Loyola University Chicago

First and Second Year Advising

Student Academic Services

Orientation Advising

You may have many questions prior to enrolling in your first semester of coursework at Loyola University Chicago. You can prepare yourself for registration by reading this guide that explains the curriculum and the registration process.

Table of Contents

  • First Year Registration Guide
  • FAQS: Majors and Minors
  • FAQS: Curriculum & Registration
  • FAQS: Academic Advising

First Year Registration Guide

Once students begin their coursework at Loyola University Chicago, they are limited to completing a maximum of 12 course credits at other institutions during summer periods. This policy has additional limitations.

Review the Curriculum

  • Review the University Core curriculum and the requirements for your major program. 
  • If you are undecided about you major, consider subject areas that you are interested in exploring.
  • Review the recommended courses for your first semester.
  • Learn about the first-year seminar, University 101.
  • Complete any recommended placement testing for language, math, and/or writing.

Consider Your Time Commitments and Preferences

  • When creating a semester schedule, take into account your non-academic commitments such as work and commuting.
  • Think about what time of day you are usually most productive and alert. Look for classes offered during those windows.
  • Prioritize registering for major courses that you know you need to take first. Then build the remainder of your schedule around those courses.
  • Schedule breaks between classes. Try to avoid scheduling more than three classes back-to-back. Buildings on the same campus are usually no more than 10 minutes apart, so taking some back-to-back classes is okay.
  • Account for at least 45 minutes of travel time between classes at the Lake Shore and Water Tower campuses if you are enrolling in classes at both campuses.

Once you sign up for summer orientation, you will be asked to complete an advising intake form via your status page. This will help ensure your fall class schedule is appropriate for you. Most first-year students will register for their first semester of classes when they attend summer orientation. Some student groups may register on a different timeline:

  • Honors Program Students: You will select your own classes online between May 30—June 6. Be sure to look for instructions in your LUC email. Your schedule will be reviewed when you attend summer orientation.
  • International Students: Registration will be facilitated online between June 1—July 2. Be sure to look for instructions in your LUC email.
  • Student Athletes: Registration will be facilitated online between May 30—June 9. Suggestions for classes based on your major and practice schedule will be provided. Be sure to look for instructions in your LUC email. Your schedule will be reviewed when you attend summer orientation.
  • Students attending Orientation in August: Students will be asked to complete an advising intake form via their status page, and an academic advisor in First and Second Year Advising will use responses to enroll them in a schedule of fall classes over the summer. Be sure to complete the advising intake form by June 22.

Many students may receive course credit from tests and/or dual enrollment after their registration is complete; this may require schedule changes. Students will be able to make necessary schedule changes prior to the start of the fall semester. Check out our Course Credit section.

All undergraduate students at Loyola University Chicago are assigned an academic advisor. For your first two years, you will be advised by the Office of First and Second Year Advising. Just before your third year, you will be assigned a new academic advisor who works in the college, school, or institute where your major is housed. Depending upon your major and minor programs, you may also have a faculty advisor for your major or minor who can provide additional advising regarding course selection, internship and research opportunities in the field, etc.

 

In the Office of First and Second Year Advising, professionally trained advisors work with students to:

  • Assist in the academic transition to college,
  • Help plan a course of study, including picking a major, making an academic plan, and deciding what courses to take in the upcoming semesters,
  • Explain University policies and procedures and other important academic information,
  • Explain and provide information about the best academic success strategies, and
  • Make referrals to other campus resources.

Major Course Recommendations

Most students who have an intended major will complete at least one major course during their first semester at Loyola University Chicago. Check out the courses recommended for your first semester: First Semester Course Recommendations

Undecided Major Course Recommendations

Students who are exploring majors have flexibility in their first semester course enrollment. Some resources that may be useful in the discernment process include:

If you are considering a couple of different majors, you may want to enroll in an introductory course from each area in your first semester. You can use the First Semester Course Recommendations [insert link] to identify introductory courses.

 

If you are considering a major in a science such as biochemistry, biology, chemistry, environmental science, exercise science, forensic science, or neuroscience, it is strongly recommended that you enroll in these courses in your first semester:

  • BIOL 101 General Biology I
  • BIOL 111 General Biology I Lab (1 credit)
  • CHEM 101 General Chemistry A
  • CHEM 111 General Chemistry A Lab (1 credit)
  • MATH 118 Pre-Calculus II or MATH 131 Applied Calculus I depending on math placement

(MATH 131 not required for environmental science or exercise science)

If you are considering a major in an area such as business, computer science, mathematics, physics, or statistics, it is strongly recommended that you enroll in a calculus track math course, according to your math placement [insert link to Course Placement section].

 

Pre-Professional Course Recommendations

At Loyola University Chicago, pre-professional coursework is completed in conjunction with and/or in addition to your major and University Core coursework.

