Charting Your Education Plan
If you know where you are heading, you are more likely to take the courses you need to reach your goals in a timely manner. If you are undecided about your education goals, you may want to visit the CareerPlan portion of the GPS LifePlan to determine your career and/or job goals or visit the EducationPlan: Planning Your Education section. Once you have your goals defined, it will be much easier to determine which classes you should take and at what time. Consider meeting with a counselor or other academic advising professional on your campus to discuss your course schedule.
Learn more about that tasks you need to complete each year at college by reviewing the Education Timeline and Tasks.
Once you have decided on a program of study, you will be able to review the requirements that you will need in order to complete your education goal. Your current decisions will impact your future - both short term and long term. Allow yourself plenty of time to research the classes well before registration begins. You also may want to have some alternative options in case you are unable to get into all the classes you want or need.
Here are some resources that may help in your planning:
Long-Term Plan of Courses Worksheet You can use this worksheet to help map out your courses.
Degree Audit Report (DARS) This tutorial is about the Degree Audit Report (DARS), a tool available at all public institutions in Minnesota (the University of Minnesota refers to this report as APAS) to track which graduation requirements have been completed and what classes are still needed.
College Catalogs This site contains links to college catalogs for many Minnesota institutions. It's your responsibility to know what is in the catalog that may affect your planning including course prerequisites.
CollegeSource This site contains catalogs for over 40,000 colleges in the United States and abroad.
Education Glossary Learn more about what a prerequisite is and other important education terms.
Here are some considerations when deciding about your class schedule:
Credit Load: It is important to plan a realistic credit load for each term. When considering your course schedule, take in to account other commitments you have such as work, family, and extra-curricular activities. The general rule is that for every hour you are in class, you should expect to study two to three hours outside of class. For more details, view the information on the links below:
Financial Aid: The number of credits you are enrolled in may impact your financial aid eligibility and/or the amount of aid you qualify for. Your personal budget may impact how many classes you can afford to take each semester. View for more details:
Full-Time Status: Check with your campus to make sure you know how many credits you need to take to be considered a full-time student. For some students, full time status is required for some financial aid and/or scholarships, insurance discounts, enrollment in certain academic programs, participation in clubs or athletics, and eligibility for housing.
International Students: Dropping below full time status may impact your VISA status and ability to remain in the United States. For specific details, students should consult with their International Student Services or related office on their campus.
- Academic Advising
- Admissions, Records and Registration
- College Catalog: Academic Programs Overviews, Requirements and Course Schedules
- DARS: Degree Audit Reporting System
- Disability Support Services
- International Student Services
- The Learning Center
- Multicultural Student Services
- Student Support Services Program/TRIO
- Supplemental/ Career and Technical Services
- Tutoring Services
- Veterans Services
- High School Student GPS LifePlan