Building Your Best Schedule | Campus Information (2024)

Maybe it's the first time you're building a schedule after orientation. Maybe you're trying to close in on graduation requirements and progress to degree. You might even be thinking about electives as building blocks that you can use in graduate work. We can help you think through those and we know the people who can provide pathways and answers. Talk to us.

Here are some quick tips.

Pearl (Undergrad). Scheduling my classes each semester, I find Atlas as the most useful resource for finding the most suitable courses for myself. Atlas shows all the information and statistics from the past five academic years — median grade, workload, desire to take, and the clarity of each professor. Personally, I think this is beneficial as the data are very accurate; they are based on students’ feedback who had taken those classes in the past. As an architecture major at Taubman College, I tend to schedule advising sessions with my Taubman academic advisors twice a semester about my course selection and my progress overall.

Rocco (Undergrad). For the last couple of years here at the U-M, I have taken lots of Economics courses, as I plan to major in Econ. I will continue to do that, so that I can complete my major. Looking at my LSA audit checklist prepares me well for scheduling my courses in the future, too. According to my checklist, I still need to have a Race and Ethnicity course, an upper-level writing requirement, and some more credits in humanities and social sciences. When I schedule courses from now on, I will know to include classes that have to do with my major, and courses that are necessary for fulfillment credits. To ensure that I graduate on time, I find it important to schedule regular appointments with my advisor. Oftentimes, students try to do everything by themselves in terms of scheduling, but many find themselves unable to graduate on time. To avoid this, I‘ll continue to schedule appointments with my advisor.

Nancy (Undergrad). I am a planner, so when the course guide comes out, it is heavenly. From the moment it's available, I would start spending hours looking through all the classes offered and adding them to myschedule builder on Atlas. A few semesters ago, I created a spreadsheet with all the requirements I need to fulfill for my two majors and began color-coding my classes: green = completed, yellow = in progress, and white = interesting classes that count for the requirements I can take in future semesters. Using my spreadsheet, the course guide, and Atlas, I would build out different variations of schedules to better balance the workload of each course. For example, last semester, I built out six different schedules because I was so indecisive about all the classes offered this semester. There were so many I wanted to take but so little time! Building out each schedule and calculating the workload makes my schedule more tangible. I have so much fun doing so because of all the unique classes Michigan offers every semester. Moreover, during backpacking time, I have met with each of my major advisors to make sure I am on track to graduate on time. Utilize them as a resource during backpacking and enrollment periods because they're there to help you all!

Ronen (Undergrad). Each semester, when the LSA course guide drops, I always like to make sure I am aware of my necessary courses before I start backpacking. First I’ll meet with my Newnan General Advisor to do an audit checklist. Before I declared my major or minor, this step is not as necessary, but you still want to check to see what distribution requirements you have, as well as any other LSA requirements. In my freshman year, I aimed to fulfill as many of the distribution requirements (quantitative reasoning, natural science, social science, humanities, etc) as I can, along with my first year writing. This helps give me flexibility with my later coursework as I aim to complete both a major and a minor at U of M. After I complete my checklist and decide which requirements I am going to fulfil in the upcoming semester, I will begin filtering through the courses on the LSA course guide. One of the best tips for going through LSA courses is to look at the University of Michigan Atlas page that corresponds to the class you are looking to take. Atlas pulls together survey data from students to give information about the difficulty of the course, previous syllabi, which professors will teach and have taught it in the past, and so much more. This will give me a rough idea of what to expect out of the class. I will also occasionally look up the professor on rate-my-professor to see how previous students felt about the professor and course.

Maddie (Grad). When choosing my course load for the new semester, I start by checking my progress with the LSA Audit Checklist. This allows me to get a sense of which course requirements I still need to meet and what I should prioritize when looking through the UMSI course guide. I love using Atlas because it is available even before backpacking opens on Wolverine Access. I mostly use their schedule builder. It allows you to input as many courses as you’d like - even if times overlap. Having everything laid out in front of me makes it easier to select courses based on timing. You can view course descriptions and professor ratings as well which is super helpful.

Lorna (Grad). It’s that time of the year again where the course guide has come out, you are tasked with creating a schedule for next semester, and you are probably a little (or a lot!) overwhelmed by all the options. As a professional student in the College of Pharmacy, I now have the luxury of my schedule being created for me, but trust me, during my undergraduate years, I always found this task very daunting. My biggest fear was forgetting a class I needed for my degree and potentially having to take an extra semester to finish my schooling. Although, what I discovered about half way through my time at Umich, my best friend during this process, was the Audit Checklist function on Wolverine Access. The audit checklist shows you which classes you have already completed, how they count towards your degree, and the requirements you still need to meet in order to graduate. This function did wonders for planning out my future schedule and also showed me that all the work I had put in so far was really counting towards something.

If I had one piece of advice regarding using the audit checklist (or however you like to schedule), it would be to not only plan out the upcoming semester classes, but make a tentative plan for future semesters. Doing this really helped me stay organized and made sure I had a plan for taking those required courses at some point in my future years. This is important because not every class is offered each semester, so figuring out early which classes to take in the fall vs winter (vs spring/summer), will prevent you from scrambling to fit those courses at the last minute!