Additional advising for students planning to complete pre-health coursework is available through the Office of Pre-Health Advising. Students who plan to pursue further education in medicine (including MD/DO and PA), pharmacy, dentistry, physical therapy, occupational therapy, optometry, podiatry, or veterinary medicine should plan to enroll in these courses in their first semester:

  • BIOL 101 General Biology I
  • BIOL 111 General Biology I Lab (1 credit)
  • CHEM 101 General Chemistry A
  • CHEM 111 General Chemistry A Lab (1 credit)
  • MATH 118 Pre-Calculus II or MATH 131 Applied Calculus I depending on math placement

Additional advising for students planning to complete pre-law coursework is available through the Office of Pre-Law Advising. There is no set of specific courses that a pre-law student is required to complete; however, courses that involve problem solving, critical reading, writing and editing, oral communication and listening, research, organization and management, public service and promotion of justice, relationship-building and collaboration, and exposure to the law are recommended.

University 101 (UNIV 101) is a mandatory, one credit hour first-year seminar course designed to help students build community with peers and the campus, as well as to help students learn more about how to be academically successful at Loyola. Students enroll in University 101 during their first semester at Loyola University Chicago. Successful completion of the course is a graduation requirement.

 

Many students who are involved in learning communities or various academic and/or mentorship programs will have the opportunity to enroll in sections of University 101 that are tailored to those groups.

 

University 101 Magis sections are also available to students. The Jesuit concept of ‘magis’ means to do more in the pursuit of the greatest good. UNIV 101 Magis sections are designed for students who identify with a particular identity. Each section will incorporate discussions on how the adjustment to Loyola may be influenced by this identity, as well as provide additional resources that may be beneficial to the student group. Available Magis sections include: commuter students, first generation students, LGBTQ students, students of color, and undeclared major students.

Wondering how you’ll know what classes to take? During each of your semesters at Loyola University Chicago, you will enroll in a mix of classes that fulfill University Core requirements, major requirements, and any additional requirements determined by the college, school or institute where your major is housed. You may also enroll in minor courses if you choose to pursue a minor program.

  • University Core The University Core is a curriculum that all undergraduate students must complete. It is designed to expand students’ understanding of themselves and the world, to reinforce the development of skills, and to integrate essential values. The University Core consists of ten different knowledge areas and 16 total courses. Undergraduate students will complete these requirements throughout their time at Loyola University Chicago. Depending on your planned major or minor, you may be excused from completing some of the knowledge areas.
  • Major Requirements Majors may require from 30 to 86 credits to complete. To find out more about any particular major program’s requirements, visit the program website. Students must complete the requirements for at least one major program to earn an undergraduate degree.
  • Minor Requirements Minors are optional programs that usually consist of 18-21 credit requirements. Students may choose to complete one or more minors to develop more specialized knowledge. To find out more about any particular minor program’s requirements, visit the program website
  • College, School, or Institute Requirements Each college, school, and institute may have additional course requirements that students must complete to earn their undergraduate degree. Many colleges, schools, and institutes have requirements for students to demonstrate proficiency in another language, to complete courses identified as writing intensive, and to participate in an engaged learning experience.

Confused about any of these requirements? That’s okay! The Office of First and Second Year Advising can assist you in understanding your requirements and registering for the correct courses.

To earn an undergraduate degree from Loyola University Chicago, a student must complete the requirements for at least one major program, any additional requirements determined by the college, school, or institute where the major is housed, and 120 credit hours (a typical class is worth three credit hours). Undergraduate students may choose from 80 unique majors and minors in seven different colleges, schools, and institutes.

 

Unsure what you want to major in? That’s okay! You can begin taking coursework at Loyola University Chicago while you explore your interests. The Undergraduate Admission office offers a fun quiz to help you identify some potential major options.

Many students may be able to earn course credit at Loyola University Chicago through their Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, Cambridge International Exams, and/or CLEP test scores (see our credit conversion guidelines). Course credit may also be earned through high school dual enrollment coursework completed in conjunction with another college or university; students must have earned a grade of B or higher in a dual enrollment course to receive credit for the course at Loyola University Chicago. First-year students may begin with a maximum of 36 credits earned through a combination of test and/or dual enrollment credit.

Language

Many students will be required to complete language coursework for their college, school, or institute. Students who have previous experience studying Chinese, French, German, Italian, Russian, or Spanish should take a computerized placement exam prior to registering for a language course to determine what course level is most appropriate.

Students who have previous experience in another language may consult with faculty in the Modern Languages and Literatures department to determine what course level is most appropriate. Students who are fluent in another language may be able to fulfill their language requirement through a competency exam and should speak with their advisor for more information.

Students studying a language for the first time should plan to register for a 101-level course.

 

Math

Students who plan to pursue majors in the areas of business, engineering, math, science, or technology will need to complete calculus-based math coursework. Most pre-health science courses also have pre-calculus or calculus pre-requisites.

Your placement into the calculus course sequence can impact your ability complete one of these programs in your planned timeframe. Learn more about what calculus course placement is recommended for your planned major by looking at the Course Recommendations for First Semester.

