The Academic Year

OWU is on a two-semester-per-year system with each semester lasting 16 weeks. OWU also offers a five-week summer session.

Your Goals

As a First-Year Student, you have two basic academic goals:

  • Earn at least seven credits during your first two semesters at OWU so you can enroll as a Sophomore the following year. Better yet, earn 8.50 credits your first year and stay on track to graduate on time without having to take five courses some semesters or going to summer school.
  • Remain in good academic standing by maintaining a minimum 2.0 GPA. If you are ready to excel, then strive for a 3.5 GPA or better and make the Dean’s List.

To meet and hopefully exceed these goals requires your being enrolled in appropriate courses and attending them regularly. Only by doing so will you be thoroughly prepared to complete assignments and pass exams.

Academic Units

Ohio Wesleyan uses a unit system for establishing course credit:

  • Students need 34 units to graduate.
  • Most classes equal one unit.
  • Labs and activity courses typically equal .25 units.
  • To reach full-time status, students must enroll in at least 3.25 units per semester.
  • To graduate in four years, the normal course load is 4.25 units per semester.

Note: To graduate on time while taking fewer than 4.25 units each semester eventually requires students to either take five units some semesters or enroll in summer school at OWU or elsewhere.

Class Schedules

Full unit classes typically meet on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, or Tuesday and Thursday, usually between the hours of 8 a.m. - 4 p.m., although some evening classes are offered.

  • Monday, Wednesday, and Friday classes meet for 50 minutes a day.
  • Tuesday and Thursday classes meet for one hour and 50 minutes.
  • Some classes include additional meeting times for lab sessions.
  • Students also may enroll in an additional one or two units during the summer.
  • Summer session courses typically meet every day.

Your Academic Course Schedule

During StART OWU, each student will be in contact with a Registration Guide to discuss and schedule courses appropriate for their academic background and interests.

  • Factors taken into consideration include high school transcripts, standardized test scores, AP credit, potential majors, and basic writing and analytical reading skills.
  • There is no one set of classes that all First-Year students take during their first semester. Typical First-Year schedules will be similar to those given as examples below. 

Courses taken during the first year provide students with opportunities to pursue various academic interests while completing distribution requirements exposing students to a broad spectrum of disciplines.

Consider What we Have to Offer

Click here to read about a wide range of academic majors and opportunities.

Sample Schedule

Fall Semester (4.25 credits)

  • ENG 105 (1)*
  • Foreign Language 110 (1)**
  • National Colloquium 150 (.25)
  • Plus choose two full-unit courses from those offered in the groupings below:
    • Social Science (Group I)
      (e.g., Geography, History, Politics and Government, Sociology/Anthropology)
    • Natural Science (Group II)
      (e.g., Astronomy, Botany/Microbiology, Geology)
    • Humanities Literature (Group III)
      (e.g., Black World Studies, Humanities-Classics, Religion)
    • Arts (Group IV)
      (e.g., Fine Arts, Music, Theatre, Dance)
    • Speech (elective) or Physical Education (elective)
    • Honors Tutorial or Seminar
      (for Honors students ONLY)

* Unless exempt, every First-Year student takes ENG 105 in either the fall or spring semester of their first year.

** Unless placed higher based on Language Placement Test scores administered during StART OWU.

Spring Semester (4.25 credits)

  • Foreign Language 111 (1)
  • Lab for science class (.25) or PE Activity Course (.25)
  • Plus choose three full-unit courses from those offered in the groupings below:
    • Social Science (Group I)
      (e.g., Economics, Journalism, Psychology, Black World Studies)
    • Natural Science (Group II)
      (e.g., Chemistry, Physics, Zoology)
    • Humanities Literature (Group III)
      (e.g., English, Philosophy, Women’s and Gender Studies)
    • Arts (Group IV)
      (e.g., Fine Arts, Music, Theatre, Dance)
    • Speech (elective) or Physical Education (elective)
    • Honors Tutorial or Seminar
      (for Presidential, Trustee, and Faculty Scholars)

Some students arrive with a major in mind. Although their first-year schedules will be similar to the one above, the classes they take in each distribution group may be more prescribed.