Academic Planner

Academic Planner is not a part of Virtual New Student Orientation. However, it is something you likely want to start working on during the summer.

Academic Planner has been provided to assist you in charting your path to degree completion. Here you can easily identify classes and other needed requirements, plan your semesters of enrollment, and even dream up new plans that might include a minor, double major, or even study abroad.

Although every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of content included in Academic Planner, it is the student’s responsibility to verify information with requirements listed in the University Catalog.

Again, Academic Planner allows students to create complete degree plans for their declared major(s), concentration(s), and minor(s). Students will also be able to create degree plans for hypothetical major(s), concentration(s), and minor(s). Students must submit a degree plan for their declared major(s), concentration(s), and minor(s) to Academic Advising for approval in the second semester of their freshman year and in the second semester of their sophomore year.

All incoming students must submit a plan on Academic Planner by September ____. Submitting a plan will count as 20% of your FOCUS grade.

  • Plans submitted for approval in the first semester of the first year must include the first four semesters.



  • Step 1 - Gather Items Needed

    Before starting a degree plan on Academic Planner, you will need to open the Major Planning Guide for your major and catalog year as well as the Recommended GE List.

    Major Planning Guide

    • Inside CBU > Academics (tab near top left) > Traditional Students (in left sidebar).
    • Major Planning Guides are listed in the center and right column.
    • Click to open the Major Planning Guide for your major(s).
    • Keep the Major Planning Guide(s) open in a separate tab.

    Larry's Psychology Major Planning Guide

    Larry’s Psychology Major Planning Guide
    PSY Major Planning Guide

    In the lower left of the Major Planning Guide you’ll see a “4 Year Plan” tab.  Click this to get a sample plan.

    Recommended GE List

    • Inside CBU > Academics (tab near top left) > Traditional Students (in left sidebar).
    • In the Essential Advising Resources box (top left) click on the “Recommended GE List (FA15 Catalog or later)” link.
    • Keep the Major Planning Guide(s) open in a separate tab.
  • Step 2 - Getting Started

    2.1: Opening Academic Planner and Giving Your Plan a Name

    In a new window open InsideCBU and click on the Academic Planner tab near the top of the page. The page that opens is called the Plan List page. Here you can see a list of all your degree plans created in Academic Planner with options to create, edit, delete, and more.  You may only have one approved plan at a time, but can create other tentative plans if you would like.

    To create a new degree plan, click on the Start New Plan button on the Plan List page.

    Start a Plan

     From here you will be directed to the Academic PlannerOptions page. On this page you can set your intended major(s), minor(s), and concentration(s) - see caution sign to the right.

     Planner Set Up

    Be careful to only select a concentration that is required or optional in your major. Concentrations can be found in the Major Planning Guides and University Catalog. To officially declare a second major, concentration or minor, see an academic advisor in Yeager B146.

    After you have clicked “Save Options” the Academic Planner Editor will open.

    2.2: Getting Oriented and Opening Your Years of Stud

    Spend a minute orienting yourself to this page.

    Left side of the screen
    Top Left Panel: Expands/Collapses academic years.
    Bottom Left Panel: This is where Holds, Warnings, Comments, and Approval status can be seen.

    Right side of the screen
    Top Right Panel: This is where you can find courses to drag and drop into your plan.
    Bottom Right Panel: This is where course offering information will show up when you click a course in the top right panel. 

    Instructions: Open as many years as you plan to be a student at CBU in Plan Site panel below by clicking “click to expand”.


    You will notice four tabs in the upper right hand corner.  We suggest you use the first two, Requirements and Courses, when building your plan.

    Select Courses

    Requirements – this area will lay out requirements for your selected major, concentration, and/or minor.  This area will be particularly helpful in dragging and dropping major classes into your plan.

    Courses – this tab will list all classes available for dragging and dropping into you plan and will be particularly helpful in adding GE classes.

  • Step 3 - Creating a Plan

    3.1: Adding Major Classes to Your Plan

    Keep in mind that academic planning and registering in classes are two distinct actions.  At this stage, you are only planning your academic career at CBU.  To add major classes, scroll down and find your major under the Requirements tab.  Click the “Click to expand” bar.

