As you plan out your next semester’s college schedule, you will read an excess of course descriptions and Rate My Professors reviews. You will map out at least three contingency plans for what to do if upperclassmen snag your preferred courses. Don’t overlook the people who can help you, too! Here’s who to talk to as you create your perfect college schedule.
- Academic Advisor
Though your major’s requirements are easily found online, it is always worth it to run a questionable class by your advisor. If you are really interested in a class that seems like it should pass for major credit but apparently does not, explain your case! Let your enthusiasm for the course shine through and your advisor might override the silly rules and give you a required credit for it, anyway. Advisors have the final say on what counts and what doesn’t, so maintaining a good relationship with your advisor is a wonderfully sneaky way to get what you want!
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Upperclassmen in the same degree track as you can serve as fountains of scheduling knowledge! Rate My Professors is spot-on sometimes, but it can also be completely off. When you ask someone you actually know about a professor and their class, you can weigh the pros and cons of the course offering much more easily. Your upperclassman colleagues will offer the best tips about who does pop quizzes, how intensive the class readings are, and what to consider as you pick out your class.
If you have a professor whose class you loved, meet up to mention your prospective classes to them. Ask if they think you will enjoy the course, based on how you enjoyed the class you took with them. A nice professor will tell you honestly – if they know – how the class is taught and whether or not you would find the subject matter interesting. Even better, since professors like to fill their own classes, you might find out that your favorite professor is offering a similar class in the future. You can then hold out and take the course with them instead!
By doing a little person-to-person research, you may discover and take some classes you never would have found otherwise. Sometimes a conversation with someone you trust is just enough of an extra push to put you in the best class you’ve ever attended!
How do you plan your college schedule?