How Do I Pick a Course?

First and second year students have a lot of flexibility with general education courses and electives when creating their schedule every semester. Students work closely with their Advisors to determine priorities and goals, and each term students can choose which general education and elective courses to enroll in to move them closer to those goals. Below is some general guidance and useful resources put together by School of Business Advisors to assist in choosing general education and elective courses.

General Education

Critical courses must be complete in the first four terms, and should be balanced appropriately across each term. General education courses must be completed prior to graduation.


  • Course offerings and availability - use the StudentAdmin system to see which courses are available and offered at your campus in the term in which you are planning to enroll
  • Your strengths and interests - use the Catalog to read pre-requisites and course descriptions to see which of the general education options might appeal to you (remember to check StudentAdmin first, since not all courses are offered every term or at every campus)
  • Balance and course credit load - be cautious to craft your schedule in a way that is balanced and plays to your strengths (for example, if you do not like science, do not take your lab science the same term you take PSYC 1100, and/or the same term you take a more challenging critical course)
  • Orientation/advising materials - rely on your orientation/advising materials to ensure you are not taking courses satisfying requirements you have already met


  • Generally, a typical Fall or Spring term for a first or second year Business student includes a combination of required criticals (1 or 2), required general education courses (1 or 2), and the student's choice of electives (1 or 2) for a total of 5 classes, between 13 and 16 credits. There are of course exceptions to this, but it should be done intentionally.
  • There is no need to "get them out of the way" so if that is your motivation to take a gen-ed, challenge yourself to approach it differently. General education is an essential component of the School of Business curriculum and adds value to your academic experience and professional preparation.


    The typical Business student needs approximately 30 elective credits. These credits ideally are taken intentionally across the duration of the student's educational career.


    • Are you looking for new subjects to learn about? Talk to friends, family, mentors in your network to see what may be most beneficial for you. There is a list of common electives for Business students below if you need inspiration.
    • Are there minors you are considering? Look at the catalog's list of non-Business minors to explore. Some minors will have 1000-level pre-requisites courses required before you are able to take minor required courses. Consider enrolling in pre-requisite courses to see if that minor is going to help you reach your goals. Keep in mind Business minors do not kick in until Junior year.
    • Are you planning on going abroad? If yes, chances are you are going to get electives done while abroad. Explore abroad options and discuss with your Advisor. While you plan, it may work best to take more general education courses so that you save your electives for when you are abroad.
    • Are you doing a dual degree? Technically, requirements for your other major will satisfy elective credits for your Business major, so you can meet with your other major's Advisor to plan requirements and plug those in as your elective courses.


    • Generally, each term should have at least one elective course. There are of course exceptions to this, but it should be done intentionally.
    • Electives are a great way to explore new things and differentiate yourself. Going abroad, doing a minor, learning a language are all great ways to earn elective credits.