Here’s a simple question: Are you on track to graduate on time?
Whatever your timeline might be, if you can’t answer with an immediate and confident “yes” it’s important to sit down and evaluate your graduation plans.
Make a List
First things first, get a complete list of all of the required general education courses and major courses that you need to graduate with the degree(s) you want. You can get this list either online from your college website or from your college academic advisor. Check off the requirements you’ve already completed.
Ask Yourself Key Questions:
- How many general education credits and requirements do you have left to complete?
- Which general education requirements are left?
- How many required classes are still needed to complete your major(s)?
- Get Specific to Your Degree(s): Outline how many total credits (both gen ed and major) are needed for graduation and compare that the typical course load you’re capable of handling in a single semester (typically 12 – 15 are considered a full load).
- Which courses for your major are still needed?
- How many credits or hours are required for these courses?
- Are there any other things you need to fulfill to receive your degree, such as a project, practical, certificate, etc.?
Do the Math: Compare how many credits you have left to how many you can take per semester. To do this take X total number credits to graduate ÷ Y number of credits per semester = Z number of semesters until graduation.
Be realistic. You’re not going to be able to take 20+ credits in a single term. See what’s do-able for your schedule and your needs. This will give you a more realistic timeline of when you might be able to graduate.
Don’t Forget to Update: If you change your major or minor, make sure to update this list.
Plan for the Future
With your list, you can plan out what courses you will take to meet your graduation timeline.
Consider your pre-requisite classes first: Some classes require that you take certain classes before taking the class. For example, a major class may require you to take 2 lower-level classes before being able to sign up for the major class. This is why you have to plan ahead so you can take the appropriate classes.
When Are Classes Offered: fun fact, not every class is offered every term. Make sure you know when all the courses you need to take are offered. If something is only offered in a specific term, make sure to prioritize that class so you’re able to enroll before it fills up. Don’t wait until your final semester to take a less-than-frequently available course.
Visit Your Academic Advisor
Visit your academic advisor/ the academic advisor office. It’s as simple as that. They are the best people to go to help you plan out your course because they know the classes that you need to take to graduate.
- Visit Frequently: Schedule an appointment each semester as a best practice.
- Ask Away: Ask as many questions as you want.
- Get a Second Opinion: Ask them to help you map (or review) out what classes you need to take every semester until you graduate.
Register for the Necessary Classes
You can’t graduate without taking the classes. Once the registration period starts and you are able to sign up for classes, you need to do is to sign up for the classes that you have outlined.
Set Reminders: Don’t forget or delay to register. Set reminders for when courses open and go in and enroll in the ones you need.
College is an amazing time of your life, but no one wants to stay a college student forever. Planning ahead can help keep you on the path to graduate in the timeframe you want.