What's Your Plan?
The spring semester of your first-year at at RPI is a great time to start think about your remaining 6-semesters. While you are with the SoE Hub, you can sit with your Hub Advisor to create a 4- Year Plan that will guide you through all your upcoming curriculum decisions. Your curriculum planning and the conversation you have with your Hub Advisor, will provide you with a solid direction as you move onto your faculty advisor at the beginning of your sophomore year. With a 4-Year Plan, you can insert the courses for a minor you are interested in pursuing, or see where you can fit in a study abroad semester. It's a great way to answer many of your questions!
As you begin to build your 4-Year Plan, keep the following in mind:
- Are you aware of your prerequisites and corequisites? Do you know how to find them?
- Where will you place your HASS, PD II, and CI requirements?
- What semester will you be away during The Arch? Does your major require you to be away during a specific semester?
Now, let's plan!
Step 1! Download your Major's Template.
The link below is an excel document full of major templates that are ready for you to customize. Once you download your cohort's file, you can find your major-specific template in the sheets section of the excel document. We recommend creating a brand new excel document for yourself, either by copying and pasting your major template into a new file, or by separating your major's sheet from the rest.
Make sure you save your file in a safe place! You don't want to lose any of the hard work you put into planning.
Step 2! Customize your Excel Sheet.
Once you have saved your major template in a safe place, start to arrange the curriculum based on your individual degree progress and academic goals. Keep in mind, this document is yours! However you organize, or need to think about this content, this is just an outline. You need to decide how the content will look and what ultimately works for you. The following steps are suggestions on how to start building your 4-Year Plan, but as you go, feel comfortable to make notes or adjustments as you need!
See this example of a 4-Year Plan for more details on the following steps.
- Optional step: If you have AP, IB, or other transfer credits (previous to starting at Rensselaer), move those completed courses to the correct space above your first year curriculum. By doing this, you will already begin to see where you have extra space in a given semester. This is how you will start your curriculum planning.
- Next, you will need to move all of the courses you completed during the fall semester to the fall semester on the excel sheet. Repeat this step for the courses in your spring semester, whether you are currently enrolled in those courses or have just registered for them. If you have registered for the fall semester of your sophomore year, make those adjustments, as well. You should have a solid rough draft of this document before you start your sophomore year.
- Look at your 'electives.' As you begin to make decisions on how to fulfill your HASS electives, for example, you should still keep the HASS label on the excel sheet (see the example guide above). You should also add content such as 'Communication Intensive,' so you remember the requirement each HASS elective is meeting, just in case you need to make changes down the road. You do not need to know the exact courses names at this point, but it is a good idea to know what decisions you will need to make!
- Start to see how everything is shaking out. Are you off-template? Will you need to rearrange courses, or bring courses to an earlier semester than suggested on the template? This is absolutely fine! However, before you move any courses from their original suggested semester, make certain that you understand all the prerequisites/co- requisites, and review which courses are fall or spring only. If you are confident that you are placing courses in the right order, create a 4-Year Plan that works for you.
Step 3! Keep your 4-Year Plan safe and updated!
Once you've finished your 4-Year Plan, you will want to revisit this document at least once a semester. Occasionally, you may need to make adjustments to what you have planned for a certain semester. This is common! If your plan has to change, repeat Step 2 to revise your excel sheet. Each semester, you want to have a Plan A, B and C, as you head toward registration. This 4-Year Plan can support your understanding of all your choices.
Questions? Make an appointment with your HUB Advisor or come to Walk-in Wednesdays for quick questions!
Hub Advising Hours: Weekdays, 9 to noon, 1 pm to 4 pm