Would you like to receive course credit for working with other students, advisors and mentors to refine and build toward your academic and professional goals? CSPL 405/406: Ideals into Practice is a program that allows you to make connections between your academic curriculum and the practical experience you gain through campus employment, off campus internships, community service and extracurricular activities. You will be assigned to a cohort of like-minded students, receive one-on-one career advising and gain access to an online portfolio to document what you are learning both inside and outside the classroom. By allowing you to engage in deep reflection about the skills you are gaining throughout your time at Wesleyan, you will be better able to understand and explain to others how your education prepares you for life after college. Note: If you are already taking Career Decisions: From Insight to Impact on Coursera, you are ahead of the game, as it is also a requirement for CSPL 405/406! For more information, please see the Ideals into Practice website. Past participants have described this course as “fun,” “flexible,” and “a must take for anyone”!
New Student Checklist
Welcome from WesWell!
WesWell, the Office of Health Education, is an integral part of Wesleyan University’s Health Services. WesWell understands the impact of student health on academic performance and is committed to providing services that are designed to develop healthy behaviors and prevent health concerns that may interfere with academic and personal success.
In an effort to further advance our students beyond the classroom, Wesleyan University has partnered with EverFi to help students address critical life skills such as alcohol abuse prevention and sexual assault prevention. As part of our comprehensive prevention program for new students, Wesleyan requires you to complete AlcoholEDU and Sexual Assault Prevention for Undergraduate Students. These online courses will empower you to make well-informed decisions about issues that affect your college years and beyond.
Failure to complete these courses will result in a hold being put on your registration. You will receive an invitation via email from EverFi on August 9th. The link will also be available in WesPortal, and you can expect communication on directions around that time from the Office of Health Education.
Religious and Spiritual Life on Campus – ORSL Survey
Wesleyan is very diverse when it comes to religious and spiritual identities. In order to better understand and support students from 2025, the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life (ORSL) requests that you fill out the Religious and Spiritual Life survey in WesPortal which will take less than 30 seconds. For more info:
Student’s Perspective on the “Rule of Seven”
Written by Maia Dawson ’24
When you come to Wesleyan you will have a lot of options as to what to do with your time, maybe more than you’ve ever had. First you have to choose your classes, and then (like me) you might be trying to find a work study job. You could have a varsity sport that’s been a constant in your life for as long as you can remember (again like me) or you could be reinventing yourself as a journalist and joining the team at the Argus, Wesleyan’s student-run newspaper (not like me, but self-reinvention is very cool and big here at Wesleyan).
In this situation, which may feel like a select-all-that-apply multiple choice question with way more letters than are in the alphabet, we suggest that you pick 7 to avoid being stressed, distracted, and unsatisfied. Hence the trademark Wesleyan advice we give to all freshmen: follow the Rule of 7. It will help you maintain stability while you explore a breadth of topics at a place with a LOT of options. Also, keep in mind that this rule narrows as you become an upperclassman and your education becomes increasingly specialized. Each class counts as one, along with anything that regularly demands time and commitment.
I had four classes, a work-study job, the track and field team, and frequent visits to the science library that were more social than studious. Throughout the year I tried to figure out not only what I liked to do with my time but how I liked to manage my time and focus. The Rule of 7 was a sort of backbone for figuring these things out. Coming out of the spring of my senior year I realized that I loved having the extra time that had emerged from all of the cancellations. I got to garden for the first time and really explore horticulture. One day I suddenly became interested in cooking and made fried green olives with tzatziki on the side.
The purpose of this tangent was – I realized that I like to have a more loose schedule because I thrive when I am able to be spontaneous and constantly switch up my attention. So I reserved my “seventh” commitment for that spontaneity. Yes, sometimes I just chatted people up at the library, but I also was able to buy a betta fish one day and create a photo collection of the campus bathroom graffiti the next day. And the Rule of 7 actually didn’t feel imposing, like I wasn’t doing enough for my “career” because I wasn’t in a formally established club. It allowed me to really invest in certain projects or readings for my classes that I had a special connection to, or engage my spontaneity. Its definition of “commitment” is as loose as you want it to be, or as defined. Many of my friends had 7 definable commitments and managed them well because they followed this rule. Maybe you are unlike me and prefer a more tight and predictable schedule – The Rule of 7 can be adapted to you.
