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Scheduling Courses


How do you realistically choose your classes, balance your semester load and structure your day to match your personal patterns? - Try on this advice:

  • Before you sign up: do you learn better in the morning or afternoon? How long can you pay attention? Are you able to resist late-night parties in favor of studying? What subjects come to you most easily? - Honestly answering questions like these will lead you toward forming a schedule that will work for you.

Don't forget to work out your schedule before the registration date arrives!

  • Scheduling your first class of the day: try scheduling your first class in a favorite subject - this might help jumpstart you into "class mode" by a course you won't want to miss.
  •  No time to study: how about structuring your day with some time in the library - and go there!
  • Semester strategies: How long can you sit and listen? Do you prefer a 3 hour class one time per week or three 1 hour classes in a week instead? It's important too to pick and schedule classes that make you work in a variety of ways - short papers, long papers, group work. Read descriptions in the undergraduate bulletin or talk to professors for clues about what a course entails. Also, make sure you plan something in your schedule that you already know you do well and that you love doing - aerobics class, editing the school newspaper.
  • Balancing work load with activity: Like to finish your afternoon with physical activity? How about taking kick boxing, spinning, racquetball or another fun course for credit? A no-homework physical education class balances your study load and gives you a chance to unwind.

The flexibility of college schedules gives you a chance to create structure that suits your personal style.

*adapted from Next Step Magazine and The New York Times

Choosing courses can be a confusing task. There are many different requirements and so many courses from which to choose! Intentionally select courses with one or more of the following purposes in mind:

  •  to choose a major or confirm your choice is a good "fit"
  •  to acquire a minor or build a concentration that will complement your major
  •  to broaden your perspectives on the world around you
  •  to become a more balanced or complete individual
  •  to handle practical life tasks that face you now and in the future
  •  to strengthen your career development and employment prospects after graduation

(Cuseo, 2005)