Your advisor is here to help you chart your academic course. Talk to your advisor to make sure you get in the right classes, access key resources, and stay on track to graduate.
Your academic advisor
It’s no secret that college is a whole new world—different in many ways from the high school environment. How can you thrive in the collegiate universe?
One of the keys to your success at Calvin is making a meaningful connection with your faculty advisor. This professor will meet with you to help you make wise decisions about the courses you take, the major/minor you choose and your career options.
To make the most of your advising relationship, make sure you’re prepared for each session.
Your advisor will do their best to help you choose great courses. If you need to make changes to your schedule after it’s created, contact the Center for Student Success.
- Find out how and when you’ll register for classes.
- See first-semester sample schedules.
- Learn how to use the Self-Service advising platform to create and track your academic plan.
- Learn about core curriculum requirements.
- Talk to your advisor about majors, career options and other things (music? sports?) that might affect your academic life.
- Ask a lot of questions!
You'll also find these resources helpful in preparing for advising discussions:
- Download the Student Academic Handbook.
- Review your "advising vocab"—key academic and advising terms you'll want to know.
- Are you a newly admitted student? Be sure to confirm your enrollment!
- Is a source of information about core and major/program requirements.
- Listens to your concerns and goals to help you make wise academic decisions.
- Refers you to other academic resources to aid your decision-making.
Finding your path
Did you know that 10 percent of incoming students have not chosen a major? If you are part of this group, you have plenty of time to explore your academic options. Start by choosing courses that meet core curriculum requirements in areas that interest you. Here are some other things that might help you decide:
- Meet with professors who teach in majors that interest you.
- Take a test in the career center to assess your strengths.
- Have coffee with a chaplain in the campus ministries office to explore God’s calling in your life.
What is core?
Calvin’s core curriculum is a set of liberal arts courses designed to give you a breadth of knowledge in many areas. Often called “general education” by other colleges, Calvin’s core will strengthen your academic life and future career while also helping you explore new academic options. Taught from a Reformed, Christian perspective, core classes will help you become a deeper, more knowledgeable person.
Here's how core fits into your academic program:
YOUR ACADEMIC PROGRAM
*Options include a second major, minor or two minors, pre-professional courses or electives.
In numerous core categories, you can choose from many course options. Are you planning to major in biology but love art? Take an art history class to satisfy a core requirement. Want to study abroad? Many study abroad courses also fulfill core.
If you’ve taken AP courses or several years of science or foreign language in high school, you may be exempt from some core courses. And depending on your planned major, you may have a modified version of the core curriculum.
Find out more about core requirements.
Staying on track to graduate
Many Calvin students graduate within four years. Here’s how you can do the same:
- Take an average of 15 credit hours per semester.
- Take at least three interim courses.
- Complete all core and major/minor requirements.
- Maintain good academic standing. This means achieving a minimum 2.0 GPA (C average), though some majors may have higher requirements.