back to top
Community

Planning Your Major: Looking Into The Future

Some tips and tricks for planning courses for you major. There are also dog memes so that this article can be enjoyable, even if you already planned out your undergraduate degree. There is also a sample course planning table linked to this article.

Posted on

Why Should I Plan My Major?

In first year, there's so much going on that planning courses for your upper years might not seem like a very important thing to do. However, planning ahead has a number of benefits and putting in a little work at the beginning of your university career will prevent having to stress about finishing your program's requirements on time!

This article will provide the advantages of planning ahead, things to look out for when you're planning, and some dog memes (like the one above) so that you can still enjoy this article if you've already got your undergraduate life all figured out.

Here's a sample course planning table to get you started: https://goo.gl/LiU1M8

Where To Begin Your Major Planning Adventure

The best place to start is with your major's undergraduate degree calendar! I will walk you through the process that I would take as a Human Kinetics major, but it should be similar for all other majors. Undergraduate calendars can be found online at the following link:

https://www.uoguelph.ca/registrar/calendars/undergraduate/2017-2018/c10/index.shtml

Select your section (Degree type) from the right hand side, for me this is Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.). Next, select a section again (your program this time), for me this is Human Kinetics (HK). You will be brought to a page that should look similar to the page shown below.

The Undergraduate Calendar

In the undergraduate calendar for your major, you will be able to see the recommended, typically the most sensible, pathway to complete the necessary number of credits to complete your undergraduate degree within four years (eight semesters). At the bottom of the calendar, you will find a credit summary which is a breakdown for the required types of courses you need to finish your undergraduate degree.

In terms of planning, the easiest place to start is to input the courses you've already taken/ are taking into a course planner (there's a sample linked above). Next, start thinking about future semesters. What electives do you want to take? What courses can you take to make your semesters more manageable? What semesters are the courses that you are interested in offered?

Approved electives for B.Sc. students can be found at the following link: https://www.uoguelph.ca/bsc/Approved_electives

The key is to ensure that once you've filled your course planner, you've fulfilled all the requirements listed in the credit summary. You'll also want to check that the prerequisites for future courses will be completed by the time you actually end up taking them. Also, with the prerequisites in mind, the order in which you complete your courses is up to you. It is not uncommon for upper year students to be taking courses from previous years to complete their requirements. Which semesters courses are offered in can be found either by searching for the course code and "Guelph" on google (or another search engine), or clicking through the approved electives linked above.

I have posted a picture of my course plan below so you can get an idea of how it might look.

Sample Course Plan

Here's a sample course plan for my undergraduate degree! I personally find the colours very helpful when it comes to tracking the credit summary. My degree has requirements with some strange numbers (like 9.75 and 1.25). Just keep in mind that the credit summary is the minimum number of credits required to finish your degree, it's fine if finish with more.

You're All Set (For The Most Part)

Having a course plan will greatly reduce stress around course selection time. You can relax because you'll already know what courses you want to take and when you'd like to take them.

That being said, sometimes there are complications. A course you're interested in taking in the Fall one year may switch to being offered in the Winter, or maybe you decide you want to switch around some of your courses.

No Problem!

With your planner filled, you'll know exactly what you've already taken and making sure you complete the required credit summary will be a lot easier to track and follow, even if you have to make some rearrangements.

Any Questions?

If you have any questions about what was discussed in this post, there are many resources available to help with planning your degree.

Here's a list of some people you can try:

- Your Cluster Leader

- Your RA

- Your Upper Year Friends

- Your Program Counsellor

All The Best With Your Undergraduate Career!

Hopefully you found some of the information in this article useful! Here are two links to posts for days when you need a pick-me-up:

* 10+ Times People Failed To Send Dog Pics To ‘We Rate Dogs’ Twitter: https://www.boredpanda.com/funny-not-a-dog-tweets/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=link&utm_campaign=pawmygosh

* 10+ Puppies On Their First Days Of Work That Will Make Your Day: https://www.rearfront.com/puppies-first-day-work/

This post was created by a member of BuzzFeed Community, where anyone can post awesome lists and creations. Learn more or post your buzz!