Advising FAQs

How can I find my faculty advisor?
Your advisor is listed in Degree Works. If you are a first semester CSAM student, then you will be assigned to an advisor in the CSAM Student Success Center (SSC), usually in August. If you have any questions, any SSC advisor can help you. For an appointment, please email
If you are a new transfer student, you may also reach out to SSC or your major department directly for a faculty advisor. Please see Step 2 for the contact list.
How do I make an appointment?
For the fastest response, please check to see if your advisor has listed their availability on Navigate. Here are the directions on how to book a meeting. If not, then you may email them directly or check the website for their office hours. When emailing for an appointment, please include a large time frame or several options when you are available. Professional advisors are available year-round. Faculty advisors are off during the summer and winter breaks and therefore may not respond to email until classes are in session.
How do I access virtual drop-in hours?
Virtual Drop-in hours are available Monday-Friday with hours that vary during the week. CSAM students are able to view the schedule in Navigate.
Students may also reach a professional advisor through and 💬 Live Chat during office hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30am-4:30pm. Click here for the Directions for Drop-in. Please use your MSU email for access.
How do I prepare for registration?
  1. Make an appointment with your academic advisor at least a month in advance of registration.
  2. Check for HOLDS. If you have any holds then this will prevent registration.
  3. Know your registration time which goes by credits already earned and NOT in progress.
  4. Review these links: Understanding DegreeWorks and How to register for classes.
What is a PIN and do I get a new one?
A PIN is a code that is required for registration. The purpose of the PIN is to make sure that you meet with an advisor to discuss the courses that will keep you on track for graduation. Freshmen will have a new PIN every semester until your status changes to sophomore.
New transfer students also receive a PIN. Upperclassmen typically do not have PINs except for Earth and Environmental Sciences, Geography, Sustainability Science, new transfers, readmits, and students with priority. For more information, please review this website.
When should I see my advisor for my PIN and/or course suggestions for registration?
If you make an appointment at least a month in advance of registration then your advisor can spend more time with you. The week before and during registration is a hectic time for advisors.  Also, please check your email often for group advising sessions.
I want to withdraw from a course. What should I consider first?
If you are thinking about withdrawing from a course, you should discuss this with your academic advisor first as this may impact your bill. Please read this for more information (must use your MSU email for access). Also, there is a deadline. Please check the Important Dates calendar for the last day to withdraw.
I need a permit. Whom should I contact?
  • BIOL Courses: If you are unable to register for BIOL 112, 113, 213, 230, 350, or 380 then please fill out this form: Please use your MSU email for access. This waitlist does NOT guarantee a seat. You may expect to hear a response after grades are posted for the current semester. For all other permits, contact Mr. Chris Langner
  • CHEM Courses: For help with CHEM 106 and 120: This waitlist does NOT guarantee a seat. Please use your MSU email for access. CHEM 121 is not offered in the Fall. You may expect to hear a response after grades are posted for the current semester. For all other permits, email
  • CSIT Courses: To sign up for the CSIT closed course waitlist, please click here. For all other issues, please contact your faculty advisor. If significant time has elapsed and you have not heard back from your advisor, please email Your email will be forwarded to the appropriate parties.
  • EAES Courses: Dr. Greg Pope, 
  • Mathematics Courses: Mr. George Grover,
  • Applied Math and Statistics Courses: Dr. Eric Forgoston,
  • PHYS Courses: Dr. Marc Favata,  
What are free electives?
At least 120 credits are needed to earn an undergraduate degree at Montclair State University.
Free elective credits are credits that do not count towards a major or general education requirement, but can count towards the overall goal of 120 credits. The number of free elective credits available will vary depending on your major, placement results and the options that you choose to fulfill your general education requirements.

Still need help?

Please email: or schedule an appointment with your advisor via Navigate. Please contact us using your MSU email and include your CWID (student ID number).