How to get the Best. Class. Schedule. Ever.
You’re going to college, which is super exciting (and maybe low-key intimidating). There are so many decisions to make that it’s easy to forget why you’re going on this adventure in the first place — to take classes and earn a degree. We’ve got you covered with eight things to consider when creating your best U of I class schedule, so you’ll be ready when you meet with your advisor.
1. Follow your path
Have you declared a major? Most U of I majors have course guides in place for you already. If you’ve chosen a major and you’re ready to get started, you can use the VandalWeb schedule planner and see what class times are available, schedule downtime and finish registering. Still not sure what to study? You’re not the only one! Declare General Studies as your major. You can complete your core courses and explore your interests at the same time.
2. Want to get it done in four?
Graduating in four years is possible when you commit to 15 credits per semester (you have to have 12 to be full-time, anyway). Most majors require 120 credits to graduate. Just make sure to spread out your class schedule throughout the week to leave time for studying and other activities.
3. We've got you covered
U of I advisors can help you get there. Schedule an appointment to meet with your advisor before registering to make sure you’re on track and meeting your degree requirements. If you don’t remember your advisor’s name, don’t worry. We’ve got a tool for that: Advisor Finder.
4. Get into it!
Try to get the general academic requirements, like history and math, out of the way in your first two years. But you should still take a class or two you’re excited about. Take classes that interest you, for the sake of being interested and learning new things—it’s a great way to discover your passion. A side bonus here is that these courses may apply toward the elective credits you need.
5. Manage your expectations
Maintaining balance is key. Don’t jump into harder courses. College is different than high school; the challenge level is higher. Try mixing up your class schedule so that you’re doing different types of work throughout the week.
6. Move your credits in with you
Make sure to transfer college credits earned in high school before you register. You can also get out of required courses by placing well on a college placement exam. There’s no better feeling than not having to take Calculus 101.
7. Get write on it
Sign up for a writing course on your first semester class schedule, even if it isn’t required. Term papers are a thing, and you won’t be sorry.
8. Have a plan B… and C
Be ready to register for your class schedule before it’s your turn. Fact: Some sections are more popular than others. Be flexible and give yourself multiple options. This will better your chances to get into a class you want and give you more time if any problems arise along the way.