How to Pick the Best College Class Schedule

How to Pick the Best College Class Schedule
  • Opening Intro -

    When I was in college, one of the biggest challenges for students was to find a class schedule that was right for them.

    Just as it is today, many students are balancing work and other activities with their studies, making some days better than others for attending school.


Making the college schedule that is right for you.

You can’t always work it out to get Fridays off, but by employing the following common sense strategies, you can come up with a schedule that is not only workable, but is best for you.

Required courses — Your goal while in college is to work toward graduation. Seems easy enough, right? Well, ask 100 college students if they’ve ever had difficulty getting the class they wanted when they wanted it and likely you’ll hear at least 100 different stories outlining personal difficulties and the challenges they had to overcome to take one or more courses. First things first — know what courses are required for graduation and work toward eliminating each one by taking your prerequisites first. That’s sensible, but students regularly run into problems when attempting to take English Literature 201 before EL 101.

Know thyself — An overriding consideration for college students is to understand how best they perform at any given time of the day. If you absolutely like to sleep in, then that 8 a.m. Microeconomics course just won’t cut it. Instead, you may need to start your day after 11 a.m. and pepper your schedule with night classes to meet requirements. Also consider weekend and online classes if your schedule allows it. Come up with the schedule that is right for you, not one that is favored by your friends.

Carry a full load — To give yourself some room, consider taking a full load plus one extra course. If you can handle 18 credits one semester, then you’ll have more flexibility later on when scheduling for advanced classes becomes more difficult to do. If you find that the load is too heavy, you can always drop one course to stay on track. Finishing college within four years is possible, but you have to plan ahead to ensure that you’re not stuck when the last semester rolls around.

Take a summer course — You may have dreams of spending the summer by the shore, but those dreams might be best deferred if you can take a summer course or two for six weeks. Spend one summer on campus and you’ll soon find that your schedule is a lot easier to handle later on. Tip: take a course that is hard to find during the rest of the year and get it out of the way. One class will consume much time, two can be too much for the student juggling other responsibilities. Once you’ve successfully completed and passed your summer course, you’ll find that your schedule going forward is easier to handle.

Meet with your adviser — Students should not only meet with their adviser, but make once a year or once a semester check ups with them. Your adviser can help you with your class scheduling, and may be able to get you into a class that has closed or approve a different course to replace a non-essential, but required course. Your adviser will be the one to approve you for graduation, therefore make sure that your courses always fit within the school’s requirements.

As always, keep in touch with other students about their own class schedules and find out what they’ve learned about scheduling and course offerings. Never register for classes late as a missed class may cause you to delay graduation.

See AlsoShould You Take a Winter Session Course?

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Categories: Academics