Graduating on Time

I’ve been asked many times over the years what the key to graduating on time is and without hesitation I always respond, the DAR! DAR, which stands for Degree Audit Report,is an electronic report that lists all of your Hofstra requirements based on the major(s) and minor(s) that you are pursuing. The DAR can be easily accessed via your Hofstra Portal by visiting the “Student Records” link within the “Hofstra Online” tab.

The DAR starts off with a number of helpful reminders. It identifies the name of your general academic advisement dean, your student financial services counselor, and the chairperson of your major department. It reminds you that a minimum of 124 credits must be completed for your School of Communication degree (with no more that 45 of them coming from your major department if you’re pursuing a Bachelor of Arts). Also listed is the need for all students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts to earn a minimum of 94 liberal arts related credits (72 if pursuing a Bachelor of Science).

The report goes on to acknowledge your residency requirement, the need to complete the writing proficiency exam (call 516 463-5252 for more information), and Hofstra’s composition (WSC 1 and 2) and foreign language requirements, The next section is the distribution. Keep in mind that the DAR lists all of the requirements that you need for each category along with indicators like OK, NO, IP (In Progress), +, and – to let you know of your status toward completing them. (Did you know that in most cases, courses taken for your distribution can double-dip toward your required liberal arts based minor?)

The remaining sections of the DAR identify your specific major and minor requirements, as well as an unassigned area indicating courses that are applying toward your degree as liberal arts or non-liberal arts electives. Like with most documents of its type, the key to becoming proficient in understanding your DAR is to read it carefully from start to finish several times, making note of any areas listed as unfulfilled (look for the No’s and Minuses). From there, be sure to make a list of those deficiencies and to meet with your academic advisor to discuss the optimal strategy for fulfilling them. As for my last bit of advice: When in doubt, check your DAR! 🙂