Find out how to choose your college courses here!

Starting college involves a number of new experiences and one of them is choosing your class schedule. In high school, you may have been able to choose some courses, but most of the curriculum was standardized and regulated by the school administration. Most colleges offer you significant autonomy in choosing your courses and the process for doing so is generally similar across schools. There are several things to keep in mind when choosing classes to ensure the schedule and process works for you.

Review your school's course catalog

Before scheduling any courses, you have to know what classes are available for you to take. You can find out this information from your school's course catalog. This is almost always available online at your college's website. When looking at courses consider if they are requirements for your major. Also take account of the prerequisites for courses, as many upper-level courses require you to take lower-level classes before enrolling in them. Most colleges offer lists of courses that fit into a certain criteria such as core requirements, major requirements, or introductory-level courses. Take advantage of these lists as they can save you a lot of time when researching courses.

Research the scheduling process

The actual selection process for college courses varies with colleges and universities. Contact your academic adviser to learn more about the requirements for course selection at your school. Many colleges have certain dates when course registration opens, and specific dates for add/drop periods. An add/drop period is the amount of time given from the start of the semester which allows students to change classes for any reason.

Determine your scheduling preferences

Before registering for your classes think about your schedule priorities. Are you a morning person? Would you like to have free time during the day to work or play sports? These are important questions to ask yourself because your class times can mean the difference between a comfortable course load and one that is a strain on you. While your own preferences are the most important thing to consider, keep in mind that taking early courses is probably the best choice for maintaining a schedule. Once you finish your classes for the day, you are free to do whatever you want and you can work or full up your free time however you like because there are no late classes that constrain your schedule.

Get your requirements out of the way

Nearly every college has core requirements for its students. These requirements span all disciplines and are in place for colleges to ensure that students graduate with a well rounded education that does not simply focus on their major of choice. It is a good idea to get these out of the way early so you can focus on the courses your major requires after. Finishing your core requirements initially ensures that you can devote the rest of your education to your major and be better prepared for your career.

Make a plan for registration

Do not approach the registration process haphazardly. Plan out a time to actually register for classes and make sure you have your schedule mapped out as well as a few alternate schedules in case some courses you wanted to take are full. Being prepared helps to ensure that you get the perfect schedule for your needs.

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