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What are some recommended ways for a premed student to finish up the sector requirements/foundational approaches in CAS? For instance, is it better to take easier electives to breeze through these requirements or is it better to pick classes I'm genuinely interested in and/or have a deep connection to the healthcare/medical field for knowledge's sake? Or is it simply better to double count as many of these courses as possible to have less classes and CUs to stress over later on?

Also, some recommended classes for these requirements would be much appreciated :)


kinda hard to give a good answer since i don't know much about you, like your class year, how far along are you with premed reqs, whether you want to take a gap year, how dead set are you on premed, what sector reqs you still need to fulfill, etc. all i can say is: what do you care more about? if you want a higher GPA, then take easier electives (that samba class (MUSC-067 i think??) is really easy and cool). if you want to pick classes you're genuinely interested in, there's no harm in doing so! in fact, you might discover something new. some HCMG, SOCI, and ANTH (e.g. medical anthropology) classes may offer some new/good perspectives on healthcare. even HSOC and ENGL. there's an intriguing fall 2020 english class that explores writing about mental health. try to avoid taking HSOC 010, the introductory class, if you can. all i remember from that class is tropical medicine lol. that's just my experience though.

but i'm sure you can find some less stressful classes that are still interesting to you! i would scour all the class offerings, then look up their level of difficulty on penncoursereview.com. and consider which comes more naturally to you, test taking or writing papers, when you're choosing classes.

my two cents? follow your c u r i o s i t y. take classes that pique your attention. college is about exploring and getting to know yourself better.

don't know what reqs you want to double count, but this is a realllly helpful guide: https://www.thedp.com/article/2020/04/double-count-upenn-courses-fall-2020-sector-foundation-penn-college.

Hopeful Horse, 04/08/20 9:59pm

When do PURM programs usually end? Im looking for places to stay through sublet and a lot of places have the sublet until the end of July and I was wondering when a lot of the 10-week research programs end. I know that its different for each professor, but whats the average ending date?


From the website: "All projects take place in the summer and are expected to extend for 10 weeks. Students and faculty mentors negotiate the precise logistics between themselves, taking into account the needs of the project."

I never did PURM, but I'd assume that this is correct ^^

Zesty Zebra, 4/6/20, 11:20 AM

What's it like being a TA for CIS 160?


It is a good time! The TA communities in general for CIS are generally pretty close-knit and really helpful; the other TAs have been supportive in helping give advice with classes, jobs, etc, and it's a group of people who are passionate about the material and really want to help the students succeed.

I was a TA for two semesters. Even though I really enjoyed taking CIS160, I was very nervous to TA at first. I worried about knowing everything / having all the answers and messing up, since the material is really difficult and there's not always one clear answer. However, being a shadow TA with a head TA helped, as well as always having other TAs in office hours and to help over Slack. Teaching and answering and grading questions was a great way to become more comfortable with the material as well as just a better and more thoughtful presenter and teacher. Overall, I felt like it helped me grow a lot as well as find a community within CIS.

However, it is very time consuming. A lot of preparation goes into office hours and teaching recitation, and we grade for most of Fridays. I would say it usually ranged from 10-15 hours a week. It is a really good way to make money, but it felt like taking an additional course or two in terms of time commitment.

Kindred Koala, 3/31/20, 11:54am

Any advice with course registration? (ex. should I make my preferred math class my first choice?)


Honesty, it's such a crapshoot, and there is usually so much time to gain entrance into classes that you didn't get during advanced reg, that i wouldn't recommend sweating your preferences too hard. Math classes are p popular, and it wouldn't be a bad idea to put your ideal math class high up on the list, but like I said before it really is up to chance. Just pray to the algorithm gods.

Zesty Zebra, 2/22/2020 6:48 PM

also it depends on what year and school you're in. in general you want to rank seminars, the classes you really want, and classes that have credit (some classes are 0 cu but their recitation is 1.0 cu idk why) higher up. know your academic priorities too: do you need to fulfill certain requirements, or are you just taking classes for fun?

these registration tips by the college helped me out: https://www.college.upenn.edu/node/201

Hopeful Horse, 2/25/2020 9:08am

Can anyone compile a list of the easiest/most interesting course that fulfill foundation/sector requirements? I'm a STEM student specifically interested in the history and arts/letters sectors but I feel like other students reading this can benefit from your responses.


As a Bio major in the College, I highly recommend looking for small classes/seminars to fulfill your non-STEM requirements for a few reasons: it's easier to get one-on-one time with your professor, it'll be a nice divergence from your larger STEM lectures, and most of the work is done in class.

Here are some of the requirement-fulfilling courses I've taken:

  • Arts & Letters Sector: World Music and Cultures (MUSC 050/ANTH 022)
  • Humanities and Social Science: Art, Design, and Digital Culture (FNAR 264/DSGN264)
  • Society Sector: Social Psychology (PSYC 170)
  • Cross-Cultural Analysis: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (ANTH002)
Dynamic Dino, January 27, 2020, 12:33 PM

Is Wharton hard? How are the lectures? Is it difficult to “stand out”? And if you need help - how do you go about that? Is there a big focus on Math?


