SOAR Resources for First-Years | CASA


College of Arts and Sciences Advising

SOAR Resources for First-Years


Spartan Orientation Advising and Registration (SOAR) is a busy time where students receive a great deal of information.  It can be stressful for students to make immediate choices about their classes when they are not familiar with the educational landscape of UNCG. Your academic advisor understands degree requirements very well and will register you for a selection of courses based on those requirements and the information that you provided  in your Course Selection Inventory survey that you completed when you signed up for SOAR.

Students will be registered into at least one class in their major.  The remaining classes will meet general education requirements (such as Minerva’s Academic Curriculum (MAC), Communicating in Context (CIC), and additional language requirement).  This schedule may look very different to what you’re used to seeing as part of your high school schedule, but all the courses chosen for you will meet degree requirements you need in order to graduate.

If you have questions or want to change some of your courses, your advisor will be happy to work with you to find the best options.  Please consult an academic advisor before attempting to change your schedule yourself to ensure you are taking appropriate classes that meet needed degree requirements.

Scheduling Guidelines

A good first-year schedule typically includes 5-6 classes (15-16 credit hours), with 1-2 classes in the student’s major and 3-4 classes that meet general education requirements.  First-year students should be taking 100-200 level classes, as 300-400 level classes are designed for Juniors and Seniors.

Student schedules should be distributed across the week, with some Monday/Wednesday/Friday classes and some Tuesday/Thursday classes.  This is useful so that students don’t have too many tests on a given day.  Some classes are offered in the evenings, such as laboratories or production studios.  Lab classes that are 3 hours long are sometimes best taken in the evening so there is room for lecture classes during the day.  Getting to and from class is safe; UNCG Police offer a Walk Safe program and the Spartan Chariot shuttle operates when our night classes release, too.

It is especially important for first-year students to take classes that meet their interests, because students are more likely to do well in a subject in which they are already interested.  When you review your schedule, you might see a class that doesn’t reflect your interests as much as we thought it would. You will be able to work with an advisor to see if there is a better option.

Working with an Advisor

You will have multiple types of advisors during your time here at UNCG. You may interact with an academic advisor, career advisor, financial aid advisor, and others.  In this case, we’re talking about working with an academic advisor. This means we will help you with selecting courses, registering for classes, figuring out how best to achieve your academic goals, and connecting you with available on-campus (or online) resources.

You’ll have an opportunity to speak with an advisor during your SOAR session.  After SOAR, CASA advisors will be available all summer to answer questions.  Instructions on how to meet with an advisor are here: How to meet with an advisor

General Resources

First-Year FAQs

All Major Guides

Major Specific Resources

For Humanities/Fine Arts majors
Info for African American & African Diaspora Studies, Classical Civilization, English, History, Interior Architecture, Languages Literatures and Cultures, Media Studies, Philosophy, and Religious Studies majors

For Social Science majors
Info for Anthropology, Archaeology, Communication Studies, International and Global Studies, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, and Women’s & Gender & Sexuality Studies majors

For STEM majors
Info for Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Computer Science, Geography & Environment & Sustainability, Mathematics & Statistics, and Physics majors

Early/Middle College/Dual Enrollment Students Resources

Early College is a great way to gain credit hours toward earning a college degree!  By coming in with so many credit hours, you have opened up a lot of opportunities for yourself. However, we also have some considerations that you should discuss with an advisor as soon as possible.

Send Final Transcripts ASAP!

In order to award credit for any college level credits a student took while in high school, we must have transcripts with final grades sent directly from the Community College or University where the course was taught. Even if the classes are included on your high school transcript, UNCG must have a transcript from the Community College or University to be able to apply credit.

Please be sure to send all official transcripts to the UNCG Undergraduate Admissions office as soon as possible.  If academic advisors are not aware of your incoming transfer credit, they may mistakenly place you in a class you have previously completed.

Timeline to Graduation

For many students coming in with an Associate’s Degree or 60+ credit hours, their plan is to graduate in two years. However, this is a decision that we encourage you to make after a discussion with your advisor. For many students, since the introductory level courses and many general education courses have already been taken, the only courses left are higher level, major specific courses. Because of this, taking a two-year path can cause a sharp increase in rigor while you are also adjusting to life as a UNCG student. 

It may be preferable to take a three-year path to allow you to space out difficult classes, explore minors and double majors, provide more time to network, participate in research, and engage in other opportunities across campus. We understand that financial constraints may be the driving factor behind an accelerated two-year path, and the decision will remain 100% in your control. We encourage you to discuss your options with an advisor.