Course Selection & AP Credits

During Student Orientation you will have the opportunity to meet with an academic advisor from your department or school. This person, along with other staff and the SO advisors, can help you to decide what courses to take your first semester.

Remember – it’s your first semester – there’s no need to go overboard! There will be plenty of time to look into dual majors, minors, etc. As an incoming first-year student you can only declare one major, so we advise you keep it simple during your first semester.  You may also want to review the course catalog.

Planning your first semester

By the time you leave Student Orientation, you will have your fall schedule of classes in hand! One of the sessions during Day 1 of SO includes meeting with an academic adviser and discussing which courses you should be registering for. In preparation for this meeting, you will be provided with a copy of Planning Your First Semester.  This booklet outlines the core set of classes for all majors and will assist you in designing a schedule for the fall. Planning Your First Semester also includes course descriptions for many of the classes that first-year students will take and information concerning AP, IB, and transfer credit.

You don’t need to wait until SO to explore your options and see what’s available! Use the Planning Your First Semester booklet; we will send an email to your account when it's available. Take a moment to look through it and see what classes you might be interested in taking. Write down some sample schedules and bring them with you to your advising session — you’ll be that much further ahead!

Information and forms regarding transferring credits to Rensselaer are also included in this booklet.

To get ready for Math 1010: Calculus I,  it is advised that you take a look at “Ready… Set… Calculus.” The Math Department has prepared an online version and a sample quiz that you may want to take and review. It is strongly encouraged that you review this information.

Will I get the classes I want?

Regardless of which Student Orientation session you attend, you will receive a full fall schedule that will count towards graduation. These may not always be you firstchoice classes, but will be classes that are needed for your degree.

Advanced Placement credits

Here are a few notes to keep in mind as you look over your AP scores:

  • During Student Orientation, you will be meeting with an academic adviser, as well as Student Orientation Advisors, will be able to help you decide what courses to take, as well as provide factual information.
  • When you arrive for SO, your SO packet will contain a letter stating which Rensselaer courses you have received credit for (assuming your scores were sent to RPI).
  • If you have received credit for a course, don’t stress out trying to figure out if you should take the next level course just yet! You will have a chance to discuss this at SO.
  • Additional information regarding AP scores can be found in the Planning Your First Semester booklet and on the Registrar's website.