Creating your schedule can be a far more intricate process than anticipated. While the majority of students are typically aware of general scheduling rules (i.e. don’t take all your core classes at once, make sure your classes are spaced appropriately, meet with an advisor, take 1-2 credit electives to hit that 14-15 credit mark, etc.), there are a few additional specifics you should keep in mind if you decide to be a Spartan. With that being said, here’s what to consider when scheduling classes at MSU:
1. AVOID FRIDAY CLASSES AT ALL COSTS!!!
Here at MSU, we follow Mac Miller’s mantra “Fridays are always the start of the time of my life!” Im not sure about you, but the start of the time of my life does not include a three hour bio lab at 9am. This is especially true during fall semesters. Many people go out Thursday nights (especially students in greek life) and lay low on Fridays so they can rise and shine to celebrate Spartan Football every Saturday from dawn ’til dusk. You’ll want room in your schedule to rest and recuperate on Fridays- and maybe even do some homework to make up for lost time from your packed Saturdays, and groggy Sundays.
2. Where are your classes located? (Read closely, Akers and Brody kids)
On this enormous campus, you need to be wary of selecting classes with only 10-20 minutes in between. This is crucial to know about scheduling MSU courses, because buildings are often 30 minutes a part walking. Even biking that distance, or taking the bus, would require about 15 minutes of travel time. Give yourself enough room to get to where you need to go. Try to be 10-15 minutes early too, if you can, so you can find a decent seat and get situated.
3. 8 AMs: A Cautionary Tale
If you sign up for an 8am , be absolutely certain that you are 110% devoted to the ~Rise & Grind~ lifestyle. Your attendance grades can quickly plummet from missing only 2-3 classes (depending on how forgiving your teacher is)- not to mention its significantly harder to know what’s going on if you don’t show up. Attendance grades may not sound like a big deal, but they can surprisingly make or break your GPA in the class, because they usually account for 10-20% of your overall grade.
This is especially important to remember in the winter. Due to daylight savings, it’s still basically pitch black at 7 a.m., making it nearly impossible to a) wake up and b) rip yourself from your soft, warm blankets/comforter to brave the 20 below wind-chills. Moral of the story: find a way to avoid those 8 a.m.’s; if you have no choice: (yikes) consider Investing in a Keurig, or adopting prayer.
4. Forget Becky and Chad, Koofers is your new BFF!
Always make sure to check Koofers and Rate My Professor to get the scoop on your professors’ teaching/grading styles. For most MSU courses there are multiple section offerings, because so many of us have to take the same required classes. The upside of this is that if you start planning your schedule in advance, you can figure out who is the easiest grader, or most entertaining lecturer, and snag a spot in their section before it fills up. Other valuable information you can get from these sites include: who gives pop quizzes, if you’ll actually use the pricey, required textbooks, the breakdown of tests/quizzes/papers/assignments, and if your prof hands out extra credit points like candy.
5. The Scoop on Requesting Overrides
This dilemma usually arises in the spring, when you no longer have the assistance of your AOP mentors. Pay attention closely, because this is a maaajor key for MSU scheduling- especially for all you Engineering kids, Business College Hopefuls, and anyone else with very little flexibility in course options.
You’ll need to do some research before you create your schedule for the fall! How does one do this? Go on schedule builder when the next semesters courses are posted, and check to see if there is a lock icon below your desired class section.
The lock implies that not just anyone can enroll in the course, so you will have to email that professor or whoever is in charge of its enrollment to ask for permission to register. Send that email prior to your specific scheduling date. That way, you avoid becoming an emotional wreck at the sight of a 6 credit course load, and 10 pending credits that you absolutely need, but may or may not actually be able to get into. No one wants to take classes irrelevant to their major; it wastes time and pushes back your graduation date. Be smart and prepare in advance.