If you’re like me, the first time you ever looked at college classes was during orientation when your advisor told you everything you need to take. I remember it being a bit overwhelming since I had never given deep thought to what classes I’d be taking my first semester, but also exciting at the same time as I had different options and could choose what sounded the best to me.
I strongly suggest to meet with your advisor every semester to make sure you will be on the right track to graduating on time, but as students we need to take that responsibility upon ourselves to make sure we know what classes we need! You may think you’re on track and will graduate in four years.. and then that last semester arrives and you could figure out you’re missing one or two classes and have to stay another semester (it happens, unfortunately). So do yourself and your parents a favor– be responsible and know what classes you need to take so you can finish in the typical four years and not have to stay longer. This can be very tricky, especially if you’re like me and changed your major multiple times junior year- but graduating in four years can still happen and I want to tell you how!
MC has a general required curriculum for every undergraduate consisting of around 48 hours and a chapel requirement of four semesters. You can view the required classes on MC’s website by clicking on this link then choosing University Core Curriculum. Taking these required classes during your first two years at MC is recommended. A lot of these are prerequisites to upper level classes, so you will have to take some of these before moving on to those classes. You may think you definitely know what you want to major in, so you might want to put off some of these required classes and take specific ones for your major but I want to advise you not to do this! After your first year or two taking classes you could very well find yourself wanting to change majors after you’ve already taken a handful of courses that are specifically for that major– which could put you in a pickle and not graduate on time. Don’t be over eager about taking your major classes. Take the required ones and get a feel for the different subjects you’re learning about. You could find a new interest and decide on a new career path!
In order to graduate, every student needs to have taken at least 130 hours. Most majors will require you to choose a minor, which will consist of 18 hours. Some majors, like Graphic Design, are comprehensive. Meaning it has more required Graphic Design courses and therefore a minor is not required to reach the 130 hours to graduate. Most majors also require 3-9 elective hours. These are classes you can choose to take from any department on campus. However, if you end up taking a class that ends up not being required for your major, this can count as an elective so don’t worry–it wasn’t a complete waste of time! We’ve written a blog about electives and some cool ones to take you can check out here.
Another good thing to know is the different requirements between a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science. If you choose to get a BA, there is a 12 hour language requirement. Though I am a bit biased being a Spanish minor, I want to encourage students not to quickly write off getting a BA because of the language requirement. Knowing a second language is very beneficial in our world today and having that on your resume can make you stand out from other people.
When you meet with your advisor you both can put together a planned out schedule for the next four years so you can have a good idea of what it will look like. If you are still undecided about your major, don’t fret. Take your basics the first two years and get a feel for what you enjoy. You could even take some electives that stand out to you during this time and get a feel for those, as well.
In order to graduate in four years with a major/minor or comprehensive major, take 15-16 hours every semester! Doing this will guarantee you will graduate on time or even early. I know that can be a big load for some students, so measure what you can personally handle. Start out at 12 hours if need be and once you get your study habits in check start taking 15 hours a semester. It will pay off in the end!
My last word of advice is to become best friends with MC’s website. They have ALL of the information you need about courses and majors listed. Go here to see a complete list of majors offered and what is required for each one. Different majors have different requirements, so be sure to check out the website to know what specific courses you need for your major. If you become familiar with everything you need to take, you can be sure you’re graduating on time and impress your advisor that you know your stuff so well!
I hope this helps when you guys start planning for future semesters. I also hope you guys are pumped for Move-In Day (that’s in three days!!) and for Welcome Week festivities kicking off! We can’t wait!