How to maximize your fall schedule

Hillary Federico

Can you believe the year is almost over? Now that the housing lottery is complete and summer vacation is looming closer and closer, the time has come to choose classes for the Fall 2008 semester.

Although the task may seem daunting, here are a few tips to help you select the best schedule possible in the easiest and most efficient way possible.

To begin the course selection process, first decide what you are personally interested in from psychology to economics. Whatever the case, write down these interests and consult the course listing section either on Web Advisor or the course handbook. Determine what classes appeal to you and compile a list.

After your list of possible courses is complete, choose your top choices determined by your major. For example, communications majors should choose at least five classes a semester whereas business and health science majors must generally choose at least six.

The next step in the course selection process is to choose alternative classes. In case a class does not fit into your schedule or all the spaces for the class are filled by the time you are scheduled to register, it is good to have back-ups. Select at least four alternate courses that you could take during the Fall 2008 semester.

Every undergraduate student is required to meet with his or her advisor before his or her registration date. Take advantage of their assistance and ask questions to determine what remaining classes you must take to fulfill all pre-requisites and university requirements. You should bring your list of course titles as well as your list of alternatives to the meeting. Your advisor will assist you in filling out a specific sheet applicable to your major. He or she will also help you stay on track by determining which courses would be best for your minor and/or major.

After you have established which courses are appropriate for your upcoming semester, determine a preliminary schedule. Check the times when courses are offered (including all the alternatives). Record the times on your course list. The simplest way to layout a blueprint for your class schedule is to either select certain teachers you would like to have or consult the course selection booklet for the times and days the classes are offered.

Remember to tailor your schedule to your needs: can you handle an 8 a.m. or a night class?

When choosing next semester’s schedule, oftentimes many students overlook prior commitments including clubs, Executive Board positions, work study and internships. It is critical that you consider what obligations you have made prior to the beginning of the semester.

Generally, two to three weeks prior to the registration deadline, each student will receive a course selection packet in the mail. The envelope includes a course selection booklet, documentation of already completed classes (and those that are currently in progress), and an important sheet of paper which tells you your registration date and time.

Follow the directions printed on the paper and search for all open classes on your list. If at some point you decide that you do not want to take a certain class or want to take another, there is an additional date on the sheet of paper where all open classes are available to everyone to register online. Students are able to search for remaining spaces in the courses they are interested in.

Follow these tips and next semester’s class load will be that much easier.