Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
Academic Planning Guide


Selecting Courses

During your first semester, you will take four courses. The four courses can be broken down this way:

Course One: First-Year Seminar (required first semester for students entering in the fall semester)

All first-year students will be enrolled in one of the First-Year Seminars (FYS) during their first semester. See “Getting Started: Submitting Your FYS Choices” for more information on FYS selection and placement.

Course Two: Writing (fall or spring semester)

All first-year students are required to enroll in one of the English 101 sections during their first year. Some students may be exempt by virtue of AP exam or other credits.

If your potential major is English, register for English 101 during your first semester at Wheaton.

However, if your potential major is in art, mathematics, one of the sciences, or you plan to pursue a pre-med/pre-health career track, enroll in English 101 during your second semester.

Students who have earned credits through Advanced Placement (AP) examinations or college-level study may be exempt from this requirement. See Alternate Sources of Credit.

If you are exempt from English 101, or plan to register for English 101 in the spring semester, then your second course, like courses three and four, can be used to explore your academic interests, fulfill another Foundation requirement, or start a Connection.

Courses Three and Four

Courses three and four can help you fulfill Foundations, explore potential majors, start a Connection or pursue a new academic interest. The following suggestions will help you make informed choices for courses three and four:

  • What are your academic interests? What have you always wanted to learn? Enroll in at least one course this semester that permits you to demonstrate your intellectual strengths or sparks your imagination.
  • Do you have a potential major? If so, determine if there is a specific introductory-level course that you should enroll in.
  • What Foundation courses are you interested in? Do you want to begin your language requirement? Is there a Quantitative Analysis or Beyond the West course that intrigues you?
  • Do any of the Connections interest you? If so, are there any courses that will help you begin a Connection sequence?
  • Are you interested in pursuing pre-med or a pre-health career? If so, enroll in the recommended introductory-level courses.

Consider how each course will fit into a balanced schedule: Balance is one of the keys to a successful first year. Remember to think about the kinds of work each course will require: will there be lots of problem sets, labs, exams or reading assignments? Will the course be seminar style or lecture style? How will your course schedule fit into your other activities?

To start browsing course offerings for the upcoming semester, click here.

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