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Your Academic Journey


Division of Student Development

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401-4999


Fax: 309-341-7077


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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 get started, 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.

  • 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.

What else do I need to know about courses?

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.

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.

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 second languages, and music. 

Who will help guide me?

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

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.

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. 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 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.

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Printed on Wednesday, December 8, 2021