Also part of this process of learning about how you navigate time (too existential?) is dropping things so you can pick something else up. An important part of learning is change and readjustment so don’t ever feel like you’re stuck with something. There is the alternative of perseverance, but I don’t have to lecture you on that. I’m just trying to get you to recognize that, though disarray is an important part of life, there are other ways to go about things. And at the risk of cancelling out the rest of this literary masterpiece: Less is more. Don’t join 5 clubs!
First Year Matters Common Reading “The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together”
Dear New Students,
Each year the First Year Matters (FYM) Committee selects a common reading for the incoming class as an intellectual introduction to Wesleyan. Last fall we solicited from the community, texts and other media addressing the issues of race, ethnicity, or nationality. I’m pleased to announce that the committee has unanimously selected The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together by Heather McGhee. McGhee is a Distinguished Senior Fellow and immediate past president at Demos, a non-profit progressive US think tank.
Intertwined with poignant personal stories, and meaningful conversations with Americans from across the United States, “The Sum of Us” offers a wide-ranging perspective about economic and sociological issues and how money influences policy making in Washington. “McGhee examines the role that greed and racism play as it relates to the zero-sum game paradigm—the idea that progress for some comes at the expense of others” (Random House). From the diminished stature of unions to the inability of the wealthiest nation on earth to embrace universal healthcare, McGhee explains that ultimately the “solidarity dividend”—the gains that are realized when people come together across race to accomplish what we simply can’t do on our own—is one surefire way to move us forward…together.
You will receive the ebook through your portfolio in the coming weeks as well as your first assignment–4 questions that you are required to answer. The Common Reading response is designed as a tool for you to begin articulating your synthesis of the book and will be made available to the faculty, staff, and student leaders that will be leading the group discussions during orientation. The submission deadline for the Common Reading responses is 5:00 pm on Friday, August 20. You will need to read the book and submit your response by this date in order to be fully prepared to engage with the material and get the most out of orientation.
If you have any questions, please be in touch with Tanesha Leathers, Dean for the Class of 2025, via firstname.lastname@example.org or the Orientation Interns via email@example.com. We hope that you enjoy this summer “reading” and we very much look forward to discussing the film with you. We are thrilled that you will be joining this wonderful community.
Vice President for Academic Affairs
Kevin M. Butler
Assistant Dean & Common Reading Chair
Directions for Accessing the FYM Common Reading, “The Sum of Us”
Here are the directions for accessing The Sum of Us:
- Redeem through Google Play – visit help center for more info
- Once redeemed, the book will appear in the Google Play account for that End User
- End User will need a Google account (Google.com, Gmail.com, YouTube.com, etc.)
- Once redeemed, user must be logged into Google Play with the same email they used to redeem the book (check icon on top right to toggle between accounts if needed)
Please don’t hesitate to contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you continue having difficulty.
6 Tips for Course Selection
As we dive deeper into July, now’s a great time to start thinking about courses that you’d like to take. WesMaps has hundreds of incredible options, so let’s break it down to get a sense of which classes work best for your academic interests.
1. Start thinking about requirements for possible intended majors.
If you’re like many Wes students, the open curriculum is one of the main drivers for attending this university. While it is totally fine (and common!) if you have no idea what you’d like to major in—there is no pressure for you to decide this early on in your college careers, it is not a bad idea to start thinking about certain courses that need to be fulfilled to satisfy specific majors. For example, certain majors require students to fulfill General Education Expectations (Gen Eds), so starting to fulfill those requirements as early as possible could save a lot of stress in the future. There are two stages within Gen Eds:
One NSM (Natural Sciences and Mathematics), One HA (Humanities), and One
SBS (Social and Behavioral Sciences) credits before the end of your sophomore year
Two NSM (Natural Sciences and Mathematics), Two HA (Humanities), and Two
SBS (Social and Behavioral Sciences) credits before graduation
2. Vary your courses by class size.
A part of the college academic experience is to take a bunch of different courses: not only by subject but also by class size! Towards the beginning of college, it can be beneficial to take classes of various sizes, ranging from a 50+ person lecture class to a smaller, 12-person seminar that dives deeper into the material. Taking courses with varied class sizes towards the beginning of your academic career can help you get a sense of which class size best responds to your learning style.
3. Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone!
Part of the excitement of a liberal arts experience is to take really interesting classes that you might not normally take at another type of school. Even if you are on the engineering or pre-med track, don’t scare yourself away from taking that really cool Toni Morrison class you were looking at. If you’re a psych major, you might surprise yourself by enrolling in an Intro to Dance course! It is sometimes the most obscure course that we either remember or love the most.
