First Year Advising Goals

Check out UCSC's first year course! (Navigating the Research University)

Your first year at the university will undoubtedly be filled with the excitement of new ideas, friends, and possibilities!  You'll get the most out of your education if you start exploring your educational goals now, and start learning about the steps you'll need to take to achieve them.  Although you don't need to be entirely clear on your plan at this stage, it's important you understand what it will take to qualify for majors that may be of interest to you, and that you test your skills in these areas.  The trick is to explore with intention -- keep your mind open about the variety of possibilities you may pursue, and take and excel in the classes that will keep those possibilities open.  

First year students should work toward the following goals:

1.  Learn how the UCSC advising system is organized, who your advisers are, and how you can reach them.  Meet with an adviser at your college sometime during the first year.  Learn about academic support resources that can help you excel.

2.  Learn how to use MyUCSC to enroll in classes, check your grades, and check your Academic Advisement Report (AAR) to see which campus-wide requirements you've completed (your major requirements may not be reflected in this report).

3.  Identify majors you might want to pursue, and learn if there are classes you must take or grades you must earn to qualify for the major.  Start taking foundation courses for majors of interest to see if you enjoy studying the subject and whether the major is a good match for your skills.  Remember, you're exploring -- so take courses that will help you explore more than one major, especially if one of the majors you're interested in is selective.

4.  Narrow your choices and "propose" a major by the end of the first year.  You don't have to be formally declared in a major by this point (although you can declare as soon as you've decided and met the major's qualification requirements), but you'll find it much easier to stay on track if you've made some progress toward choosing and qualifying for a major before your second year.

5.  Learn about academic planning -- which courses for majors of interest need to be taken right away, which ones have prerequisites, and which ones are only offered in certain quarters?  What do you need to do if you want to spend junior year abroad, if you want to take advantage of other academic programs, or if you want to pursue a major with a highly-structured curriculum? 

6.  Learn about your professors' expectations, and what it takes to excel.  Learn about the principles of academic integrity, and why they're important at a research university.