Advising FAQ for IDC Students

Advising FAQ

Welcome to the Frequently Asked Questions page for TWU Richmond IDC students! Click on the topics below to find out answers to common questions students ask. 

General Advising

Choosing Courses

1. What courses should I choose for the next semester?
We recommend students to take 15 credits (or 5 courses) each semester, depending on your overall Grade Point Average (GPA): 

  • If your GPA is under 2.0, you may only take up to 12 credits
  • If your GPA is between 2.0 and 3.0, you may take up to 19 credits
  • If your GPA is above 3.0, you may apply for a "course overload" to take up to 21 credits*

Please note that if you are taking WRTG 101 or ENGL 101, the maximum number is 15 credits only. 
Please consult with your advisor or see the "Study Plan and Course Checklist" (attached document) to ensure you are taking all the required courses and suitable electives. 

*The application will not be considered if your GPA is less than 3.0 and must be approved by your advisor. Please see the application form here.

2. What is a typical course plan? 

Students typically study for a total of four semester, taking 15 credits (or 5 courses) each semester for three semesters, and 18 credits (or 6 courses) for one semester. Students may choose to take fewer courses over a longer duration if desired. Please see a sample course plan for a student graduating in 4 semesters:

Semester 1: 

  • LDRS 301 and LDRS 432  
  • WRTG 101 
  • Another 300-level course 
  • 1 – 2 Liberal Arts elective(s) 

Semester 2: 

  • ENGL 101 
  • 300-level courses 
  • 1 – 2 Liberal Arts elective(s) 

Semester 3:  

  • Complete the remaining 300-level courses 
  • Begin 400-level courses 
  • 1-2 Liberal Arts elective(s) 

Semester 4:  

  • LDRS 440 
  • LDRS 490  
  • Complete remaining classes

3. Are there any limitations to the number of credits when taking WRTG 101 or ENGL 101?

When the student is taking WRTG 101 or ENGL 101, they are only allowed to only take up to 15 credits (including WRTG 101 or ENGL 101) that semester. The university recognizes these two courses as writing-intensive and has a strict policy to limit the number of courses in progress regardless of the GPA the student may hold. For students with a GPA lower than 2.0, the 12-credit per semester limit still holds. 


4. How many credits should I take to maintain my student visa status?

Students need to take at least 12 credits during the Fall and Spring semesters respectively to satisfy the student visa status.  
However, there is no required minimum of credits under the following conditions: 

  • you will be graduating in the same semester
  • it is the summer semester.

Choosing (Liberal Arts) Electives

1. When do I register for courses for the next semester?

Spring (SP) registration opens in October (the year before). Summer (SU) registration opens in March, and Fall (FA) registration opens in June.
Please note that should you register much late, there may not be available seats in your preferred courses. We advise you to register for your classes as soon as possible.


2. Why am I having trouble registering for courses?

If you are having issues registering for a course on your own, there are 3 main reasons:

  • Need advisor clearance: 
    It is mandatory for students with less than 90 credits completed (transferred + earned at TWU) to meet with their academic advisors before self-registration.  

  • Holds on account:  

    • AR hold – outstanding balance--> you need to pay the amount owing on your account 
    • TA hold – missing documents--> you need to submit the owing documents 
  • Exceeded the accumulated hours allowed for registration for this course":
    If you would like to re-take a course, registration must go through an advisor. Please talk to your advisor or submit an online ticket with the course code and section number of the course you’d like to register for. 

If those reasons do not apply to you or if you have further questions, please submit an online ticket.  

3. How do I search and register for courses?

To search and register for courses, please go to the TWU registration site and login with your student account. If you would like step-by-step instruction, please see this instructional video or view this instructional page


4. There are the same courses with different codes at the end- which one should I take?
GLOBAL IDC students need to take appropriate courses, with course codes ending with the letter “I”, such as IR, I2, I3, etc. If  you do not select a class with the appropriate course code, you will be dropped from it later.  

5. The class I want to register for is full, what should I do?

If the course you want to take is currently full, you can try the following:

  • Keep checking the courses to see if any spots open within the next couple of weeks 
  • Submit an online ticket indicating that you wish to get into the full courses  
  • Choose another one that is available

Retaking or Withdrawing from Courses

1. What is a passing grade for courses?
Students need to achieve at least a D- in order to pass a course. For more information grade percentages and GPA equivalents, please check the TWU Undergraduate (UG) grading guide.


2. How many times may I re-take my courses?

If students are not happy with their final grade, they may choose to re-take any courses as many times as they like, with the exception of WRTG 101. Students have an opportunity to repeat a course to obtain a higher grade, whereupon only the higher grade is applied to the cumulative GPA.

Please click here to see a detailed explanation for re-taking WRTG 101. 

3. How do I withdraw from a course? 
If you drop a course within the first week, no forms are required to be filled out and there will not be any special grade in your transcript. However, if you choose to withdraw from a course after the first week, you will need to get approval from your advisor and a "WP" or "WF" will be on your transcript if approved. Please follow the instructions on this page.

4. What should I do if I fail a class?
If the course is a major course, you must re-take it until you pass. (See Question about WRTG 101.)
If it is a Liberal Arts elective course, you may re-take it or take another elective on the list to fulfil the requirement. Please note that the former grade of the same course would be forgiven. 

Transcripts and Graduation

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Article ID: 143101
Thu 5/5/22 9:34 AM
Fri 12/2/22 12:09 PM