Your Academic Journey
You’ll be coming to campus soon and we’re already excited to welcome you to the Knox community of learners, faculty, staff, and students who -- like you -- enjoy the opportunities for inquiry and creativity that a Knox education offers. To help you start, here are a few ways to think about the academic journey on which you’re about to embark.
What kinds of courses will I take?
Students new to Knox and college will enroll in First-Year Preceptorial (FP) in the fall term. FP sections are limited to 18 students, and focus on a particular topic that is an area of expertise of the faculty member teaching the course. Learn more about FP and the types of courses offered.
There are several other types of courses you'll complete en route to becoming both a broadly and deeply educated person. Through Foundations courses, you'll gain a sense of the breadth of learning in the arts, sciences, humanities, and social sciences. Eventually, you'll decide on a major and a second field of study, which will equip you with your Specialization. You'll acquire Key Competencies through the development of your writing, speaking, and quantitative skills; the understanding of a second language; and the exploration of the nature and significance of diversity. You'll complete an Experiential Learning internship, shadow experience, or other project through which you will learn by doing. And all along the way, there'll be plenty of opportunities for you to choose courses on the basis of your interests.
How should I select courses for the fall?
All new students will take a First-Year Preceptorial (FP). Start with selecting that course. Then, look at other course topics that interest you or that get you started in the major you might want to study. Check the days and times each course meets and be sure to avoid selecting courses that overlap. List a few courses you'd like to take in the fall. These courses will be your preferences -- when you arrive on campus for Orientation, you will meet with your faculty advisor to confirm or change your courses. Visit your personalized web portal to choose your FP and course preferences. Choose your course preferences by August 4.
What else do I need to know about courses?
Most courses at Knox are worth 1 credit, and most students take 3 courses each term.
An easy way to think about the 36 courses you'll take during your Knox career: about one-third will be in FP, Foundations, and Key Competencies; about one-third in your major; and about one-third in a minor and other courses that you find interesting.
Classes meet, on average, between 3 and 5 hours per week; labs are an additional 2 to 4 hours per week. You should expect to devote 1 to 2 hours per hour of class each week to work outside of class, such as completing readings, studying for exams or quizzes, writing essays or reports, developing or rehearsing presentations or creative work.
Here's how to read a catalog description of a course:
What is a placement exam and should I take one?
Accurate course placement is vital to your academic success at Knox. Research shows that students who begin their college study at the appropriate level enjoy greater progress and achievement. A placement exam is a short test you take in the summer to determine if you have academic skills already in an area. At Knox, we offer placement tests in mathematics, some foreign languages, and chemistry. Learn more about math, foreign language, and chemistry placement exams.
Who will help guide me?
When you arrive on campus, you'll be paired with a faculty member who serves as your academic advisor for the first few terms. Before classes begin, you'll meet with your advisor to talk about your course selections, get to know each other, and learn about the special opportunities that await you, such as study abroad, independent research, internships, or community service. If you have questions over the summer, please use our Ask-a-Prof program -- e-mail to Dr. Tom Moses, who is ready to answer any questions you have.
How does the Honor Code work?
While a policy on academic honesty might not be something you're thinking about right now, Knox's Honor Code will matter every day of your life on campus. You will govern your own behavior and monitor your own academic integrity. Having this privilege is central to your identity as a young academic and your intellectual life on campus. In fact, we haven't had a monitored test at Knox since the Honor Code was initiated in 1950. Learn more about the Knox College Honor System.