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New Students > Academics

Your Academic Journey


Division of Student Development

2 E. South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401-4999


Fax: 309-341-7077


The Knox Shop
Ford Center for the Fine Arts

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?

There are several 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.

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. 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 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:

Course Description

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 and some foreign languages.

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. Your academic advisor will have your Course Preferences, placement recommendations, and other materials you submitted with your application. Before classes begin, you'll meet with your advisor to get to know each other and learn about the special opportunities that await you, such as study abroad, independent research, internships, or community service, and to finalize your course schedule.

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.

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Printed on Wednesday, December 13, 2017

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