Choose Your Plan

When you first begin your Suffolk undergraduate career, four years may seem like a long time, but it's not. The semesters will fly by and before you know it, you will graduate. Having a plan from the start is important to keep you on track and motivated throughout your time at Suffolk.

Plans by Year

Your first year is all about exploration and the best person to help you make the most of your first year is your academic advisor. Get to know campus resources, learn about different opportunities, and think about what you want to accomplish while you are in college.

Adjust to College Classrooms

Are you being challenged?

There are infinite combinations of majors, minors, and courses at Suffolk. Talk to an advisor about what you have learned so far, what you like, what you might want to try. Advisors can help you explore courses, majors and minors you didn't know existed. You may also have to option to enroll in honors courses if you need more of a challenge.

Are you reading the syllabi?

You need to read each syllabus from front to back for every class you take. Ask questions for clarification within the first week if something on the syllabus is not clear. Otherwise, you may miss key requirements or expectations and make poor choices that affect your grade.

Are you participating in class?

Participation is a key to being successful. Learning to be a contributor in different types of courses as well as working with different students and faculty takes time, but is essential to you growing as a student and having a full understanding of the academic material you are studying.

Create Good Study Habits

  • Study hours: For every hour spent in class, you should spend two hours studying. For a three credit class that meets for three hours a week, we expect you to spend at least six hours studying.
  • Assigned Reading: You will never catch up if you don't read all the chapters for each class every week. All faculty expect that you are reading along with the assigned text so you can be a an active participant in class (or they wouldn't have you buy a book). We is on the test.
  • Support: A bad habit would be waiting until you fall behind or right before a midterm or final to visit a tutor. Services are best used in small doses throughout the semester. Call the Center for Learning & Academic Success (CLAS) the moment you have difficulty. Waiting and trying to "work hard" over the weekend is never the solution.

Seek Help if You Need it

  • Faculty Office Hours: Your faculty sets aside time each week to be available for questions or discussion. Take advantage of your professor's office hours. Generally, their office hours will be listed on the syllabi for the course. Attending office hours is a great way to not only get individual extra help but to also get to know your professor's outside of the classroom. Faculty will be a fantastic resource for you throughout your time in college for academic and career advice. If you ever need a recommendation letter for a job or for graduate school, you will need a faculty member to ask.
  • Tutoring & Academic Support: The Center for Learning & Academic Success (CLAS) offers free group and individual tutoring for students in all subjects. Take advantage of this great resource!

Explore Majors & Minors

Most students change their minds as they get involved, meet new people, and take classes. Even if you think you know your major, spend time making sure. Maybe there is a minor or special elective courses that would compliment your major. Review our steps for choosing your major.

Start Planning for the Future

You are expected to learn your curriculum and degree requirements during your first year. Make a tentative four year plan of your required courses by using educational planning tools, such as your Program Evaluation, a multi-year planning grid, and the Undergraduate Academic Catalog.

Advisors are here to help you plan out your course requirements. They want to know more about your other goals for college, including internships, studying abroad, joining student organizations, or applying for leadership goals. Invite them to help you incorporate your goals into your plan.

Plan for Study Abroad

Attend a Study Abroad information session. information session. Tell your advisor where and when you want to travel. We can help you figure out the most appropriate time for you to study abroad to accommodate your major requirements while also helping you plot out other goals such as internships and your graduation.

Connect with Faculty

Your faculty expect you to learn in and outside of the classroom. Faculty who see you participate in class, and who work with you one-on-one will be a resource to you in the future as a mentor or as a recommendation for a job or graduate school. Continue to make connections with faculty in your major.

Join Clubs and Organizations

Yes, we said it again, get involved.

Attend Campus Events

Many of your faculty volunteer to help create these choices, so talk to faculty and advisors to learn more about campus events and guest speakers. Many of these events are free for Suffolk students. Read your email. You have probably already been invited.

Declare Your Major

Declaring your major during sophomore year allows you to finalize your four year plan and incorporate all the items on your personal checklist before you graduate. Seek opportunities for internships and interesting electives within your major department.

Begin Your Career Plan

This four year plan is designed to streamline your access to a job after graduation. Begin early.

By junior year, you should be more involved with your major courses and really getting to know your faculty within your major department. You may have just returned from studying abroad. You may have just signed a lease on your first apartment. By now, you should have a good working relationship with your academic advisor, but if not, there's still time. Email the Undergraduate Academic Advising Center and connect.

Get an Internship

No matter what your major, internships are crucial for getting experience in your field of study and landing that important first job. Some majors require you to complete an internship as part of your graduation requirements. Even if an internship is not required for your major, students should plan to complete multiple internships during their time at Suffolk. This will give you varied experience and will also make your resume much more attractive to your future employers. Update your resume and bring it to the Career Development Center for assistance with editing.

Consider Graduate School

If you think you want to continue your education after you graduate from Suffolk, now is the time to start seriously planning. Visit our pre-professional advising page for information about entrance exams, (LSAT, GRE, GMAT, MCAT) and application processes. You can also attend a personal statement workshop at the Center for Learning & Academic Success (CLAS).

Connect with Your Faculty Advisor

Your faculty advisor is a key resource for you. Faculty advisors will give you valuable advice about career opportunities within your major, concentrations within your major, or graduate study. Your faculty advisor should not simply be the person you visit to have your course schedule approved twice a year. You should make time to meet with your faculty advisor regularly and ask questions. Find out more about their professional path and their experiences.

Maintain a Good GPA

Junior year can be a difficult year academically, as you are now beginning to take more upper level classes and often balancing part-time jobs, internships, or other extracurricular activities. It is important to maintain a good GPA, both in your major and overall. Employers will want to see academic achievements as well as professional ones.

Evaluate Your Career Goals

Meet with an advisor in the Undergraduate Academic Advising Center to map out your remaining courses to ensure that you are on track for your intended graduation date. This way, there will be no surprises when it comes time to apply for graduation next year.

We told you that four years would fly by! Reflect on your experiences, achievements, and accomplishments over the past years. Don't let the excitement of your anticipated graduation derail all that you've accomplished. As your undergraduate career winds down, you can start planning for graduation with your academic advisor with your academic advisor.

Refine Your Resume

Update your resume and begin interviewing. Begin to finalize your post-graduate plans. By senior year you should have experiences to write about and stories to tell, but do not get lazy and stop adding new experiences. It is important to show future employers or future graduate admissions offices that you maintained a good GPA while continuing to be involved throughout your four years. Meet with a career advisor to perfect your resume and cover letter.

Attend a Career Fair

The Career Center offers career fair opportunities, so you can meet and speak with potential employers. Make sure that you also check out their website for important sessions and information about Career Fest in the fall.

Confirm Your Graduation Requirements

During first semester of senior year, schedule an appointment for a graduation plan with an advisor in the Undergraduate Academic Advising Center. Advisors will help you review your remaining classes and credits. It is your responsibility to understand all of your degree requirements, so do not wait until the last minute.

Apply to Graduate

All students must formally apply to graduate through the Office of the Registrar. If you are planning to graduate after Spring semester, you must apply to graduate by February 1st.

If you are planning to graduate after Fall semester, you must apply to graduate by October 1st.

Apply through your Workday Student account. 

What's Next?

Have you accepted a job offer? Are you still interviewing? Are you waiting on a graduate or law school acceptance letter? No matter what your plans are for the future, remember that Suffolk will remain a support system for you, even after you graduate. That is why it is important to maintain those connections you have made with faculty, get in touch with our alumni office, and continue to stay connected.