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Fall Admitted Students

General Information, Prerequisites, and Placement Assessments

How courses are listed

Courses are listed with a department abbreviation and a three-digit number (e.g., ECON 110). A hyphen and a fourth number indicate a separate section of the same course (e.g., ECON 110-1, ECON 110-2).

To keep in mind while registering

If you cannot fit a certain course in your spring schedule, check with your advisor to see if it might be offered next year.

Be careful not to register for courses whose meeting times overlap. Look at the day and time before you finalize registration.

AP and IB Credits

If you have Advanced Placement credit or are part of the International Baccalaureate program, check to see which courses you are eligible to receive credit for. Click here for more information about AP and IB.

Test scores from this year

If the College’s registrar has not yet received your AP or IB test and you wish to take a course in that discipline, you should register for the lower-level course in the department in question. For example, if you took the AP Test in psychology, you should register for Psychology 110. Once we receive your score and determine that it satisfies our criteria, we will notify you so that you may change your schedule and enroll in the higher-level course – after consulting with your advisor, of course.

Lab sections

Courses with lab sections: If you register for courses with separate laboratory sections, you must register for both the lecture and the laboratory (e.g., BIOL 120L is the course for which BIOL 120X-1 or BIOL 120X-2 are the labs). The lecture and laboratory together count as ONE of your four classes.

Mathematics: Quantitative Readiness Assessment

This assessment measures your quantitative readiness to study college-level mathematics and science. All new students are required to complete the assessment. 

 The assessment covers such topics as functions, college algebra, plane geometry, and basic trigonometry. The best review is to look back at your high school algebra, geometry, trigonometry and/or pre-calculus notes to refresh your memory on these topics. In addition,

  • You will be given 55 minutes to complete 28 multiple choice questions
  • You should plan to have an uninterrupted period of about 60 minutes, free from distractions, in which to log on and take the assessment
  • No calculators are allowed but a pencil and scratch paper are encouraged
  • You should not receive assistance with any questions on the assessment. Such assistance will invalidate the results and may lead to incorrect advising. You do not want to find your way into a college-level calculus class if you are not adequately prepared. 

If you have any questions about the assessment, please contact Julia Berkowitz- Coordinator for the Quantitative Resource Center:  berkowitz@lakeforest.edu


Biology: Entry to Biology 120, Organismal Biology  (required for biology and neuroscience majors and minors, and health professions)

Depending upon any transfer credits, you may be required to take Biol 120 or Chem 115. Chem 115 is not offered in the spring, so please consult with your advisor for appropriate course selections and whether you would be required to take a science placement assessment.

See sample course sequences on the biology requirements page.

Questions about majoring in biology? Consult the transfer advisor, Professor Ann Maine at maine@lakeforest.edu.

Chemistry: Entry to Chemistry 115, Chemistry I
(required for chemistry, biology and neuroscience majors and minors, and health professions)

Transfer students who have completed Chemistry 115 should enroll in Chemistry 116. Those who have completed Mathematics 110 should enroll in Mathematics 111. Those who have completed Physics 110 or 120 should enroll in Physics 111 or 121.

Depending upon any transfer credits, you may be required to take Biol 120 or Chem 115. These courses are not offered in the spring, so please consult with your advisor for appropriate course selections and whether you would be required to take a science placement examination.

Students can complete the requirements for the chemistry major in four years regardless of placement in the first year. 

Questions about majoring in chemistry? Consult the transfer advisor, Professor Jason Cody at cody@lakeforest.edu.

Pre-Health Professions: recommended courses

Entrance requirements at most medical and health professional schools include one year or more of course work in biology, two years in chemistry (including organic chemistry), one year of physics, statistics and/or calculus, and English.  In some cases, psychology, economics, sociology, and additional biology courses also may be required. The ideal health care provider understands how society works and can communicate and write well. Speaking a second language such as Spanish is also desirable in the health professions, as are extracurricular experiences. Although students can major in any discipline, you should enjoy and do well in the sciences.

