CollegeGoWeek Indiana > Make Your Grad Plan > Grad Plan for College Students Grad Plan for College Students

Your college graduation plan (or degree map) is a roadmap of each year you plan to be in college. If you're a full-time student, you need to plan on at least 15 credits each semester. Learn why from Indiana's 15 to Finish initiative.

Start with your advisor.

If you're at a public Indiana college, you should receive a degree map that shows all the courses you'll need to take to finish your degree. If you're at a private college, ask your advisor for a list. Be sure to find out when each course is offered, too. (Hint: If you don't know where to start, Indiana's 15 to Finish initiative has a list of contact info for all public college advising offices.)

Get your advisor’s opinion on whether you will be able to finish on time with the number of major(s) and minor(s) you choose. If you want to have more than one major, ask your advisor to help you choose courses that count towards both degrees.

Map it out.

Write out the specific courses you will take each semester, including which counts toward your major and minor. Some courses are only offered in the fall or spring or even every other year. Also, some courses need to be taken in order. Don’t forget about summer courses, a great way to make sure you graduate on time!

If you're at a public college, you can count on the course-availability guarantee: if a course isn't available when your degree map lists it, you'll get it for free.

A partial college completion plan will look like this:

Lora’s College Completion Plan
College: College of Liberal Arts (21 credits required)
Major: History (66 credits)
Minors: English Literature (15 credits), Entomology (18 credits)
Total: 120 credits
Course Time Counts Toward
ENGL 101 - composition Spring freshman year College of Liberal Arts requirement
ENGL 250 - Great American Books Spring freshman year History major, English Literature minor
BIO 101 - Introduction to biology Spring freshman year Entomology minor
ENGL 270 - Children's Literature Spring freshman year English Literature minor 
HIS 102 - History of the Western Spring freshman year History major
HIS 108 - History of Asia Summer freshman year History major
FR 101 - Introduction to French Summer freshman year Elective 

Then, run everything by your advisor to make sure it will work. If you make any changes as you go, make sure to double-check that you aren't missing an important requirement.

Watch out!

Be aware of these common pitfalls when creating your college completion plan:

  • Don't take too few credits. You should be taking at least 15 credits each semester if you are full-time. Learn why from Indiana's 15 to Finish initiative.
  • Don’t forget to check - and double-check - when courses will be offered, especially as you near graduation.
  • Don’t stack up difficult classes in a single semester. Email the professor for a syllabus if you’re not sure what a course will involve. Ask friends who have taken the class, or ask your advisor what other students have said.
  • Don’t change your mind too many times. Changing your major multiple times will cost you time and money. 
  • Don’t forget about internships and study abroad. Internships will help you explore your career path and strengthen your résumé when you are searching for jobs. If you plan on studying abroad, your selection of classes will be more limited and you may not be able to take courses that count towards your major or minors.