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Planning Your Schedule

As you plan your schedule for the fall semester, it's important to think of it in the context of your four years at the University of Richmond. The University uses a unit system to track progress toward graduation. You need 35 units to graduate. Most courses are 1 unit.

Of those 35 units, a third typically come from each of three types of courses:

  • General education courses, required of all students: They will help you explore the kinds of thinking and scholarly activity that happens across the academic world.
  • Major courses: Courses that you will take to satisfy the requirements of your chosen major. Note that a course can be used to satisfy both general education and major requirements.
  • Elective courses: Those you choose because you find them interesting and valuable. (If you eventually decide to pursue multiple majors or a minor, you may take fewer elective courses.)
  • In addition, all students must complete Part 1 (online) of Alcohol Edu and register for a section of WELL 085 -Alcohol Education & Abuse Prevention Workshop. WELL 085 will meet one day in the fall semester and is zero units.

Registration Limits

Remember, most Richmond courses are worth 1 unit of credit. To be a full-time student, you must take at least 3.5 units per semester. You may take a maximum of 5.5 units in any semester, but during summer registration for fall, first-year students are limited to no more than 4.5 units. We strongly recommend that all students take 4 units their first semester (4.5 units if they are adding music lessons or ensembles). Four units is considered a typical full-time load at Richmond. Students interested in taking 5 or more units should register for 4 or 4.5 units during the summer registration period, then talk with his/her advisor at orientation about adding another unit at that time.

Preparing Your First-Semester Schedule

New students should plan to take four units their first semester. That usually means taking four courses, unless you're taking a 2-unit language course, in which case you would take 3 courses totaling 4 units. For all first-year students, one of these units must be the First-Year Seminar, a hands-on introduction to academic inquiry.

For the other three units, consider taking: 

Think about creating a balanced schedule by choosing courses from various subject areas rather than focusing your semester's course choices in any one area or in any one type of course. Taking several courses at once in a single discipline or combining several courses that are all, for example, "heavy reading" or "heavy math" in nature can be overwhelming and limiting. Balancing the types of courses you include in your schedule can often be accomplished by selecting across general education requirements, major exploratory classes, and electives. (Students who are interested in pre-health/science majors should contact the appropriate summer faculty advisor prior to fall registration.)

When planning your schedule, remember to account for units you may earn through first-year transfer credit. If you believe you will be bringing credit to Richmond (e.g., AP credit) for a course, do NOT register for that course for fall. Also, if you wish to study a foreign language, consider your placement in that language before registering.

Since there are limited seats available in most courses, having several alternatives prepared when registration opens is wise. With many students registering at one time, courses fill quickly. Being able to move easily from a course that fills to several open alternates can reduce registration stress.

Finding Fall Courses

Fall courses will be viewable for new first-year students through BannerWeb starting June 7. In the meantime, you can search the University's online undergraduate catalog to see a complete list of course approved by the university. Courses listed in the catalog may not be offered every semester.

Need help planning?

You are always welcome to talk with your Peer Advising Associate or contact the staff of the Academic Advising Resource Center if you have questions as you choose your courses for fall registration.