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Student Academic Services: Get Answers

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Your faculty advisor
If you are a freshman, the instructor of your University Seminar will be your faculty advisor for your first year at Seattle Pacific University.

When you’re ready to apply for a major, you may request that a major advisor be assigned to you if you do not already have a faculty advisor in the department in which you are interested. You may request a new advisor online through the Banner Information System. Enter the system and choose “Student Menu” followed by “Academic Progress Menu,” which includes the “Change of Advisor” option.

If you have not yet declared a major, schedule an appointment with your faculty advisor before your registration appointment time. Once you have met with your advisor they will lift your hold so you are able to register.

If you do not know who your advisor is, find out by viewing “Check your Registration Information” in the Student Menu of the Banner Information System, and clicking on the Degree Link in the curriculum section at the bottom of the page.

See the SPU Handbook for more information.
Your academic counselor
Note: Your “faculty advisor” is different from your “academic counselor,” who’s in Student Academic Services. 
  • Your academic counselor is a resource — for you and your faculty advisor — regarding policies related to completing your degree.
  • Your academic counselor follows your progress from admission through graduation, specifically by evaluating transcripts for transfer students, confirming the transferability of courses you may want to take elsewhere while a student at SPU, completing graduation checklists, and awarding honors and degrees.
Meet your academic counselor.
Earning your degree
Earning an undergraduate degree at Seattle Pacific requires 180 total college-level credits, of which at least 60 must be upper-division. Students must complete specific coursework in the Common and Exploratory Curriculums as well as meeting the requirements for at least one major. All students must also fulfill the requirements for the Writing Competency, Foreign Language Competency, and “W” courses.

A full listing of requirements can be found in the Baccalaureate Degree Requirements section of the Undergraduate Catalog.
How can I complete a degree in the shortest amount of time required?
With careful planning, students can complete most majors in four years (or less, for students with transfer credit). The following yearly guidelines will help you to stay on track academically. Although the guidelines are written for an entering freshman, some items in all four years, (even the first two years) also pertain to students with transfer credit.

Find out more about graduating early.
Mathematics Placement

All students are required to complete 5 Mathematics credits as a part of the Exploratory Curriculum. It is important to note that only specific courses will complete this requirement (please refer to the Baccalaureate Degree Requirements section of the University Catalog for a full listing of courses). All math courses have specific placement requirements. More information on placement requirements can be found on the Placement Test section of the Math Department’s webpage.

Do I have to take the English Placement Test?
All students are required to fulfill the Writing Competency Requirement. Some students will have completed this requirement through college-level coursework or exam scores as determined by the English Department. The Writing Competency can also be completed by taking ENG 2201 – Intermediate College Writing through SPU. Placement is determined by the English Department, will be updated during a student’s first quarter at SPU, and will then be viewable through the Online Degree Check found in the Banner Information System.
What is the difference between Banner Information System and Blackboard Learning System?
Banner is the student registration system. It is accessible to students by clicking “Banner” under Online Services in the burgundy bar at the top of the SPU homepage.

Banner is used to:
  • Register, add, or drop classes during the designated dates each quarter.
  • View transcripts and other student records, print unofficial copies of your transcript.
  • Check financial aid information.
  • Make payments on your student account.
  • Submit timesheets and view student employment records.
  • Request and maintain computer resources such as email and personal homepages.
  • Register for or sign up for other events, such as Commencement and ASSP elections.
If you are have difficulty logging into Banner or using the registration functions, contact Student Academic Services at 206-281-2031 or

Blackboard Learning System is SPU’s online learning resource. Not all classes utilize this system, though many instructors use Blackboard in a "blended" instructional format that integrates classroom lectures with online resources and components. Access Blackboard under Online Services in the burgundy bar at the top of the SPU homepage.

Blackboard is used to:
  • Operate instructional tools for courses in which you’re currently registered.
  • Submit coursework for current classes.
If you have difficulty logging into Blackboard or using its resources, contact Instructional Technology Services at 206-281-2170 or

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