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What fall courses will I take?

While it's impossible to answer this question in exact terms until you meet with your advisor, here is a general idea of what to expect when you come to register for classes at Orientation and Registration.

How many classes will I take in the fall semester?

We strongly encourage first-year students to take three four-credit courses in the fall semester. This might not sound like a lot, but the workload in each of your classes will be enough to keep you busy, especially as you adjust to life at college. You will also take FYI 100 or FYH 100 for an additional one credit.

Many incoming students will sign up for one or two one-credit courses as well. First-semester students commonly earn a credit for an academic skills course, a physical education course, participation in a varsity sport, music lessons, and/or participation in a music ensemble.

Which three courses should I take?

FYI 101 (or FYH 101)

Every incoming first-year student will take either First Year Inquiry (FYI) 101 and FYI 100, or the Honors courses FYH 101 and FYH 100. 

The FYI sequence is a two-course sequence for first-year students that is designed to introduce you to tradition of the liberal arts and hone your foundational thinking and communication skills. FYI aims to improve your writing and oral communication skills. The spring term (FYI 102) will focus on responding to difficult academic texts and research-based argument.

A Learning Perspective (LP) course or a major course

In addition to FYI or FYH, most students will take at least one course in the six Learning Perspectives (LPs) in the first semester. The six Perspectives are the Arts, the Individual and Society, Literature, the Past, Human Values and Existence, and the Natural World.

For some students that will be a course of their choice from the many courses Augustana offers.  For others it may be a course that applies to their major.

In the Orientation, Registration and Housing packet mailed to each student, you are provided a list of Learning Perspective courses. It shows all LPs that fulfill graduation requirements and are appropriate for first-year students.

Students should come to Orientation and Registration with two courses of interest circled in each Learning Perspective. Final course selections will be made with an advisor based on course availability and intended major.

Second language course

If you are beginning a language or were placed into the 101 course level, we encourage you to take the first semester of language in the fall. At Orientation, you'll learn more about the requirements and your options. (More information about second language requirements)

Chemistry 131

If you are interested in biology or the health sciences (pre-medicine, pre-pharmacy, pre-physical therapy, pre-nursing, pre-vet, etc...), you will need to take Chemistry 131, the first course in the chemistry sequence, in the fall semester. 


Only students in certain majors (biochemistry, chemistry, computer science, math, math education, engineering or the health sciences) should consider registration for pre-calculus or calculus in the first semester. Your Math Index score will determine if you are ready for calculus or need to take a preparatory course.

Your Math Index score is available to you in Arches. Calculus courses are offered multiple times throughout the year, so enrollment in the fall semester is not required even if you need it for your anticipated major. 

Music, music education, elementary and secondary education

Music and Music Education require a particular first semester course (MUSC 111.) Elementary and Secondary Education do not require a particular course, but do have significant requirements for a first-year student. If you are interested in these majors, be sure to mention that to your advisor at Orientation and Registration.

What if I have some open course slots?

As you can see, some students' schedules are largely set for the fall semester: if you are a prospective biology major who would like to fulfill the foreign language requirement, for example, you will need to take FYI 101, FYI 100, Chemistry 131, and the 101 course of a second language.

The majority of students, though, will have one or two courses they can choose from a large menu of classes. How do you decide which classes to take?

There are two things to keep in mind. First, and most importantly, you should seek out a class that looks interesting. Have you wondered what an art history class would be like but have never had a chance to take one? Have you thought about political science as a major but don't really know what a political science course covers? Would you like to continue your study of Spanish or German? Are you fascinated by African culture, or do you love literature, or always wanted to learn to act?

There are many courses at Augustana that you might not have had a chance to take: the first year is your chance to explore the curriculum, and in doing so, to explore your interests and ambitions.

Second, look for classes that fulfill a core curriculum requirement. In your first semester, almost any course that fulfills one of the Learning Perspectives will help move you toward graduation. If you can find a course that both looks interesting and fulfills a Perspective, then you are doing two things at once: broadening your experience and knowledge even as you work through the requirements for graduation.

To explore requirements for specific majors, see Areas of Study.