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: ENG 101: First-Year 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.  Please note that you must submit your ENG 101 First-Year Writing course preference form by Wednesday, May 29th along with your First-Year Seminar Form.

You will be asked to list (6) topics for ENG 101 that you would be interested in taking with the understanding that you will be placed in one of your (6) choices. Please list your choices in order of preference.

If you do not submit the preference form by the deadline, you are not guaranteed one of your choices, and we may enroll you in one of the available sections of ENG 101.

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

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.

Tips for Choosing your (6) ENG 101 Writing Course Preferences

1.) ENG 101 is a Foundations course required of all students and should be taken in the first year. Each section prepares students for writing in college.  Consider developing your writing with a topic of interest.

2.) Choose (6) ENG 101 topics that allow you to explore an interest, or you can simply choose topics that intrigue you.

3.) Feel free to engage with topics that seem different from you have written about in high school.  College is different from high school, and your ENG 101 provides you with another opportunity to explore writing about new ideas and new topics.

4.) Choose (6) ENG 101 topics that do not conflict with athletic or any other commitments.  Athletes are advised to choose morning or mid-morning sections of ENG 101.

Your ENG 101 placement will be available by Friday, June 7th. To find your assigned ENG 101 placement:

  • Login to InsideWheaton and click on “WINDOW.”
  • From WINDOW, open “Student and Financial Records
  • Then click “Registration
  • Then click “Concise Student Schedule.”

Note that you may be placed in ENG 101 for the Spring 2020 semester.


Courses Three and Four

Courses three and four can fulfill Foundations, help you explore potential majors, start a Connection sequence, continue language study or begin learning a new language, start pre-health requirements, or pursue a new academic or creative interest.

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.
  • What Foundation courses are interest you?
    Is there a Quantitative Analysis or Beyond the West course that intrigues you?
  • 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.
  • Do you want to work on your foreign language requirement?
    If you are planning to continue study of a language that you studied in high school, you must take the placement test and enroll in the appropriate course as early as possible. If you want to begin learning a new language, you can do so in your first semester, but you can also do so in your sophomore year.
  • 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?

Click here to start browsing course offerings for the upcoming semester.