CATS Frequently Asked Questions
CATS (Comprehensive Academic Tracking System) is LSU’s academic monitoring system that provides students with an assessment of progress toward degree requirements.
There is a Recommended Path for each major. This path is the optimal plan for completing the degree in that major in four years. Each Recommended Path contains Critical Requirements which are specific courses or other performance measurements that each department has identified as mandatory for progression in that major. These are the requirements that students must reach to meet Minimum Academic Progress (on-track) in their chosen major.
CATS provides feedback on a student’s progress in a major, helping them to find the best academic path to complete their degree. By assessing students’ progress toward degree completion, CATS will identify those students who may be struggling. This affords the University the opportunity to provide additional counseling and advisement resources to assist students.
Each Recommended Path has been crafted by the department offering the degree program. Courses are laid out in a semester breakdown that is the optimal path to graduate in four years. Recommended Paths are available in the LSU General Catalog on the respective degree program pages.
These are the requirements that students must reach in order to meet Minimum Academic Progress in their chosen program.
A student must complete the Critical Requirements for the semester they are being tracked on to maintain Minimum Academic Progress. A student does not need to complete all courses listed in the Recommended Path to meet Minimum Academic Progress. Rather, he or she must meet the Critical Requirements for the semester they are being tracked on.
Email notifications will be sent to students to let them know if they are not meeting Minimum Academic Progress. These emails are the result of assessments that will be run mid-semester and after final grades are posted. The email notification will contain a link to direct students to their CATS Status screen on their PAWS desktop. Students will receive a Hold on their registration if they are not meeting Minimum Academic Progress. Students meeting Minimum Academic Progress (on-track) will NOT receive an email or a Hold on their registration.
The student must visit a counselor/advisor and obtain advisement. The advising location for each student is listed on their CATS Status screen, which will be linked in to the email notification they receive if they do not meet Minimum Academic Progress.
If a student is not meeting Minimum Academic Progress (off-track) TWO consecutive semesters in the same major, he or she will be required to change their major. Counselors/advisors will assist students with this process and help them to find a degree program that appropriately matches the student’s interests and abilities. Once a student has been placed in a new major, the hold will be lifted and the student can register for classes while following their new Recommended Path.
Students should consult the LSU General Catalog to view information on all majors offered at LSU as well as the Recommended Paths.
Olinde Career Center (LSU Student Union) staff assist students who are not meeting Minimum Academic Progress and wish to explore degree programs and major changes. The Olinde Career Center offers individual appointments for career counseling, workshops, career testing, and computer-based programs to assist with selecting a major that matches a student’s interests and abilities.