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So Many Choices ... So Little Time?

Academic Knox

Well, yes, lots of choices...but there's more time than you might think. You've got four years ahead of you. That's 12 terms. At three courses per term, that's 36 courses. (We could figure the hours and minutes, but you get the idea.)

It may be that your easiest choices are at the beginning, when all things are open to you and where just about any course you can take will "count," that is, will contribute to your education and will help you eventually to define that special pathway through Knox that will be yours alone.

What do we suggest? If you've arrived at Knox with some idea of a major, of course it's important to test the waters and get started-that could be your first course. And of course you'll be in a section of FP (First-Year Preceptorial)-your second course. But as you read the list of courses offered, you're sure to encounter fields of study that are unfamiliar to you. Now's the time to explore, try out new things-perhaps as your third course in the fall. Who knows? You may discover new interests and talents-it's happened to many other students in the past and happens every day at Knox!

Every major at Knox can be completed in four years even if the first course taken does not occur until the sophomore year! Keep that in mind when you try to balance existing interests with the wish to explore new areas over the course of the first year.

Think about your second language. You can study French, German, Greek, Japanese, Chinese, Latin, or Spanish on campus. If you are interested in French, German, or Spanish, your advisor will tell you where the Modern Languages Department thinks you should enter your studies. Those interested in Latin or Japanese should take the placement exam given during New Student Orientation. Information on Latin or Greek is available from faculty in the Classics Department. Then remember that all languages taught at Knox have a 3-course introductory sequence: 101, 102, 103. If you are starting a new language "from scratch" (101), you'll need to include it in your fall term selections in order to continue in the winter and spring terms. (French and Spanish also offer an accelerated two-course introductory sequence, 101A and 103A. Your advisor will have placement information to guide your choices, if you are interested in these two languages.)

And here's an important general consideration: Different courses involve different kinds of work. Most courses in the humanities and social sciences are heavy-duty reading and writing courses. Language courses (and some others) involve regular memorization and drills. Science courses with laboratories and studio art courses require large blocks of time.

Remember: it's not all about the fall term. Winter and spring follow! Right now you'll find tentative lists of course offerings for winter and spring term on the Knox website. It might not be a bad idea to take a peek, particularly if you have an idea now about a possible major. And if you make the effort during your first two years to learn about special programs and special opportunities, you'll have no trouble fitting them in your junior and senior years.

TECHNICAL STUFF: More on Course Selection

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