Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)



If I schedule back-to-back classes, will I have enough travel time?

Yes.  As long as you have about 15 minutes between classes, you should have more than enough time to walk from one classroom building to another. 

Can I choose a general education course other than those recommended on the pre-orientation web site?

Yes, but your best strategy will be to choose from the courses listed on this web site (because these will all meet honors requirements).  You will have the opportunity to discuss your options with an honors advisor at orientation.

How many credit hours should I take?

Most students will average 15 credit hours each semester.  A minimum of 12 credit hours is considered full time at Ohio State.  We recommend 14-16 credit hours per semester, as this should allow you to complete the 121 credit hours needed for graduation in four years.

Can I take more than 16 credit hours my first semester?

We recommend about 14-16 credit hours...not just for first-semester students, but for all honors students.  While it may not seem like very many courses compared to the course load you took in high school, we assure you that the study time required outside of class in college is considerably greater than what is typically expected in high school (even for AP courses).  It is also important to keep in mind that during autumn semester, you will be adapting to college life, and it is important that you do well academically to lay a solid foundation for your undergraduate career.  14-16 credit hours will be an adequate load to carry; it will allow you to devote enough time to each class while letting you explore all of the other activities and opportunities available at Ohio State.

How does the semester system work?

Under the semester system, there are three terms in an academic year: autumn semester, spring semester, and summer term.  Most students choose not to attend classes during summer term.  There are approximately 14 weeks of classes plus one week of finals in a semester.

Pre-Health Students

What should I schedule if I am pre-med (or pre-dent, pre-opt, pre-vet, pre-pharm, etc.)?

You'll want to follow the scheduling suggestions for your major program, but you will also want to try to take chemistry as soon as you are eligible to do so.  Most of the health professions will have general chemistry prerequisites, and many also have organic chemistry prerequisites.  Students typically begin with Chemistry 1210 (General Chemistry I), but students with a strong background in and great enthusiasm for chemistry may consider Chemistry 1910H, which is Honors General Chemistry I.  Advisors will help you to prioritize your pre-health and major requirements when putting together your schedule for autumn semester.


Do I have to take placement tests?

Most students need to take placement tests before they are able to schedule classes.  The mathematics placement test is to be completed before you attend orientation (preferably at least three days ahead of time).  Please complete the mathematics placement test even if you expect to receive credit for math (through Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or transfer credit).  More information about placement testing.

Do I have to take math my first semester?

It depends on several factors, including your math placement, any math credit you expect to receive, and your program of study.  Students who are pursuing a major in the sciences, BS degrees, or careers in the health professions should plan on taking math in the first semester (all of these will require completion of or credit for Math 1151 (Calculus I)).  Honors students pursuing non-science majors are strongly encouraged to take math in the first semester, as graduation with honors in the Arts and Sciences will require credit for at least one math course and completion of Math 1150 (pre-calculus) or its equivalent.

Students with AP, IB, or college credit for math might consider enrolling in one of the honors math options.  Representatives from the Department of Mathematics will be available on Day One of orientation to discuss the honors math course options with interested students.

What can I do if I don’t think my math placement is right?

If you have any questions about your math placement, or if you would like to enroll in one of the honors math options, representatives from the Department of Mathematics will be available on Day One of orientation to discuss your options.

World Languages

Do I have to take a placement test?

Most students need to take world language placement tests before they are able to schedule language classes.  Students with AP, IB, or transfer credit for a language may be able to opt out of the placement tests; however, if you do not yet know your scores or how your credit will transfer from another institution, you should plan to take the placement test. 

Tests Offered During Orientation
Language placement tests for French, German, Italian, and Spanish are offered in the afternoon of Day One of orientation.  The Latin placement test is offered in the morning of the first day of orientation.

Drop-in Tests That May Be Available During Orientation
Language placement tests for Arabic, Hebrew, and Swahili may be available either in the afternoon of Day One or the afternoon of Day Two.  See the Center for Languages, Literatures and Cultures web site and consult with an academic advisor at orientation for details. 

