Monday, January 17, 2011

Finalize Your Schedule

Still working on finalizing your schedule? Here are some general points to bear in mind:

1) You need to enroll in at least 12 credits to qualify as a full-time student. You will need to average 15 EARNED credits per semester to graduate in four years.

2) While Add/Drop lasts for two weeks, don’t count on adding a new class the last day of Add/Drop when you haven’t been attending and doing the work all along. Attending a class that you cannot enroll in (because it is full) is a good strategy . . . just make sure you’re also attending and keeping up with at least 12 credits of courses that you KNOW you are safely enrolled in.

3) Speaking with an instructor – face to face – will often net you the best results, when trying to get into a closed class. Attend the class, and then go up after class to introduce yourself and to say why it’s important for you to get into that class.

4)  See your advisor with any questions or concerns you have about your schedule - and don't wait until the end of Add/Drop!

If you’re a first year student (and especially if you’re starting at UMass this semester), you should check out the seminars that are designed specifically for you, and that will get you into a small class where you’ll get to know your classmates and your faculty. Here are some options:

  • The OASIS First-Year Seminar (UNIV-125) is designed specifically for students entering UMass without a declared major. In addition to all the traditional topics found in many first-year seminars, OASIS has a strong emphasis on exploring majors.  Your class will be taught by your advisor. 
  • Faculty First-Year Seminars (FFYS - see courses that begin with UNIV 197) are a fantastic way for incoming students to connect with faculty and engage in a topic they are passionate about. Check out "Media, Fashion, Culture, and Style," "Brazil for Beginners," "Parasites and People: The Good, the Bad, the Yucky" or any of the other fascinating seminars that offer direct access to UMass Amherst's distinguished faculty and the passion they bring to the classroom and their research.
And, not just for first year students - this spring you can get in on the initial offering of UNIV 190P: Investigating Higher Education! In this 3-credit course, you will be part of a small class, engage in a personal research project, and have an opportunity to present your work. The topic of the class will focus on issues of access to and success in higher education.

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