Loyola University Chicago

First and Second Year Advising

Student Academic Services

4-Year Planning

Once you have selected a few study abroad programs that you are interested in, you can begin the process of creating a four-year plan to include studying abroad. We recommend that you create a four-year plan for each study abroad program that you are considering, so that you are able to compare them.

Use this blank four-year plan document to get started: Four Year Plan.

Steps for Completing a Four-Year Plan

  1. Have a list of all your requirements: Core, major(s), school, and minor(s) if applicable. You can find these lists by referring to the department websites, your academic advisor, or your Academic Requirements Report on LOCUS.
  2. Look up all the prerequisites for your major and minor requirements. You can do this by searching in the Catalog or course schedule on LOCUS.
  3. Determine when the courses for your major and minor are typically offered. Some courses may only be offered in the fall semester, while others may only be offered in the spring semester. You can find this information by looking at the courses offered in past semesters because course offerings remain fairly consistent from year to year. Additionally, this information is usually available on department websites.
  4. Add up the credit hours for all of these requirements and subtract the total from 120. The remaining number is the number of credits of general electives you will need to graduate. If all your requirements add up to more than 120, then you will not need any credits of general electives.
  5. Write the courses for each of the semesters onto the four-year plan, taking into account all of the prerequisites and when the courses are offered. Attempt to average about 15 credit hours a semester.
  6. Check over the four-year plan to make sure that you have included all of your requirements.
  7. Once you have created your four-year plan, or if you need any help along the way, make an appointment with your academic advisor to review your four-year plan and discuss your options.

Tips for Creating Your Four-Year Plan

  • Think about when you would like to take your general electives. Some people like to save them for their junior or senior year, while others prefer to spread them out over their four years at Loyola. As previously mentioned, fulfilling major, minor, and Core classes abroad is not guaranteed. Studying abroad is a great opportunity to take unique and interesting electives, therefore you may want to save some electives for your time abroad.
  • Each semester, try to balance the courses for your major, Core, minor, and school (e.g. two Core courses, two major courses, and one elective).
  • You will need to be enrolled full time while studying abroad. For fall and spring semester programs, full-time status is at least 12 credit hours. For six-week summer session programs, full-time status is at least 6 credit hours.
  • Your academic advisor may be able to approve study abroad courses for Artistic, Literary, or Societal and Cultural Knowledge Core areas. Courses at the Beijing, Rome, and Vietnam Centers do not need prior approval.