As a new freshman student, you probably have lots of questions as you think about starting your first year in college. Here are a few of the most common questions that we receive about academics with answers! Feel free to give us a call or use our live chat if you have additional questions.


When do I get my schedule?

Schedules are created in the order in which the Academic Interest Forms are received. Advisors create, modify and change schedules throughout the summer as test results and additional course options become available.

Information on schedules will be discussed during the summer orientation and when you meet with your First-Year Experience (FYE) advisor during the August Welcome to Towson program.

What are Towson's graduation requirements?

Every student who attends Towson University must fulfill the following requirements in order to graduate:

  • complete university core curriculum requirements
  • fulfill requirements for a major (and minor, if desired)
  • maintain a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA
  • complete 32 upper-level units (300-400 level)
  • earn a minimum of 120 units

These requirements must be completed by the time you graduate. Some classes will fulfill both a Core Curriculum and a major requirement. Advisors take these requirements into consideration when developing your schedule.

What is the Towson University Core Curriculum and its requirements?

An enduring and distinctive aspect of undergraduate education in the United States is that it serves a greater purpose than simply providing basic occupational training. While pursuing their bachelor’s degree, students gain essential skills and knowledge that will be important throughout their lives.

Undergraduate education is designed to prepare students to deal with complexity, diversity, and change in their academic, professional and personal lives by:

  • Developing crucial skills, such as writing and communication, critical thinking, quantitative analysis, problem solving and creativity.
  • Exposing students to broad knowledge of the wider world through a general education curriculum that draws on multiple disciplines, coupled with in-depth study in a specific area of interest (a major).

Here at Towson University you can hone crucial skills and gain broad knowledge of the world through the Core Curriculum. Our Core Curriculum provides you with the flexibility to pursue individual interests and goals while also satisfying the general education requirements mandated by the State of Maryland (COMAR 13B.06.01.03) and achieving the educational effectiveness standards held by our accrediting body, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Our Core Curriculum includes 14 courses arranged in four categories:

  • Fundamentals: English composition, mathematics, creativity and creative development, and a Towson Freshman Seminar. Fundamentals courses are generally taken in the freshman or sophomore years of a student’s undergraduate program.
  • Ways of Knowing: one course in arts and humanities; one course in social and behavioral sciences; and two courses in biological and physical sciences (at least one course must include a lab).
  • Writing in a Chosen Field: an advanced writing seminar, typically taken by all students in their junior or senior year.
  • Perspectives: one course in each of the following: metropolitan perspectives; the United States as a nation; global perspectives; diversity and difference; and ethical issues and perspectives.

Specific courses that fulfill each core requirement can be found on the drop-down menu on the Academic Interest Form and at the Academic Advising Center website. Certain courses taken for Core Curriculum requirements may also be used to fulfill requirements of your major. What's more, many of the general education courses taken at a community college or another institution may be transferred to Towson University to fulfill the Core Curriculum requirements. To learn what courses are equivalent to those in our Core Curriculum, visit ARTSYS 

You will find that the Core Curriculum enriches your academic education, provides a foundation for life-long learning, enables you to be a better informed citizen, and helps you achieve career opportunities. Indeed, the benefits of the Core Curriculum are many.

Should I take all Core Curriculum courses in my first two years?

While it is generally a good idea to take many of your Core Curriculum courses early in your academic career, often it is best to combine Core courses with major requirements throughout your time at TU. Some students use the Core to explore options for a major. All Core Curriculum units are counted toward the graduation requirements, and most majors leave room for students to take additional electives. A suggested four-year schedule for each major is available in the undergraduate catalog.

When am I required to choose a major?

You are not required to declare your major when you enroll at Towson. You can be considered as an open/deciding major until you are ready to declare a specific major. Please indicate any majors of interest on your Academic Interest Form. You can change your major at a later time; students are encouraged to decide on a major by the time they have earned 45 units.

How do I keep track of all my requirements?

The 2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog will be your source of information throughout your time at Towson. The catalog includes all Towson University academic policies and regulations, including information and requirements for every major and descriptions of every course offered at the university. It also contains listings of campus resources, faculty members, and scholarships and honors available to students.

Access the catalog online for general information and course descriptions to aid you in completing your Academic Interest Form. You will be assigned a First-Year Experience (FYE) adviser who will be listed on your course schedule. You will work with your adviser to develop an academic plan that will help and guide you through your first year at TU. You can use this form to plan and keep track of your requirements.

Do I need Placement Testing?

All students are required to take a math placement test to determine their appropriate math level and course. While schedules will be made on a first-come, first-serve basis, students will not be enrolled in a math class or a major-related science class until they have completed testing. Find out more about Math Placement Testing

TU is test-optional for fall 2021, meaning test scores are not required. If you submit test scores, your SAT and ACT scores must be sent from the testing agency to be considered official. We will not accept test scores reported on high school transcripts. 
Test ID for SAT:  5404
Test ID for ACT: 1718

All admitted freshman with a SAT score less than 550 in evidence-based reading and writing, or an ACT reading score less than a 21 are REQUIRED to take the reading placement test. A reading placement test score below 252 (i.e 251 and below) in NEXT Generation (ACCUPLACER) will require a student to enroll in and complete REED 102. Unless exempt, all transfer students with fewer than 30 credits are required to take the reading placement test.

If you would like to take foreign language courses in Spanish or German, you are required to take a foreign language placement test.

All placement testing should be completed as soon as possible so that Academic Advisors can create your schedule using testing results.

If you re-take the math placement test, you must email  with your new score. 

What if I have taken AP/IB or college level classes?

If you expect to receive AP or IB or college credit for courses you have taken in high school, please include this information on your Academic Interest Form.

Scores for AP exams taken in May are not received by Towson until late July therefore to ensure that you are registered for a math class, please take the math placement test even if you anticipate AP or IB credit. Your schedule will be reviewed upon receipt of your score(s) and the higher placement will be used.

A list of eligible classes and scores is available in the Undergraduate Catalog. The Office of Admissions (410-704-2113) will award the appropriate credit.