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Undergraduate Advising

The Undergraduate Advising Office provides students, faculty and administrators with important educational, procedural and informational support. Our academic advisors are knowledgeable about the university’s policies and procedures, the requirements for successful matriculation within the business school, and the best ways to achieve your educational goals at OU.

During your time at Oakland, you may find you will need to interact with an adviser for many different reasons. Our academic advisers can:

  • help you prepare for and plan your academic career
  • provide you with educational and career counseling
  • empower you with relevant and vital information regarding your degree program opportunities
  • help you become more involved at OU and learn about different student support services
  • help you reach your full potential as you pursue your educational and career goals

Walk-In Advising Dates

Newly admitted transfer students must attend Orientation before meeting with an SBA academic adviser.

January 2015

Wednesday, January 28  1:30 - 3:30pm

February 2015

Thursday, February 5, 2:00 - 4:00pm
Tuesday, February 10,  2:00 - 4:00pm
Wednesday, February 18,  1:30 - 3:30pm
Thursday, February 26,  2:00 - 4:00pm


Walk-in advising is intended for single semester and urgent issues only for current business majors or those students who intend to change their major to business. 

  • Sign-in begins a half hour before the start time and ends when we reach capacity. Please be aware that walk-ins involve waiting. Bring something to work on and arrive early; sign -in is first come, first served.
  • The earlier you arrive, the shorter your wait time will be. When you arrive early, you improve you chance of seeing an adviser.
  • Winter classes begin January 6, at 8 a.m.
Macomb University Center Advising
Advising is now available in Macomb County twice monthly, on Wednesdays.  To make an appointment:
  • Click on "SCHEDULE an advising appointment" at the top of the right hand panel of this page;
  • Call (586) 263-6242; or
  • E-mail Debra Wheeler at
Prospective Students:
Prospective students should visit the OU undergraduate admissions website for information on how to apply.  Please  apply online for free at to begin the process of evaluating your transcripts. Prospective, unadmitted business students are asked to then schedule an advising appointment by calling the advising office at 248-370-3285.

Newly Admitted Students
Newly admitted transfer students are asked to attend a group transfer orientation before meeting with an SBA adviser. Please make sure to complete your Part 1 and Part 2 orientation. Part 1 is online, and part 2 involves scheduling and attending an on-campus orientation visit. The orientation visits are very important and will give you valuable information about Oakland University, registering for classes, and our SBA Program procedures and requirements. You will meet with an academic adviser at the orientation who will help you prepare for your first semester and assist you as needed scheduling your classes.

If you are a transfer student and are admitted after group orientations have ended, make sure to visit our website and view the transfer student orientation video before coming to an advising appointment. Please visit the transfer student videos link for more information.

If you need an advising appointment for something other than simple questions or something that cannot be handled during walk in advising, please make an academic advising appointment using Advisor Trac. You will need your OU Email, or "Net ID" and email password to log on.  

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Do I need permission to take a course at another school?
Pre-business students may complete lower level courses at other institutions while attending OU. New OU students should familiarize themselves with SBA transfer policies by meeting with an academic adviser and/or carefully reading the appropriate section of the Undergraduate Catalog before taking courses at another school. Do not make scheduling decisions based upon assumptions. Transfer guides for Michigan community colleges are posted on the Registrar’s website. However, once admitted to the SBA, business majors must complete all remaining core, major and business minor course requirements for their degree at OU.

Students can fill out a guest application for another school if wishing to take courses for just one semester.

What is Major Standing and how do I apply?
In order to become eligible to earn a degree in the SBA a student must apply and be approved for admission to one of the currently offered business majors. Once admitted to any SBA major, a student has “major standing” status in the School.

Requirements for admission to “major standing” are:
  1. Successful completion of the writing requirement, WRT160, the ACHIEVE courses, SBC 199, SBC 299, and the business pre-core courses (a minimum grade of 2.0 in each course and its prerequisite if any)
  2. A cumulative OU grade point average of 2.6 or higher for six credits or more
  3. Submission of the “Application for Major Standing” Form to the Undergraduate Business Programs Advising Office, 232 Elliott Hall. Students should apply for admission to a business major prior to the last day of finals for the term in which all requirements will be completed. An application submitted in a subsequent semester will be accepted and processed for the term in which it was received.
Use the Degree Program Checklist to aid in knowing when you will be eligible to apply for a major.

How do I get an override so I can register for an upcoming class?
If you are experiencing a specific error after already requesting an override, please reference the list below.

