Welcome Freshmen!

Welcome to the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at William Paterson University!  Advisement will be a key part of this new journey. Your Academic Advisor is similar to your High School Guidance Counselor, in helping you navigate the academic process. College is a new and exciting experience, and you probably have a lot of questions along the way. You don’t need to feel alone.  Your Academic Advisor is here to assist!

Deborah Sheffield, Academic Advisor and Coordinator of Retention Services

College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Academic Advisor to freshmen in HSS

Atrium 265




Check out our new HSS Degree Planning Tool to explore how courses in your Humanities and Social Sciences major may overlap with our extensive selection of minors! 

The Advisement Process: You will first meet with your advisor at orientation in the Off to a Successful Start session.  After orientation, it is expected you have a one-on-one meeting with your advisor at least once per semester.  Advisement is mandatory before registration may occur.  Registration for freshmen typically occurs in mid-November for winter (optional) and spring courses, and in mid- April for summer (optional) and fall courses.  Your advisement meeting will culminate in you receiving your alternate pin # that is needed each semester for registration.  Your advisor is available year round to meet with you, and also offers group advisement sessions and workshops. Please see the event listing on the HSS advisement homepage for a list of group advisement and workshop dates. Appointments with Deborah Sheffield can be made here. Please note, Deborah Sheffield advises 350 students per semester, so scheduling your appointment as early as possible is strongly recommended.  If you intend on switching majors outside of Humanities and Social Sciences, please email Deborah Sheffield to let her know so she can assist in connecting you with the appropriate advisor.

Group Introductory Advisement Dates for Freshmen Psychology, Sociology, CCJ, English, History, and Liberal Studies 

It is mandatory for all HSS freshmen to attend one of the following Group Advisement Dates with Deborah Sheffield prior to individual fall advisement appointments.  Fall 2018 Group Advisement Introductory Sessions take place in Atrium Room 131 on the following dates: 

  • Tuesday, September 25th, 12:30 PM -1:30 PM
  • Friday, September 28th, 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
  • Monday, October 8th, 2:00 PM -3:00 PM
  • Thursday, October 11th, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
  • Tuesday, October 16th, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
  • Thursday, October 18th, 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM

Direct any questions regarding advisement to Deborah Sheffield, at sheffieldd1@wpunj.edu or 973-720-2441.

Please read below to address some of your most common advisement and registration concerns: 

Need guidance on what to ask during your advisement appointments?  Please review the Advisement Tool Kit.

Need help understanding your Degreeworks Evaluation? Watch these videos to get started! 


Want an overview of how University Core Curriculum courses are organized and what you will be learning in your UCC courses?  Here is a good place to start. 

Wondering what your alternate pin number is? Your 6 digit alternate pin number, used to register for classes, changes every semester.  You will be notified of your pin number after you meet with your Academic Advisor for your mandatory advisement appointment.  

Have you taken your Language Placement Test?  If you want to continue taking the same language you began studying in high school, the placement test is mandatory.  Please click here for details on how to schedule your test. 

Are you bilingual? Have you taken the Language Placement Test and received exemption from the language requirement? Please read here for details on how you might earn credit toward graduation by taking a Challenge Exam.

 Seeking clarity on University Policies and Procedures? Please take a few moments to review the Undergraduate Catalog.

Planning on changing or adding a Major/Minor?  Follow these simple instructions to do so, but please discuss the change with your advisor first! If you are planning on adding an Education major, please read through this information, and speak with your advisor, before adding the major.

Are you interested in adding a minor? It is strongly recommended you complete at least one minor to make you more well-rounded, knowledgeable in another area of study, marketable for your future job search, and focused as you complete your 120 credits needed to graduate.  Did you know, as an HSS major, you will have more than 40 credits left to complete in addition to your major and UCC, to get you to the 120 mark?  Minors bear a small credit value (18 credits for most), but their value to your education is much greater.  To begin exploring minors in HSS, click here.

Looking for academic assistance with your coursework?  Click here for a list of WPU’s comprehensive tutoring services including the Academic Success Center, the Writing Center, and the Science Enrichment Center.

Who is your Academic Advisor during your Freshmen year?  Your Academic Advisor is listed on the top of your degree evaluation found on the WPConnect Students Tab.  HSS freshmen whose majors are Criminology and Criminal Justice, English, History, Psychology or Sociology are assigned to Deborah Sheffield.  If you have declared another major in HSS, you have been assigned a faculty advisor in your department.  If you are in the EOF program or the Honors Program, you have an advisor in your program. Please note, your advisor will change to a faculty member in your academic department, once you reach 30 earned credits.

What are registration holds?  How do I resolve them? First year students have university requirements beyond coursework to complete such as the online Not Anymore Program, the Alcoholwise Program, and submitting proof of Health Immunizations.  Additionally, all students need to be aware of account payment deadlines. If you have not completed certain obligations by the deadlines given, a registration hold will be placed on your account, preventing you from registering.  To view if you have holds, please see the top portion of your Degree Evaluation, found through the students tab of WPConnect. You will have received emails from the departments in which the hold was placed with detailed instructions on how to resolve the holds. If you have further questions, please contact your academic advisor.

Seeking an understanding of the registration process?  Please view the videos and FAQs here.

How is your financial aid linked to your grades and credit completion?  Please review this link to learn about Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy for financial aid recipients.

Have other general advisement questions?  The Advisement Center website, and your Academic Advisor, likely has the answer!