University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown

Pitt-Johnstown Parent's Guide: Academic

The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown enjoys an excellent reputation in all of its academic programs. New students benefit from personalized attention, a small average class size, and a dedicated faculty acting in partnership with them throughout their entire college career.

In addition to the personal touches, Pitt-Johnstown has also invested in the technology of higher education. You’ll find first-class educators taking advantage of the best of today’s technology.

The Undecided Major

About one out of five Pitt-Johnstown students is undecided about a major at the start of their freshmen year. Our students take a variety of classes from different disciplines, exposing them to topics and subjects in the humanities, natural sciences and social sciences. These classes, which count toward graduation, are part of the required knowledge areas, and introduce students to a diverse education. Because all students must complete a core knowledge segment before graduation, these courses give undecided students the flexibility to explore academic options without penalty. Undecided students should plan to declare a major by the end of their sophomore year.

Career Services Office to research possible career options. We want our student to find their place, and that sometimes means testing different options. Fortunately, we offer a wide range of major choices, and staff and faculty willing to offer help.

Changing Majors

Changing majors early, while still completing general education requirements, allows for an easier switch. Once a student has begun upper level courses, a major change may require more careful planning and scheduling. If a newly declared major is significantly different from the previous field of study, the change may require additional time and coursework.

Academic advisors are excellent resources for consultation before making a decision to change majors. They are also helpful in determining the best way to utilize the courses that have already been taken. All students can use summer courses to accelerate their program or to supplement their Fall and Spring Term coursework.

Available Academic Help

The Academic Success Center provides a wide variety of academic success services. These services include success programs and workshops, the First-Year Program Series, academic counseling by drop-in and appointment, referrals, and peer mentoring. Students can sign up for free group and individual tutoring sessions during most of the semester, in addition to drop-in tutoring opportunities. Convenient arrangements can be made with appropriate tutors in most subjects. An in-depth study skills course, called College Study Strategies, is offered each term. Basic study skills are also discussed in University Scholarship, a First-Year Experience course required of all first-year students. In addition to personalized help, there are a number of on-line resources available to students.

Academic Advising

Each student is assigned a faculty member who teaches in his/her major. This faculty member serves as the student’s advisor throughout his or her academic career, unless the student requests to change majors or advisors. In other words, if a student is a math major, the advisor will be a math professor. If a student is undeclared, an advisor from the Academic Success Center will be assigned and will work with the student.

We want to ensure that students are able to explore as many possible options as they can. Once an undeclared student chooses a major, he or she is assigned a new advisor for that major.