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Create a college completion plan


Your college completion plan is a roadmap to all two, four or more years you plan to be in college. Concerned you’ll be in college for too long? Read about how to finish faster and save money.

Start with your advisor.

Ask your college advisor for the complete list of the courses required for your program of study, including general education requirements (sometimes called the College of Liberal Arts) along with the courses needed for your major and minor(s). 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.

Remember: Your college major is the main subject you’ll be studying, like fashion design or accounting. Your minor is a secondary subject you want to specialize in. For example, you might major in business with a minor in communications.

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, so  check to make sure the courses you need will be offered the semester you plan to take them. And, don’t forget about summer courses, a great way to make sure you graduate on time!

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 World Spring freshman year History major
HIS 108 – History of Asia Summer freshman year History major
FR 101 – Introduction to French Summer freshman year Elective

Watch out!

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

  • 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. You can explore careers to make sure you are headed where you want.
  • 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.
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