First Year, First Semester Course Recommendations for Deciding Majors

  1. If you DO have a general area of interest—like the sciences, music, or education—we recommend you speak with a faculty member in that department or academic division before you register for courses. Those specific majors have very well-organized sequences of courses which you will want to start early if you think you may continue in that major.
    • Athletes: As you speak with your Deciding Major advisor and with faculty members about course registration, you should make it clear to them whether you are included on a fall semester intercollegiate athletics roster, or have some other significant commitment which will impact your course scheduling. Your Deciding Major advisor can help; provide this information to your advisor when you meet in person, or indicate this through the online Registration app opened in June.
  2. Most Deciding Majors should register for La Vida or Discovery, and for COR107 or COR 108* The Great Conversation (TGC/*TGC Honors) for the fall semester.
    • TGC is a small seminar-style course which provides time for conversation with a small group of other first-year students and the instructor in your first semester.
    • We recommend the La Vida option (unless you are a fall athlete). La Vida is a great personal challenge and intentional time for you to imagine and develop some personal goals for college.
  3. We recommend one or two courses from any of the Common Core choices—but no more than two.
    • If you are new to navigating your Bible, or have not had significant exposure to lecture-style courses, ask your advisor whether Old Testament or New Testament is a good fit for your first semester. Two Common Core courses, Scientific Enterprise and Christian Theology, have prerequisites of other Core Courses (Old Testament, New Testament) so you won't register for those first semester.
  4. For your remaining choices, we recommend you choose one or two courses from among the Thematic Core courses* – and choose courses with topics you either have enjoyed in the past, or are very curious to learn more about now.
    • The Thematic Core courses are designated in the Academic Catalog, and posted by the Registrar's Office during the Registration process for each semester. (Not all options listed are offered every semester.)
    • Examples: If you have been successful in math, take a math course; many majors require  a calculus course, and calculus also fulfills the Natural World Theme requirement. If you are drawn to the arts, take a course that will fulfill the Aesthetic Sensibilities requirement. Or, if you are intrigued by how human beings develop or relate, take a course that will fulfill  the Human Person or Civic Responsibilities theme.
    • Another option: If you have a familiarity or love for literature, consider fulfilling your Thematic Core Literature requirement by choosing a course that has a literature component. (These are listed in the Thematic Core options, usually beginning with ENG 14X, and fulfill different themes.)
    • Advisor's tip: Read the course descriptions listed in the College Catalog. If you want to know more before you register, you can contact the department chair listed in the catalog and ask to see a previous course syllabus to learn more about the course, topics, and expectations.
  5. You can also plan to fulfill the Foreign Language requirement, which includes the option to validate that requirement through testing. Use the link in the line above to learn all the options for meeting the requirement.

Our goal with this first semester course selection is to get you an initial schedule and a seat in the courses that will get you off to the best start. We know individual adjustments may be needed to tailor your first schedule. We’ve planned time during August or January Orientation when you can meet with your Deciding Major advisor and make necessary changes. For some courses, seats may be limited, so registering early is a good idea for a Deciding Major who is eager to make progress finding an area of study.

Go back to the Deciding Major page >>
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