Academics | Finances | Residential Life | Campus Services | Security | Outside Learning | Miscellaneous

AcademicsHope Chitwood gets ready for class as her Father reads the student newspaper, Hillpost.

Q. What if my student doesn’t know what to major in?

A. Our on-campus Career Services staff can evaluate your student's strengths, weaknesses, and interests to help determine a major. Additionally, taking course in areas of interest, talking to upper-classmen of different majors, and determining what is most valuable to your student will help determine a major. We strongly encourage students to declare a major prior to the beginning of their sophomore year.

Q. What does “credit hour” mean?

A. During the fall and spring semesters, one credit hour is equivalent to one hour of class per week. A three-hour college algebra class might be held every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, for 50-minutes each day. (During summer courses, intersession courses, and 8-week courses, students will actually be in class longer than one hour per week per credit hour, but the math works out the same.)

Q. What do “cumulative GPA” and “retention GPA” mean?

A. Students have two grade point averages (GPAs). One is the cumulative GPA, which includes grades for every single course the student takes. The other is the retention/graduation GPA. The benefit of the retention GPA is that if a student retakes a course, only the second grade is calculated (up to four classes or 18 hours). For example, if a student earns a “D” in an American History course his first semester and decides to re-take it later and makes an “A”, both the “D” and the “A” will be calculated into the cumulative GPA, but only the “A” will be calculated in the retention GPA. Both GPAs are recorded on transcripts. Retention GPAs are used to determine academic standing.

How big are classes?

A. The majority of courses have a maximum of 30 students. Some will be more, some will be less. However, the student to faculty ratio at RSU is 25:1. Most classes have around 25-30 students.

Q. If my student needs to miss class due to sickness, etc, what should he do?

A. The first thing your student should do is know the attendance and assignment make-up policy. Second, get with another student in the class who takes good notes, copy those notes, and find out about any announcements and assignments. Typically, professors will indicate on the first day of class what the best way to contact them is. Depending on the professor’s preference, your student may want to make contact before the class is missed, especially if it is an exam day.

Q. When and where are grades sent?

A. Grades are posted to the student’s transcript within a week of the last day of finals and can be viewed on the Hillcat Hub. Grades are not mailed out.

Q. Is class attendance mandatory?

A. For students to do well, they must attend and participate in class. Class attendance is (more than) strongly encouraged. Many professors calculate attendance into grades. And even if some professors mention that they do not take attendance, you can be sure they all notice who is and is not in class. 

Q. How is a GPA figured?

A. Each letter grade is assigned points. An “A” gets four points, a “B” gets three points, a “C” gets two points, etc. Multiply points by the number of hours for the course. Add up all the points, then divide by the total number of hours. Here is an example:

College Algebra 3 hours  B (3x3=9)
Comp I 3 hours  C (3x2=6)
Biology  4 hours F (4x0=0)
Humanities 3 hours A (3x4=12)
Spanish 3 hours B (3x3=9)
  16 hours   36 points
  36 points/16 hours=2.25 GPA


Q. How do developmental (zero-level) courses figure into a GPA? 

A. Although a grade of C or better is required to clear a deficiency, zero-level courses are GPA neutral. This means the grades will neither help nor hinder your student’s GPA. This becomes especially important when a student’s schedule is primarily made up of zero-level courses. For example, if a student is enrolled in four zero-level classes and one 1000-level class, the only grade that will impact the GPA is the 1000-level class.

Q. What grades does my student need to get to be on the Honor Roll?

A. President’s:  For Fall and Spring semesters, students must complete a minimum of 12 semester hours of college level courses with a 4.0 GPA. For summer, students must complete a minimum of 6 semester college-level hours with a 4.0.
Dean’s:  For Fall and Spring semesters, students must complete a minimum of 12 semester hours (6 for summer) of college-level courses with a 3.5 and no grade lower than a “B.”

