Let’s say it’s the start of the semester (syllabus week) and you have a full 15 credit course load. However, you want to make this year legendary and take one more class, but how should you go about it? You may…

  1. Close your eyes and pick one of the open classes (that fits into your schedule)
  2. Ask if your friends are taking an open class and join them.
  3. Go for something fun and different, think flying disk, road cycling, scuba diving, etc.
  4. Choose an elective under your major (if you have one or are planning to declare one).

Now that you found an open class that fits your schedule, how do you go about finding the right professor if multiple sections are offered for that class? You may…

  1. Ask your friends if they have taken that professor.
  2. Find the professor’s online page and browse through it for a syllabus or his/her bio.
  3. Find an online source that comments about this professor.


You should go visit the class before choosing it!

Usually students are interested in taking a particular class because of the class description. Yet sometimes the class is simply full. If you are unsure about the class material, best to catch the professor before the class or during their office hours. This will give you the opportunity to speak one on one and learn about the focus of the course. If the class is still open, you should ask if you can attend one of the lectures to get a feel for the lecture style, pace and teaching technique of the professor. Enroll in the class and you are done. If the enrollment is full, explain to the professor why you want to take the class and maybe you could get an override. In addition, this technique can help you learn what to focus on during winter or summer break.

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