It’s only halfway through your first semester and already it is time to plan for what comes next. During midsemester, you’ll begin receiving information from the college about preparing for advisement and registration for your next semester’s classes.

You’ll be invited to participate in Plan Week, a college-wide program of daily activities that typically takes place around the ninth week of the semester. Plan Week is designed to prepare you to meet with an academic advisor, and be able to ask how best to stay on your path to graduation and achieving your goals.

Prepare for Your Advisement Meeting

If you want your next semester’s schedule to include the classes you want at times that work for you, keep reading! The following sections explain what you need to know to prepare for a productive meeting with your academic advisor.

An Associate degree should take two years to complete, a Bachelor’s degree should take four years…and yet most students don’t graduate on time, in part because they don’t fully understand the requirements for graduation. You can avoid costly mistakes by learning what it takes to complete your degree.

Degree Game Plan: Requirements for Your Major

Your academic advisor will assist and guide you, but ultimately you are responsible for monitoring your progress toward graduation in your chosen major.

To find the requirements for successful completion of your degree, consult the online College Catalog specific to the semester and year you enrolled in the College. If you started in Fall 2023, your degree requirements will always be the ones listed in the Fall 2023 version of the College Catalog—even if requirements change in the future for newly enrolled students. Download/bookmark the correct version of the College Catalog and return to it whenever you have questions about your degree requirements.

To find your specific degree select Academics in the College Catalog menu and then choose the school that your major is part of: The School of Arts & Sciences, The School of Professional Studies, or The School of Technology & Design. Scroll down to the bottom of your school’s catalog page to see a list of all degree programs offered by that school, and select your program.

Once you’ve found the catalog page for your degree program, select Degree Requirements. This will show you the total number of credits required for your degree, broken down into the categories of General Education requirements, Program Requirements (these are courses in your major), and Program-Specific Electives (these are electives that must be chosen from a list determined by your major department).

Here are some things to think about as you review your program’s degree requirements:

  • Take note of any pre-requisite or co-requisite courses required for your major. Plan your sequence of courses so that you complete them in the required order.
  • Notice that some General Education requirements must be fulfilled by a specific course, while others allow you to choose from within a particular category of courses. Make a note of requirements where you have choices, and search for courses in that category that would be both interesting and beneficial to take.
  • For a searchable list of courses that fulfill various Liberal Arts requirements, visit City Tech’s General Education webpage.
  • Notice the total number of credits required for your degree and the credits assigned to each course. Calculate how many courses you need to take each semester to graduate either in two years (Associate degree) or four years (Bachelor’s degree).
  • To graduate in this timeframe, you will need to take and pass 30 credits per academic year, or 15 credits per semester.  Some majors may require more.
  • If you are entering City Tech with transfer credits or Advanced Placement credits, this may reduce the number of credits you need to take to complete your degree. Consult DegreeWorks and discuss with your academic advisor how these credits count toward your degree plan.
  • While full-time student status is a minimum of 12 credits each fall or spring semester, you can take up to 18 credits in a semester. Based on your experience so far, how many credits do you think you can take and complete successfully in a semester?
  • Another option that can help you reach 30 credits per academic year is taking summer classes and/or January classes. However, course options for summer and January classes are more limited. Check the Schedule of Classes to see when the course you need is being offered. In addition, check with Financial Aid regarding these options as your tuition may not be covered for January and summer courses.

After you’ve considered the Degree Requirements for your program, select Sample Course of Study on the catalog page. This link will show you a sequence of courses recommended by your major department that fulfills all degree requirements, generally in 4 semesters for an Associate degree or 8 semesters for a Bachelor’s degree.

It’s not always possible to follow the Sample Course of Study exactly, given that scheduling considerations or course availability may mean that you cannot take a specific course in a particular semester. You will progress more slowly if you take fewer than 15 credits each semester. But the sample courses offer a useful guide to how you might organize your course schedule.


In addition to reviewing your degree requirements in the College Catalog, we recommend that you familiarize yourself with DegreeWorks, an online advisement program that helps you see what requirements you have completed and what courses are still required for your degree. You can access DegreeWorks on your own and also use it as a planning tool for your meeting with your academic advisor.

Exercise 5.4: Complete Your Academic Career Planner

Once you have reviewed your degree requirements, use an Academic Career Planner to chart the courses and credits necessary to complete your degree at City Tech.

Choose the appropriate Academic Career Planner depending on whether you are enrolled in an associate or bachelor’s degree program:

The Academic Career Planner can be printed out and filled in with pen or pencil, or it can be filled in online. If you choose to fill it in online, be sure to download and save it when you’re done working.

Begin by filling in courses you’ve already completed or are currently taking. If this is your first semester of college, the courses you’re taking now go in the Semester 1 box. Bear in mind that any course that you drop or do not pass this semester will need to be repeated.

Once you have the current semester filled in, the exciting part begins … deciding what classes to take next! Based on your review of your program’s Degree Requirements and Sample Course of Study, choose courses that you would like to take over the next couple of semesters. Then, search the Schedule of Classes to determine when these courses are offered. It’s a good idea to plan at least two semesters ahead, because some classes are offered only in Fall semester or only in Spring. If a course you want to take isn’t offered in the next semester, plot it in the following one.

Note how many credits each course is worth and select enough courses in each semester to meet your graduation plan. Complete your Planner for your entire degree if you wish, or at a minimum fill in the current semester plus the next two semesters to complete this activity.




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The Companion for the First Year at City Tech Copyright © by Office of First Year Programs is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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