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Academics and Smart Start


Division of Student Development

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401-4999


Fax: 309-341-7077


The Knox Shop
Students display their countries flags at the annual International Fair in Ford Center for the Fine Arts.

Welcome to your Knox educational experience. Now is the time to begin taking those first steps toward intellectual discovery.

Please Note: Academic forms are made available on your Pre-Arrival Tracker at different times before you arrive on campus. You will receive an email whenever new forms are available.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Your final high school transcript, any relevant test scores (AP, IB, A-Levels), and any college records should be submitted by your high school or college via email to or mailed to Knox College, 2 East South Street, Galesburg, Il 61401. We need this information not only to assist your faculty advisor as you register for classes but to maintain your eligibility for financial aid and scholarships.

  • First-Year Preceptorial (FP) is a small seminar course that all first-year students take. 

  • Accurate course placement is vital to your academic success at Knox. Research shows that students who begin their college studies 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 second languages, and music. Learn more about placement exams.

  • Learn more about basic computer and wireless network requirements when deciding on the perfect machine before you arrive on campus. Questions? Contact

  • There are several types of courses you'll complete en route to becoming both a broadly and deeply educated person.

    Elements: In the Elements courses, you'll gain a sense of the breadth of learning and the paths of exploration through the arts, sciences, humanities, and social sciences. You'll also focus on communication in a second language, in numbers and symbols, and with people unlike you.

    Specialization: You'll continue your explorations with a major and a second field of study, which together make up your Specialization.

    Active, Engaged Learning: You'll round out your education with engagements with local and global communities. You may take courses about communities and cultures about which you know very little now. You might choose to take courses in a foreign country. Or you may continue your studies outside of the conventional classroom: in a laboratory, in a field research site, through an internship, in a community organization. Through any of these encounters, you will learn by doing.

    Whatever else interests you: Along the way, there'll be plenty of opportunities for you to choose courses on the basis of your interests.

  • Most courses at Knox are worth one credit, and most students take three courses each term. You will need 36 credits to graduate, which is essentially 36 courses.

    An easy way to think about the 36 courses you'll take during your Knox career: about one-third will be in a major, one third will be in the general graduation requirements (First-year Preceptorial, the Elements, and your second field); about one-third will be in other courses that you find interesting.

  • You'll be paired with a faculty member who serves as your academic advisor for your first few terms at Knox.

    Your academic advisor will receive the information you provide in your Pre-Arrival Tracker and the materials you submitted with your application. Before you arrive on campus, the two of you will get to know each other and finalize your course schedule.

  • Classes meet, on average, between three and five hours per week; labs are an additional two to four hours per week. You should expect to devote at least two 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, and developing or rehearsing presentations or creative work.

  • There is an add-drop period that lasts the first week of the term. After that first week, you would have to withdraw from a course, which means that you wouldn't get credit for that course.

  • You don't have to decide on what your major is until the spring term of your sophomore year. After that, you'll get a new advisor in your major. As a liberal arts institution, we like a breadth of knowledge in our students, so you'll have plenty of chances to learn about things that are specifically related to your major and also about things that are not related to it.

  • Knox's Honor Code will matter every day of your life on campus. Academic integrity is a core institutional value and it is students who manage and monitor themselves. Holding this privilege and preserving these principles are central to Knox's student identity and the community of intellectual exploration on campus. You will become a member of this community, governed by this system since 1950. Learn more about the Knox College Honor System.

  • Talk to your professors. You are going to a small liberal arts college, which means that you have access to your professors, so use them as resources for success. The very best person to help you in a class is actually the professor that is teaching that class, so if you're having any sort of struggle, or difficulty, or you just want to talk about anything, talk to your professor.

    The big difference between high school and college is that in high school, you are getting knowledge—you're taking in content. The point of college is to join a community of people who make knowledge together, and you do that collaboratively by talking to faculty and fellow classmates to work together to solve problems.

    It’s also really important to learn how to manage your time in college. One of the key things to being successful as an undergraduate is the importance of creating blocks of time to do different things, like studying and participating in student organizations.

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Printed on Sunday, June 16, 2024