Tests You May Be Able to Schedule (Requires Advanced Planning)
Depending on the availability of faculty and staff, you may be able to take a placement test in another language while you are at orientation if you contact the relevant department in advance.  Orientation is pretty action-packed, so it is recommended that you only schedule a placement test after 3:45pm on Day One or after 3:00pm on Day Two.  If you are not able to take a placement test during orientation, you may schedule a test during Autumn Semester or at another time during the summer.  Follow the links below for department-specific information on scheduling a placement test:

Should I take a world language my first semester?

All students in Arts and Sciences majors are required to demonstrate proficiency in a world language at the 1103 level or higher.  If you place into level 1155 or 1102 of a language you studied in high school and want to continue taking that language, we recommend that you take a course in this language (if available and if your schedule allows) during your first semester.  It is generally best to avoid a large gap in your study of a world language.

Do I have to take the same world language I took in high school?

No.  There are over 30 different languages available at Ohio State, including American Sign Language.  You are welcome to take course work in any language in which you have an interest.  If you are going to study a language other than one you have previously studied, you will begin with the 1101 level of that language.  To meet the general education language proficiency requirement, you would need to complete 1101, 1102, and 1103.

Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and College Credit Plus

What if I have already earned college credit or AP or IB credit from high school?

If you had your AP or IB scores sent to Ohio State, we will most likely not have your scores and your college credit in our registration system until early July.  College transcripts may take several weeks to process.  If your orientation session is in June or early July, it is a very good idea for you to bring copies of any transcripts and/or AP or IB score reports to your scheduling session.  Even if your orientation occurs later in the summer, it is still helpful for you to bring transcripts and/or AP or IB score reports to orientation in case we need to verify the credit.

If you are coming to Ohio State with college credit (including college credit earned from another institution or credit earned through either the AP or IB program), honors advsiors will help you construct a schedule that makes appropriate use of the college credit you have already earned.  While all college credit available through the AP and IB programs will count toward the minimum number of credit hours you need for your degree, it is important to note that some of the credit available through these programs will not satisfy the minimum General Education standards required for graduation with honors in the Arts and Sciences.  As you might expect, students wishing to graduate with honors in the Arts and Sciences will be required to satisfy more rigorous curriculum requirements than students pursuing a degree without honors.  The college credit offered through AP and IB (see pages 9 and 10) is not honors-level college credit.

Academic Advising

Who is my advisor?

As an Arts and Sciences honors student, you have the advantage of a dual advising structure. This means you have at least two advisors at the university to assist you with course selection and academic issues.

Your honors academic advisor is a member of the full-time professional academic advising staff in the Arts and Sciences Honors Program.  All of the honors academic advisors have advanced degrees and work exclusively with honors students.  Your honors academic advisor advises you on the general education requirements and special academic and career opportunities; provides you with guidance on degree planning, scheduling, honors graduation requirements, and Arts and Sciences policies and procedures; and can assist you with navigating other resources on campus.

Your departmental honors major advisor is either a full-time professional advisor or a faculty member in the department offering your major.  You will consult with this advisor on questions related specifically to your major.

Majors and Minors

I am interested in double-majoring.  How much more course work will I have to schedule, and how long will it take for me to graduate?

During autumn semester, you should schedule an appointment to meet with your honors advisor in the Arts and Sciences Honors Office, who will explain the requirements for double majors.  The amount of time required to complete two majors will depend on the majors chosen.  There are a lot of factors that must be taken into consideration, and in the fall, your honors advisor will be happy to help you develop a program of study that works for you.

What minors are available, and how do I declare one?

Over 100 minors are available to students at Ohio State.  Minors are a great way to complement and enhance one’s program of study at Ohio State.  Minors consist of 12-18 credit hours of additional course work, some of which might be earned through your elective or general education courses.  You can review and download minor program information forms online.  After reviewing the minor information form, meet with the departmental advisor for the minor to discuss any honors requirements for the minor.

What should I do if I want to change my major?

If you decide to change your major prior to attending orientation, please contact the University Orientation office at (614) 292-4161 so that you can be placed in the appropriate academic information and scheduling session at orientation.  If you decide to change your major or are strongly considering changing your major while at orientation, please let an academic advisor know during the academic information and scheduling session on Day One.

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