Step 3: Choose Your Courses
If you have completed the first two steps, you already have ideas about courses to take in your first semester. This step will help you learn more about IUB’s many course offerings so that you can prepare for your orientation advising appointment by completing your Academic Planning Worksheet (APW). You will find links to specific course lists below, and a link to course descriptions in the box on the right side of this page.
What courses can I take to fulfill General Education requirements?
At IUB, you are expected to fulfill a set of basic requirements that are the same for all students, no matter what major they choose. These are called General Education classes (or “Gen Ed,” for short). They cover a wide range of skills and areas of knowledge that are essential for any degree at IUB.
The following links describe each requirement and list courses offered at IUB in the coming semester that count toward that requirement:
Bloomington General Education Course Lists
- English Composition (EC)
- Mathematical Modeling (MM)
- Arts and Humanities (A&H)
- Social and Historical Studies (S&H)
- Natural and Mathematical Sciences (N&M)
- World Languages and Cultures (WLC)
Choosing plenty of interesting courses from these lists and putting them on your APW are the most important steps you can take toward planning a good fall semester when you meet with your orientation advisor.
Should I take courses for my major in my first semester?
In Step 2, you explored majors of interest and looked more closely at those that may work for you. If those discussions indicated a good first course toward that major, then you should definitely consider that course for the fall.
Most (but not all) majors offer first courses that are appropriate choices to explore and make progress in your first semester. Whether or not you take a major course in your first semester may depend on your level of interest in that major and the subject matter of that particular course.
Your orientation advisor will have additional information to help you choose major courses in your first semester. But here’s some simple yet important advice that you can act on now:
If the course sounds interesting, put it on your list!
It will be helpful in your progress toward a degree in some way. For example, if the courses that you found when you explored majors of interest are also on these lists, then those courses count toward both major and Gen Ed requirements.
What about other courses based on personal interests and choices?
Gen Ed lists are important, but don’t contain all the courses you can choose from in your first year. The lists below will help you complete your fall schedule.
Additional Course Options
- Activity Courses (Stay active, get involved in campus activities, express personal interests)
- Living Learning Center Courses (Find out if a course is required for your participation in a Living Learning Center)
- Transitional Success Courses (Build the skills you’ll need to survive and thrive in college)
Where can I learn more about courses that sound promising for me?
The course lists above give you important information: The title, the department code, and the course number necessary to register for the course. But you’ll need to know more to make confident choices. Course descriptions for good first-year choices are available in a file you can download and print. They can tell you much more about the topics you’ll be covering and the instructor’s expectations.
What if I already have college credits?
It’s up to you to know everything you have taken that counts for college credit. Gather information about all courses and tests you have taken that may count, and be prepared to list them on your APW. Your advisor will help you understand how this credit may fulfill degree requirements so that you can avoid duplicating coursework.
Can I get credit for AP, IB or SAT II test scores?
List all tests taken, and credit that you have earned or may have earned, on your APW.
Check the AP and IB charts to see if the scores you have received on AP, IB (HL), or SAT II Subject tests are high enough to earn course credit and credit hours at IUB. The following points will help you understand what test credit means as you choose your first college courses:
- If you have earned specific course credit and credit hours through any of these tests, then you have completed a course that will count toward degree requirements.
- Not all exams are accepted, and in some cases, you will see the designation “-UN.” This means that the credit earned is “Undistributed,” and so it does not equal a specific course at IUB.
- Some programs (such as medical schools) may not accept SAT II/IB/AP test credit to fulfill admission prerequisites.
- Course credit earned through such tests may not be the strongest preparation for the courses that come next toward your major or a professional program.