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The Roadmap

The roadmap will be one of your most important tools in college. Think of it as a self-constructed curriculum for your college courses. As you'll find out, course registration in college can be hectic. From unexpected prerequisites to overenrolled sections to waitlists, it's rare to end up with exactly what we planned for the term.


The more organized your roadmap, the better prepared you will be to make adjustments in your schedule. More importantly, roadmaps help visualize just how much room you have to explore new subjects and majors!

What's in a Roadmap, Anyways?​

Your roadmap should be organized by term and include courses from three categories:

  • General Education Requirements

  • Major Requirements

  • Interests & Exploration

Organizing your Roadmap

Step 1

  • First, organize your roadmap by term (for example: Fall 2020)

    • Next, include the class title and CRN, if available. This will be helpful come registration (for example: PSCI 301: Foreign Policy in the Cold War).

      • With each class, identify whether it’s a GE, major requirement, or exploration course. Ask yourself: Why am I planning to take this class? (for example: GE vs M vs E).

  • Other helpful things to include with your roadmap:

    • Texts or links that refer back to the GE pattern and major programs you are following. It’s a useful reference if you have to go back and make changes.

    • Course alternates, just in case your first choice is at capacity!

    • Dates and times for the sections you want, this will help ensure your course preferences are realistic together.

  • Make sure you choose the format that works best for you and your organizational style, including but not limited to: Excel sheets, tables, color-coding, text formatting, be creative!

Researching your Roadmap

Step 2

  • Research and understand your school’s GE requirements. You can typically find these online on your school’s website or through your student audit (linked).

    • This will be the backbone to your roadmap. Though your major might change a couple of times, your GE will remain the same and it can always introduce you to new interests and programs.

    • Consider your GE’s an opportunity instead of “something to get out of the way early". You’ll want to make sure you have space for them in your last couple of years, too

  • If you know your proposed major, look up their requirements. 

    • ​Often, colleges create their own roadmaps for specific majors, to help students with advising. These are useful to look at as examples, but you should not copy them exactly as they’re based on a very basic student background and an arbitrary order of classes.

    • It’s okay to be undecided! Through GE requirements and electives, you’ll have plenty of time to find a major that fits you. This will also help to keep your roadmap flexible.

  • Remember, you are likely coming in with several units of credit from Foothill College courses and AP’s. Make sure you visit your advising office or degree audit (linked) to make sure you aren’t planning classes for requirements you’ve already satisfied!

Final Tips & Reminders

Step 3

  • Not all classes are offered year-round, plan accordingly!

  • Balance your courseload, for example: balance a writing-intensive course with a math class so your homework load is staggered.

  • Certain classes allow you to save time by "double-dipping" into both your GE and major program requirements at the same time. Be sure you check your school policy before planning for this.

  • Stay flexible! Major plans change all the time. The priority should be finding the program that fits you best, not the one that gets you finished fastest. Remember, the main benefit of creating a roadmap is to help you stay in control of your plans, especially if they change!

More tips for Graduating on Time

Step 4

  • ​You can skip certain requirements by taking a placement exam

  • Consider taking classes during the summer or winter session

  • Maintain good grades, especially in your major courses

  • Meet regularly with your advisor and college coach

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