Are there Academic Advisors available to assist me in selecting course preferences?

Although you will not be assigned an official academic advisor until early August, the Office of Advising will host Summer Guidance hours- look back for details after May 12.

Is there any course that all first-year students take?

Yes. As part of the Common Course of Study requirements, all first-semester students enroll in a First-Year Seminar (FYS). You will be asked to provide us with your top five choices. Read FYS course descriptions carefully and make preference selections that will expand your academic horizons.

What is the First Year Seminar?

First-Year Seminars are a critical part of the Common Course of Study, a co-requisite for other courses taken by students in their first semester, and a prerequisite for subsequent courses.

First Year Seminars are limited to around 18 students per section, the First-Year Seminar includes significant reading, writing, discussion, and presentation and is affiliated with the College Writing Program. Students in First-Year Seminars are introduced to the use of the library for research.

How many courses do I take my first semester?

First-year students take four courses per semester. In addition, students may also take up to two music performance courses (e.g., music lessons, choir).

To choose my courses, do I need to have an academic major?

Absolutely not. Although you might have an academic program in mind and should follow course selection recommendations provided through the registration website, the Lafayette College Faculty has designed the curriculum to ensure that all students have an opportunity to study the liberal arts broadly, regardless of their intended major(s). Students are not asked to declare an academic major until the spring semester sophomore year.

How do I submit my course preference selections?

Each First Year student will receive and individualized Course Preferences Link sent to your Lafayette email. Online course preferences will open on in mid-May and close in mid-June.

The process is not first come, first serve! Take your time with preference selections and be mindful of the June deadline. Preference surveys completed after the June deadline can not be guaranteed to be taken into consideration.

Can I change my course preferences once they have been submitted through the survey?

The preference survey should be submitted only once. Courses can be changed after a preliminary schedule is made by the Registrar’s Office. There will be an open course adjustment period for you toward the of the summer before you arrive on campus.

How do I know if I need to take online placement test(s)?

There are online placement tests in three areas: chemistry, languages, and mathematics. Regardless of academic area of interest, all students are encouraged by the mathematics department to take a math placement test.

Similarly, all students planning to take chemistry must take a placement test.

Language placement tests are also are required for students who have studied French, German, or Spanish for two years in high school. Full details and instructions are available here.

How does the language sequence work?

  • Elementary (101-102) and Intermediate (111-112) courses are a two-semester, year-long sequence. In most languages offered at Lafayette, it is recommended that students complete the first part of the sequence before enrolling in the second part. Exceptions are made based on the student’s past language experience, placement exam scores or assessment by qualified members of the LLS faculty. French and Spanish offer a one-semester elementary course for high beginners (103), which is equivalent in level to 102.

When are fall semester schedules finalized?

Course schedules are finalized in late August before you arrive to campus. The Registrar’s Office will notify you once your schedule is complete.