University of Iowa

First Semester Schedule Considerations


Your first semester schedule is important to your future success at Iowa.  We want to help you choose courses that will help you toward that goal.  From an advising perspective, these qualities are important to a first semester schedule:

  • Courses that match your strengths and interests.
  • Courses recommended by your placement exam scores in Math, Chemistry, and World Language.  Placement exam scores help your advisor determine the course level at which you will thrive at Iowa.
  • A variety of course types.  It is helpful for your overall schedule to have a mix of reading, writing, problem solving…..this variety will be helpful to you when you are balancing multiple courses and responsibilities.
  • A variety of course sizes.  An ideal schedule will include both larger, introductory level courses and small courses.
  • A total number of semester hours that's right for your unique situation.  A typical first semester schedule will include four academic courses and total 15-16 semester hours.  Full-time status is 12 semester hours, but earning 120 semester hours (the number required for most University of Iowa degrees) in four years requires an average of 15 semester hours for eight semesters.