Course Selection Information

Course Selection Information

New Student Pre-Registration FAQs:

What are the steps to get my first-semester schedule set up?

There are five basic steps you need to follow:

  1. New student survey: This allows us to get a picture of your background and interests, as well as any special circumstances or requests you might have. This needs to be finished before any of the other steps can proceed.
  2. Placement exams: If you are planning on taking a foreign language or course in calculus, you may need to take a placement exam. You’ll be informed of this requirement a week or two after you have submitted your survey.
  3. Preliminary list of courses: Based on the results of the previous two steps, you’ll be emailed a list of courses that we suggest you’ll take in your first semester. This will not include times or professors. We are mindful of the different requests you make, as well as the university’s Core and major requirements.
  4. Final list of courses: This will include the times and professors, and will be ready for you when you arrive on campus.
  5. Meeting with academic advisor: Your final step is to meet with your academic advisor during orientation, during which you can discuss your schedule, just in case something has been overlooked.

The initial survey: Where is the link? How long will it take? What information should I have ready for it?

A personalized survey link will be sent to you via email. The survey will take about 15 to 20 minutes, but you are able to return to the survey if you can’t finish it in one sitting. The survey asks for information about AP and IB exams you have taken, as well as information about college credit you’ve already earned (including dual-credit courses taken in high school). Having that handy will streamline the process of filling out the survey.

What if I run into problems with the survey?

Contact Dr. David Andrews ( or 972-721-5039) for questions or technical issues on the survey.

Do I have to take the math placement exam?

The math placement exam is for students intending to take a course at UD in the calculus sequence (Calculus I, II, or III). If you are going to take statistics or geometry to fulfill your math requirement at UD, you do not need to take the placement exam.

The calculus courses are required only for students majoring in biochemistry, biology, chemistry, computer science, mathematics and physics. Students wishing to pursue a pre-medicine program also generally have to take calculus.

If you have AP or dual-enrollment credit for calculus, it may be that you will not have to take another calculus course at UD. However, we recommend you take the math placement exam in any case, as this gives us a picture of your math background as you enter UD.

Do I have to take a language placement exam?

All UD students must show mastery of a language offered by UD (Spanish, French, German, Italian, Latin, Ancient Greek) at a fourth-semester level. This can be demonstrated through a placement exam or AP credit.

Students who have prior background in one of these languages who also want to continue their pursuit of that language are required to take a placement exam to determine if they may skip some of the introductory classes.

International students who have taken the TOEFL may have other options. Please contact Dr. Andrews ( or 972-721-5039) for details.

What classes will I be enrolled in my first semester?

Almost all first-semester students will be enrolled in The Literary Tradition I (ENG 1301) and either Philosophy and the Ethical Life (PHI 1301) or Understanding the Bible (THE 1310), all three of which are basic Core requirements. You are required to complete ENG 1301 and PHI 1301 before participating in the university’s Rome program, and THE 1310 is strongly recommended.

Many first-semester students take 4 or 5 courses selected from the university’s Core, as these must be taken by all students. However, students in some majors need to begin their major classes during the first semester, and so will only take 2 or 3 Core classes. This includes majors in art, science and math (including computer science) and business.

In the university’s Bulletin (see next question), each major has a suggested “plan” for the courses to be taken over four years at UD. While these are consulted when making a first-semester plan, other factors are also taken into account, so your first-semester may differ than the one suggested.

Where can I get more information on the courses, majors, requirements, etc.?

The university publishes a Bulletin each August that contains all the important academic information for students. While your requirements will be those that are published in the edition in effect when you enter UD, these do not change very much from year to year, so looking at a previous year’s bulletin can give you a pretty good idea about your academic program. The current bulletin, as well as links to previous bulletins, can be found on the UD registrar’s web page.

I'd like to get a head start on my textbook ordering. What should I do?

The university’s bookstore keeps track of the required texts for each class. This information can be searched by visiting their website.

Most sections of the the first-semester courses have similar required textbooks, but they are not identical, so some care needs to be taken when ordering books before you know what section you are assigned to (which happens at orientation).

For example, all sections of Literary Tradition I (ENG 1301) use the same books, so if you are going to take that class (most first-semester students will), you can order the books that are listed in any of the sections. On the other hand, different professors of Philosophy and the Ethical Life (PHI 1301) choose different books, so you will have to wait until you know which professor you have to be able to purchase the correct books.

You can use the bookstore website to look at all the sections of a particular course to see what books they have in common.

I am (probably) going to be a business major. Is there anything I should know?

All students who are interested in pursuing a business degree usually take Business Foundations Seminar (BUS 1301), Financial Accounting (BUS 1310) and FYE for Business (BUS 1105) their first semester.

All business students are advised by Mrs. Sheila Howard who can also be contacted for questions ( or 972-721-5303).

I am a seminarian. Is there anything I should know?

All seminarians must be Philosophy and Letters major, or, if they already have a bachelor's degree, in the Pre-theology program. The academic advisor for seminarians is Dr. Matthew Walz ( or 972-265-5703), who can answer any curricular questions you may have.

I have a special request (class times, professors, etc.). Can I request those?

Yes! The survey has a section at the end for special requests. Just keep in mind that we cannot honor every special request due to schedule conflicts, over-full classes, etc.

I am a transfer student. Is there anything special I should do?

The two most important aspects of first-semester scheduling for transfer students are to help us understand what coursework you have done before and to get official and final transcripts sent to UD. Your coursework will not be transferred until the final transcripts are sent.

Sometimes deciding how something you had before transfers into UD takes a bit more time. We often need to know what exactly was in that course, which might require that you have a detailed syllabus to show us. So if you have those for your previous course work, please hold on to them.

I have AP, IB, or dual enrollment credit. How are those taken into account?

Dual enrollment credit (college credit earned while not yet graduated from high school) is handled in mostly the same way as transfer credit.

AP and IB credit is awarded for sufficient scores. Please see the registrar’s website for the details of each exam.

Note that UD will count a maximum of 32 college credits that are earned before high school graduation (earned through any combination of AP, IB and dual enrollment).

I'm not sure what I want to major in. What should I do?

The survey allows you to pick as many or as few majors that you have interest in, as well as express how likely you currently feel about pursuing each of those that you pick. Do use that aspect to give us an idea about what you might major in. You do not have to declare one of them as a major, and can remain “undeclared” (see the next question), or declare in one of those majors. Even if you remain undeclared, we will try to put you into some courses in the majors in which you have a stronger likelihood of pursuing so that you can start to get an idea about that major.

What does it mean to be an undeclared major?

It simply means that you are still deciding on a major. Students can remain undeclared until their junior year. Fortunately, the Core Curriculum is required for every major, so you can start by taking those courses which will give you a broad base in the liberal arts.

What is an academic advisor?

You will be assigned an academic advisor upon entering UD. This is a member of the faculty or staff that you will meet with at least once a semester to plan your course work, get advice about your major, and in general discuss plans for your time at UD and beyond. They can help point you in the right direction if you are having difficulties, or refer you to offices that can offer more in-depth assistance.