Carnegie Mellon University

School of Music

Where artistry and innovation share center stage

How to Study: Tips for Graduating

1. Be responsible for your graduation requirements.Students are responsible for checking to ensure that the degree requirements (as listed in the appropriate catalog at the time of their matriculation) have been met. Undergraduate Catalog.

2. Pay attention to your academic record. Do check your schedule during the semester and your grades after the semester. Don’t leave a trail of incomplete grades, no grades, and incorrect course numbers.

3. Identify where you can find information. Do assemble the publications and websites of the university and your department. Don’t consult your classmate’s best-friend’s ex-boyfriend.

4. Learn the unwritten rules. Do note exceptions and precedents practiced by your department. Don’t say "I heard that ... "

5. Get answers from the most authoritative sources. Do ask your advisor, the department academic administrator, or department head. Don’t trust that ex-boyfriend ...

6. Put it in writing. Do request that answers be in written form and keep the record. Don’t reply "But I think I remember you said ... "

7. Register for your senior year. Do plan now for a leisurely senior year later. Don’t assume you can take that class next year (or the year after).

8. Keep track of your academic progress. Do have a checklist and keep it up to date. Don’t register for only what you assume you need or for what you’d like to take.

9. Don’t drop a course; substitute a course. Do continue to make overall progress towards your graduation requirements. Don’t fall behind in total units completed vs. total units expected.

10. Have Plan B (and C and D). Do prioritize what is most important to take now and/or to take at CMU vs. elsewhere. Don’t drop the classes that are giving you the most difficulty without an alternative plan.

Homework Assignments

Create a folder. Label it "Graduation Requirements". Put in it your curriculum, supplementary curricular instructions (if applicable), your academic audit, information and notes related to registration, your records of discussions with advisors, and any other material related to your graduation requirements. Review your academic audit. Compare it with your curriculum. Questions?

See your advisor.

Before using any of the resources listed below, go to class regularly. Be sure to read and study your text, lecture notes, and attempt assigned problems. Jot down specific questions and bring them with you when seeking help from any of the above resources. By doing so, you will maximize your learning and your time.

Academic Support services are designed to be used in conjunction with lecture and recitation, not as a replacement for either of them.

How to use the following resources:

Professors and Teaching Assistants (TAs)

Visiting the professor should be your first stop in seeking help. Visit your professor or TA during office hours or make an appointment to see this person when you have questions about lecture content, homework or other assignments, or if you are feeling lost or overwhelmed.

Academic Development (AD)

  1. Supplemental Instruction (SI)
    1.  If you want a better understanding of course content attend SI.
    2. SI will address the most difficult content in lectures by employing learning strategies and practice problems to further your understanding/application of course concepts.
    3. Students will work collaboratively with their peers during sessions.

 2. Tutoring Walk-in

       a. If you have specific homework questions, use the Walk-in Tutoring Services in the residence halls.

       b. Standing Appointments

       c. If you have tried all of the above services and still require more assistance than our other services can provide, request a standing appointment.

                  i. NOTE: Standing appointments are only available for courses that do not have SI and Walk-in tutoring.

                  ii. Your standing appointment may involve small group tutoring—individual tutoring appointments (one tutor per student)—are not guaranteed.

 3. Academic Counseling (AC)

         a. If you want to improve your study skills/strategies, you can request a standing appointment with an Academic Counselor.

         b. Students meet weekly with a student Academic Counselor to address any/all of the following areas:  Time Management, Lecture and Textbook Note-taking,Test Preparation and Test-taking strategies,Textbook Reading, and Procrastination issues

Visit the AD website for schedules and more information

4. School of Music Tutors

Many classes in the School of Music offer private and group tutoring. Talk to your professor to find out how to set up sessions with this person.

Other Campus Resources:

InterCultural Communication Center (ICC)

The ICC provides support to help nonnative English speakers (NNES) succeed in their academic programs. Visit the ICC website for more information.

Equal Opportunity Services—EOS (Disability Services)

The EOS serves as a link between individuals with disabilities and the campus community. Visit the ODR website for more information.

Visit the library's website.