If you find you are still struggling to decide which classes you need to take, the advising office is always available and a great resource for you to utilize. Almost every semester, around this time, I scheduled a meeting with my advisor and found it very helpful to talk with him and make sure I was staying on track of all my requirements. This is their job, let them help you!

To find your audit checklist:

Wolverine Access → Students → Student Business → Student Center → My Academics (on left hand side) → View my Advisem*nt Report (on left hand side) → Checklist Report PDF (Detail Report PDF is helpful too!)

Building Your Best Schedule | Campus Information (2024)


How to build the perfect college schedule? ›

Balance is key for a healthy schedule

Make room to take breaks to eat meals, exercise, and rest. If you have a series of difficult classes required for your major, spread them out across semesters. Additionally, be sure to balance your academic courses with extracurriculars, social events, and time for self care.

What are the benefits of making a college schedule on your own? ›

  1. You can finish your classes early on in the day.
  2. You'll learn to practice a healthy sleep schedule.
  3. You will be out of bed and able to take full advantage of the day.

What are some of the factors you should consider when creating a college class schedule? ›

Planning a class schedule
  • Have you met with an academic advisor or counselor?
  • Will you be going to school full-time or part-time?
  • Have you taken college placement tests?
  • Are there specific courses you are required to take?
  • How many days a week do you want to be on campus?

Why is scheduling important for students? ›

A well-planned schedule helps students manage their time effectively and prioritize their assignments. Additionally a good schedule helps teachers more effectively support students through the learning process.

How to create a daily schedule in college? ›

6 ways to create a routine in college
  1. Write everything down. It's easy to forget events, homework, tests and everything in between at college. ...
  2. Plan out your upcoming week on the weekend. ...
  3. Establish morning and night routines. ...
  4. Set time aside during your day for studying. ...
  5. Set aside time to relax. ...
  6. Make time for physical activity.
May 28, 2020

What makes a good schedule? ›

KEEP A RUNNING LIST OF SMALLER, LESS IMPORTANT TASKS. When you have a few minutes of free time throughout the day, you can make progress on this list. RELY ON THE 52-17 RULE. Schedule 52 minutes of work followed by 17 minutes of rest open_in_new to give your brain a break from constant output.

Should students choose their own schedule? ›

Kids who plan their own time, set weekly goals, and evaluate their own work build up their prefrontal cortex and other parts of the brain that help them exert greater cognitive control over their lives.

Why are routines important for college students? ›

Routines can aid both your mental and physical health. Structure can help us cope with change, form healthy habits, and reduce our stress levels. The Importance of a Routine: Anchor: Having an outlined schedule of your day can bring comfort.

How are college schedules structured? ›

Traditionally each college course will take up three to four hours in class a week. The classes might be divided into one-hour sessions or might have one longer class session, with a break. Different classes have different structures. Classes that include reading may or might allot time for the reading to be done.

What is the best time for college classes? ›

If you have several classes in one day, it may be better to sign up for early classes. Having an early class schedule means you can use your afternoons and evenings to do homework and study. But, if you focus better in the mid-afternoon or late afternoon, you may prefer classes held later in the day.

What is a college student schedule like? ›

Lecture and lab times run about 4 to 5 hours each day. A mix of oral instruction, hands-on experimentation, and group work helps students absorb information in a short time.

How do you manage student schedule? ›

Time Management for Students: Tips for Maintaining Balance
  1. Set Your Goals and Commit. ...
  2. Prioritize Your Life and Make a To Do List. ...
  3. Create a Schedule. ...
  4. Use a Planner or Phone Apps. ...
  5. Set Realistic, Achievable, and Proper Goals. ...
  6. Eliminate Distractions. ...
  7. Prioritize Self-Care. ...
  8. Be Sure to Remain Flexible.
May 16, 2023

How to build a master schedule? ›

Steps to Create an Effective Master Schedule
  1. Connect with the School's Mission Statement. ...
  2. Create Timelines. ...
  3. Select a Primary Scheduling Framework for the School. ...
  4. Collaborate with Each Department. ...
  5. Determine Courses to be Offered. ...
  6. Examine Special Populations.
Feb 22, 2022

What is the best time of day for college classes? ›

The time of day to take your college classes can impact your grade. Research shows that most students perform better in early afternoon classes. Students should individualize their class schedule based on their chronotype and habits. Students who plan out their schedule can help optimize their productivity.

What are most college schedules like? ›

A class that meets for an hour two or three days a week is a standard college schedule for full-time students. Before registering for your first year, you may be wondering “how many classes should I take a semester to graduate on time?” When attending college full-time, students must take a minimum of 12 credits.

How can I maximize my time in college? ›

Time Management Tips for College Students
  1. Find Your Most Productive Time. Finding the time at which you are most productive is perhaps one of the most useful but often overlooked time management tips for busy college students. ...
  2. Prioritize Your Tasks. ...
  3. Set a Schedule. ...
  4. Stay Organized. ...
  5. Get Rid of Distractions. ...
  6. Time Is Gold.

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