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Are courses in college class that must be taken in order of getting a degree and if so can I choose which courses that I want to do. And also how many courses in college?

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Hillary’s Answer

Every schools varies on requirements, but most all schools will have a general curriculum of courses that you have to complete in order to graduate. Typically this will consist of a few parts:
1. General education courses: A portion of the curriculum in which the school addresses the knowledge, abilities, skills, habits, and dispositions of educated persons. These will be general requirements across a lot of interest areas.
2. Major courses: A major is the student's primary area of specialization (like art, english, communications, etc.). Many majors have options which are sub-sets of courses within the major that represent an even more specialized area of study.
3. Minor courses: A minor is the student's secondary area of specialization. In order to achieve a minor, there will be a set of standard classes you must complete.

For each of these parts, there is usually a framework of types of courses you should complete, but you will get to choose from several options (including varied topics, teachers, and meeting times) for the specific course you want to take that meets that requirement. There may be some requirements on the order in which you should take courses (the idea that you would have to take Algebra 1 before Algebra 2), but not always.

For example: The general education program may say that you need to take a total of 45 credit hours, and that you must take so many courses in English, history, social science, physical science, art, etc. This may even include options for elective courses as well. For each of the topic areas, there will usually be a list of which courses meet that requirement that you will get to choose which you would like to take.


Hillary recommends the following next steps:

Visit the webpages of community colleges, trade schools, or universities that you might want to attend.
Search for the specifics of the degree program at that school to find a list of degree requirements.
Browse the department pages to see the requirements of specific majors or minors that might interest you.
Browse the course catalog to see the types of courses available in different categories to see what courses you might be interested in taking.
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Jeanie’s Answer

Hey Jennel,

Colleges will usually require General Education requirements, for which you will be able to choose what specific courses to take to fulfill these requirements. GenEds are requirements for all students, no matter what major. Most of the classes you will take your freshmen year will be GenEds. This gives you a great opportunity to sign up for classes that interest you/explore. This also provides you at least 1 year's time to figure out what you like before you pick a major if you are Undecided.

GenEd requirements will vary at each school. My school's GenEds included one math/calculus course, one English course, one physical science, one biological science, one history, and one social science course. AP Exams from high school will check off these basic requirements if you received a score of 4 or 5. This potentially means you can start taking major-specific courses earlier on because you have less GenEds you need to take.

Then you will have specific requirements based on what College/School your major belongs in. For example, my major was Accounting which was within the School of Management. So there were business courses that all business students were required to take. These requirements are usually set as well, but there may be room to choose the specific courses you want depending on your school.

Lastly, you will have Major requirements that are courses you are required to take to get your specific degree. For me, these were different accounting courses I had to take in order for me to earn my bachelors degree in accounting. Most of this list will be set for you. But there is some room for choice. You will most likely have to choose major "electives". Electives are upper-level major courses you take junior/senior year. You usually get to choose from a list of electives; you have wiggle room here to select topics/subjects within your major that you are interested in.

Hopefully this gave you a good summary of the types of course requirements you will encounter in college. In all, there will be classes you will have to take and there will be other requirements that allow you to choose the specific courses. The best advice I can give is to meet up with an academic advisor from your school soon after starting college to make a rough plan for at least your first year (or two) of college. Doing this definitely helped me feel less overwhelmed and feel more organized going into this chapter of my life. And you can always re-shuffle and re-make this plan as you go - nothing is set in stone!
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Wayne’s Answer

Hi Jennel ! Each degree program has major courses that must be taken to complete the requirements for the program. In a few cases there may be options but in most cases, there are not. The number of courses depend on the degree program. I highly recommend working with your academic advisor to make sure that you complete all the necessary courses in a decent time frame. Remember, the longer you're in college, the more money you will spend. I followed my advisor's recommendation in my undergraduate programs and I graduated undergrad in 4 years and graduate school in 2 years. You can do it!

Good luck!
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Crystal M.’s Answer

Before starting out, the best way to have an idea of what will be required of you is to decide the career that you want. Find out what degree is required to have that career. Then go to the college's website and look up the degree. The website will show you what classes will be required for degree completion. The above answers were very good and I agree with them as well.
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