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

All transfer students enter into the College’s “Traditional Curriculum.” 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 transferred from your previous institution. You must fulfill any remaining requirements at UVA.

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. Take an ENWR 1510 and/or foreign language class during the fall if you have not fulfilled one or both of these.  If you wish to submit a portfolio to the English Department for review and possible exemption from the First Writing Requirement, see the University of Virginia Writing Program: Placement website for instructions, and then email Professor Donovan your informed questions. The deadline for portfolio review is July 29 of this year.

Start planning your fall schedule by using the SIS Schedule Builder tool. It allows you to build multiple options for possible schedules for the upcoming term.

Then, add classes to your SIS Shopping Cart in preparation for your July enrollment appointment.

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 upper-class undergraduates but should not be selected unless specifically advised by the instructor or the student’s faculty advisor. 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

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 Natural Science/Math requirement.

Try to select a mix of large lecture courses and smaller seminars 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. The College does not save seats for admitted transfer students in fall courses, and we do not guarantee that you will gain entry to your first-choice class. Please Keep in mind that summer enrollment is only the start of the course selection process. You will have plenty of time to adjust your schedule during the month of August.

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 on any given day. Allow time to eat lunch. Keep in mind the location and format of your classes; you cannot walk from one side of Grounds to the other in the 10-minute break between classes. Use the UVA 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. Repeated courses will not count toward graduation credits and will not count toward your grade point average. If you are in doubt, please check with 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.

If you are a third-year student, consult the web site for your major and select two required courses to take this fall. If, after you declare, your faculty advisor suggests courses other than those you have chosen, 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.

Transfer Students in the College are expected to earn their undergraduate degrees from the College of Arts & Sciences. Transferring to another School at the University may not be possible. If you plan to transfer into one of our professional schools (Batten, Commerce, Nursing, Architecture, Engineering, Education), check to see what courses are recommended. You are not guaranteed entrance to those programs and must enter the university with an alternative major in mind from the College of Arts & Sciences. If you don’t plan correctly, you may find that you need summer school to complete your degree. Extra academic time is not automatic and is difficult to obtain. If you have questions, contact the school directly.

Next: Policies & Procedures