ORIENTATION GUIDE: Tips for scheduling classes

Editors note: Every year, The Daily News produces the orientation guide for incoming freshman. This story first appeared in The Cardinal Field Guide printed in May 2017. To read the full issue, click here.

Scheduling can be overwhelming sometimes, with several factors contributing to making decisions. Here are some tips to make the process a little bit easier.


Ball State has a University Core Curriculum, but several classes can count as part of a student’s major requirements as well.

Talk to your advisor to see what your options are, that way you don’t take more classes than you need.

Classes can count for minors too, and even internships get you credit.


Even if your major is women and gender studies, there’s nothing wrong with filling that science elective with astronomy.

College is a time to explore new subjects or something old you’ve always been curious about.

Electives are a great way to explore new topics. There are several opportunities to branch out, and it might turn into a minor or another major.


Don’t take more classes than you can handle the out-of-class time for. Credit hours are based on how many hours outside of class a student is supposed to devote to studying.

Although college classes have less in-class time than in high school, assignments can be more time-consuming.

To be a full-time student, it’s necessary to have 12 credit hours (four three-credit classes), but typical students take 15 credit hours (five three-credit classes).

If 15 hours seems like too much, it might be smart to schedule it anyways, just in case you need to drop one. There is a drop period during the beginning of each semester.


If you never functioned well during the morning during high school, it might not be wise to sign up for all 8 a.m. classes. Missing class might be fine once or twice depending on the professor, but if you think you’ll constantly miss an early morning class, don’t take it.


Time tickets can be tricky at Ball State, because they’re based on class standing. Try to be open to taking a class with a different professor than the one you wanted or at a different time in case the section you want is full.

Second choices also come in handy when there’s only one section of a class and it overlaps with another class you need or want to take.

It might be frustrating, but second choices can be necessary to stay on track in your program.


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