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FAQ First-Year Student Requirements

What courses are included in a typical first semester at Wheaton?

We require all incoming students to register for a section of CORE 101 during the Fall term. We also recommend that you take the introductory course/s for your intended major (refer to First-Year Student Course Guide Majors). If you have not met your Language Requirement, it is advisable to continue the language as early as possible so that your language skills remain active. Fill in the rest of your hours with one or two general education or elective courses. We recommend 14-16 hours for your first semester.

Can I register for classes over the phone?

No registration is done over the phone.

Do I have to take a language course at Wheaton College?

Wheaton College does have a Modern/Classical language requirement for most students. However, the requirement can be met with a qualifying score on an AP, IB, or SAT Subject exam. Others may take a test in a language that is not taught at Wheaton College. (Such students should see the Modern & Classical Languages Department for test options and fees.) Students who take language at Wheaton are required to pass the 201 course of French, German, Greek, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, or Hebrew, with a grade of C- or better. Music majors: please check www.wheaton.edu/catalog for language requirements, if any.

If I score 4 or 5 on the AP US History exam, will that meet the Historical Perspective requirement?

The AP US History exam does NOT meet Wheaton’s Christ at the Core Historical Perspectives requirement. If you will be a history major, it will count toward your major requirements. Otherwise it will be elective credit; that is, the 4 credits you earn will count toward the 124-hour degree requirement. The Historical Perspectives requirement can be met with any course that has the Historical Perspectives (HP) tag. (See Course Guide p. 8)

How many requirements can be met through transfer credit prior to coming to Wheaton?

Any of the Core Competency requirements can be met with AP, SAT Subject, IB and dual enrollment credit. You can meet up to four Thematic Core requirements with incoming credit. None of the Shared Core requirements can be met with incoming credit. Shared Core courses are expected to be completed at Wheaton College. A maximum of 40 credits earned prior to high school graduation can be applied to a degree.

Where can I see how my AP, IB, SAT II and dual enrollment credits have been applied to my Wheaton College Christ at the Core general education requirements?

AP and IB scores are scheduled to be received on July 5. We will do our best to get them all entered by July 7. To view what has been entered, check your Degree Works audit program available in your student portal. Once you are logged into the portal, find Banner Self-Service and navigate through Student Services to Student Records and Degree Works.

On the class schedule under Time, what does "R" mean?

We use one-letter abbreviations for days of the week: R is the abbreviation we use for Thursday, and T for Tuesday. So a course that meets "TR" meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

How do I get a "time ticket" to register in Banner Self-Service?

You will be assigned a “time ticket” to register online only after completing the First-Year Student Questionnaire. Your ticket, the time/date when your registration will open, will be posted to your Banner account under “Registration Status”. Your time ticket will NOT be emailed to you. If you need the questionnaire link re-sent, please contact academic.advising@wheaton.edu or 630-752-7373.

What are Quads?

Some 1 and 2 credit courses meet for only half of a semester. Those meeting during the first half are referred to as "A Quad" courses, and those meeting during the second half, as "B Quad" courses. A Quad courses end at fall [or spring] break, and B Quad courses begin after fall [or spring] break. The Quad designation on the course schedule appears in the column labeled "Qd". (See p. 2 of Course Guide, "Course Load")

I want to be a medical doctor; is it necessary for me to take both biology and chemistry my first semester?

Because the BIOL 241 and CHEM 231 courses are offered only in the fall semester it is recommended, though not required, that you take both your first semester.   Otherwise, you will have to wait until the next fall semester to begin the biology or chemistry sequence.

How can I register for the Oral Communication, Writing and/or Wellness Competency exams?

All exams are offered during the fall semester. Official notices for students, faculty and staff are published to the “Announcements” section of the Wheaton Portal. There you will find information about how, when, and where to register. Questions regarding registration for competency tests should be directed to the administering academic department.

Should I register for a Core Competency if I plan to take the competency exam?

No. If you plan to attempt to meet competency through testing, do not register for the course. You will have opportunity to take the course in the Spring if you do not meet the qualifying exam score.

Do I have to meet all 10 Thematic Core requirements during my first year?

You do have to meet all 10 Thematic Core requirements, but NOT during your first year. Thematic Core requirements can be taken over your four years at Wheaton. Please remember that many courses can satisfy two different themes.

If I add my name to a waitlist, when will I be able to register for the course?

Being on a course waitlist does not guarantee you a space in the course. If someone drops the course, opening up a seat, the first student on the waitlist is notified by email and given a prescribed time period to register. If they do not register for that course, the seat is offered to the next student on the waitlist. Because these emails are time sensitive, we strongly encourage that you check your Wheaton email account at least once a day!