Choosing Classes for Next Year 101

It's almost time to start thinking about what classes to choose for next fall! While this can be a stressful process, here are some helpful tips to remember as you scroll through the seemingly endless course catalog. 


Degree Works:

Degree Works is a helpful tool for you to use to see what classes you still need to take to complete your major(s) and minor(s). It will show you how much of your degree is complete, which requirements the classes you already took counted for, what requirements you still need to meet, and which classes are options for fulfilling those requirements. To access Degree Works, login to MyBentley and click on the "Academics" tab. Then, on the left menu bar, click on "Academic Student Self-Service." In the drop-down menu, click on "Academic Records" and then click on "Degree Works." You may need to refresh the page if it doesn't work on the first try. Notice that you are on the "Degree Audits" tab of the program, which can help you decide on classes to meet unfullfilled requirements. Underneath the Degree Audits tab, if you click on "What If (For Undergraduate Students)" you can play around with what would happen if you declare a certain major or add a minor. This is particularly useful for freshman and sophomores trying to decide on a future career path. Another benefit of this "What If" feature is that you can put in potential classes you think you might take and make sure they fulfill the requirement you want them to.



Even if you have an idea of what classes you need to take, choosing which section to take can be difficult. SETs (Student Evaluation of Teaching) is Bentley's rating system of professors, completed by the surveys sent out to students at the end of every semester. To view SETs, visit this link or simply google "Bentley SETs." Chose either a specific department or the first letter of a professor's last name and choose a semester (optional). After you hit submit, you can click "Detail" next to a professor to view his or her SETs rating for a specific section of a course for a specific semester. There are four factors about how well the professor facilitates learning and four about how the professor interacts with the students. Each rating is on a scale of 1-6, where six is the highest score. If you find a professor who averages about a 5.5, DEFINITELY take the class.


Talk to an advisor or friends:

Sometimes, an advisor is key to making sure you can graduate on time or helping to ensure you meet certain requirements. If you don't want to set up a meeting or formally have an advisor, you could also consider just talking to one of your professors who may have great advice about what classes to take, particularly if he or she has had a long tenure at Bentley or is the head of a department. Friends who have already taken a class or have the same major/minor as you are also a great resource to talk to when trying to decide on classes. They can give you an honest opinion about what they thought of the class or of the professor and may have advice about how to succeed.


If you are in the Honors program, don't forget about those requirements:

Everyone in the Honors program has an extra set of requirements to meet, something that is easy to forget about when picking classes. Every Honors student must take at least eight honors classes plus do the Honors capstone. Six of those classes must be outside the major and two must be inside the major. Each major has unique specifications about which classes must be taken as Honors. This means that as an Honors student, you should be taking at least one Honors class each semester on average. Some classes are easier to find as Honors than others, so do your research and make sure you can take enough to graduate in the program.


Don't forget about the Communications, Diversity, and International requirements:

Every Bentley student has to take a class that is intensive in Communications, Diversity, and International (note these are generally separate, though occasionally a course may meet two at once). These are denoted (C), (D), and (I), on the course catalog and it is one of the requirements in Degree Works. While they are NOT EXTRA classes to take, there has to be at least one class you take in your time at Bentley for each one of these three requirements. For example, a lot of GLS classes have the (I) notation (e.g. about international goverment or politics) and many Cinema classes have the (D) notation (e.g. about women in film). Remember: you must take ONE OF EACH.


Good luck choosing classes!