Image Credit: Courtesy of Glenn Carstens-Peters for Unsplash
The end of the Fall 2021 semester is fast approaching, and students are quickly registering for the next semester of classes before the holiday break
A multitude of electives, general education courses and major-specific classes are available to students here at the university. At this point most upperclassmen have completed the majority of their general education requirements while underclassmen have just begun.
Liz Wasden, an academic advisor for the Philip Merrill College of Journalism explains the structure of class registration, and how it is “intended to be as fair and efficient as possible.”
“The registration dates that students receive based on their credit level empower them to manage their time, make their own decisions about their future schedule and class selections, and explore the academic opportunities that UMD has to offer,” Wasden said.
Wasden also provided some advice for students when it comes to registration.
“To stay on track with your major requirements, meet with your academic advisor regularly, make a 4-year, or 2-year if you are a transfer student, plan within your first year at UMD to gain an understanding of all of your major, general education, and elective requirements, and plan ahead,” Wasden said.
Underclassmen who have come into college with advanced placement or transfer credits have already completed some of these requirements.
Shayna Silverman, a freshman environmental science and policy major, reflected on her first college semester on campus.
“I came in with credits from AP classes so that helped me with my gen-eds a bit,” Silverman said. “So far I have been working towards filling my major gen-eds because, in environmental science, you come in undeclared and can’t declare a concentration until the beginning of junior year.”
This semester she has taken oral communication 110, weather and climate 200, algebra and trig 113, mythology of the oppressed 280 and carillon community creative problem solving and designing your Maryland experience 101. Her schedule is pretty packed. However, Silverman’s classes get lighter as the week goes on, starting at three classes a day and progressing to two classes a day.
Next semester, Silverman hopes to register for elementary calculus 120, academic writing 101, environmental science and policy 102, a natural disaster class and a sign language class.
One of her favorite subjects is math, but Silverman finds it challenging and some topics don’t click as easily as others. She is not looking forward to taking her calculus and English class because those subjects are “not her strong suits.” Silverman explains that it takes a bit longer for her to understand these topics and is not excited about the workload.
“I’m looking forward to my environmental science classes,” Silverman added. She is also excited to take a sign language class and eventually more classes that focus on her major. Right now she is taking weather and climate but is looking forward to her environmental science and policy class that is more major-focused.
Or Goldshtein, a sophomore business management major, doesn’t have many strong emotions toward her general education courses.
“My classes this semester were okay, including my gen-ed classes,” she said. “My gen-ed class had a good amount of work but the work wasn’t too time-consuming.”
General education courses Goldshtein took this semester included weather and climate 200 and 201 and enterprise communications 225. This class is for her scholar’s program, but it counted towards her communication gen-ed.
Josh Liu, a sophomore finance and marketing major, said he really enjoyed his classes that were related to his field of study.
“My social media class and sports class were interesting,” he said. Liu is also looking forward to two classes, one about business on the golf course and another about basketball analytics.
Liu hasn’t played golf but is interested in how to negotiate on the golf course.
Maggie Feng, a sophomore finance and international business major, had a few teaching assistants that showed a lack of communication in her general education courses, which caused some difficulty for her.
One of Feng’s favorite classes was her entrepreneurship class. This class is discovering new ventures 140, but she also enjoyed entrepreneurial opportunity analysis and decision-making in 21st-century technology ventures 210 as well, which she took last semester during her freshman year.
“It is very fun to read about the class materials and not too much work for a gen-ed class,” Feng said.
Feng is also looking forward to taking major required courses next semester to learn more about her major.
Ultimately, many students are excited about their major-specific classes, and general education courses are the stepping stones to get there.