Choosing Courses

There are many reasons to think of taking a particular course:

  • to learn about something completely new
  • to deepen your knowledge of, or continue honing your skills in, a subject area you know well
  • because you’re drawn to the course readings
  • because you’ve heard amazing things about a professor
  • because the course meets a requirement
  • because the course is a prerequisite
  • to help decide which concentration is right for you

Over the span of your undergraduate career, you will take 32 4-credit classes (the minimum requirement to graduate) or some number not far in excess of 32 (fewer if you are a transfer student or you have activated Advanced Standing). 

32 is a very small number.  The opportunity costs of choosing your courses unwisely – e.g., taking a class just because friends of yours are taking it, because it seems like the ‘responsible’ thing to do, because it fits with your schedule, because you think it might be easy, because it covers familiar ground – are great.  Getting the most out of college requires a willingness to take risks, a spirit of exploration, the confidence to follow your own instincts, a lot of research, reflection, and consultation, and willingness to change direction if the path you’re heading down (a course, a concentration, …) feels like the wrong one for you.

Each semester, the College expects you to make informed choices about your course registration with the support of your advisers.