Regardless of your intended major and career goals in health care, it is important to begin the chemistry requirement in your first year of study by taking Chemistry 115 in the first semester, depending on results of the science placement test. If you are placed into Chemistry 114 instead of 115, it is still possible to pursue the health professions, but it may be exceptionally challenging to schedule your advanced courses as a result of the delay. It also is typical for the first year pre-health student to take Biology 120 and sometimes mathematics along with introductory chemistry. Click here for more information. Also, be sure to attend the pre-health orientation session to be held at the start of the fall semester.

Modern Languages and Literatures: recommended courses


If you plan to study Chinese, consult with Professors Ying Wu regarding which course to take. 


If you plan to study German, consult with Professor Richard Fisher regarding which course to take.

French and Spanish

For students who have had language courses in the past, we ask that you take a placement assessment.  Don’t worry! The placement exam will not be part of any grade, but it helps us put you in the right level language course. Your score will be e-mailed to you and will be available to the Modern Languages and Literatures Department. You can access it here. Your password is pizza.

If you have not had prior coursework in the language, register for FREN 110 or SPAN 111.  If you are a heritage speaker of Spanish, register for SPAN 313.

Students transferring AP credit: With an exam score of 3, you may start at 210 in the fall; a score of 4 may start at 212 in the spring, or FREN 220 in the fall (or potentially 300 level French or Spanish in the fall with permission of instructor); with a score of 5, you should register for a 300-level course.

Questions? Email the Modern Languages and Literatures Department Chair, Professor Cynthia Hahn hahn@lakeforest.edu.


Education: recommended courses

If you indicated education as your first choice of major on your application, and your request was approved by the department chair, you will be assigned an education advisor.

The education major requires students to take specific courses at very specific times. Transfer students should register for Education 210 in the earliest semester possible. Failure to choose courses wisely could jeopardize successful completion of the major.

Education majors must also complete a second major in another department. Please review the education major advising sheets available on the department’s website.

Please note that all students must fulfill certain requirements during their first semester at Lake Forest in order to be approved as an education major. 

If you are even remotely considering the education major, you should inform your advisor of this possibility during the advising meeting. Contact Dr. Rachel Ragland, Chairperson, at ragland@lakeforest.edu for more information. 

Economics, business and finance: recommended courses

If you indicated economics, business or finance as your first choice of major, and your request was approved by the department chair, you will be assigned a business advisor.

Depending upon any transfer credits, the expected sequence for all three majors is almost identical in the first year. The first three courses to be taken should be Econ 110 (Principles of Economics) and Busn/Econ 180 (Quantitative Analysis), as well as a mathematics course.  Economics and finance majors are required to complete Math 110 (Calculus), while business majors are encouraged to complete Math 110 but may instead opt for Math 160 (Finite Mathematics). Please note that taking Math 160 will greatly reduce the number of upper-level electives that Business majors may take. These three courses should be completed by the end of the first year.

Questions about majoring in economics, business, or finance? Consult the transfer advisors Professor Rob Lemke lemke@lakeforest.edu, or Professor Jeff Sundberg jsundberg@lakeforest.edu.

Choosing a music course or lesson?

A student may register for music ensembles and/or private lessons in addition to four other course credits.

A student enrolling in music ensembles (Music 104-106: Choral Ensembles; Music 107: Concert Band; Music 108: Chamber Orchestra; Music 109: West African Drumming Ensemble; and Music 110: Jazz Ensemble) will earn 0.25 credit for every semester of participation. Music ensembles may also be taken for 0 credit if approved by the ensemble director. A student enrolling in private lessons (Music 111, 112, 211, 212, 311, 312, 411, and 412) will earn 1/2 course credit for each semester of private lessons. Music 150 is a pre- or co-requisite for lessons taken for credit, unless the music chairperson consents to waive this requirement. A student taking more than 4.75 credits during a semester will be billed an overload fee. Lessons can also be taken for no credit, in which case a fee is charged per lesson.

Questions about taking a music course or lesson? Consult the department chair, Professor Nick Wallin, at wallin@lakeforest.edu, or your advisor.