The calculus course sequence is:

MATH 100 Intermediate Algebra → MATH 117 Pre-Calculus I → MATH 118 Pre-Calculus II → MATH 131 Applied Calculus I or MATH 161 Calculus I → MATH 132 Applied Calculus II or MATH 162 Calculus II

 

All students will automatically be given a calculus course placement in the above sequence based on their ACT or SAT math subscore (if multiple scores are submitted, then the highest will be used for placement). Students may wish to take a placement test to alter their placement in the calculus course sequence. This proctored placement test (called ALEKS) will be offered on campus during each summer orientation experience, as well as on additional days and times. While an online practice version is available through LOCUS, only scores received during a proctored on campus version of the test will be considered. A student’s highest placement will be honored regardless of any subsequent scores.

Students who wish to practice for the placement test may do so within LOCUS. Be sure to prepare appropriately prior to taking the proctored test.

Students taking the proctored placement test may request accommodations due their documented disability.

 

Writing

Most first-year students are required to complete UCWR 110 College Writing Seminar in their first year at Loyola University Chicago. Depending on your SAT or ACT subscores in reading and writing, you may be required to take a writing placement assessment to determine whether it is appropriate for you to enroll first in ENGL 100 Developmental Writing  or UCWR 110. All international students are required to complete the writing placement assessment.

To determine whether you need to take the writing placement assessment, visit your status page. Plan to complete the assessment prior to your summer orientation. Learn more about the details of the assessment before you take it. Answers to frequently asked questions are available.

FAQS: Majors and Minors

We recommend focusing on your major and University Core requirements during your first semester. In University 101, your instructor will help you create an academic plan that incorporates all of your course requirements. This is a great time to see how a minor might fit into your plans and declare one if you choose to do so.

This depends on when you make the decision to change your major:

  • Prior to your orientation experience: You’ll be asked to share some information via email, including your updated major.
  • During your orientation experience: Let the advisor who assists you with registration know that you want to make a change.
  • After you have enrolled in fall courses: Contact the Office of First and Second Year Advising.

FAQS: Curriculum & Registration

Consult your advisor for additional recommendations.

Within a particular Core area (there are ten Knowledge Areas), you should plan to complete a Foundational course prior to a Tier 2 course. All students should plan to complete UCWR 110 College Writing Seminar during their first year at Loyola University Chicago (with the exception of students completing the Honors Program). Students with last names A-L should enroll in UCWR 110 during the fall semester, while students with last names M-Z should enroll in UCWR 110 during the spring semester (unless you are otherwise directed by your academic advisor).

Read the error message to determine why LOCUS is preventing you from enrolling. Some classes have pre-requisite or co-requisite courses, meaning that you must have already completed or be concurrently enrolled in another class. Some sections of classes or a specific number of seats in a class may be reserved for members of particular student groups like learning communities. If you read the error message and still believe you should be eligible to enroll in the course, contact your advisor.

Only academically necessary requests will be processed during the summer after you have enrolled in your fall courses. Academic necessity may include: a change of major; new test or dual enrollment course credit; new language, math, or writing placement. Students requesting academically necessary changes may do so via the schedule change request site. Students who want to discuss other changes should visit drop-in advising in the Office of First and Second Year Advising during the first week of class.

Yes, students should enroll in all recommended courses for their first semester while they are waiting to receive their testing scores and/or final grades for dual enrollment courses. This will ensure that you are able to take the course if you do not receive the expected test score or final grade. If you have already received your test scores/final grades but the course credits have not yet been applied to your student account, be sure to let your advisor know that you have this credit when you register for fall courses.

Depending on the recommendations for your intended major, you may have room in your fall schedule to incorporate elective courses. However, we usually recommend that you focus on major and University Core requirements in your first semester, or, if you are exploring majors, that you focus on taking classes in your main areas of interest.

No, first-year first-semester students are not able to enroll in more than 18 credits. We recommend that you enroll in 14-17 credits during your first semester. To maintain full-time enrollment status, you must register for a minimum of 12 credits.

All students will need to complete the University’s Quantitative Core requirement at some point. However, not all students need to complete calculus coursework. Be sure to review the First Semester Course Recommendations to determine if you need to enroll in a course in the calculus course sequence.

Each class has a set number of seats available that has been set by the department offering the class. Academic advisors do not have the ability to add you to a course that is listed as closed.

When you view your class schedule in LOCUS, you will see a link to view and order the necessary textbooks. You can also visit the bookstore website.

Loyola University Chicago will need official score reports and/or transcripts sent from the originating testing board or college/university. Be sure that you request that these reports/transcripts be sent to Loyola University Chicago within 30 days of the start of your first semester. Students requesting dual enrollment credit will also need to submit an Application to Transfer College Credit Taken While in High School.

You can view all of the important dates for the fall semester via the academic calendar.

FAQS: Academic Advising

If you have not yet registered for your fall courses, please wait until your registration takes place. Many of your questions and concerns will likely be addressed during the registration process. If you have already registered and need urgent advising, please contact the Office of First and Second Year Advising.

Your academic advisor will be assigned once the late and change registration period has ended after the first week of class. You’ll be able to view your assigned advisor in LOCUS.