Academic Advising for NCAA Student-Athletes

Student Athlete AdvisingWhether you are a freshman, a transfer, or a returning student-athlete, we look forward to working with you as you pursue your academic and athletic goals at Liberty University. The College of Applied Studies and Academic Success (CASAS) Professional Advisor works alongside Academic Affairs for Athletics to assist student-athletes in exploring their interests and abilities, major and career and then reaching or exceeding their academic goals. Student-athletes at Liberty typically have a minimum of two advisors: an Academic Coordinator assigned by sport and a Professional Advisor (PA). This staff works with student-athletes from the time they arrive on campus until they graduate from Liberty.

Once you have been admitted to the University and placed on the team's active roster, your academic record is "flagged" and all subsequent academic advising will be conducted by this team. The Advisor is integral to the process of helping student-athletes establish realistic goals while encouraging them to be responsible for their own academic progress and decisions.

One of the most important functions of your PA is to advise student-athletes for course selection and assist in the selection of an academic major. Academic advising requires a partnership between the student-athlete and the PA to ensure the best decisions are made. Student-athletes are required to meet with their PA each semester during the advising period. Ty Thomassian is the CASAS Professional Advisors for Student-Athletes (

Below are a number of resources and FAQs regarding academic needs for student-athletes. Please review this material and if you have further questions, please feel free to contact Ty Thomassian.

Please select from the topics below:

Advising Appointments

Student Athlete AdvisingStudent-athletes are required to meet with the Professional Advisor or Academic Coordinator each semester in order to use their early registration privilege.  The email request will be similar to the following. Please read carefully and follow the instructions:

Dear Student-Athletes,
It is time to schedule your appointment with your Professional Advisor to discuss your class schedule for the Fall/Spring term.  When discussing your potential schedule, please confer with your advisor as to what classes could be potential Summer School/January Intensive options. If you are planning on Summer School/January Intensives, you will need to register for those classes through me. You will be notified when registration is open for student-athletes.

The Professional Advisors will respond within 24 -48 hours with your appointment time. After you have met with her, you will receive a copy of the Academic Planning Sheet with all recommendations made for your Fall/Spring schedule and potential summer courses. Please keep this for your records as you will need it for early registration in March/October.

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Advising Hold

Each student-athlete will have an advising hold which prevents you from registering for classes during early registration unless you have met with your Professional Advisor. If you have not met with her, the hold will not be lifted, and you will be unable to participate in early registration. This will allow you to register for classes that are ideal for your practice schedules.   

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 Athletic Hold

All student-athletes have an Athletic Hold (AT) on their account once they have been added to the roster of an NCAA athletic team at Liberty University. What does the AT Hold do?

  • It flags your account as a student-athlete so we have accurate records of who participates on athletic teams.
  • It prevents you from making any changes to your schedule during the semester except during early registration. Early registration is generally between March 26 – April 15 in the spring term and October 25 – November 15 in the fall term.

Please use this form for all course changes outside of Fall/Spring registration (summer registrations, add/drop, withdrawals) NCAA Class Schedule Change Form.

What the AT Hold does not do:

  • The AT Hold will not keep you from early registration if you have met with Donna Holland and have had your advising hold lifted.
  • The AT Hold will not allow you to register for classes that are full or have prerequisites that you have not yet met.
  • The AT Hold will not allow you to circumvent any academic policy.

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Business Office HoldStudent Athlete Advising

A Business Office hold is placed on your ASIST account if you have more than a $50 balance on your account. This balance may be for printing costs, parking fees, judicial housing fines, or payment plans that have not been paid. You will need to check your online student account to determine what fees have been charged and then make payment to Student Accounts in the Student Service Center in Green Hall or make an online payment. Once the balance is below $50, your hold will be lifted and you will be able to register for classes or have other changes made to your schedule. 

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The College Level Examination Program (CLEP) may provide college credit for students who demonstrate a mastery of a subject through a computerized testing exam. Students may gain additional college credit without taking the class at the University. The Institutional Challenge Exam (ICE) is similar to the CLEP except it is strictly for Liberty courses. CLEP and ICE exams may be taken in the Academic Success Center located in DH 1100.

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Christian Service (CSER)

Christian Service (CSER) is required of all Liberty University students as part of their degree completion. The first two semesters at Liberty students will fulfill this requirement by taking BWVW 101 and 102. The remaining semesters that a student is enrolled in full-time residential credits must include a CSER credit. The maximum number of CSER required for any graduating student is 8. This includes BWVW 101 and 102. Students remaining at Liberty longer than 8 full-time semesters are not required to complete additional CSER hours. CSER opportunities and specific requirements may be found on the CSER Web page.

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Declaring a Major or Minor

Student-athletes are required to declare a major by the beginning of their 5th semester if they began their academic career at Liberty. Transfer students will need to declare upon admittance. Declaration of major is imperative in determining progress towards degree and assures student-athletes that they are following the correct Degree Completion Plan in order to be eligible and to graduate on time. Declaring a minor is not required at Liberty, but many students will graduate with a completed minor. Student-athletes are asked not to declare a minor until it is verified that it will not impact progress toward degree. Minors require a minimum of 15 hours and some majors do not afford that number of elective credits to be used for a minor. Before changing a major or declaring a minor, please verify with Donna Holland or your Academic Coordinator, that it will not affect progress toward degree.

PLEASE NOTE:  Change of major will not be processed during an on-going semester.  The changes will be reflected by the start of the next semester.

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Degree Completion Plans/Course Sequences

Degree Completion Plans are the academic maps for degree programs at Liberty University.

Course sequences suggest the order in which you should take classes at Liberty in order to best complete your degree. Student-athletes may need to make adjustments in the course sequence due to their in-season and out-of-season practice schedules. Frequently, summer school is necessary in order to accommodate all of the classes required.

It is important to remember that all requirements must be fulfilled in order to receive your degree from Liberty. This includes CSER credits, computer assessment, New Student Seminar, and CRST 290. Some majors allow you a choice for certain requirements such as History. You may have the option of fulfilling your history requirement with any of the four general education history classes: HIUS 221, HIUS 222, HIEU 201, or HIEU 202. You may have a specific class already chosen for you such as HIEU 201 as required for English majors. A choice is not an option for this major. Please review your Degree Completion Plan closely and direct any questions you may have to your Professional Advisor or your Academic Coordinator.

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Financial Aid/Student Accounts

Student-athletes who have questions regarding their student account or financial aid should contact Laura Rackley. If you need to make payments, you can do this either online or in the Student Service Center in Green Hall.

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Taking Courses at a Different Institution

Transfer Course Request & Appeal forms--This online form is used to obtain permission from Liberty University to take and transfer a course from another institution and use it for a specific requirement in a degree program at Liberty. Course descriptions from the institution at which you desire to take the course are required. More than one course may be submitted on the form. This form is not necessary for courses taken within the Virginia Community College System. These courses have been pre-approved in the VCCS guide.  

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Graduate School

Student-athletes who will be enrolled in Graduate School while participating on an NCAA athletic team will need to apply to the appropriate Graduate Program. Please make an appointment with Donna Holland before submitting graduate applications. You can review the applications and requirements for all graduate programs. 

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Many majors at Liberty require the completion of internships. Internships are designed to be taken at the end of your academic journey. They offer practical, hands-on experience that may result in permanent employment opportunities. All students must attend an internship meeting scheduled by the Career Center in order to be informed of the guidelines and policies necessary to participate in an internship. Please note that the different majors have different requirements for completion of the internship. Please check with your department or the Internship Office for specific stipulations.

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