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What will I be taking my first semester at Ohio State?​


Course Planning

You will work with an advisor during orientation to plan which courses you should take in your first term and to understand how those courses will help you work towards a variety of majors and explore your academic options.


University Survey- University survey is a course offered to new students in their enrollment unit.  EXP requires survey this of all freshmen (lec-rec format in AU) and transfer students (online via CARMEN).  Our survey class is one credit hour and is graded.  Topics covered are: policies and procedures, campus resources and opportunities, and exploring majors and degree planning.  We also partner with First Year Experience (FYE) to encourage students to attend programming to assist with college transitions and to participate in the Buckeye Book Community (BBC).  Some majors require passing survey as part of the degree hours/academic requirements to receive the degree.  We do not require campus change students to take survey as many have taken it on their regional campus.


GE or General Education Courses- The general education courses at Ohio State are essentially each major's academic core.  Every student at OSU  no matter what their major must take courses in Writing, Math and Data Analysis, Social Sciences, Literature, Visual Art, History, Science  and sometimes foreign language.  These courses are designed to help students develop critical thinking and analytical skills that will help them be successful in their major courses.  They are considered the foundation of every degree at Ohio State.  These courses are mandatory and must be fulfilled prior to graduation.  Students should expect about  60 credit hours of their degree to be comprised of GE courses.


Requisites (pre-and co)- Some courses require that you have a previous course in order to take them. For example, in order to take history which has a strong level of writing ability expected a student must first take English 1110 as a pre-requisite.  Some courses require a co-requisite (taking another course at the same time). Additionally, some programs require that you complete prerequisite courses before you are eligible to declare or apply to the major.


Courses to explore majors- There are a number of courses an advisor may recommend depending on prior credit earned and your academic interests.  In many cases these courses serve as prerequisites to the majors you may be interested in or can count as a General Education requirement.  A student may also use these courses on a minor or as they explore a thematic academic area they create on their own.  Some courses to explore majors may serve as electives if the student chooses another path, but these hours are needed for many Ohio State degrees to reach the minimum number degree hours. 


Freshman Seminars-Freshman Seminars are elective courses that are generally worth 1-2 credits and can be graded or S/U.  These courses are special topics taught by faculty and are only available to new students in their first year (NFYS and transfer).  The class size is generally limited to 20-25 students.


Types of Courses

When you a reviewing the course catalog and class schedule you will notice that classes have an abbreviated course component type next to each piece of the class.  Those components let you know what kind of class it is and how it will be taught.

LEC—LEC stands for lecture.  Lecture, usually a larger class size where general information is taught to the group

REC– REC stands for recitation (reh-si-tay-shun). Recitation, generally a smaller subgroup of a larger class where an instructor goes over homework problems, answers questions, administers quizzes, etc.

LAB– LAB stands for lab.  Lab, a longer class period where a student completes lab work; this is also used for performing and visual arts studios/ensembles and may be connected to a LEC or REC.

SEM– SEM stands for seminar. Seminar classes tend to be smaller in size and more discussion oriented.


How Can I Prepare for Orientation?

Pre-Orientation Home Page​   

Basic, but very important, first steps to prepare

Bachelor's Degree 1101– Know what you're coming to Ohio State for even if you don't know what major you want

Know yourself- What are your goals, interests, strengths and abilities?