Course Plan

Here are some helpful hints on how to create your four-year plan:

The General Catalogue

The General Catalogue is your best friend. It lists all the requirements you need to fulfill to graduate and gives a description of all the classes. Some courses indicate (with a F, W, S, Summer designation) when they are usually offered. Also, always use the catalogue for the year you were admitted because the university can only hold you to those specific requirements.

Requirements

There are several levels of requirements for graduation.

1 – UCI breadth requirements
2 – Your school requirements
3 – Your major requirements

**In addition, there are the requirements for the completion of the Campuswide Honors Program, which can be found in the CHP Student Handbook.

Starting the 4 Year Plan

Here are some helpful hints on how to create your four-year plan:

1 – Get out your General Catalogue for the year you were admitted; look up and make a list of all breadth requirements.
2 – Add all school and major requirements that pertain to the degree(s) you have chosen to complete.
3 – Add all honors course sequences that you will be taking to the list (they are listed in the CHP Student Handbook) and correlate how they impact your breadth requirements.
4 – Make sure you look at the Advanced Placement chart in the General Catalogue for course credits and make adjustments for requirements you might have already met (i.e., a score of 4 or 5 on the Advanced Placement Spanish Language exam satisfies category VI of the UCI breadth requirement). Also, adjust your list by including any completed college credits from other colleges/universities.

HINT – Some schools have developed Degree Checklists for their individual majors that should prove useful when drawing up your plan. Also, look to see if there is a suggested plan in the General Catalogue for your major. This is often a good starting point.

5 – Begin to outline/layout your academic plan, using the suggested format that follows:
Name:  _________________________
Major(s):  _________________________
Minor(s), Concentration(s), Specialization(s), etc.:  _________________________
Anticipated Date of Graduation:  _________________________

Year Fall Winter Spring Summer (Optional)
2012-2013 Classes Classes Classes Classes
2013-2014 Classes Classes Classes Classes

And so on, until you have your plan laid out through to graduation.

Click here to download the Four Year Plan Worksheet.

REMEMBER – Some majors (Biological Sciences or Engineering, for instance) are very structured, and this process of creating an academic plan should be relatively easy. For some others (such as Political Science), there is less structure, more choices, and some uncertainty as to when the courses you would like to take will be offered. In this case, try to keep an even course load, and distribute your requirements over the quarters and years, using titles like “upper-division Political Science” when you are not sure. As you progress, you can start filling in the details and making adjustments. Also, some majors can tell you in Spring (such as Political Science) what classes they will be offering the following year.

6 – Make sure you think about your goals and the other things you would like to accomplish (such as complete a second major, a minor/specialization, an internship, or study abroad) while an undergraduate student at UCI. Remember to keep in mind those special interests you want to continue developing and any others you want to begin to pursue (playing the flute, singing in the University Chorus, learning to sail, becoming computer literate, or learning another language, to name just a few).

7 – Fill in the outline/grid with a plan that makes sense to you. Remember to check for and include any course prerequisites. Take the draft to your academic counselor. Make any adjustments that are still needed, and have your counselor sign it. If you are a double (or, gasp, a triple) major, your plan should be seen and signed off by a counselor from each major academic unit. Then file a copy of the plan with the Honors Office.

Conclusion

As you can see, you should do a lot of the thinking and some of the preparatory work BEFORE you see an academic counselor. The CHP Peer Academic Advisors and the Honors Advisors, as well as the PAAs in your academic unit, can help you as you develop your plan but we WILL NOT do it for you.