Registration to Begin This Week for New Students

Course registration will begin July 11-15 for incoming first year students.  There is some excellent information on the mechanics of how to register via this video on the New Students web site, as well as some overview material about our academic requirements.  If you are a parent of a new student, please be sure your student has watched these.  Additional information about registration will be posted on the New Students site as well.

The Parent Programs office has received a number of calls and emails in recent days about recommendations for their students’ schedules.  I’m going to put on my Academic Adviser hat and share a little bit about my philosophy on the first semester.  However, I want to stress that this is just one opinion, and any student with questions should consult with the Office of Academic Advising for more individualized recommendations.  You can contact them at, or your student can get answers from Student Advisers by emailing

  • A student needs 12 credit hours each semester to be considered a full time student.  15 credit hours a semester will enable a student to graduate in 4 years (assuming he/she passes all courses).  Any student who chooses to take only 12 hours now can always take a summer school class or add an extra class in a subsequent semester.
  • Some students elect to take only 12 hours the first semester.  There are many possible reasons
    • the student may be concerned about time management, the many aspects of the college adjustment, and/or his/her academic preparation in high school
    • some students with learning disabilities wish to take the first semester slowly and focus on getting good strategies in place to manage their workload
    • student athletes have team/practice constraints
    • others who wish to go through sorority/fraternity recruitment and are concerned about maintaining the GPA required to do so opt to take 12 hours of class instead of 15.
  • Most students should consider trying to finish their foreign language classes while it is fresh in your mind vs. taking a semester off (lest they end up forgetting a lot).  If your student plans to begin a completely different foreign language at Wake Forest, they will be starting from scratch and this is less of a concern.
  • Students should plan to take EITHER the English 111 writing seminar OR the FYS (First Year Seminar) in a semester, but never both at once.  It is too much.

So, a potential schedule for at least 12 hours for the first semester might look something like this

  • Eng 111 (4.0 hours) or FYS (3.0 hours)
  • Foreign language (depending on where the student places, it’s either a 3 or 4 hour class)
  • Then the student should consider taking 1-2 classes in subject areas that they already like a lot AND have proven aptitude.  The adjustment to college level work can be a challenge, so if your student starts in areas they already like and feel good about, it makes it easier.  Most of the humanities classes are 3.0 hours, most of the sciences are 4.0 hours.
  • A note for students who think they want to major in a science: there are some classes that must be taken in sequence/only offered in certain semesters.  Please be sure to review this web site for specifics on those prescribed sequences.
  • To round out the schedule, consider taking the 1.0 hour health classes (101 and 101) or a 1.0 hour Lib 100 class (which helps teach good library research methods etc.)

Students will register for up to 8.0 hours on their own during the July 11-15 registration time, and then they will fill out a detailed course preference survey so the rest of their schedule can be completed.  I would urge all students to be as detailed as possible on this survey and be broadminded in what they list there because we want to be able to have a lot of options in which to place students.

Parents and family members, you can help here by reminding your student to be open minded about courses, professors, and class times.  They are at the beginning of a great adventure in learning, and they will discover new academic interests and meet some very interesting faculty and classmates when they begin their classes.

Categories: academicsadvising

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