Tag Archives: undergraduate

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Basic Guide to Courses for Brandeisians

We all know that the Brandeis students are of a completely different breed.  We can all relate to each other for one reason or another – that main reason being our Brandeisian pride.  Here is an unofficial guide to Brandeis courses:

INTERESTS:
First off, high school and college are extremely different. If you found that you did not particularly excel in something during your high school career, do not be turned off from this subject matter in college. Courses are taught differently and who knows, you may be avoiding a course that you would do really well in. It could be a potential major, minor, or career path to take after undergrad. It is also important to keep in mind that as much as your parents may want you to pursue an undergraduate degree in Art History, Biology, or Mathematics, this is your time to shine and find something that you are passionate in. If you choose a major or minor based off of what your parents want you could ultimately be stuck in a career that you do not enjoy.

SHOPPING PERIOD:
For those of you new to Brandeis, you may not fully understand the “Shopping Period” that we offer during the Fall and Spring semesters. The shopping period is self-explanatory, it is a two week period where you can try out different courses and see what you are most interested in or what fits your schedule best. No one wants to be stuck in a course that might drop his or her GPA. Also, why bother taking a course if you know that you won’t enjoy it and get all that you can out of it?

DON’T OVERWHELM YOURSELF:
Upon your arrival it may have appeared that every upperclassman had eight majors and sixteen minors. this is not the case! Some people are fortunate enough to have found different subject matters that interest them and they chose to pursue undergraduate degrees in those various subjects, but it is perfectly fine to only have one major. However, if you do find other courses that spark your interest, then take a few more classes in it. If you find that you can devote the time and energy into declaring a major or minor in it, then talk to your advisor and find out if he or she thinks it would be beneficial to you and your academic resumé.

BUILD A SPREADSHEET:
Organization is key. I have found that what helps me most is designing a spread sheet that clearly distinguishes each semester and the possible courses that are available and would fulfill my major, minor, and/or university requirements.  This way, you don’t find yourself in your eighth semester begging a professor to let you into a class before you didn’t realize that you forgot a major/minor/university requirement somewhere along the way.

DON’T BE AFRAID OF SUMMER SCHOOL:
Granted, in high school, Summer School seemed like a punishment for those who didn’t necessarily do as well as they could/should have in a particular course. In College, the concept of Summer School is completely different. In fact, it might be the students that are more proactive in their studies who enroll in summer courses. People enroll for a multitude of reasons. Maybe you have an internship in Waltham, Boston, or the surrounding area. Perhaps you want to double major and you wouldn’t normally have enough time to complete all of the requirements in your seven or eight semesters at Brandeis. These are just a few of the many reasons why students partake in the Summer Program here at Brandeis University.

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