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The Basics of College

In order to reach your goal of graduation, you need to know about UNF's academic structure and what is required to attain a degree in whatever field you choose. This is just an overview; we encourage you to talk with your advisor about different plans and the best path for you.

Academics at UNF

University Structure

The University of North Florida has six colleges: the College of Arts and Sciences, the Brooks College of Health, the Coggin College of Business, the College of Computing, Engineering and Construction, the College of Education and Human Services and the Hicks Honors College. UNF's College of Arts and Sciences is our largest college and is also where most general education courses are taught.

Degree Components

Basic degree requirements include three kinds of courses: general education, major and electives.

General Education. General education courses are a great way to explore different areas as you decide on your major. General Education courses include:
Communication - 3 courses (9 credits)
Critical Thinking - 4 courses (12 credits)
Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis and Scientific Method - 3 or 4 courses (12 credits)
Experiential Learning or Integrative Learning - 1 course (3 credits)


It is important to note the courses that best satisfy general education requirements will vary for different majors. You should consult with your academic advisor as you decide on a major so you will select appropriate courses to fulfill your requirements.

Majors. To attain a degree you must choose a major. UNF offers 65 majors with over 70 different concentrations. Majors are designed to expose students to a depth of knowledge in a specific field of study. There are often opportunities within your major to do research or pursue a subfield of interest.

Electives. Electives help you fulfill remaining graduation requirements and are a great way to explore different interests. Although electives are not general education requirements, they can help expand your skill set.

Minors. While you are completing your major requirements, depending on your college, you may be able to pursue a minor. Some programs of study require a student to complete a minor; for others, a minor is optional, but can be used to complement your major area of study.

Inside the Classroom

Credit hours. In high school you probably took classes in a traditional format or block schedule. At UNF, classes are set up on a credit-hour format, which roughly corresponds to the number of hours you spend in the classroom each week. Usually, classes are 3 credit hours, but can be anywhere between 1 and 4 credit hours.

 

A bachelor's degree consists of a minimum of 120 credit hours. The total number of credit hours you can earn each year determines your class level (freshman, sophomore, etc.). For most degrees, a student must complete a minimum of 30 credit hours a year (fall, spring, and summer) to stay on track for graduation in four years. Work with your academic advisor to outline a timely graduation plan. 

 

Professors. Professors are responsible for coordinating course material and giving the lectures for most classes. Getting to know your professors can enhance the learning environment. Additionally, knowing professors is a great way to get a feel for a certain field of study you may want to pursue. Many professors spend part of their time doing research; this keeps them connected to current trends and can help them provide information about what a field may look like in years to come. Professors also appreciate students who ask questions and take time to explore issues outside of class.

 

Studying. In high school, you probably spent around 35 hours a week in school. A typical course load at UNF can be anywhere from 12 to 18 hours. This means you will spend about that much time in class a week. In high school, teachers may have allowed time during class to do readings or homework; at UNF, most class time will be devoted to lecturing, discussion or lab work.

 

You will be expected to do most of your studying on your own and probably more than you did in high school. Many professors recommend you spend at least two hours studying per week for every credit hour in class. For a 3-credit hour course, that means a minimum of 6 hours of studying outside of class. For a 15-credit hour semester, total time spent in class per week would be roughly 15 hours, with a minimum of 30 hours of studying outside of class per week, for a total of at least 45 hours a week devoted to coursework.

 

You will not have the structure that high school provided, so you will need to develop time management skills in order to be successful at UNF. School is your job! While this may seem like a lot of time, you will still be able to have a social life, get involved on campus, and even have a part-time job. Doing all of this will make you very busy, and good time management skills are a must.

 

Time Breakdown for a Student per Week

 

There are 168 total hours in a week.  Students should have about 39 hours available for co-curricular activities and a part-time job, if needed.

 

Attendance. Students are expected to go to their class every time it meets. During examinations, you will be responsible for any material covered in lecture that might not be in your textbook. Additionally, some departments administratively drop students who do not attend the first day of class.

 

Placement. When you enter UNF, you will be placed into the appropriate math course based on your major, any accelerated math credit you may have earned, and a predictive analytics model. For more information regarding the math placement, visit the Placement Information website.  

 

Students will also be able to take a foreign language placement assessment for Spanish, French and Chinese.

 

Transfer Credits. It is important that all transcripts from other colleges or universities are sent to UNF as soon as grades have been posted. Having up-to-date information is important for your advising appointments so you and your advisor know what requirements you have fulfilled. It is also important because your enrollment level depends on the number of credit hours completed. You should speak with an advisor before you take classes at other schools, so you are sure the credits will transfer appropriately to UNF.