‘How I got my degree’
Have you ever looked at your graduation requirements and wondered how you were going to fit them all in during the short time you have on campus? Maybe you've browsed a lot of interesting electives and questioned whether or not you would be able to fit any into your schedule. Or do you have so many requirements completed that you wonder what you could possibly take to fill the remaining hours you need to graduate?
You're not the only student who has thought about these issues, and you probably have a few other questions to ask, as well.
Below you'll find comments from a few recent College of Media graduates who offer their experiences about courses they took and why.
B.S. in Advertising, German minor
Hometown: Rolling Meadows,
High school: William Fremd High School
Mary said she was fortunate enough to study abroad for her German minor and finish her degree on time. When she entered the advertising major, she carefully planned the course requirements with the time she had left at the U of I. Plus, her 27 hours of high school AP credit helped complete general education requirements.
Because courses tend to fill up quickly, she always had several backup schedules to the one she most wanted for that semester.
When she first came to the U of I, Mary said she wondered how she would get everything organized and settled. Her advice is: Be proactive in your research and don't worry; you don't need to know everything right away!
Mary's UI courses:
Semester 1: Anthropology
103, Economics 102, German 103, Korean 201
Semester 2: German 104, Korean 202, East Asian Language and Culture 285, Political Science 280
Semester 3: Advertising 300, Geology 100, German 211, Sociology 100 Statistics 100 Semester 4: Advertising 450, Advertising 481, Computer Science 105, German 212, Communications 320
Semester 5: Advertising 412, Comparative and World Literature 271, German 401, Advertising 483, Business Administration 320, Communications 391
Semester 6: German courses; studied abroad in Germany
Semester 7: Advertising 410, German 420, Korean 203, Advertising 491
Semester 8: Advertising 494, German 321, Business Administration 395, Advertising 400
B.S. in Media Studies, Business minor
Hometown: LaGrange, Ill.
High school: Lyons Township High School
Post-graduation plans: M.S. in Human Resources from Illinois
Michael said he realized early on that societies across the world are increasingly becoming global communities, and he knew he wanted an education that could cover a wide array of aspects. After taking a few introductory classes, he said he soon noticed that the College of Media had what he wanted.
In Media Studies and with energetic teachers, Michael learned about a variety of issues and different ways to apply them to society
Michael said he also knew that he wanted his future to be in business. There is no contract that says you have to go into media when pursuing a Media Studies or Journalism degree. There are so many different options, and that is the feature of a College of Media major that interested him.
He said he never really worried about taking this class or getting into that class. He tried to take required courses right away the first semester of his junior year. That way, he said, if he wasn't able to get into a specific class during his junior year, he always had senior year. The requirement to specialize in a topic other than a College of Media program was right in line with his plans; he decided his specialization would be a minor in Business. He said his College of Media major and Business minor helped him become vice president of his fraternity and communicate well in his various internships. After all, he said, interacting with humans all over the world is all about communication.
Michael's UI courses:
Semester 1: Atmospheric
Sciences 120, Computer Science 105, Math 016,
Semester 2: Advertising 199, Economics 102, horticulure 106, Math 125, Music 133, Plant Pathology 200
Semester 3: Advertising 300, Economics 202, Educational Psychology 220, Speech Communication 101
Semester 4: Chemistry 494, Communications 101, Economics 203, History 172, Psychology 100, Sociology 100
Semester 5: Business Administration 320, Communications 317, Communications 320, Communications 264, Library and Information Science 201
Semester 6: Business Administration 310, Communications 331, Communications 351, Communications 391, Communications 395, Communications 410
Semester 7: Accountancy 200, Finance 221, Geology 100, Speech Communication 113, Speech Communication 321
Semester 8: Communications 462, Speech Communication 251, Human Resource Education 401, Social Work 200, Community Health 101
B.S. in Journalism, broadcast sequence, and Spanish
Hometown: Downers Grove,
High school: Community High School District 99
Post-graduation plans: Law school
Cynthia completed two bachelor's degrees in four years, which requires the completion of at least 150 credit hours. A dual degree is very unusual. To make sure she graduated on time, she took summer school courses at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Ill., and studied abroad one summer. During her time at the College of DuPage, she took courses that fulfilled general education requirements. Cynthia recommends students make sure they don't take any classes within their major at a community college because they won't count towards the fulfillment of a major at Illinois.
Although registration can sometimes be frustrating when classes fill up quickly, Cynthia said she always made sure she had backup classes for each elective she wanted to take. It's always good to assume you won't get into the first elective you want, she said.
During her first two years at the U of I, she took care of most of her general education requirements. (She took Psychology 101, Economics 103, History 171 and Math 118 during three summers at the College of DuPage and earned credit for Rhetoric 105 and Spanish 103 through the University of Illinois's Placement and Profiency Test.) After that, she took the required courses in the College of Media. Cynthia's advice: Don't assume you'll have enough time to complete classes as a senior. Plan ahead, just in case you have to drop a required course. Also, if you plan ahead, you can take fun electives during your senior year. During one semester, Cynthia just needed to fill hours and took Italian 101 for fun.
Cynthia said she thinks it's relatively easy and common for College of Media students to pick up a minor in sociology, history, political science or a foreign language, especially because broadcast students need two concentrations anyway. Cynthia also suggests you pick concentrations that you're interested in and can do well in.
Cynthia believes the key to graduating within four years or earlier is to constantly keep checking on requirements for graduation. If students plan, they may even graduate early or be able to add a second degree or a minor to their academic program. She said, remember to plan ahead and good luck!
Cynthia's UI courses:
Semester 1: Communications
199, Music 272, Political Science 101, Rhetoric
243, Sociology 100, Liberal Arts and Sciences
Semester 2: English 115, English 116, Journalism 200, Spanish 141
Semester 3: Dance 105, Geology 143, Music 169, Music 180, Philosophy 101, Sociology 350, Spanish 204
Semester 4: Economics 102, Journalism 400, Music 169, Music 180, Political Science 289, Spanish 200
Semester 5: Spanish courses; studied abroad in Costa Rica
Semester 6: Geology 104, History 106, Journalism 405, Journalism 435, Spanish 228
Semester 7: Business and Technical Writing 271, Journalism 440, Journalism 480, Sociology 196, Spanish 302
Semester 8: Journalism 445, Music 180, Speech and Hearing Science 199, Spanish 208, Spanish 456, Statistics 100, Journalism 495
Semester 9: Italian 101, Journalism 411, Sociology 367, Spanish 301, Spanish 452