    Click This


    Get This

    When you expand the major sections, you will immediately notice sub-categories (in the case of Larry’s Psychology major, Lower Divisions Req, Methodology Courses and Upper Division Req appear.  To expand these, click the plus signs (+).

    Psy Major Reqs

    Continue to click the plus signs until you have drilled down to the course level.


    You can now see all major course requirements.  Here are some symbols to become familiar with:

    Red X  Requirement is unmet and unplanned.
    In Progress Requirement is unmet but is planned or in progress.
    MetRequirement has been met.

    You are now ready to click, drag and drop courses into your degree plan. Start by clicking a course in the lower division subsection of your major.  If uncertain which class to place in any given semester, refer to your Major planning Guide, 4 Year Plan.  

    Drag Drop

    When dragging a class from right to left, you will notice that some semesters turn green. This indicates that the course you have selected will be offered in that semester. If a semester does not turn green, you can will not be able to drop the selected course into that semester.

    Once you have moved a course into your degree plan you will notice that the course in the right panel has a faded red X to the left. If you scroll down you will also notice that same course now appears with a yellow triangle.


    Note: The faded red x’s along with their corresponding courses will eventually go away completely, leaving only the courses listed with yellow triangles.

    Continue to drag and drop courses from the major(s), minor(s), and concentration(s) into your degree plan until every course, subsection, and major, minor, and concentration (blue bars) are marked by yellow triangles and no red x’s. 

    As you drag and drop classes, be mindful of any Warnings that appear in the Holds & Warning box. 


    To remove a class that is out of sequence, click the course, then click the trash can.


    Once requisites have been added to the plan (in this case, Math classes), the class (in this case BEH255) will appear without the bold red warning.


    Things to remember when creating your degree plan:

    • You are not able to register for upper division courses (3**/4**) until you have reached sophomore status (30 units earned) however, Academic Planner will allow you to plan to take upper division courses in any and all semesters. However, this would result in your plan being not approved by Academic Advising. You must be sure that you will have 30 units earned by the time you plan to start taking upper division courses.
    • If a course turns red when dropped into a semester in the right panel there is a problem. Read the description of the problem in the Holds & Warnings box below. It is likely that a prerequisite for this course has not be completed / planned. You will need to make sure that all prerequisites are completed / planned in earlier semesters. Once you have remedied the problem the warning message will disappear from the Holds & Warnings box.

    Once all requirements for a major / minor / concentration are planned the respective header will be marked by a yellow triangle.

    PSY Triangles 

     3.2: Adding General Education Classes to Your Plan

    Once all of your major(s), minor(s), and concentration(s) courses have been added you can Click to Expand the General Education section in the right panel.

    You will see that General Education is broken up into a few sections.

    GE Needed

    We advise that you work through the different sections of the General Education requirements one-by-one.


    Click the plus box to the left of Competency Requirements to reveal the subsections. Continue to click all the plus boxes within the Competency Requirements until all requirements are revealed.


    English Composition

    Your English placement will determine your next course of action.

    • ENG103
      • Click the Courses tab
      • Expand the English courses section
      • Drag and drop ENG103 into your first semester on your degree guide
      • Drag and drop ENG113 into the following semester
      • Drag and drop ENG123 into the semester following ENG113
    • ENG113
      • Find ENG113 under the Competency Requirements > English Competency subsection.
      • Drag and drop ENG113 into your first semester on your degree guide
      • Drag and drop ENG123 into the following semester
    • ENG123
      • Find ENG123 under the Foundations > Intermediate Composition
      • Drag and drop ENG123 into your first semester on your degree guide

    Your Math placement will determine your next course of action.

    • MAT095
      • Click the Courses tab
      • Expand the English courses section
      • Drag and drop MAT095 into your degree guide
      • Refer to your registration guide for help choosing your next math course.
    • If your placement is above MAT095 refer to your registration guide for help choosing the appropriate course and semester to enroll in a math course.
      • If you complete a math course above MAT123, without taking MAT115/123, your Math Competency requirement will show as unmet (red x) which will cause the entire Competency and General Education sections to show as unmet as well.

    Technology, and Foreign Language 1 & 2 requirements may be met based on high school grades. A green check mark to the left of the course would indicate that you have already met the requirement.

