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Advising 18

What are placement exams and how do they work?


You take placement exams to determine what level class to start with, or to try and get credit for classes in stuff like math, language, etc. They're usually around the beginning of the semester, but for more info you'd need to look online or ask and advisor.

ex. here's the math placement from last sem: https://www.math.upenn.edu/undergraduate/make-and-credit-exam-advanced-placement-exams

Chunky Chipmunk, April 24th 2019 2:10AM

I recently switched my major from CIS to EE, and I feel like I made a mistake because everyone says CIS is where it's at - in terms of jobs and just the general landscape of the world. Would love to hear from EE majors :)


I'm in MEAM so I got the opinion of my friend in EE:

"I agree that there are many more high paying jobs in engineering available for people with a CIS skillset, however being an EE major does not exclude you from getting these jobs or interviews if you have the skills required (you'll probably have to teach yourself tho). I've found that people view EE as more rigorous than CIS so it will actually differentiate you since there are so few people doing EE. That being said, just study what you want to study and you'll end up in a job/career/classes that you'll find most worthwhile."

Angsty Armadillo, April 14th 2019, 10:09pm

Advice on studying abroad / whether it is worth it / how to make the most out of your experience?


I spent this spring abroad, and it was definitely worth it! It's a great experience to get away from the everyday constancy of Penn, immerse yourself in a different national and school culture, and see new places and things - even if it does mean leaving friends and hitting some of the "exchange student stereotypes."

From my own experience and things I wish I'd done, here are a list of recommendations to make the most out of your experience abroad!

Academics
- Make sure you know what you can/can't get credit for in advance of even applying!
- Talk with Penn Abroad, your own advisors, family and friends, to decide on a place to apply. Some schools abroad have really strong programs in certain departments, and others offer diversity in courses that Penn might not.
- Be familiar with the school systems in your countries of interest. Some European or English schools, for example, don't give you as much flexibility with electives as Penn might - and differences in assessment work too. (Ex: I've had no midterms this semester, but all my grades depend on a single final assignment. Yikes.)
- Make sure you can graduate. < This is important.

Travel
- Yes, the abroad stereotype! Wholeheartedly recommend at least visiting somewhere new, whether that's a new country with a new language, a special event or celebration, or just somewhere really cool.
- Plan and book in advance, don't leave having regrets.
- Go with friends - either meet people abroad (other exchange students will probably be more down) or grab friends from Penn who are abroad.
- Consider solo-tripping: spend anywhere from a couple days to a week or so on your own traveling - it can be pricier and definitely more lonely, but for many people is a new and memorable experience.
- Visit something cool and new, or do something wild.
- Be informed about travel regulations and such abroad. Ex: Schengen area, when to get your passport stamped, RyanAir (lmao)

Everything Else
- Don't forget to experience the city and country you're in! It can be easy to miss some of those things especially if you're out having fun or at the library studying.
- Make sure to call home!
- Don't get too much FOMO :)

That being said, there can be a lot of reasons why abroad might not make sense. Either for financial (Penn financial aid carries over, but doesn't factor in costs of travel or fluctuating exchange rates), academic, or personal reasons, if you don't have the full flexibility to spend a semester away, don't stretch yourself too thin for it (a lot of students don't go abroad). Penn Global Seminars and Penn Summer Abroad are other options to look into!

Bovine Bear, April 14 2019, 6:23 PM

How far are CAS classes from the Hill? (Econ major here)


Many of the classes are pretty close to each other. Intro Econ classes are usually held in Meyerson Hall, which is just across the street from Hill. Other classes within CAS won't necessarily be that close, but they will certainly be within a couple of blocks, which is super manageable.

Zesty Zebra, April 14, 2019,  6:57 PM

When do our classes come out for next semester?


Course selection for fall 2019 opens Wednesday, April 10th.

http://www.registrar.upenn.edu/

Pesky Penguin, April 9 2019 4:02 pm

What is Dear Penn Freshmen?


Dear Penn Freshmen is a collection of letters written by upperclassmen to their freshman year selves. For more information about how it was started and to see some examples, check out: http://dearpennfreshmen.com/

Pesky Penguin, April 4th 2019 5:31 pm

How can I get involved with cool side projects while at Penn?


There is a lot happening on campus. Here are some of the easiest ways to get involved with a cool side project:

  1. Join a club that gives you the resources to do something you're interested in https://upenn-community.symplicity.com/index.php?s=student_group
  2. Check out PENNovation - some of the startups based here are looking for undergrads to help out! https://www.pennovation.upenn.edu/the-community#innovators
  3. If you are in Wharton, apply to WAB's Passion Projects! https://groups.wharton.upenn.edu/wab/passion-projects/
Pesky Penguin, April 4th 2019, 5:28 pm

Can my advisor approve a 7 CU (Fall) schedule if I have a ~3.4 GPA but do well this semester? Sophomore here.


As the limit is 5.5, I feel that requesting 7 credits might be a stretch. Your advisor might be more comfortable allowing you to take 6. But my dear child, why on God's green earth would you want to? I am currently taking 6--I thought I was strong enough. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. It hurts. Immensely.
Unless you absolutely have to take more than the limit, don't go over the recommended 5.5 credits. You'll be happy you didn't.

Perky Puffin, April 1st 2019 6:47 PM

From experience (actually was in the exact same situation my sophomore year), almost certainly not. Engineering probably won't do it. Your best bet is to go for maybe a semester of less difficult courses and try and do well so it's more convincing to school administration. You likely need a good reason to take 7 (ex: graduation) to get it approved.

However, second to the above – unless you really need to, it's totally okay to never take 7 classes. I took a semester of 7 CU due to graduation/pre-req reasons (and had to petition for it – see here), and with fewer extracurricular commitments than other semesters it was still one of the most challenging things I've done, and I even took a class P/F there.

If you can get by with doing semesters of 6, whether that's through finding ways to satisfy requirements by double-counting or balancing out things, you might find yourself less stressed and happier! But you should definitely ask your advisor about your road to graduation, so you guys can figure out if that's necessary to do 7 – talking to mine helped a lot.

Bovine Bear, April 9 2019, 6:40 PM