Frequently Asked Questions
How should I pick my courses?
You should choose courses that you genuinely want to take, or courses that are requirements for specific areas of study that you are interested in. There are no prescribed schedules or courses specifically for incoming students, in general. If you are interested in programs such as Pre-Health, Pre-Engineering or Pre-Law, you should check the program’s webpage for course recommendations, and take note of suggestions that will appear automatically when you select these programs on your Course Selection checklist item.
What do I need to know about the General Education Curriculum?
Our General Education Curriculum offers a set of requirements that all students must complete by the end of their junior year. Not all courses available to incoming freshmen satisfy or work toward these requirements, but the majority of them do. Often, courses that do not have General Education attributes are pivotal to beginning studies in particular areas or programs, so students are encouraged to select courses regardless of whether or not they satisfy General Education requirements. As your fall schedule is built, the Academic Guides will ensure that you are adequately working toward meeting your General Education requirements, so this is not something you need to concern yourself with at this point.
If interested, click here to view the General Education Curriculum and Requirements.
What's the difference between 100, 200 and 300-level courses?
There is no standard distinction between 100, 200 and 300-level courses throughout the college, but there are some general tendencies these courses may have. 100-level classes are almost always entry level. 200-level classes without pre-requisites are also beginning levels, though there's a high likelihood that you will be in a class with other returning students, not just incoming freshman. Often these classes are topic-specific. 300-level classes that are open to freshman will be more intense courses than 100-level courses. These courses are good for students who are highly motivated and are particularly interested in the subject.
How do I select a language course?
When filling out your Course Selection checklist item, you will be asked to select your top three language choices. When you make these selections, the appropriate course for you will automatically populate the box below, according to your language placement. This placement was based on the information you provided to us during your Academic Inventory, and is also based on your placement exam score. To be clear, your language course is NOT included as one of your 12 courses, therefore, you will not see it appear on the First Year Course Listings Page.
There is one exception, however, for language courses higher than 300. For these classes, course descriptions will appear on the First Year Course Listings page, and these course descriptions can help students who place at that level decide which course they may like to take. Some of these classes will complete the language requirement for General Education (those that require a placement), and some of these classes will not complete the language requirement (those that do not require a placement) and are courses that explore that language's culture. Courses at the 300-level that do not require a language placement will appear in the Course Selection checklist item's drop down menus, and can be selected as one of your 12 courses.
I'm an International Student; how do I approach my language requirement?
International students are still required to complete a foreign language requirement, but for you, this requirement cannot be in your native language. For example, if you are native Chinese speaker, you cannot meet your language requirement by taking Chinese courses. Instead, you can fulfill this requirement in one of two ways: The first is by studying a language other than your native language. The second is by petitioning to have English 101 fulfill the foreign language requirement. If you would like to satisfy your foreign language requirement by taking English 101, please specify this in the comment section of your Course Selection checklist item.
What if I am attending the FYP program?
The Academic Guides will automatically be given your ranked FYP section preferences, and will enroll you in the section you’ve requested that makes for the most balanced schedule with your other course requests and concerns. Proceed with selecting 12 other courses as instructed.
How should transfer students approach this form?
Transfer students will fill out a slightly different form than incoming first-year students. Your transcript will be evaluated over the summer, after which time we’ll learn how your credits will be applied. Because you have probably completed some of your introductory-level coursework, you will be choosing from a potentially broader array of courses. You'll fill out your form to indicate some primary interests, and if necessary, one of the Academic Guides will contact you individually to help you choose other courses that will most usefully supplement the others you’ve taken elsewhere.
If I’m interested in a Pre-Professional Program (Pre-Heatlh, Pre-Engineering, Pre-Law), do I need to include the recommended courses in my 12 course selections?
Yes. Any recommended class that you want to take should be listed as one of your 12 course selections. You will not be automatically placed in recommended courses. Make sure to include the recommended courses (which appear below whichever pre-professional program selection you make at the top of the Course Selection Form) in your selections.
If I want to take Chemistry or Calculus, how do I choose which level to take?
If you want courses in these subjects, all you need to do is include the subjects in the 12 selections you make on your Course Selection Form. Your responses to the checklist items for Chemistry and Calculus Placement have been noted, and Academic Guides will place you in the appropriate section according to the information you provided.
How will my AP/IB credit be factored into my schedule?
In order for you to get credit for your AP/IB tests, students must have had official test scores sent to the Office of the Registrar. If the registrar has your score on file, and you have earned either a 4 or 5 on the AP exam, or a 5, 6 or 7 on the IB exam, you may be eligible to receive credit for these exams.
Click here to learn how these credits can be applied toward graduation, and what requirements, if any, certain tests will satisfy.
Often times, AP and IB tests can satisfy General Education requirements, substituting for 100-level courses. In many cases, however, Departments require specific100-level courses for their major or minor requirements. If we see that you have expressed an interest in an area that requires a specific 100-level course for their major requirement, but you have earned an AP/IB score that will provide General Education credit in that area, it is likely that we enroll you in the 100-level course anyway, so that you can work toward your major or minor requirements, and satisfy any prerequisites needed to access upper level courses in that area.
Your approved AP/IB credits, however, will be counted toward your overall credits for graduation. This can come in very handy if you ever need to drop a class or study abroad.
What if my AP/IB scores will not be determined until after the Course Selection checklist item is due on June 28?
In many cases, AP and IB exams are not scored until mid-July, leaving a question as to how you might select classes for the fall. First and foremost, make sure your scores will be sent to the Office of the Registrar as soon as they’ve been determined. We are still building schedules through the end of July, and often can apply your newly received test scores to the building of your schedule.
We cannot enroll a student in any course with an (AP) attribute unless we have a passable AP/IB score on file in the Office of the Registrar. If your high score arrives in Sewanee after your courses have been chosen for you, you will have an opportunity to make adjustments to your schedule accordingly once you have met with your academic advisor during Orientation.
How do I sign up for Physical Education, Varsity Athletics, Music Lessons or Dance Technique Courses?
All of these classes are less than 4-credits, and students can enroll in any of these courses once they arrive on campus and have met with their academic advisor. The courses you are selecting on your Course Selection Form are only full-credit (4 credit) courses.
What does it mean when the word "fee" appears next to a course in the drop-down menus?
"Fee" indicates a course for which a fee will automatically be charged to your student account. These fees cover specific costs for materials, supplies and/or equipment that are required for the course that are not easily accessible to students on their own. For questions about specific courses or fees, please contact the Academic Guides.
How will the Academic Guides get in touch with me if there is any question about my Course Selection Form?
We will only use your Sewanee email address, and we will not be sending email to non-Sewanee addresses from this point forward. Please check your Sewanee email regularly after you submit your form, or if you will not have regular internet access, tell one of the Guides how you may be reached if they have a question about your responses. We may need to reach you to clarify your preferences or resolve a conflict in your schedule.
What if I want to make a change to my schedule once I receive it?
You will have a chance to meet with your academic advisor and discuss any changes you wish to make to your schedule during Orientation. All incoming students will be assigned an academic advisor and you will receive an email in early to mid-August announcing who your academic advisor will be.