During your first semester, you will take four courses. The four courses can be broken down this way:
Course One: First-Year Experience course
(Required first semester for students entering in the fall semester)
All first-year students will be enrolled in one of the First-Year Experience (FYE) course during their first semester. See “Getting Started: Submitting Your FYE Choices” for more information on FYE selection and placement.
Three Additional Courses: Selection of courses that explore your academic pathway.
Selection of your remaining three courses three and four will afford you the opportunity to pursue the initial requirements of your major, explore academic interests, answer a major question you want to tackle or prepare you with the essential foundation skills for academic success. Some students will select a writing course, continue language study or begin learning a new language, start pre-health requirements, or pursue a new academic or creative interest in their first semester.
The following suggestions will help you make informed choices about your other courses:
- What are your academic interests?
What have you always wanted to learn? Enroll in at least one course this fall 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 course in which you should enroll. This selection is especially important for students interested in majoring in the natural sciences or pursuing a pre-health curriculum. Each major and minor has a worksheet of requirements, which you can consult on individual department/program pages on the Wheaton College website. Additionally, you can find recommendations for introductory-level courses, listed by major here: Preparation for Potential Majors.
- Are you interested in pursuing pre-med or a pre-health career?
If so, enroll in the recommended introductory-level courses. Be sure to review the Checklist for first-year students interested in any Biology and/or Chemistry courses included in your May packet from Wheaton.
- Are you considering an Honors and Scholars program? For students pursuing an Honors or Scholars program, you may consider enrolling in one or more of those courses.
- Consider how each course will fit into a balanced schedule.
Along with organization and support, balance is one of the keys to academic success. 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 demand lots of essays or exams? How will you balance your course and academic work with your other activities?