Tips on choosing courses

Choosing the right courses during the academic semesters can make a big difference both academically and motivationally. To be stuck with courses that we do not really enjoy can negatively affect our overall performance throughout the program, which is why I would like to share some tips!


It is perfectly reasonable not to have a completely clear idea of what you want to discuss in your dissertation (the opposite is also perfectly reasonable). But it is useful at least to consider a couple of general topics that will help you to select the first courses. Although it would be more convenient to take only courses related to your interests, it is also interesting to take at least one class that is not associated. You could end up discovering a new passion!

Think about your classes as the places where you could acquire the necessary tools for your dissertation. In this way, everything you do will be relevant to your final work!


All the time we are bombarded with messages that invite us to leave our comfort zone. But when we are in an academic environment, it is essential to find a balance between our comfort zone (AKA, what we know and in the areas where we feel comfortable working) and adventure (AKA, the topics of which we do not know anything yet but we I would like to learn more).

Therefore, I recommend taking courses that challenge us at the intellectual level but in which we feel comfortable. It would be a little risky to take an advanced French course without having any knowledge of French, no matter how much we want to feel adventurous, the course will probably cause you more than one headache.


It is beneficial to review the exact contents of each course, as well as how the topics will be discussed, the evaluation system and even if it is a large class, such as a lecture or a smaller class, like a seminar. If there are some courses in which you are interested, and you do not know how to decide, the best thing is to compare them and establish priorities.


Remember that you can change your courses until the end of the second week of each semester. And in this sense, the most important thing is always to be honest with oneself. If you have no interest in the subject, it would be best to change course. But sometimes if what you feel is only insecurity about your ability to deal with the subject, a good idea is to talk directly with the professor and discuss your doubts. Surely you will have a clearer idea, and you can make the right decision!