March 19, 2007
Advising Tip: Choosing a Concentration
How do people choose concentrations? Some students just seem to know even before they begin school what they'll concentrate in. For most students, however, finding a concentration can be challenging, even a bewildering process. Here are some suggestions for organizing the process:
I. Ask yourself at least six questions.
A. What are your academic interests?
B. What are your abilities?
C. What are your values?
D. What is your motivation?
E.What are the realities about you and the concentration? (For example, the Biology concentration requires three semesters of chemistry. If you don't like chemistry, should you consider a different concentration?)
(from the Division of Undergraduate Studies, Office of the Vice Provost and Dean for Undergraduate Education, The Pennsylvania State University )
II. Consult the LSA Bulletin for
A. General information regarding concentrations and careers,
B. Concentration requirements,
C. Brief course descriptions,
D. Department addresses and phone numbers.
III. Do informal and formal concentration “interviews”: Ask friends, acquaintances, relatives, advisors, professors, alums, etc.
A. How did you choose your concentration?
B. What do (did) you like best about your concentration?
C. What do (did) you like least?
D. What are you or will you do with your concentration?
IV. Use the available campus resources:
A. LS&A Academic Advisors
B. Concentration advisors
C. Department Websites ( www.lsa.umich.edu/lsa/depts/ )
D. Career Center ( http://www.cpp.umich.edu/ )
E. The Concentration Fair--Tuesday, March 27th, 11:00-3:00, Michigan Union Ballroom.
F. For a "course" (free, not for credit, and self-directed) on how to choose your concentration, got to Concentration 101.
V. Keep in mind that
A. A concentration isn't a career: you don't have to be a historian if you're a history concentrator, a philosopher if you're a philosophy concentrator, a chemist if you concentrate in chemistry....
B. To employers, grad schools, etc., how well you do matters more than what your concentration is.
C. To employers, grad schools, etc., why you chose a concentration matters more than what your concentration is.
D. LSA expects that you'll declare your concentration in the second semester of your sophomore year. But you can always change your mind.
March 05, 2007
Advising Tip: Getting Ready for Sophomore Year
This is an “Advising Tip” for students nearing the end of their first-year in LSA. Take a few minutes to think about how things will change in the next year. By this time next year, you may have already applied and been accepted or (alas) rejected by another UM school or college. If you stay in LSA, you will have declared or be in the process of declaring your concentration and may be considering a minor. Nearly half of the credits you’ll need for graduation will be completed, and since you’ll be at the half-way point, you’ll be starting to think about what comes next. As you look ahead, you’ll be wondering how what you’ve done so far at Michigan—in both curricular and extra-curricular activities—will fit into your career plans.
Without a doubt, sophomore year will be an important year, and many of the decisions you make in the next few weeks before you are officially a sophomore will have a major impact on how successful you are next year. Soon, you’ll be registering for spring and/or summer courses, either here or at another college or university, as well as for fall courses in early April. You should choose courses that help you gauge your academic interests and explore potential concentrations, or if your goal is to leave LSA for another UofM school, it will be important that you take courses that will put you in good stead for transfer.
To help you start thinking like a sophomore, you should make an appointment with your advisor to discuss your plans for next year. You also can attend a new event sponsored by the LSA Advising Center:
Getting Ready for Sophomore Year!
Tuesday, March 20
Angell Hall Auditorium A and surrounding classrooms
LSA seniors will give advice about making the most of your sophomore year, and there will be series of workshops on
• Choosing a concentration,
• Choosing courses for Spring, Summer, and Fall (including transfer courses),
• Getting the experiences you need to be marketable,
• Exploring your interest in business, through the Business School or LSA,
• Getting teacher certification or transferring to the School of Education.
• Study Abroad
Sophomore year is a big deal. Make sure you’re ready.