How to choose first year courses

There are over 2000 courses offered every year in the FAS. That’s exciting and daunting. Here’s some help making choices:

Choose the first-year requirements for the Programs of Study you intend to pursue. Every student has to complete Programs of Study. They apply for them at the end of first-year. More info on Programs of Study here.

If you’re not sure what Programs of Study you want to take, just look for courses that interest you. Remember, interest affects motivation affects success. There aren’t easy courses. There are only courses that you find easy!

Once you have chosen courses for your potential Programs of Study, look at additional 100-series courses in areas that interest you, even if you have no background in the area. You may eventually decide to pursue a Program of Study in something you know nothing about yet!

When a course catches your eye, be sure to check that you have the appropriate prerequisites.

Some students will complete some of their Breadth Requirements in first year, but know that this is not necessary. Breadth has to be done by the time you graduate.

Many students look for a small-classroom experience and will gravitate to the First-Year Seminars and the First-year Foundations courses.

Students in 1st-year can also take upper-level courses, provided they meet any prerequisites for the course. Some 200-series courses do not have 100-series prerequisites and are open to first-year students. Often, these courses will include the word “introduction” in the title or the course description. While 200-level courses may have some academic expectations that second-year students are more suited to, first-year students can take 200-series courses for which they meet the prerequisites. If you want to be challenged, it’s fair to say that the 100-level courses will satisfy your expectation! And if you plan to take more than two 200-series courses in your 1st- year, it’s a good idea to meet with an academic advisor in your College to go over your plan.

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