Old Dominion University
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College of Arts and Letters

Institute of Humanities

Incoming Graduate Student Orientation Package

Academic Advising

ODU puts an academic block or hold on registering for classes each semester until the student has been in contact with his/her advisor in person, by phone or by email if the latter are more convenient for the student. (For Humanities, please schedule an appointment with the Director, Dr. Avi Santo.) Students should fill out the advising worksheet prior to the meeting. Whenever possible, students should investigate course registration schedules to ascertain whether courses are scheduled which facilitate the preferred area or if contact needs to be made with professors for seminars/topics courses. After this appointment, the advisor block will be removed and students may register for classes through Leo Online or in person at the Registrar’s Office in Rollins Hall (provided no other blocks exist on their account).

Account Holds

ODU puts an academic block on registering for classes each semester until removed by the student’s academic advisor. Additionally, holds may be placed on a student’s account by the:

Campus Bookstore

The campus bookstore is located in University Village behind the Ted Constant Center. It is accessible through the ODU website as well. Students can search course listings for book lists by semester as well as order delivery or reserve materials online. Some materials may only be available for purchase in person at ODU bookstore. Many students prefer to order at least some of their books online from providers such as Half.com or Amazon after accessing the book lists or attending the first day of class to see which materials are needed immediately and which are less urgent.

Course Catalog

The Graduate Catalog is no longer available in hard copy, so it must be accessed online).  Do note that many Apple Macintosh users report problems accessing the document; so be sure to download the Adobe Reader (which is different from Adobe Acrobat). Students are advised to acquire the semester schedule of courses as soon as possible in order to plan.


Course Load and Registration

It is essential that students register for classes as early as possible since classes can be cancelled due to poor or late response. Nine semester hours are considered full-time during fall and spring semesters; six hours is considered full-time during the summer. Although students may register for up to twelve semester hours, it is not recommended. Summer coursework is available in several different sessions (the longest being a month and a half in duration).

500 level classes are generally programmed for a small number of graduate students with a larger number of undergraduate students (who are enrolling at the 400-level). For graduate students, these courses tend to increase the number or length of papers and/or readings, and are typically not as intellectually rigorous as classes at the 600 and 700 level. Students may apply only 12 hours of 500-level graduate level coursework toward their degree. While students can continue to register for 500-level classes after they have reached the 12-hour limit for personal pleasure and edification, these courses WILL NOT be credited toward their program of study. 600-level classes are primarily comprised of Master’s students, with occasional participation from undergraduate or Doctoral students. Students should consider coursework at the 600-level or above before coursework at the 500 level. Courses offered at the 700-level are for Master’s and Doctoral students, and may require permission of the instructor for Master’s students to enroll.

Course Locations

Much of the coursework (particularly for Humanities courses) will be completed in the Batten Arts and Letters building (BAL) at the corner of Hampton Boulevard and 43rd Street. The Perry library is nearby. Online or Teletechnet courses may be available through other departments as part of the student’s individual program of study but are not currently available for the Humanities core courses.


Email and Computer Access

Every student enrolled at ODU receives an ODU email account and password through OCCS. The ODU e-mail can be forwarded to a preferred or existing e-mail account if you like, thereby overcoming your need to check more than one account. Professors receive these addresses on their registration lists and have been known to send assignments to these accounts before the first class meeting. Some classes require students to participate in online discussions through Blackboard. Students email accounts must be activated to be able to complete this type of assignment.


Computer labs are available in the first floor of BAL as well as the library. While remote access to the library system is available at all times, the computer labs are generally not accessible during break or summer periods. Wi-Fi connections are available across campus and in the University Village.


Food vendors

There is a food and coffee distributor on the first floor of the Batten Arts and Letters Building, as well as vending machines throughout. For more complete dining options, students should go to Webb Student Center or the University Village.

Graduate work from other universities

The Humanities program may be petitioned to accept up to, but not exceeding, 12 hours of graduate level coursework in the area of study from other accredited institutions. Many state and regional schools accept students at the ODU tuition rate.  Students should use the Evaluation of Transfer Credit form, available on the Humanities Institute webpage.


Students must file an Application for Graduation with the Office of the Registrar by the published deadline, the semester prior to the semester of intended graduation. There are three graduation dates each year: May, August or December. A student's name will not appear in the Commencement Program whose application for graduation does not reach the Office of the University Registrar by the priority deadline. A graduation specialist in the Office of the University Registrar will audit your academic record, including final semester grades. Your degree is not actually conferred until this process has been completed.


Old Dominion University has developed an institution-wide plan to assess the quality of its graduate academic degree programs. In addition, students are asked to assess their experiences with support services, University administration, and other aspects of their University experience. All graduate students must complete an assessment during the semester in which they complete their master's, certificate of advanced study, or doctoral degrees.  This assessment will be sent to the student’s ODU email. Neither the final transcript nor the diploma will be issued until a graduate student has completed her/his assessment. Information regarding the assessment will be mailed to graduate students after they apply for graduation. When graduate students apply for graduation, they are added to the assessment database, enabling them to take their assessment online via the Web.