4. Consider the graded assignments and examinations
When looking for courses to take, also consider your academic strengths. If you’re more test-taking-oriented, maybe you wouldn’t want to take a class with weekly writing assignments. On the flip side, if you’re more humanities-focused, you might not benefit from a course with 4 exams. Aside from a course’s rigor, it is important to feel like your level of understanding can be represented through the modes of examination a given class offers, therefore looking at the types of assignments classes have can be crucial to your course selection process. On the flip side, however, taking courses with varied types of graded assignments can also be a great strategy to create a more challenging course schedule (if that’s what you’d like to do!)
5. On Ranking Courses
Ranking can be one of the trickiest parts of course selection, but once you have a plan of action, it’s not too bad! The first tip on ranking courses concerns seat distribution by class year. Towards the bottom of WesMaps, check and see how many seats a given course usually reserves for class year. For example, if you are deciding between two courses that you’d really like to take and rank for your top spot, it might be more helpful for you to rank the course that has fewer seats as your top pick and the other class with more seats ranked second since you’d have a better chance of getting into it. That way, you might get lucky and be able to take both classes that semester! Or, in contrast, maybe you choose the class with more seats as your first choice and wait until next year to rank the other class first if there is a better chance of getting a seat as an upperclassman. Course ranking can be a gamble and while there is no perfect recipe for deciding which courses to rank in a particular order, we hope this tip provides more clarity into ranking courses.
Quick reminder: an X means a given class year is refrained from taking that course; a 0 means that while that class year doesn’t usually have seats offered in that course, there is a possibility that you can take it if someone drops it or if you email the professor!
6. No need to panic!
Course selection may seem crazy, stressful, and all over the place, but you’re not the only one who feels this way. There are many stages of picking classes, so do not fear if you feel like you chose a class you no longer want to take; you have plenty of chances to change around your schedule and drop and add different courses! Additionally, no need to feel like this process must be done independently; there are so many resources, like RAs, class deans, pre-major advisors (and APAs of course!) to help you along the way/make it as easy a process as possible.
Best of luck with course selection!
The Academic Peer Advisors (APAs)
About Course Registration
Course registration at Wesleyan is a three-step process. The first step of this process, which opened on July 12, is Pre-Registration Planning.
During pre-registration planning, you should be selecting courses of interest and ranking them in your preferred order. Be sure to build full list(s) to maximize your chances of getting a desirable schedule during the scheduling process.
Once planning closes, the scheduling process will be run. Your schedule will be viewable on August 6. Once your schedule is available, you’ll be able to prepare for the Adjustment Period, which is the second part of the registration process and takes place August 9-12. During the adjustment period you will be able to make modifications to the schedule that has been assigned to you, pending approval from your faculty advisor.
The third step of the course registration process is the Drop/Add Period, which will take place from August 30 – September 17. During drop/add courses can be added and dropped from your schedule with the approval of the instructor and your faculty advisor.
As the summer progresses, you will receive email for updates from the Registrar’s Office as we enter into each phase of the course registration process.
The following questions might guide your course planning:
- Do I select a course about something I love?
- Do I need to add a gateway course for a department or major?
- Do I need to continue or begin a language?
- Could I explore something new and interesting?
Course planning involves much more than just the subject matter. You should aim for variety in subject as well as the kind, size, format, and time of day of the courses.
There are a few curricular pathways that require special attention, such as pre-health, pre-law and dual degree engineering programs. There is a three-year option. There are three majors that require declaration during the spring semester of the first year: College of Social Studies, College of Letters and the College of East Asian Studies.
Submit Your WesCard ID Photo by 7/6
Be sure to submit a photo for your WesCard ID by July 6. You will need it to gain access to meals, residences, and other vital campus facilities when you arrive on campus. Visit the WesCard Office website for more information about the features of your WesCard.
Required Documentation for International F-1 and Non-US Citizen Students
All incoming F-1 international and Non-U.S. Citizen students must complete the appropriate process to become enrolled as payees at Wesleyan.
Visit the following path on WesPortal and follow the instructions provided to become a payee:
WesPortal>Campus Applications>Documents Required by Non-US Citizens-Undergrad
Note: You must complete this documentation process regardless of whether you plan to work on campus.
Please contact Christine Rodrigue, in International Compensation and Taxation, at email@example.com with any questions.