How To Plan for College Without Losing Your Mind

Hello! Are you a student trying to figure out what the heck to take next semester? Or maybe wondering how on earth you are going to fit in all of your graduation requirements without going crazy? The secret: planning. This article will cover the delicate art of how to plan your college schedule to fit your needs.

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For this project you will need:

Make sure before you get started that you have the appropriate planning sheet. I have two versions. One is for colleges where classes are usually 3-credits and one is for colleges where classes are usually 4-credits. 

When you get started with your four-year plan the first thing to do is to write down any classes you’ve already taken or are registered for. If you are a freshman this will probably only be one semester maybe two if it is later in the year. Then you are going to want to color code these classes. Pick a color for each of your majors and different colors for your minors and leave the gen. ed./core classes as is to avoid confusion. In the example here I’ve highlighted classes for the major in pink and the classes for the minor in blue. Putting the classes for your majors and minors in different colors will help you pick them out quickly so you can determine if you have all of the classes you need to complete the program.


Once you have filled in the stuff you already know it is time pull out your Academic Evaluation or Academic Report, whatever your school has that tells you what classes you’ve taken and if you’ve completed a graduation requirement. You’ll also need your school’s course catalog. The catalog should contain all of the required classes for a major or minor as well as what classes will fulfill your gen. ed. requirements. The course catalog also sometimes contains advice on when to take specific requirements and information on prerequisites or other restrictions for courses that can be very helpful when planning.

From this point, it is simply a matter of using the information in the catalog and your eval to fill in the rest of the sheet. Remember you want to average 15-16 credits a semester to ensure you are on track to graduate in 4-years. It can also be helpful to look up reviews on Ratemyprofessor or ask an older student for advice on which classes are especially work-intensive. That way you can balance your courses accordingly and avoid overloading yourself.


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