New Transfer Student Guide: Building a Schedule

The guide for enrolled transfer students contains advice on requirements and deadlines which are critical to completing your degree on time.



Degree Requirements

The College has a series of competency and area requirements that all students must fulfill. Refer to the degree requirements page for a complete summary of these requirements. You will have some or all of these requirements filled with courses from your previous institution. You must fulfill at U.Va. any remaining requirements.

Check your Student Center on SIS to determine which requirements you have completed and which you still need to take. Make a list of those requirements you have not completed and keep them in mind as you browse through the Schedule of Courses on SIS to select classes. Be sure to take an ENWR 1510 and foreign language class during the fall if you have not fulfilled the first-writing and foreign language requirements.  If you wish to submit a portfolio for review, see University of Virginia Writing Program: Placement   The deadline for portfolio review is July 29 of this year. Check the web site listed above for important portfolio submission details.

Course Levels

The University numbers courses from 1000 through 9999. Courses numbered on the 1000 and 2000 levels are usually designed for students with little previous knowledge of a subject. In many cases such courses must be taken before more specialized offerings in the 3000 and 4000 levels can be taken. 5000-level courses are graduate courses that may also open to upperclass undergraduates. You are responsible for verifying that you have the prerequisites for any course you select. If you are in doubt, you should confer with the professor who teaches the course. Courses numbered beyond the 5999 level are not open to undergraduates.

Choosing Your Courses

If you attend Summer Orientation, you will select courses while you are here. Students who are unable to attend Summer Orientation will register for classes in August.

To begin planning your schedule for the fall, study the course offerings in the Schedule of Courses (SOC) in SIS. Also refer to department web sites for program descriptions. Carefully review pre-requisites before selecting courses (see Course Levels section above).

The standard course load is 15 credits; the minimum course load is 12 credits. Select 4-5 courses depending upon the number of credits per course. As you select courses, be certain to include discussion sections and labs. Select zero-credit labs, drills, and discussions where required. You must follow the same procedure to select these as you do any other class. Choose your courses with a plan to fulfill soon any area requirements that you lack, especially the First Writing requirement, the Foreign Language requirement, and the Math/Science requirement.

Try to select both large lecture courses and smaller classes that require discussion and participation. You’ll enjoy your semester much more if your courses are not all of the same type. Also try to strike a balance between courses that require extensive reading (e.g., history, English, government), and those that demand regular, daily preparation (e.g., foreign languages, mathematics).

Be sure to select several alternates because some of the classes you want may be full. Keep in mind that Summer Orientation is only the start of the course selection process. You will have time to adjust your schedule between early August and the end of the ADD deadline in early September.

Don’t try to take on too much during your first semester here. Most transfer students find their first semester at UVa requires significant adjustments.

You may not select more than 15 credit-hours during the summer (you will be able to enroll in up to 17 credits in August), but we urge you not to overload yourself by carrying too heavy a load.

Avoid more than three consecutive classes. Allow time to eat lunch. And, keep in mind the location of your classes; you cannot walk from one side of Grounds to the other in the 10-minute break between classes. Use the U.Va. Online interactive map to help you assess distances between classroom buildings. It takes about 20 minutes to walk from Brooks Hall to Gilmer Hall but you can easily get to and from Cabell, Rouss, Cocke, Wilson, Clark, Minor and Bryan Hall in ten minutes.

Be sure not to repeat a course for which you already received transfer credit. Repeat courses will not count toward graduation credits and will not count toward your grade point average. If you are in doubt, please check with Ms. Ozment, your Association Dean.

If you are a second-year student and certain about the major you plan to declare, be sure you have the proper prerequisites. If you are not sure of your field of concentration, continue to explore different areas of potential interest. You will have ample opportunity to discuss your plans with your faculty advisor during fall orientation.

If you are a third-year student, consult the web site for your major and select two required courses to take this fall.  If during fall orientation your faculty advisor suggests courses other than those you have chosen during summer orientation, you may revise your course schedule through the first two weeks of the semester. Make sure you have the necessary prerequisites for your major. Major prerequisites are listed on departmental web sites.

If you plan to transfer into one of our professional schools (Batten, Commerce, Nursing, Architecture, Engineering, Education), check to see what courses are recommended. If you don’t plan correctly, you may find that you need either an extra semester, year, or summer school to complete your degree in a professional school. Extra academic time is not automatic and is difficult to obtain, and summer school may be inconvenient. If you have questions, contact the school directly.

Next: Policies & Procedures