What is Direct Admission?
Whenever you visit a larger school you’re likely to hear this phrase Direct Admission.This practice is not a new thing in college admissions. The engineering and pharmacy schools at Rutgers allowed it 36 years ago when I started college.Lately the opportunity for direct admission has asp extended into undergraduate colleges of business, public policy and journalism.
What is direct admission?
It means that freshmen apply to and gain admission to the college they want to enroll. They are not placed in a non-degree “university college” or the college of arts and sciences where they must complete a general education core before they can go into the school of their choice.
Is direct admission a good thing?
It is, for students who know exactly what they want, and especially if they have earned advanced standing to waive some general education requirements. Such students would have the opportunity graduate earlier or to take more courses of their choice. Direct admission means more time to complete major requirements as well as take electives. This helps make for an enriching, as well as resume-building experience.
It’s not such a good thing for students who are not sure of what they want.
Suppose a student enters with more than one interest, say business and pre-law. This is quite common for an 18 year old with little exposure to corporate settings or law offices. Instead of entering undecided and working with an academic advisor. Suppose the student opts for direct admission to the business school. S/he will be jumping into a competitive group at an academic disadvantage. The classmates with the enthusiasm as well as the aptitude for business will be far ahead. Those who are less sure of themselves will fall behind unless they get help quickly. If they don’t, they will be shopping for a new major, or possibly a new school.
Is there an advantage to being undeclared instead of taking advantage of direct admission?
There is, if a student is down to two or three ideas that s/he would like to explore before committing to a major. For the most part, a student can gain admission to practically any major from an undeclared status except architecture, nursing or pharmacy. They’re lock-step programs where the heavy work starts in the the sophomore year.
Transfers into a college of engineering depend on available space. An entering freshman can take the first years of chemistry, physics and calculus without being enrolled in a college of engineering. But s/he might need a summer or an extra semester to take n freshman introductions to engineering that they might have missed.
Transfers into a college of business also depend on available space and how the freshman program is structured. The student might be able to jump into a marketing or finance major and still graduate on time. S/he might be behind if accounting is the choice. The introductory courses in financial and managerial accounting are the springboards into the intermediate and advanced courses.
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