  • Link Error: A2 Required: You are not signed up for all components of the course (i.e. lab and lecture). NO OVERRIDES GRANTED. Register for both components.
  • Prerequisite and Test Score error: You have not met the prerequisites. REQUEST AN OVERRIDE if restriction is inaccurate.
  • Field of Study Restriction - Major: You are not in Major Standing or a Pre-business student. REQUEST AN OVERRIDE if restriction is inaccurate.
  • TIME CONFLICT WITH _____: Students may not register for courses with overlapping times. NO OVERRIDES GRANTED. Pick a new section.
  • Repeat count exceeds 0: You have already attempted this course three times. If it is your 4th attempt, you must submit a petition to take the course a 4th time and see an adviser.
  • CLOSED SECTION-X: No seats are available in the course. NO OVERRIDES GRANTED. Add to wait list or contact instructor.

To request an override, sign in to the SBA Undergraduate Student Portal with your OU email name and password. Click on the Reg Override tab on the left-hand side of the page and fill out the required information.

If you are unable to find an answer to your error in the list above, please make an appointment with an adviser by signing in to the SBA Advisor Trac with your OU email name and password.

My class is “closed” on SAIL, what should I do now?
Please submit a request to the School of Business Closed Class Waitlist, and you will be added to a waitlist for that class. If a spot opens up, you will receive an email and may be able to register for the class.

How can I tell if I am on track to graduate?
Look at the SBA Degree Checklists and select the checklist that applies to the year you entered the SBA program. You can also run a degree evaluation through SAIL

What is an Independent Study? How do I apply for one?
An independent study is not a physical course, but rather allows highly motivated students the opportunity to construct a unique educational experience that goes beyond the courses contained in the existing course catalog. They usually involve in-depth research on some issue, are supervised by a SBA faculty member and are listed in the schedule of classes as a 490 (ACC 490, for example).

Do I have to take math for a business degree?
Yes. Math is a required part of the business program at OU. All business administration majors must take MTH 121 "Linear Programming" (or MTH 141) and MTH 122 "Calculus for the Social Sciences" (or 154); MTH 061 and/or MTH 062 may also be required, depending on a student's individual placement. Business students must also take QMM 240 “Statistical Methods for Business I” and QMM 241 “Statistical Methods for Business II”.

How do I know my math placement?
Placement is done in a few different ways. If you are an incoming freshman and have taken the ACT, placement is determined by your ACT Math sub score. If you are a transfer student who has taken math recently, you are placed based on your prior math courses. If neither of these applies to you, or if you are unsure of the placement you received, you should take a math placement test given by the Department of Mathematics and Statistics.

Why is my major listed as "Pre-Business" or "Undecided Business" when I know what business major I want?
All students who seek admission as a business major begin the program with the major “pre-business” or “undecided business” (dependent upon certain course and grade point status) until they have met the requirements and have been admitted to major standing.

Should I get my Gen Ed courses out of the way first?
No. Freshmen who plan a business major should begin the business pre-core courses right away. General education courses can be taken until graduation and are not required for admission to a major.

Are there any classes I can test out of?
Students can take CLEP tests for ECN 200 and 201 and some General Education courses; please contact the Office of Academic Records about procedures and restrictions regarding CLEP tests.

Will OU accept all my transfer courses?
I have academic credit earned from a Michigan Community College – Oakland University’s baccalaureate programs are designed to accommodate students from Michigan community colleges. For most local community colleges, the University has prepared a course equivalency guide which indicates courses that fulfill specific Oakland University requirements. Whether or not you have earned an Associate’s Degree from a Michigan college, OU will evaluate your transfer courses individually. Credit for most courses will be accepted if you earned at least a C- grade in the course. A maximum of 64 credits will be accepted in transfer from a two- year school; however, a “best fit” policy will be applied. This means that the transfer courses which will best satisfy OU program requirements will be applied toward completion of your baccalaureate program. OU participates in the Michigan Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admission Officer (M.A.C.R.A.O.) Articulation Agreement. Students who have satisfied M.A.C.R.A.O. should meet with an academic adviser their first semester at the University to discuss the effect of this status on their program requirements and course schedule plan.

I have academic credit earned from a four year institution – OU will accept an unlimited number of transfer credits from regionally accredited four-year institutions. Some exceptions to this policy include certain physical education courses and religion courses offered by religiously affiliated post-secondary institutions. Your transfer transcript will be evaluated on a course by course basis for equivalent credit for any OU and/or SBA program requirement/s. Credit for specific SBA courses is authorized for courses of similar content taken prior to attending Oakland University at other institutions. Once admitted to the business program, students must complete all remaining core, major and business minor coursework for the degree at OU. Students may be required to submit course descriptions or course syllabi to aid in course evaluation.

