Course Registration Guide

For a downloadable file of the course registration guide, please click here...

The First-Year Course Registration Guide provides recommended first semester courses for each area of study. You need a minimum of 12 credits to be a full-time student; the maximum number of credits you can take without overloading is 17. A typical course load is 15-17 credits and courses are usually 3-4 cr. In early June you will receive your invitation through your email and Student Portal to complete a First-Year Survey from the Registration Services Office. You will also be notified by the Registration Service's Office when you are scheduled to register in July. Please use the following suggestions (also found in the College Course Request Information Packet) to help you complete your initial survey and also your registration. 

What Courses Should I Take?

Students in the College of Arts and Sciences have only a few specific course requirements during the first year: ENGL 001, ENGL 002, and the First-Year Seminar. Some students will place out of ENGL 001 and take ENGL 011 in the first semester, and some students will place out of both ENGL 001 and ENGL 002. The First-Year Course Registration Guide found on page 8 of the College Course Request Information Packet included in your First-Year Welcome Kit provides recommended first semester courses for each area of study. A typical course load is in the 14 to 17 credit range. You should not take fewer than 12 credits, which is the minimum required for full-time student status. Use the charts below to help guide your course selection process:

If you are an undecided student, your first-year schedule might look like this:

Fall Semester (credits)SPRING SEMESTER (CREDITS)
ENGL 001: Critical Reading & Composition (3)ENGL 002: Research & Argument (3)
Elective in Interest Area (4)Math Course (4)
Elective in Interest Area (4)Natural Science + Lab (4)
First-Year Seminar (3-4)Elective in Interest Area (4)
Total: 14-15 creditsTotal: 15 credits

*You should be using some of the electives to explore options for a possible major. Generally, with a few exceptions, they will count for your distribution requirements.

If you are considering the Biological Sciences major or Pre-Health track, your first-year schedule will look like this:
ENGL 001: Critical Reading & Composition (3)ENGL 002: Research & Argument (3)
MATH 051: Survey of Calculus I (4)MATH 052: Survey of Calculus II (4)
CHM 030: Intro to Chem Principles (4)BIOS 041: Bio Core I (3)
First-Year Seminar (3-4)BIOS 042: Bio Core I Lab (1)
 CHM 031: Chemical Equilibria in Aqueous Systems (4)
Total: 14-15 creditsTotal: 15 credits


*If you plan to major in Chemistry, one of the Biological Sciences, or follow the pre-health track, your fall science must be CHM 030 (or CHM 040). The first biology core course, BIOS 041, and accompanying lab, BIOS 042, are only taught in the spring semester and have CHM 030 (or 040) as a prerequisite. 

Your fall semester science course should be chemistry if you plan to major in chemistry or one of the biological sciences. Please refer to Mathematics Requirements for guidance in choosing which mathematics course you should take and when (MATH 021 and 022 are not necessarily what you need). Note that some science courses have the lab integrated into the course (e.g., EES 080 and CHM 030) rather than as a stand-alone course.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to reach out to our Advising Center via inadvise@lehigh.eduor to our Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs via


*For more first-year course scenarios, please click here