How to Choose Classes

Hi everyone! Since I’m nearing graduation and reflecting on my college experience, I decided to tell you all about how I chose classes every semester. It can be overwhelming choosing classes at Scripps and the other 5Cs but it’s doesn’t have to be!

For starters, as a first year, you’ll already be registered for Core 1 since it’s the same class for everyone, so you only have to register for 3 additional classes. Most students take 4 classes a semester which is pretty manageable. If you are planning to major in the natural sciences through Keck, you should take Chem 14 in the fall of your first year. It’s your standard intro chemistry class and it’s a prerequisite for a lot of other science classes.

Speaking of prerequisites, we have some general education requirements (GEs) at Scripps. The good news is that with the exception of Core, you can take any class at any college to fulfill the credits. The GEs are: Core 1-3, Math, Natural Science, Social Science, Fine Arts, Race/Ethnic Studies, Gender and Women’s Studies (GWS), Language, and Letters (similar to a literature credit). It’s recommended that you focus more on GEs during your first year especially if you’re not sure what you want to major in which is totally normal and fine! These classes will allow you to explore interests that you may not have otherwise which makes them really cool.

The registration portal will let you filter classes by GEs if you want so you can use those to pick classes to take at any of the campuses. Once you find the list of classes that satisfy a specific GE, the time comes to choose a class. Since Core is already in your schedule, you have to find other classes that don’t interfere with that. Class meeting dates and times are listed with the classes so make sure to create a schedule that is possible and also convenient for you. Luckily, some Harvey Mudd students created a website called that lets you plan out multiple schedules. This is especially useful if you have a later registration time so you can have backups if you don’t get your first choice of classes. I would also recommend prioritizing major/minor courses over electives at the beginning of your college career to make sure you’re on track.

Additionally, my best piece of advice is to try to find older students who have taken the class before you so you can gauge the pace and workload of the class and decide if that works for you. You can also ask about certain professors if you’re unsure about them. Don’t be afraid of upperclassmen! They’re always happy to share wisdom and words of advice since they know that registration can be stressful for everyone but especially first years.

Finally, choose classes that interest you. You’re in college to explore interests and find what you like. There are tons of cool classes to choose from here so you’re sure to find something that suits you. Besides, you’re the one who has to take the class for 15-16 weeks so you should be mildly interested in it at least!

That’s all from me for now!