    Competency 2

    If you have not met these requirements expand each subsection to find courses to add to your degree plan.

    IMPORTANT: You will notice that unlike most major requirements, the General Education doesn’t list specific course codes (with a few exceptions). As you continue to plan courses to fulfil each subsection and section of the General Education you will need to refer to the Recommended GE list for specific course codes that you can locate and then drag and drop into your degree plan.

    For example, there are a few course codes listed under the Competency Requirements > Technology Coursework subsection yet these are indicators of courses from other major areas of study that will meet the Technology Coursework requirement.

    Tech GE

    The Recommended GE list indicates that CIS265 is the recommended course to meet this requirement. 

    You can locate this course under the Courses / Search tab in the top right panel.

    Course Search

    Recommended Search settings:

    • Change the Course Code search prefix to “Begins With”
    • Type in the course code into the Course Code search box (no spaces or hyphens)
    • Click search

    Begins With

    Once you have found the course you can drag and drop it into your degree plan.

    As before, you will notice a faded red x appears to the left of the requirement and a yellow triangle marked copy of the course appears under the requirement as well. When you have planned for all requirements in a section a yellow triangle will appear to the left of the section.

    Comp 3

    Once you have planned all the courses to meet the Competency section of the General Education, move down the list to Foundations, Biblical & Theological, and so on. Be sure to plan for the entire section, until the yellow triangle appears to the left, before moving on to the next one.


    Expanding the Natural, Social, Political, and Cultural Worlds reveals numerous subject areas / subsections. You do not need to take courses from all subject areas / subsections. These represent the various courses you can take to earn the six units needed to meet each requirement.

    Natural World

    Social World 

    Political World

    Cultural World

    Using the Recommended GE list, plan courses to meet the requirements in the Natural, Social, Political, and Cultural Worlds. When each world is planned a yellow triangle will appear to the left of the subsection title. A yellow triangle will also appear to the left of the General Education header when every requirement is met / planned.

    GE IP

    3.3: Graduation Credit Requirements and Adding Elective Units

    Once every section of the General Education is marked by a yellow triangle you can Click to Collapse the General Education section and Click to Expand the Graduation Credit Requirements located at the top of the right panel.

    Grad Reqs

    Here you will see a summary of your earned and planned units. The bottom calculation must add up to a minimum of 124 units. If it does not add up to 124 you will need to plan elective courses until you reach 124.

    • In our example we can see that the student has already earned 3 units in a previous semester in the “Earned” line.
    • Transfer / Exam credit will appear in the “Transfer/Exam Earned” line.
    • We have planned 96 units thus far in the degree plan. Our earned + planned units comes to 99 total units. If we subtract 99 from 124 we see that we need 25 elective units.
    • Elective units can be earned by taking courses outside of your General Education, Major, Minor, or Concentration requirements.

    Calculate your elective units needed and add elective courses to your plan to reach / exceed 124 total units. Use the Courses and Search tabs in the top right panel to search for elective courses to add to your plan.



    3.4: Upper Division Degree Requirements

    Once a minimum of 124 units are planned for you can Click to Collapse the Graduation Credit Requirements section and scroll down to locate the Upper Division Deg Req section.

    Upper Div

    Every CBU student must earn 39 upper division (300/400 level) units in order to graduate. Once your degree guide contains 39 earned / planned upper division units you will see a yellow triangle to the left of the section header.

    If you do not see a yellow triangle, refer to the calculations listed under the header. Subtract your earned and planned units from 39. The difference indicates the number of upper division units needed in your plan. You can either replace lower division General Education courses for upper division courses or take upper division electives (only recommended if elective units are needed to graduate).

    Upper Div IP


    3.5: Chapel

    You do not have to plan for Chapel in your degree plan. This section will remain marked by a red x.


  • Step 4 - Submitting for Approval

    When the General Education, all Major(s), Minor(s), and Concentration(s), and Upper Division Deg Req sections are marked with yellow triangles, and your earned + planned units is at a minimum of 124 you can request approval of your degree plan by clicking the Request Approval button located in the top right portion of the screen.


    That status of your plan will be noted on the Academic Advisor home page in InsideCBU. Here you will see if your plan is not approved, approved, or if an advisor suggests revisions.


    This concludes the Academic Planner Instructions.