4-year Plan


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4-year Plan

First Year (1-30 credits)

  • Plan to graduate in four years by following the 30-60-90 Student Success Roadmap
  • Learn the academic system by reviewing the UMD Catalog, class schedule, liberal education requirements, major requirements and course prerequisites.
  • Explore your interests, skills, personality and values. Consider taking the Strong Interest Inventory, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator or StrengthsQuest available in Career and Internship Services
  • Explore possible career choices using the Career Resource Center"What Can I Do With This Major", the UMD Graduate Follow-up Report, which lists what recent UMD graduates are doing, the UMD and local libraries, conducting informational interviews, and attending job fairs.
  • Consider tentative major(s) by reading the UMD Catalog; talking with advisors, counselors, instructors, friends and family; taking various liberal education courses; and attending the annual UMD Major/Minor Fair.
  • Study the UMD Catalog to learn about resources on campus
  • Visit Career and Internship Services to become familiar with the services offered.
  • Get involved and begin the networking process. Participate in student activities, clubs, organizations or volunteer opportunities.
  • Enroll in major core courses with the help of advisor, faculty and/or counselors.
  • Do your best academically.
  • Become familiar with academic standards necessary for acceptance into some majors.
  • Seek help for difficult courses from the instructors, department tutors and/or campus tutors.
  • Write your resume.  Resume samples are available in the UMD Career Handbook and a resume review service is available in Career and Internship Services.
  • Begin building your portfolio.
  • Summer
    • Get experience.
    • Get a job and/or do volunteer work that will provide you with an opportunity to learn about a career that interests you.

Second Year (31-60 credits)

  • Continue exploring your interests, values, personality and skills.
  • Continue to research majors and career fields of interest to you.
  • Sign up for group and/or individual career counseling in Career and Internship Services.
  • Continue to study the UMD Catalog and learn the academic system.
  • Complete introductory courses in prospective major field.
  • Maintain a strong GPA.
  • If required, prepare and apply for acceptance into your desired major.
  • Join organizations related to your interest areas.
  • Attend job fairs and/or graduate and professional school fairs.
  • Establish tentative goals.
  • Explore potential careers through informational interviews with professionals employed in your area(s) of interest.
  • Develop relationships with academic advisors, faculty and key administrators. These people will potentially serve as references during your applications for scholarships, internships, graduate school and full-time career opportunities.
  • Update your resume and your portfolio. It will be so much easier if you keep both of these up to date.
  • Register with GoldPASS, for information on internships and full-time career opportunities.
  • Summer
    • Get a job and/or do volunteer work in an area of your interest.
    • Develop skills.
    • Build a good work reputation.
    • Get involved in community activities.

Third Year (61-90 credits)

  • Explore your major by enrolling in several required courses.
  • Choose upper division electives outside of your major to enhance your qualifications and complete degree requirements (consider minors).
  • Research industries, companies and internships.
  • Plan and implement an internship, field or clinical experience.
  • Check graduate school requirements including entrance test requirements and deadlines. Information is available from Career and Internship Services.
  • Continue to maintain a strong GPA.
  • Expand your own professional network through club activities, student chapters of professional organizations, family, faculty and staff. Inform people of the kind of opportunity you seek.
  • Continue to interview professionals working in your field(s) of interest for information and to establish a network of contacts.
  • Research graduate school possibilities, their application procedures and deadlines.
  • Attend job fairs and/or graduate and professional school fairs.
  • Prepare to take appropriate graduate school admissions tests.
  • Attend workshops on resume writing, interviewing and other job search information.
  • Update your resume and your portfolio.
  • Update your registration with GoldPASS, and review internship and full-time career opportunities.
  • Practice and refine your interviewing skills.
  • If planning on attending graduate or professional school, check application and exam deadlines.
  • Summer
    • Try out work or an internship in your chosen field.
    • Continue to test career decisions.
    • Compile inventory of interest and qualifications.
    • Take appropriate graduate school admissions tests.

Fourth Year (90-120+ credits)

  • Ask faculty and employers to be references for you.
  • Complete course requirements for major field and graduation requirements.
  • Participate in an internship, field or clinical experience.
  • Begin your job or graduate school hunt early.
  • Plan and conduct a thorough job search.
  • Apply during fall semester to graduate or professional programs.
  • Attend workshops on resume writing, interviewing and other job search information. Learn how to market yourself.
  • Practice interviewing.
  • Research businesses and/or organizations where you might like to work.
  • Sign up for on-campus interviews.
  • Discuss career opportunities with faculty and counselors.
  • Continue networking, cultivating contacts and talking with professionals in your field of interest.
  • Attend job fairs and/or graduate and professional school fairs.
  • Update your resume and portfolio, and craft a cover letter.
  • Meet with a career counselor for assistance with your job or graduate school search and for review of your resume, cover letter or personal statement.
  • Send letters of application and inquiry to prospective employers.

Additional Resources