Diplomas are distributed within 8 - 9 weeks following the official date of graduation. Graduates who attended the Norfolk or in-region campuses will be notified by mail of the dates when diplomas will be available for pick up. Diplomas will be mailed the week following the last date to pickup. Diplomas, transcripts and verifications/certifications are not processed for students who have a delinquent account with the University.

Health requirements and considerations

All ODU undergraduate and graduate students are required to provide the university health services (located in the Webb Center) with a complete medical history form and complete immunization/inoculation record. Students must pass a tuberculosis skin test. In addition students (especially international students) must have proof of insurance. Students are recommended to receive hepatitis and meningococcal shots. Students are assessed a health services fee each semester. This fee covers general health services (i.e. appointments) but does not include prescriptions.

ID cards

For security reasons, all students are required to obtain a university ID card. Students may be asked to produce this identification by authorities at any time. Equally important, student ID cards are needed in order to check out materials from the university library. After registering for the first semester, go to the card center on the first floor of Webb Center with photo ID and proof of registration. Students might also consider taking cash or credit cards to place funds on the ID card for use at ODU vending and photocopying machines.

International Students

Dragas International Center provides a wide range of services for International students to America as well as American International students. The center can be reached via computer through their web page or by telephone at (757) 683-4419. International Student & Scholar Services provides support programs and services needed to insure the academic and personal success of this community. ISSS is the source of up-to-date information on the legal rights and responsibilities of international students and scholars.


Perry Library is the main library on campus. (There is also a separate art library on campus.) Perry Library participates in a statewide public library reciprocal privilege agreement. Applications to participate in this program (to be able to check out materials in libraries across the state) are available at the library once the student has obtained a university ID card. Some students can lower education costs by checking out required texts rather than purchasing them (ask your professors to please place their required reading materials on Reserve). Students are able to access the catalog as well as electronic texts, search engines and area library catalogs online. Reserve materials are kept/posted by the library by course and professor. Some classes use few texts but supplement with reserve materials that the student is able to print for their convenience. The core classes of the Humanities provide a specialized orientation to the library for students.


The Humanities Newsletter is published twice a year, usually in concert with the beginning of summer/fall and spring registration. The newsletter is now published only electronically, accessible through the Humanities web page.


Students are required to purchase a parking permit (either by semester or year, 24-hour or evenings only) from the parking services office at the parking garage located at the corner of 43rd St. and Elkhorn Avenue. Near BAL are several commuter parking lots. Until students have purchased parking permits, metered parking spaces are available in University Village as well as at the parking lot directly outside Rollins Hall and in the lot immediately behind the library. (It is also possible to obtain a 24-hour visitor parking pass from the parking services office.)

Required Courses
All Humanities students are required to successfully complete
Humanities 601 and 602, though they are not sequenced (that is, they can be taken “out of order”).  It is highly recommended, though, that 602 follow 601, and than both classes be completed within the first two semesters of study. Thesis-track students need to register for a Humanities class each semester (i.e. follow the introductory Hum courses with HUM 698 & 699). HUM 698 and 699 are sequenced, and thesis-track students may register for either of them fall, spring, or summer. However, non-thesis track students should be aware that the capstone HUM 694 course is only offered in the spring semester. At this time, all Humanities courses are conducted in a traditional classroom environment at Batten Arts and Letters Building; these courses are not available online or as teletechnet courses.

Thesis/Non-thesis Option Requirements

Students must inform the Director of the Humanities Institute of their intention to follow a thesis or non-thesis track by the end of the first year of their studies at ODU. This is particularly important for thesis track students who must complete numerous forms regarding their research intentions, as well as assemble an advisory board.

Schedule Considerations

Many graduate courses are scheduled once a week from 4:20 to 7:00 p.m. or from 7:10 to 9:50 p.m. Traffic is often quite heavy along Hampton Boulevard at these times, and parking on campus can be quite difficult. Students should apportion plenty of time to reach campus and find a place to park.


Tuition is due by the first week of classes each semester. Students can pay through Leo Online or in person on the second floor of Rollins Hall. Out of state tuition is roughly double the cost of in state tuition. Military members/dependents are eligible for in state tuition costs after residing in state for a year without being required to change their residency. Payment plans are available to spread payments over 4 months instead of paying up front in bulk.

Webb Student Center

Webb Center is located in the heart of campus overlooking the lawn/mall.  It houses many of the needed services for students, including the Office of Campus Computing Services (OCCS), the ID center, Office of Student Judicial Affairs, and many places to eat. Lockers of varying sizes are available for rent here as well.