Whatever degree you are seeking or program you are in, it’s important to plan out which courses you need to take to graduate so that you can see exactly how long your schooling will take you.
This will help you to know hhow much money you need to pay for school and how much time it will take before you can graduate and start looking for a job. That said, one of the most important reasons to plan out your four-year course plan is so that you can try to be as efficient as possible and not take any classes that won’t count toward your degree.
This is especially important if you plan to transfer because you will need to be certain that the school you want to transfer into will accept every class you are taking at your current school. Ideally, you want to know this before you take the classes.
This is not to say that you shouldn’t take some classes to explore. If something seems interesting to you, by all means, take it. Most colleges give you lots of fun options in each category of requirements, so be sure to explore. In this way, you learn about new interests and possible passions. Many students discover their careers this way! Keep your mind open, just be sure to know that the class you take fulfills a requirement for you; if it doesn’t, then be ready to pay for that extra class at the end of the day.
See if any of your classes will count twice for you. This can really help to save you money if you can take a course that will fulfill two requirements for you. Be sure to discuss this with your adviser because this is very technical and there may be certain rules or exceptions that you are unaware of.
Meet regularly with your adviser to verify your plan. Your adviser can tell you if your planning is accurate and if you have missed any details. Be sure to meet with your adviser before you schedule your classes, in case you have made a mistake and then your adviser can help you avoid paying for a course that you may not need. I would suggest meeting with your adviser at least once a year but perhaps even twice. Always be sure to thank them for their time, and a thank you card or gift at the end of your time at school is a very nice gesture.
Do consider a double major, and if you do, then this planning is even more important. Many courses can fulfill a graduation requirement in two areas for you if you plan carefully, so doing a double major may not be as difficult as you think. Check into it, because it can make you twice as marketable.
Petition to take higher level courses if you would like more of a challenge. Just be sure that you are up to it and that you can do well. You can also petition to ask for a certain class you really want to take to fulfill a requirement if the substitution to you seems logical. Your academic adviser at college would facilitate a change like this.
So as you can see, planning can save you time and money, and perhaps even help you to get a second degree at the same time!