Choosing classes every semester can be daunting. With possible problems like scheduling conflicts, it is necessary to plan your classes ahead of registration time!
Personally, I use ScheduleBuilder to help me determine which classes I should take. Every semester, I try to keep my professional workload in mind and plan my classes accordingly. I usually coordinate my classes so as to have a balance of relatively easy and difficult classes in one semester. Since I have three minors that complement my major, it is especially important to me to schedule classes ahead of time to ensure no hiccups occur during registration day.
Remember: Advisors can help a whole lot especially in choosing classes - During my orientation in Fall 2016, I met with my CLA advisor to discuss my class choices. I am a Psychology B.A. Major but I am really interested in applying psychology to public policy instead of going down the clinical route. I asked him for course recommendations and he said that a Public Health course sounds like my thing. I started with PUBH 3004 and became a Public Health Minor ever since. Throughout the course, I learned many new things that sparked my other interests, so I added two more minors - Family Social Science, as well as Sociology of Law, Crime, and Deviance. My minors complement my major really well so most courses I take account for several requirements!
Besides that, I highly recommend taking subjects that you deem interesting or that can add on to your major, especially when you can choose from a few courses . Choose a course that you will really love instead of choosing a random course to simply get it over with. For example, one of my classes this semester requires me to write a research paper on an issue affecting families. I immediately thought of parental incarceration and its effects on children as I learned about it in Public Health. The paper was for a Family Psych class, but my minors in Public Health and Law and Crime assisted me tremendously in writing the paper! Here are a few interesting courses at the U that I have heard of:
- Physical Education courses (Designed for Kinesiology and sports-related majors, these courses are open to everyone! The department offers everything from martial arts to scuba diving and soccer, so it is worth checking out!)
- FSOS 1101: Intimate Relationships (This course has consistently been attended by many students who are not from the major or minor itself. It is a highly popular course as it teaches you many skills in intimate relationships, and covers topics of LGBTQ relationships, origins and influences of forming intimate relationships, as well as couple conflicts and research-proven methods on solving those conflicts!)
- BIOL 1003: Biology of Sex (I did not take this course personally, but it is a popular course among my friends who have taken it. The course covers topics on reproduction and development and it is guaranteed that you’ll learn something new AND interesting. If you need a Biology requirement fulfilled, this is the course to go!)
- Animal Science or Horticulture courses (There are a few interesting courses under these departments if you are an animal lover like me. I have not taken any courses from them yet, but in some of the courses, you can even interact with live animals which is pretty amazing.)
Finally, it is of course important to keep your major requirements in check. I usually try to take courses that are interesting to me - including major courses. In my major, I lean more towards social psychology instead of clinical psychology. Utilize the U resources such as ScheduleBuilder and Grad Planner to help make choosing courses a little easier.
With ScheduleBuilder, you can filter courses by the requirements they fulfill and narrow down your choices with little effort. You can also visit classinfo.umn.edu to get a short description of your course if you would like to know more about class content and structure before committing to it.
A final tip is to keep an eye out for “double-dip” courses - that is, courses that fulfill more than one requirement. If you have a course that fulfills your liberal education requirement, a Writing Intensive requirement, and a minor requirement - try your best to take it even if you have to wake up super early. It is well worth the time you cut short from taking several other courses!