As first-years, so much of what we do is a new experience – attending the first career fair, working the first T-account problem, preparing for the first case interview. However our academic schedule this year isn’t just a new experience for the first-years; it’s a new experience for McCombs faculty and administration as well!
This year, McCombs has launched a new curriculum intended to affect the classes from 2011-forward. The major change is that our first semester of the first year (August – December) is broken in to two quarters (August – October, October – December). Instead of taking five 3-credit classes in our first semester, we take four 2-credit classes in the first quarter, and four 2-credit classes in the second quarter. The breakdown is:
Semester 1, Quarter 1
Semester 1, Quarter 2
Our second semester is then a mix of 2-credit and 3-credit classes. Our second year will be “back to normal,” with 5 courses/semester.
The new curriculum is designed to be more flexible – it’s the first time that first-years have been able to chose an elective in their first semester. For this elective, we’re given a choice between Valuation, Analysis of Markets or Negotiations. In this sense, we’ll have more concentration-specific experience to speak to in our internship interviews. The administration also made a major push to better integrate and coordinate material across the courses. For example, our marketing professor will not go into an in-depth explanation of regression models, because he/she knows that we already covered regression in our Statistics course.
As someone who steered away from quantitative material in undergrad, I would describe the new curriculum as: INTENSE. For many of us, returning to school and studying full-time is a major adjustment. This, coupled with the fast-pace curriculum definitely keeps us on our feet. The first couple of weeks have flown by, and we’re already approaching finals in two weeks. While I’m learning a lot, I think I’ll need a lot of sleep at the end of Q1 to fully absorb everything. While it’s fair to say that the 2011 students are guinea pigs, I know that the administration had the best intentions in changing the curriculum, and I also know that this hard work will pay off in the end.