First Semester Courses

New to Columbia or just changed your major? Below is a list of suggested first semester courses:

Your Major:

Columbia College is unique in that students can start exploring their major (or two) from the get-go. Review academic plans for suggested courses. On the fence about your major? No problem! College advisors can help you set up your schedule so you can explore both. Contact us.

Your LAS Core:     

Students should work on their major and Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) Core simultaneously. Big Chicago, English/Writing and Mathematics are courses you should complete your first year.

Refer to your New Student Placement scores to select your English/Writing and Mathematics courses.

First Semester Experience (required for all students who have transferred in less than 15 credit hours)
48-11** Chicago: (select topic)

Use the grid below to determine which English class is best for you.

52- 1101S Writing and Rhetoric I Stretch A (college-wide elective credit) 
52- 1151 Writing and Rhetoric I 
52- 1152 Writing and Rhetoric II

Use the grid below to determine which Math class is best for you.

56- 1710 Basic Math Skills (college-wide elective credit) 
56- 1720 College Mathematics
56-1723 Liberal Arts Mathematics
56- 1728 Quantitative Reasoning
An advanced mathematics course

Balance is the key!

If you ask any Columbia College students about how to have a successful semester, they will always bring up balance. Students should always take into consideration when they will study, commute, work, be in the lab, see family and friends, eat, and even sleep. Yes, we said it...sleep. 

English and Math Placement Guide:

Liberal Arts and Sciences Course Selection for Mathematics based on ACCUPLACER, COMPASS Assessment, ACT, and SAT Results,

and for Writing and Rhetoric is based on The Write Class Assessment (TWC)

Section Required Course Accuplacer/Compass ACT   SAT
56-2720 Calculus I 80+ 27+ 620+
56-2713 Precalculus 75-79 25-26 580-610
MATHEMATICS 56-1721 Mathematical Ideas (Online Only) 
OR 56-1726 Math for Marketing and Mana
OR 56-2706 Introduction to Statistics 
OR 56-2710 College Algebra
67-79 23-26 550-610
56-1724 Geometry in the Arts 
OR 56-1725 Math in Art and Nature
50-66 20-22 490-540
56-1720 College Mathematics 
OR 56-1723 Liberal Arts Mathematics 
OR 56-1728 Quantitative Reasoning
34-66 17-22 420-540
56-1710 Basic Math Skills 0-33 0-16 0-410
Required Course The Write Class Assessment (TWC) Score

You indicated that you have completed transfer or Advanced Placement credit that will satisfy Writing and Rhetoric I and/or Writing and Rhetoric II. Please check your Academic Record and Advising Guide to verify this credit has been received, and register accordingly. 


52-1121 Writing and Rhetoric I International 


52-1101S Writing and Rhetoric I Stretch A 


52-1151 Writing and Rhetoric I.
You may also consider registering for Writing and Rhetoric I Stretch (52-1101), if you think you would benefit from extra support and an additional semester of writing instruction. 


52-1151 Writing and Rhetoric I 


52-1151 Writing and Rhetoric I
You may also apply to place directly into Writing and Rhetoric II (52-1152). For details on the application process, contact Pegeen Reichert Powell at or 312-369- 8231. 


52-1152 Writing and Rhetoric II 


Students admitted into the Honors Program are eligible to register for the Honors section of their required first-semester writing class. Email for more information about Honors courses and eligibility.

* Please contact Ellen Yeh at or 312-369-8116 for advice on additional required courses for EAL students.

**52-1101A is a pre-requisite for 52-1151S (Writing and Rhetoric I Stretch B), which students must take in their second semester. Only 52-1151S satisfies three of the required six English credits in the LAS Core. 52-1101S will fulfill three elective credits.

***Six credits of English are still required for the LAS Core. Students waived out of Writing and Rhetoric I based on The Write Class and subsequent portfolio review should take Writing and Rhetoric II and one other 2000 or 3000 level writing course designated with an EN.