twice a week for 80 minutes, or once a week for two hours and 50 minutes.  To finish in four years (eight semesters), your student would usually take four or five courses (12-16 hours) in a balanced schedule which can be worked out with the help of an advisor.*  Your student may want to consider a lighter course load when taking more difficult or time-consuming courses.  Each summer term is scheduled for five weeks during which most classes meet Monday through Thursday for two hours. Fall and spring semesters are fifteen weeks plus final exams.

MSU may not specify a minimum number of courses you must take in a semester, but consider these factors:

  • What activities demand my student’s time, such as working, commuting, eating, sleeping and socializing?
  • How have they done in school in the past?  What were their grades and study habits?  
  • How many credits must they take to qualify for financial aid or varsity sports or to live on campus?
  • How much can they handle their first semester?  How will they adjust to studying, working, etc?
  • Does your student have any special requirements affecting their registration?

*For additional information about staying on track to graduate in four years, visit FIRST2GO's 15 for 4 page.

How does my student register for classes?
Students should take a completed draft schedule to their advisor.  The advisor will check for accuracy and assist with schedule planning.  The advisor may issue an approved schedule which should be signed, dated and stamped; they will also remove the academic advising hold.  Students then use their planned class list and/or advisor approved schedule to register online (or in a designated area, if needed). 
Should you have any questions about the advisement or registration procedures, please visit the Office of Registrar located in Hardin South, room 101 or call (940) 397-4321. 

My student decided to join a sorority or fraternity? What do I need to know? Parents, understandably, have many questions about Greek Life on a college campus. For answers to commonly asked questions that will help you support your student during her exploration, and throughout his or her active membership, download "It’s All Greek to Me: Greek 101 for Parents."

What do we need to know about moving into Housing? Students receive information from Residence Life about the first day they can move in and where to pick up keys. Usually, students move in about a week before classes begin, particularly for fall semester. Not sure what to bring? You can find a list of Recommended Items from Residence LifeWant even more information? Check out residence life's MSU Texas Move-In Guide! Planning for the big move to campus? Click here for some tips and tricks!

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