Why would I need a syllabus for a course I took at another school? When a student with prior college experience is admitted to OU, each transferred course will be evaluated for possible equivalent credit to an OU/SBA course requirement by a faculty evaluator. If the school was not AACSB accredited students may be asked to provide a course syllabus to aid in the determination of equivalent content.

What is an "I" grade?
A grade of "I" in a course indicates "Incomplete" status. This grade is temporary and may be given only by student request and faculty consent. It is used in cases of hardship beyond the control of the student that prevents completion of course requirements. Work to remove an "I" grade must be completed during the first eight weeks of the next fall or winter semester. Students who wish to receive an Incomplete must present a Student Request for Incomplete Grade form to the instructor by the day of the final exam. These are available in departmental offices.

Students can request an extension of "I" grades. This extension must be student-initiated and requires approval by the instructor and the dean of the school or college or other appropriate administrator. If course requirements are not completed within one year and no semester has been registered for, the "I" grade will be changed to "0.0."

What is a Petition of Exception?
A Petition of Exception is a request for a waiver or deviation from University or School policy. Students must fill out a form, attach a rationale, and submit it to the Undergraduate Advising Office who will submit it to SBA's Committee on Instruction when they are seeking an exception to any of the SBA's rules or policies. Regarding some issues, the petition is submitted to either the General Education Committee or the University Committee on Instruction. Students seeking an exception to a policy should meet with an adviser to get information on the appeal procedure and proper submission.

Can I take as many courses as I want in a semester?
No. Students are limited to a maximum of 18 credits per semester. However, students who have achieved a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher are allowed by adviser permission to take additional credits. The “Permission to Exceed Maximum Credits” form is available upon request in the advising center. Approved permission forms must accompany any request to the Registrar for 19 or more credits per semester.

Will I be required to meet with an academic adviser?
No. After orientation, students are not required to meet with an academic adviser. However, students who have questions about schedule planning, degree requirements, admission to the SBA, major standing, transfer credit, petitions of exception or graduation audits should meet with one of the School’s professional advisers. Also, faculty members are available to provide advising, mentoring, support, curricular guidance and career information.

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Professional Advisers

Debbie Lengyel
Coordinator Undergraduate Business Programs

Adam McChesney
Academic Adviser
Deb Wheeler
Academic Adviser
Meaghan Cole
Academic Adviser
Linda Schwartz
Academic Advising Assistant
Diane Shaw
Office Assistant

Faculty Advisers 

Lori Dorko
Accounting Major and minor advisor
Cynthia Miree-Coppin
General Management Major advisor
Ellen Zhu
Finance Major advisor
Liz Barclay
Human Resource Management Major advisor
Vijay Sugumaran
Operations Management & Management Information Systems major and minor, QMM minor advisor
Anandi Sahu
Economics Major advisor
John Kim
Ron Tracy
Actuarial Science

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Business Major Decision Seminar

Whether you’re seriously thinking about a business major or simply exploring your career options in the field of business, this seminar can help. At this session, you’ll learn about:

  • the 9 business majors available at OU
  • the business school’s curriculum, including its professional development program
  • business-related student organizations
  • the opportunities to gain professional experience through internships and other activities
  • study abroad opportunities
  • community service and other engagement activities

Students considering a minor in business are also encouraged to attend. OU’s business school offers 12 business minors. Depending on the interests of the attendees, the advantages of a graduate degree in business may also be discussed.

You are not required to reserve a spot. But, students who email Adam McChesney with their name and desired workshop date will start the workshop with a completed checklist illustrating how their previous credits and current schedule can apply toward a business degree.

Mark your calendar

All sessions will be held in 200C Elliott Hall, noon to 12:45 p.m., on Wednesday, 1/28; Thursday, 2/19; Thursday, 3/19 and Wednesday, 4/8.

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    The Oakland business school is abuzz with activities, student organization events and meetings, employer information sessions, career fairs and the like. Keep up with it all by following us on Facebook and Twitter.

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    schedule an advising appointment
    Apply for major standing
    Graduation: Follow these 5 steps


    SBA Undergraduate Advising
    232 Elliott Hall (map)
    (248) 370-3285

    Helpful Links

    OU business students share how the business faculty and programs such as ACHIEVE, Scholars, internships, and student orgs help them succeed. Watch it now!