Carnegie Mellon University

Advising Frequently Asked Questions

If you are considering one of the majors in SDS, see Connie Angermeier, PH 208A, for Decision Science (Last names G-Z) and Policy and Management and Lizzy Stoyle, PH 208G, for Behavioral Economics, Policy and Organizations and Decision Science (Last names A-F). They will be able answer all your preliminary questions regarding your major of choice and direct you to other helpful resources.

You may declare your major as early as the spring of your freshman year.
Once you have decided on your major, visit the Academic Advisory Center in the basement of Baker Hall (BH A57) and speak to an advisor. They will help you through the declaration process.
Simply schedule an appointment to speak with Connie Angermeier, PH 208A, for Decision Science (Last names G-Z) and Policy and Management and Lizzy Stoyle, PH 208G, for Behavioral Economics, Policy and Organizations and Decision Science (Last names A-F).

All three SDS majors, Behavioral Economics, Policy and Organizations, Decision Science and Policy and Management, are available as both primary or additional majors.

If you are a SDS primary major and you wish to declare a dual major in another discipline (e.g. Statistics, History, Philosophy, etc.), you should meet with an advisor in that department to get approval and then speak with either Connie Angermeier, PH 208A, for Decision Science (Last names G-Z) and Policy and Management or Lizzy Stoyle, PH 208G, for Behavioral Economics, Policy and Organizations and Decision Science (Last names A-F).

If your primary major is in another discipline and you would like to declare a secondary major within SDS, please contact Connie Angermeier, PH 208A or Lizzy Stoyle, PH 208G.

Yes. This will ensure that you are on track with your coursework and are prepared to graduate.

Students may fulfill certain requirements with courses outside the stated curriculum listings. This provides some limited flexibility when required courses are unavailable, or when new "special topics" courses are created by other departments and are relevant to the intentions of the requirement.  In all cases, proposed substitutions must be approved by an Academic Advisor and Faculty Director.

All course substitution proposals for SDS major requirements must be submitted to the student’s Academic Advisor.  There of no formal form, but if a student wishes to petition for a course substitution, an email should be sent articulating:
  • Why the proposed course should be substituted for a required course (providing a syllabus is useful)
  • How the proposed course fits into the students SDS major plan

This rationale will then be evaluated by the Academic Advisor and the Faculty Director.

All requests for General Education substitutions must be made through the Dietrich College Academic Advisory Center, located in A57 Baker Hall.  Complete and return the Dietrich College Petition form to the Academic Advisory Center.

Being placed on a waitlist does not mean you are in the class and does not mean you will get into the class. Luckily, if you are formally declared for one of the SDS majors or minors, it is highly likely you will be able to enroll in the course, as we reserve seats specifically for SDS students. If you are able to get off the waitlist and into the course then the registrar's office will send you an email with either (1) a notification that you have been enrolled in the course or (2) an invitation to enroll (if you have a scheduling conflict or unit restriction) that you must resolve before you are able to enroll in the course. You will likely only have 48 hours to respond so make sure you are checking your email frequently. 

If you are waitlisted for a course outside of SDS, the HUB maintains a list of each department and their waitlist procedure. It is best to find yourself another course just in case you are not able to register for the course you have on your waitlist!

This information can be found in the Undergraduate Academic Regulations.

Overloading is defined as taking more than the equivalent of five full-semester courses (9-12 units each); it usually means registering for more than 50 units per semester. If a five full-semester course schedule (9-12 units each) is equivalent to more than 50 units (ex., 51 or 52 units), it may not be considered overloading; contact your primary advisor to discuss your schedule. Eligibility for overloading is defined as having a QPA of 3.00 (or higher) based on passing a normal load of 5 courses (minimum factorable 45 units) in the last completed semester AND a current cumulative QPA of 3.00 (or higher). Freshmen and transfer students are limited to a normal course load in their first semester of attendance. To request on Overload, please complete an Overload Petition form.

Please see University Policies for information on transferring credits. Students wishing to transfer credit from another institution must fill out this form.

A detailed explanation of grading can be found on the Academic Advisory Center website.
Students can visit the Office of International Education to get more information on where they can study abroad and learn more about how to transfer courses back to CMU for credit.  A particularly popular study abroad program for SDS students is the Washington Semester Program.
For detailed instructions and resources on how to find an internship, please see our “Internships” page, coming soon.

For detailed instructions and resources on how to find research opportunities, please see our “Research Opportunities” page.