Q. How can my student get enrollment verification for our insurance company?

A. Have your student contact the National Student Clearinghouse at or 703-742-4200.


Q. How much is my student’s education going to cost?

A. These sites will help you determine the cost for your student:

Q. Are bills sent to me or my student?

A. Bills are addressed to students and are mailed to the permanent address we have on file.

Q. What scholarships are available for my student?

A. See our Scholarships web site.

Q. How does the financial aid process work?

A. See our Financial Aid web site

Q. Are there campus jobs my student can apply for?

A. Yes. Most departments on campus employ students. The best way for your student to find a campus job is to check out our online job postings or to inquire with individual campus departments. Applications can be picked up in Markham Hall 102 in Claremore or in the Enrollment Offices at Bartlesville and Pryor.

Q. If my student drops a class, does he get a refund?

A. If it is during the drop/add period (first 1/8 of the semester), the student receives a full refund for tuition and fees.  If it is after the add/drop period, no refund is given. Refunds are distributed directly to the student. Make sure your student has activated his Easy Refund Card.

Residential Life

Q. Are students required to live on campus?

A. Although specific organizations, such as athletics and PLC, may require students to live on campus, the majority of RSU students are not required to live on campus. However, some studies indicate that students who live on campus are more likely to stay in college and graduate than those who commute (Pascarella and Terenzini, 2005), and we strongly encourage students to live on campus.

Q. How are the campus apartments supervised?

A. The Director of Residential Life offices on-site and supervises the overall operation of campus housing. The university also employs responsible students who serve as Residential Assistants (RAs). RAs assist with conduct problems, perform room checks, organize activities, and serve as contact points for students in their buildings.

Q. Can my student stay in his apartment during breaks?

A. Students are welcome to stay in their apartments during all breaks, including Christmas Break. The only time students have to leave is when their contract is complete (for many students this is May).

Q. What kinds of food services are available on campus?

A. Dining Services are located in the Centennial Center. Students can purchase food using cash, a debit card, or their Hillcat Card. Student who live in the campus apartments have full kitchens or kithenettes.

Campus Services

Q. Is healthcare available on campus?

A. Yes. Our Student Health Center is located on the back side of the Health Science building. Our campus nurse is available Monday-Friday, 8:00-5:00, and the doctor is on campus 12 hours per week. Services are free to students, faculty, and staff. If your student is sick, have him stop by or call the Health Center at 918-343-7614.

Q. What shots are required?

A. All students are required to provide documentation of immunization against hepatitis B, measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR), or a waiver, to the Student Health Center by the end of their first semester. Students who live on campus are required to provide documentation of a meningococcal vaccination prior to moving in.

Q. Where can my student go for counseling services?

A. Our free-of-charge licensed, full-time campus counselor is available for students to discuss depression, roommate issues, test anxiety, and more.  The counselor is located in the Centennial Center.

Q. Who does my student need to contact regarding a disability?

A. See our Student Disabilities web site.


Q. What qualifications do campus police have?

A. All of our campus police officers are CLEET certified. See the RSUPD web site.

Q. What is the crime rate on campus?

A. Crime is very minimal on campus. See the RSUPD web site for the latest report. Call boxes are located throughout campus for the convenience of students who may feel threatened at any time.

Outside Learning

Q. What opportunities are there for my student to learn outside the classroom?

A. Part of our mission at RSU is to provide global opportunities for our students. Our exciting Center for Studies At Large program continues to grow each year, with students traveling to such places as Wales, Italy, and Korea. Domestically, students have had the opportunity to study in Washington D.C. and Chicago. In addition, many of our campus organizations provide professional development and community service opportunities. Throughout the year, RSU brings in speakers to discuss various topics. 

Q. Does RSU help organize internships?

A. Each year, RSU sends three students to Washington D.C. to participate in the Washington Center Internship Program. Students intern for an organization best suited to their interests, whether public, private, or government, and are involved in a variety of professional development seminars. Juniors and seniors from all majors are encouraged to apply for the experience. The expense of participation is largely covered by the university. Additionally, RSU’s business students compete for internships at ConocoPhillips each semester. For other internship opportunities, students should visit with their academic advisor or another faculty member from their academic major.


Q. I don’t understand any of the college lingo my student is using. Can you help?

A. You bet! Just download this list of terms  , and you’ll be on your way to impressing your student with your new vocab.