Planning Your Schedule for Next Semester
The courses required to earn a University degree can be sorted into three categories:
Elective course work - any additional courses taken to meet the total hours
requirement for the degree. No courses are specifically designated as electives.
Any course included in your schedule should fit into one of these three categories.* Most schedules will have courses selected from at least two of these categories and when possible, will blend classes from all three categories.
When planning your schedule it is often best to start by determining what courses are necessary for you to keep pace with the requirements of your major. This is especially true for students on the Four-Year Plan who must keep pace with specific semester-by-semester course requirements. Students who have not yet chosen a major are often well served by choosing an introductory course or two from departments that hold promise as potential majors. In many cases, these introductory courses can also be used to fulfill the GEP.
A second area to consider is the GEP list. A check of one's Degree Evaluation through ISIS will reveal which General Education categories remain unfulfilled. This is another good place to start when looking for potential class ideas. Checking the requirements of your major or potential major for possible overlaps with the GEPs will allow you to minimize your overall requirements.
Finally, you should consider elective courses. Electives can be used in many ways. Students who have not yet determined their major can use elective coursework to explore potential majors. Students who have a major selected can use electives to meet the requirements of professional school programs, to bolster their preparation for graduate school, to earn double majors, to earn certificates and minors, and to learn more about specific areas of interest. Good long term planning will insure that you get the most out of your university experience. Each semester you should schedule a planning appointment with your advisor in order to talk about these opportunities. Follow the next link to get an idea what a typical semester at the University might look like.
* There are exceptions to this statement. This includes courses that are considered duplicative of previous UI coursework, credited transfer coursework, and admissions criteria, such as Algebra I, Algebra II, and the first two years of a foreign language. For further detail and explanation, see your adviser.