During Your Freshman and Sophomore Years

 ____ Visit Career Services. Ask for help in learning about the kinds of careers that are available for people with the baccalaureate degree you are seeking, and those that are available to individuals with an advanced degree. Consult books and guides on career options. Find out early whether graduate school is necessary for your general career aspirations.

____ Find out what courses you will need to take for your major, and which ones are especially important for students wishing to go to graduate school.

____ Plan the tentative sequence of courses you will take for your major over the remainder of your undergraduate career. Do not plan to take all of the toughest courses in your senior year, as you will need much time during that period to deal with your graduate school applications. In most circumstances, and to the extent that it is possible, it is best to plan to take your most difficult required courses during your junior year.

____ Start a folder to contain all of the syllabi for courses you will take during the remainder of your undergraduate career. This will be a precious time-saver later on if you need to provide details about your academic background.

____ Begin to attend events sponsored by your department (guest lectures, colloquia, symposia, exhibits, shows, socials, etc.). Get into the habit of checking the department bulletin boards for news.

____ Start getting to know some of your professors personally. Let them know that you plan to go to graduate school and why. You will meet to find opportunities to speak with professors outside of class, but don’t pester them with frequent uninvited visits to their offices.

____ Join any applicable student organizations or associations in your major field of study.

Note that although there is some important planning to do during the freshman and sophomore years, your main task during this time is to concentrate on your study skills so that you obtain the best grades in your coursework that you can.