- Tentatively plan your schedule through graduation. Many courses are not offered every semester. Consult a current college catalog to see when courses are normally available, but recognize that this may change from year to year. Planning ahead will help you keep track of what is offered and when it is offered. It should also help you make sure that you take prerequisites before signing up for a course.
- Be flexible. Some courses you wish to take may be filled when you register for them. Registration proceeds according to class standing (seniors first, then juniors, etc.), so this problem is especially likely to arise in your freshman, sophomore, or even junior years.
- Get experience in your field outside of the Georgetown College classroom. For example, take a course at a field station, work in a national park, or gain experience in a hospital. A variety of summer opportunities are available to college students, many of which are posted on the bulletin boards in this department. Get advice from your advisor or another faculty member, or visit the Career Development Services office.
- Once you decide on a major, get advice from a faculty member in that department. Most freshmen initially have advisors outside of their field. If this is the case, try to get an advisor in your major sometime after your freshman year. In the meantime, you are always welcome to come by and ask us for advice.
- Join organizations relevant to your field, such as the Pre Health Association (for students interested in a career in health care, sponsored by Dr. Livingston), the Biology Club (sponsored by Dr. Christensen), or KAS (Kentucky Academy of Sciences).
- Go beyond the minimum. Challenge yourself each semester and become as prepared as possible for your future. This may include taking more courses outside of the sciences. In particular, develop your writing and speaking skills.
Key Graduation Requirements to Monitor
Ultimately, it is your responsibility (not your advisor’s) to plan your schedule and make sure that you are meeting all graduation requirements. Be thoroughly familiar with your College Catalog (that is, the catalog for the year you started at Georgetown) and accurately monitor your progress towards graduation. Several of the problem areas students most often encountered include:
- At least 120 hours of credit are required for graduation.
- At least 39 hours must be earned in courses numbered 300 or higher.
- You must earn a 2.0 GPA overall.
- D’s and F’s: A course in which a grade of D or F was earned may NOT be counted toward meeting the requirements for a major or minor (including allied courses such as the Chemistry requirements for a Biology majors).
- Pass/Fail limitations: You may designate up to 14 hours of credit as Pass/Fail (no more than 6 per semester). See the college catalog for procedures. However, courses selected to meet general education requirements or requirements toward the major or minor may not be taken Pass/Fail.
- Limits on repeating courses: Up to four courses (other than ENG 111) in which a grade of D or F were earned may be repeated as long as they were taken prior to earning 60 hours overall and provided the courses were taken originally and repeated at Georgetown College. The grade point average is calculated on the basis of the grade earned the last time the course was taken. However, both entries appear on your transcript.
Specific Guidelines for Biology Majors
- Take BIO 111, not BIO 100. Potential Biology majors and minors should take BIO 111 (not BIO 100) during their freshman year. While both courses will meet the general education requirement for the Biological Sciences, BIO 111 is intended to meet the requirements for a major or minor and BIO 100 is not. (However, if you are making a late decision to be a Biology major, and you are an A student who received an A in BIO 100, talk to a member of the Biology faculty about your options.)
- Completing the core requirements. For most Biology majors, the core classes should be completed by the end of the sophomore year. Notice that Junior Seminar requires three courses (BIO 111, two of the following: BIO 212, BIO 214, BIO 314) as prerequisites.
- When to take Chemistry. Depending on a student’s preparation and goals, it may be desirable to take CHE 111, 112, and 113 during the freshman year. This is especially true if you intend to go to medical, dental, or pharmacy school. Note that MAT 107 or proficiency is strongly advised before taking CHE 111.
Specific Guidelines for Environmental Science Majors
- Take BIO 111, not BIO 100. Potential Environmental Science majors should take BIO 111 (not BIO 100) during their freshman year. While both courses will meet a general education requirement, only BIO 111 will meet the requirements for a major.
- Completing the core Requirements. The Environmental Science Core is lengthy and may be spread out over your college career. However, it is best to take BIO 111 in the first year, and CHE 111, 112, and 113 should be completed by the end of the second year. Environmental Science majors may wish to take BIO 314 instead of BIO 212 in the spring of their freshman year; this can be done with permission of the instructor.
- Tips for meeting the requirement of 39 credit hours in 300-level classes. Since Environmental Science Majors are required to take courses in many different departments, many of the required courses for the major are below the 300 level. Thus, it is especially important for Environmental Science Majors to select their courses carefully so that they earn the required 39 hours of 300-level credit by the time they graduate.
- For example, MAT 111 (Elementary Probability and Statistics) meets both a general education requirement and an Environmental Science requirement; other MAT courses do not meet both requirements.
- Students considering the Policy Track should take ECO 223 (Principles of Microeconomics). If you wish to take SOC 315, SOC 111 (Principles of Sociology) is prerequisite for it. Both ECO 223 and SOC 111 will meet general education requirements.
Preparing for Your Advising Sessions
Come to your advising session full prepared with a:
- conflict-free trial schedule with alternatives
- transcript or list of courses completed
- list of remaining general education requirements yet to be completed
- four-year curriculum plan, and
- general (or specific) career goal or area of interest.