Know Your Major
There are four distinct Physics majors:
- Engineering Physics
- LAS Physics
- Physics Teaching Concentration
- LAS Specialized Physics
Depending on your specific major, your requirements for graduation will vary.
- Check the physics website (http://physics.illinois.edu/academics/undergraduates/curricula-and-programs.html) to find information on the courses you must take.
- Also check your DARS report (https://registrar.illinois.edu/dars-audit) where you can discover how close you are to completing your major!
Meet with Merissa Jones if you have any questions (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Create a Four Year Plan
We recommend you plan out and regularly update a four year graduation plan. This plan lists out all courses you have taken and expect to take during your undergraduate career, based on what your requirements and special interests are. This is easily created using Excel or Google Sheets.
Check This Plan With Online Tools
http://waf.cs.illinois.edu/discovery/ this here link is a site created by a CS class on campus, with statistics on average GPA per class as well as average GPA by professor for that class. Keep in mind, the quality of a course is not solely determined by the average GPA…
…http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/ Which is why you should also check on what other students have said about professors. Remember that you are spending loads of money and time here to improve upon your skills. Do not get stuck in a classroom that you do not want to be in, that wastes your time, or that wastes your money.
Check This Plan With Peers
Perhaps even better than online tools, there are people at this university who have taken the courses that you are thinking about, and you can reach out to them to ask!
Check This Plan with Advisors
This is the most important one! Know if you have up to date information on what courses are required! Some websites are not updated and may be wrong. Too many students have been caught thinking they know what they need to take, and then: “whoops! I never got credit for CS 101! I can not graduate! I need to spend another $15,000+ to take CS 101!”
And beyond taking the right courses to graduate, talk to faculty you consider your Mentor. If you want to become a professor in Astrophysics, then go email an accomplished Astrophysics professor and ask to meet with them and ask for advice on courses. Personalize your time here so that you have a leg up on everyone else upon graduation.