Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Plan your classes

Why plan classes?

Why plan out classes instead of taking whichever classes seem interesting at the time? Two big reasons:

  • Reason 1: you only take (and pay for) classes that count towards your degree!
  • Reason 2: you take a balanced load so that you don’t become overwhelmed. For example, taking chemistry, physics, and calculus while working 40 hours/week may be overwhelming!

So how do you choose the right classes? Make an academic plan! Create your first academic plan by the end of your first term, then repeat these steps every few terms.

I know what I want to do!

Planning classes will get you to your goal without any unexpected detours.

  1. Work with an advisor

    Advisors help you plan your classes based on your educational goals. There are different types of advisors, so your first step is to find the right advisor for your program.

    • See a general advisor if you plan to transfer to four-year school.
    • See a program specific advisor if you are earning an Associate of Applied Science or a certificate. To find your advisor, visit your program’s page on Academic Programs. If you don’t see advisor information, contact the department and ask about advising for your program.
  2. Make a 2-3 term plan

    Work with your advisor to plan out your classes for the next 2-3 terms. Use this plan when you register for classes each term.

  3. Check your progress

    GRAD Plan shows you which classes apply to your degree and how close you are to graduating. You can also save your academic plan to refer to later.  Explore GRAD Plan on your own, or use it with your advisor.

I’m still exploring….

Take classes that apply to all degrees while figuring out your long-term interests.

  1. Work with a counselor

    Meet with a career counselor to help you explore your interests and see how they can lead to an educational and career path while you take general education courses. Check the counseling site for appointment information.

  2. Visit career services

    Access tools and resources to help you research possible academic paths.

  3. Define your goals

    Use the How to Choose a Career track to get help choosing a career.

Once you have chosen your career, return to the previous page and follow the steps to update your degree. Then, you’ll create a new academic plan designed to take you straight to your goal!

College lingo

Academic Advisor
A college professional that helps students design an academic plan once they have selected a course of study.
Academic plan
A term-by-term plan of courses mapped out to meet your educational needs.
Career Counselor
A college professional that helps undecided students determine what academic path to follow.
Career Technical courses
Classes that prepare you for a specific career and provide job skills and knowledge needed to enter that field of work.
Lower Division courses
Classes that fill general education or elective requirements for transfer, general studies degrees, and Career Technical programs.
Pre-college courses
Classes that will help you build skills so you can be successful in higher level courses.
Prerequisites
Classes you must complete before taking other classes.