University of Notre Dame
University of Notre Dame


Top 3 Questions to Ask Yourself When Choosing Courses

The Class of 2020 will register for spring semester November 21-22. Here are some guiding questions that may help you make good course choices.

3. Do I have balance?

“Make sure to have a mix of both university and college requirements with courses that specifically interest you,” Assistant Dean Maureen Dawson advises. Also, try to maintain a balance of difficult and more manageable courses — you’ll thank yourself later if you spread out your most challenging courses.

2. What elective courses might have some meaningful connection to the major(s) I am thinking of pursuing?

“Rather than picking electives randomly just to check off requirements,” First Year advisor Dr. Cecilia Lucero suggests, “Students should take time to think about how particular courses might provide a larger context for the majors they wish to pursue.” For example, if you’re a civil engineering student, a social science course on sustainability might help you think about the broader impacts of your future profession.

1. What do I want to know?

First Year advisor Dr. Rufus Burnett explains, “So many students are governed by two different questions: ‘What do I have to do?’ or ‘What do I want to do?’ My hope is that they will choose a pursuit of knowledge that will lead to a career rather than the other way around. Knowledge is a good in and of itself and does not always have to be a means to an end.”