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How can I get ready in high school?

To qualify for unconditional admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, applicants are required to have completed the following high school courses or their equivalents:

 

-              Four years of English/language arts, with emphasis on writing, speaking, and reading as well as understanding and appreciation of literature.

-              Three years of mathematics (two years of algebra and one year of geometry are required).

-              Two years of a single foreign language (the equivalent of four years is required for graduation from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, however, so don’t stop at two years if it’s going well and if your school offers more!).

-               Three years of natural science (at least one year is required from each of two of these: biological sciences, chemistry, and physics).

-              Three years of social studies (United States history, anthropology, economics, geography, government, world history, psychology, and sociology).

 

What should I expect?


EXCITEMENT

It’s a brand new world - no curfews or parents.  Instead there is a lot of responsibility that falls exclusively on you!

 

EXHAUSTION

You will be busier than ever before!  Courses require more study time.  Being a full-time student is a full-time job.  Your social activities, part-time job, etc. are in addition to the 40+ hours you’ll spend each week being a student.

 

EXPLORATION

Inside and outside of class, you’ll constantly be exploring new ideas and options:  majors, careers, yourself--your strengths, your limitations, your interests, your dislikes, and your ability to relate to a diverse group of people--and, of course, ways to have fun!

 

EXPOUND

You will write more in college in a semester than you may have in two years of high school.  Professors expect more – and you can deliver it!

 

EXCEL

College is a time to hone your life skills.  Set high goals and set a plan to reach them.  When you stumble, get up, brush off the dust, and continue on.  Make excellence a life’s goal.

 

What will my first semester classes look like?

 

Every student’s schedule is unique, but most first semester students focus on general education coursework (much of which also satisfies requirements for various majors).  A common schedule might include rhetoric, a natural science course, a historical perspectives course, and a social science course.  A “typical” schedule could have between 12-15 semester hours depending on the student’s major, coursework chosen, and personal preference.

 

At The University of Iowa, courses can take a variety of forms:

  • Single section:  These courses have the look and feel of many high school courses.  A single section class usually includes 22-35 students and meets 3-5 times each week.  Rhetoric (composition and speech) and foreign language are often taught in this format.
  • Lecture-Discussion:  These classes meet 2-3 times per week for a lecture and once or twice each week for a discussion.  Lecture size can be as few as 40 and as many as 650 students. Discussions are typically 25-35 students.  Common first year subjects taught in this format include psychology, religion, sociology, philosophy, and math.
  • Lecture-Lab:  This format includes a large lecture two or three times per week and an active participation lab that meets once or twice weekly.  This format is most common in the natural sciences, such as biology, astronomy, physics, and environmental science.

 

College class schedules often have quite a few more open hours during the day than a typical high school schedule.  Take a look at Chris’s first semester schedule, for example.  Chris is taking 4 courses, for a total of 14 semester hours (s.h.). This means that Chris is spending about 14 hours each week in class.

 

 

Mon.

Tues.

Wed.

Thurs.

Fri.

Sat.

Sun.

8:30

 

Social Science Discussion

         

9:30

 

Natural Science Lecture

 

Natural Science Lecture

     

10:30

     

Natural Science Lab

     

11:30

Rhetoric

Rhetoric

Rhetoric

Rhetoric

   

12:30

           

1:30

History

 

History

 

History

   

2:30

Social Science Lecture

 

Social Science Lecture

       

 

Looks pretty nice, right?  Before you start planning what you’re going to do with all of your free time when you go to college, though, we’d better let you know that The University of Iowa (like most colleges) recommends that students study a minimum of 2 hours outside of class for each hour spent in class!

 

This studying can take many forms:  reading, reviewing and rewriting lecture notes, talking through class material with classmates, doing homework problems in the math or statistics lab, visiting with an instructor during his or her office hours, researching and writing papers, working on group projects, studying in the language media center, etc.

The point is that college is a full-time job.  You should expect only part of your learning to happen during class.  Chris, for example, will need to plan at least 28 hours of study time each week.  The table below shows one way those study hours could be distributed.

 

 

Mon.

Tues.

Wed.

Thurs.

Fri.

Sat.

Sun.

8:30

 

Social Science Discussion

         

9:30

 

Natural Science Lecture

Read for social science

Natural Science Lecture

Review science notes, read text

   

10:30

 

Review science notes

Work on Rhetoric speech

Natural Science Lab

   

11:30

Rhetoric

Rhetoric

Rhetoric

Rhetoric

   

12:30

       

Read for history

 

1:30

History

Read for science

History

 

History

   

2:30

Social Science Lecture

History Writing Center

Social Science Lecture

Read science text, write lab report

Rhetoric instructor office hours

Work on Rhetoric paper/speech

Study science with lab partners

3:30

Review history & social science notes

 

Review history & social science notes

   

4:30

         

5:30

           

Work on history paper

6:30

Read for history & social science

 

social science group project

       

7:30

 

Read for Rhetoric

   

Read for social science

8:30

     

Read for history

     

9:30

Read, work on paper for Rhetoric

Read, work on speech for Rhetoric

         

10:30

         

 

Obviously, this schedule will change a bit from week to week, but Chris is on the right track by noting specifically what the focus will be during each study time.  Chris also works part-time (10-12 hours each week) at a student job on campus.  In the table below those hours have been added into Chris’s schedule. 

 

 

Mon.

Tues.

Wed.

Thurs.

Fri.

Sat.

Sun.

8:30

Work

Social Science Discussion

         

9:30

Natural Science Lecture

Read for social science

Natural Science Lecture

Review science notes, read text

   

10:30

Review science notes

Work on Rhetoric speech

Natural Science Lab

   

11:30

Rhetoric

Rhetoric

Rhetoric

Rhetoric

   

12:30

       

Read for history

 

1:30

History

Read for science

History

 

History

   

2:30

Social Science Lecture

History Writing Center

Social Science Lecture

Read science text, write lab report

Rhetoric instructor office hours

Work on Rhetoric paper/speech

Study science with lab partners

3:30

Review history & social science notes

 

Review history & social science notes

Work

 

4:30

Work

 

Work

 

5:30

       

Work on history paper

6:30

Read for history & social science

social science group project

     

7:30

 

Read for Rhetoric

   

Read for social science

8:30

     

Read for history

     

9:30

Read, work on paper for Rhetoric

Read, work on speech for Rhetoric

         

10:30

         

 

Get the picture?  Whether or not this seems like a big change from what you’ve been used to in high school, just remember that a lot of students find ways to do all this (and more!)—and you can, too!

 

How do I become a Hawkeye?

 

The first step is to apply for admission to the University of Iowa.  If you’ve already applied and been accepted—congratulations!  Read on!  If not, please visit the Undergraduate Admissions site.

 

After admission comes orientation.  Orientation is about introducing you to the University—the campus, the community, college life, and, of course, academics.  It’s also when you meet your adviser and register for your first semester’s courses.  To find out more about Orientation visit the following link: Orientation.