How to Pick a Winning Course Lineup

One of the best parts about being a college student is undoubtedly the amount of control you have over your schedule. Besides choosing for yourself what you’ll do with your time, you get to take charge of your course schedule. While you’ll still be required to take a certain amount of science, history, English, and math as part of your core coursework, and while there are some courses in your major you won’t be able to avoid, when you take these classes are largely up to you! Before you jump at the opportunity to start your days at noon, check out these guidelines that will help you create a winning course schedule!

If You’re Undecided

If you haven’t chosen a major yet, you might want to spend your first semester or two plowing through your core coursework. With classes in multiple fields, you might be able to get a better idea on what it is you’ll want to further pursue. In addition, with your core coursework out of the way, you’ll be able to breeze through your major coursework without being held up by all those other 100 level classes you put off. This can increase your chances of graduating on time.

If you have some idea on what you’ll be majoring in, but just aren’t sure specifically what path to take, you can start taking some of your major’s general courses that will be required by everyone perusing that field. For example, if you’re not sure if you want to be a state trooper or a crime scene investigator, a 100 level criminal justice class is probably required for both.

If You’ve Chosen a Major

Instead of planning your schedule for this semester, try to plan for all of college. What courses will you need to take and when? You don’t want to put off a class that’s uninteresting, only to later find out it’s a prerequisite for every class you’ll need to take your sophomore year.

General Guidelines

Don’t take too many classes that are similar in nature or workload. While biology may be your passion, four biology lectures with four labs due every Friday can get both confusing and exhausting.

Make note of the time you have between classes. Is there time to get lunch? Do you have chunks of time in your schedule you could use for group projects or papers? You don’t want to leave yourself with just enough time to do nothing everyday!

If the same class is taught by multiple professors, you may want to do some research. Read up on the backgrounds of your professors, and decide which you think will have more to offer. Ask other students who have taken the class. What do upperclassmen have to recommend? While one friend may advise you to avoid a professor based on the intense workload, an upperclassman may report that if they hadn’t had that professor, they wouldn’t have done so well in their other classes.

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