The Million Dollar Question: What Classes Should I Take?

David offers some best practices and tips when selecting courses.

The million dollar question: What classes should I take for McIntire? While I wish I was able to just tell you that if you took COMM 2139 you would be guaranteed admission, class selection is unfortunately never that simple (by the way… there is no COMM 2139, so don’t spend time searching for it on Lou’s List!). However, I think there are some best practices/tips that should help you out when thinking of selecting classes, especially with spring course selection coming up soon.

First, I’m going to assume that since you’re reading this you’re interested in McIntire (if not, you can probably skip to the second point). If you plan to apply to McIntire, it’s essential that you plan out how you are going to tackle the prerequisite courses. Luckily, McIntire Admissions offers a suggested game plan for how you should complete your required courses. I’d recommend taking some time to write out on a piece of paper when you plan on taking each of the required courses and from there seeing how many “non-COMM prereq” credits you’ll have each semester for other courses. Also, if you have any questions on COMM class scheduling/prerequisites, definitely go to Walk-In Advising or schedule a one-on-one with an Ambassador, since we’re always more than happy to talk with you about your specific situation/questions (find more info on connecting with us here).

Okay, now that the prerequisites are out of the way, I’m sure you’re wondering what courses you should take besides the required ones. In my experience, there are two questions you should ask yourself when considering taking a course. First, is this something I am going to enjoy? Second, will this course teach me valuable/fundamental skills that I want to learn? These two questions, in my opinion, are super important when deciding what classes to take. If a course doesn’t fit one of those questions, then you should seriously ask yourself why you are taking that course.

Is this something I am going to enjoy?

Let me go ahead and explain a little bit more why I think asking those two questions will help you in choosing courses. From a McIntire admissions perspective, aside from the prerequisites, they aren’t looking for a specific course load. Rather, McIntire wants to see students who take classes that they enjoy taking and that reveal the student’s passion outside of the required courses.

Will this course teach me valuable/fundamental skills that I want to learn?

I took a wide variety of classes my first year, including a poetry writing course. This class satisfied both of the two questions. I enjoyed the creative outlet that poetry writing allows, and it gave me the opportunity to improve my written communication skills.

At the end of the day, you want to take classes that you find value in personally, not classes that you think will improve your McIntire admission chances. You shouldn’t feel pressured to take a course because it might “look good” on your application. For me, having that chance to explore such a wide variety of courses and subjects before entering McIntire was incredibly beneficial for my own personal development/college experience. And, if you have any questions on building your spring schedule or class recommendations, please come talk to the Admissions office or McIntire Ambassadors (we’re all more than happy to help you in your course selection process!).

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