Difficulty of Wharton classes really depends on who you're talking talk to/what classes you're thinking of. Lectures I'd say vary between large, presentation-style lectures and smaller, discussion-based lectures. I've found that a lot of the Business Fundamental classes or introductory level Wharton courses are more often than not like the first of the two types.

In terms of "standing out" in a Wharton classroom setting, I would say the best thing you can do is show up (which is already a big step!) and actively participate or make an effort to get to know your professor or TAs outside of class. This advice is pretty applicable to any of the four schools, I wouldn't say there is a stark difference in the way Wharton lectures operate and that of other schools (aside from content).

If you're looking for help in your classes, there are a bajillion resources out there. Go to office hours, pick up a tutor (available for a lot of introductory Wharton courses like ACCT 101), find a study partner in your class to ask for guidance, or reach out directly to your professor for some advice. Faculty in Wharton, also similarly to the other schools, are always open to helping and are more than willing to provide you with any additional academic support you need.

Finally, the focus on math is more noticeable in classes within BEPP, Finance, OIDD, or Accounting departments, but more often than not, its no higher than Calculus level and wouldn't require a lot more math knowledge than is already required by school requirements. Hope that all helps!

Dopey Dragon, January 26, 2020, 6:47 PM

How is the nursing curriculum structured? Do they give you a 4 year learning plan or is it more choose what you want to focus on?


Hi! I asked my Nursing friend, and here's her response.

"Check out this link! You can choose whatever you want for language, sectors, electivesCore classes cover most specialties (if briefly). And hospital rotations go: obgyn (labor and delivery, post partum, NICU/ICN) in sophomore spring. Medical surgical junior fall (this covers a lot, e.g. oncology, surgical floors like transplant bariatric, trauma stepdown). It changes halfway, so you choose one medical floor and one surgical floor. Junior spring is psych/peds. Same deal with splitting in half. A lot of different psych sites, all pediatric sites are at CHOP. OB sites are various too, but medsurg sites are all at HUP or Presbyterian. Senior fall is Community Health, also various sites. I did the jails/Philadelphia department of prisons. And senior spring is leadership where you choose top 4 sites, and they try to match you. That's pretty much it though! Very structured for core classes that you'll take with the same cohort."

Wallowing Whale, January 26, 2020 6:20pm

How do the language placement exams work in relation to the foreign language requirement?

Will doing well in the placement exam (let's say Chinese) force me to take the intermediate/hard classes? If that's the case, will purposely doing poorly allow me to take the beginner courses throughout my four semesters?

In other words as well, what's the benefit of doing well in the language placement exam versus doing poorly?

I apologize for the long post, the college/class system is extremely different in my country.


When I took the placement exam at the beginning of freshmen year, my impression was that they wanted to put you in a class you'd be comfortable in and wouldn't be super stressed in. For me, after the written part of the exam, where they'd gauge your reading and writing skills, there were professors who talked to you for 5-10 minutes to gauge your listening and speaking skills. The professor gave me a sample passage to read, asked me about my background in the language, and gave her honest thoughts on where I could be placed. For Chinese specifically, I know there's a heritage track where the classes are catered to who grew up in a Chinese household so their listening/speaking might be better than reading/writing.

It's honestly up to you - doing well on the placement exam would indicate the classes you could take, but you don't have to follow the suggestion and can take an easier class. Usually the challenge is if you don't do that well on the placement exam but want to take a higher level course - in that case you'd want to prep a little before the placement exam and reach out to the professors of the language classes you want to take.

Wallowing Whale, January 20, 2020 3:45 pm

Why is it that GPA doesn't matter for jobs and engineering recruiting? Doesn't that represent mastery of material? Funnily enough I'm not doing too well in CIS 120 and CIS 160 because I have such a tough schedule but I really like programming and the problems we do in 160. I just wish I had more time to practice and actually do the work.


I think this is more of a CIS phenomenon more than a general engineering trend. Most of the stuff that we do in the classroom isn't really indicative of what industry is looking for from you, so even if you don't find that you're excelling with classroom material, that doesn't truly represent your potential on the job, and recruiters know that. I was in a similar boat as you, with CIS 160 especially, and if you find yourself enjoying the material then I think you're doing just fine.  

CIS Intro Track first semester is definitely a grind, and you'll have plenty more semesters to continue mastering software engineering. I personally found CIS 121 way more enjoyable than 120 and 160 because the application of the material was built into the core of the course. It gets easier as you go through the system :)

Zesty Zebra, 2:55 PM, November 25th 2019

I'm a senior interested in taking courses outside of my engineering major (DMD)! I was wondering if you have taken any interesting/perspective-widening classes that stuck out out to you? Thanks in advance :*)

Here's a list of courses my friends and I have compiled:

OIDD 245

OIDD 291 (Negotiations)

BEPP 284 (Game theory)

Any creative writing course

URBS 178 (ABCS course that culminates in an implementation project in West Philly)

And any ABCS course! https://www.nettercenter.upenn.edu/what-we-do/courses

Kindred Koala, 11/8/19, 10:45AM