Discover University The Sims 4 Articles

The Sims 4 Discover University: Guide to Academic Success

Presented by EA Game Changers

Getting into university is one thing; excelling in university is quite another. For most people, the joys of university lie in balancing work with pleasure. A little studying here, a little partying there, leading to an overall well-rounded university experience.

This guide is not for the casual university student. This guide will walk you through how to throw yourself completely into your education in order to achieve the best grades (and the best future) possible. Throw away your juice kegs and break out those textbooks because school is all you’re going to know for the next three terms.

For a breakdown on scholarships and applying to university, see our guide, Discover University: Applying to University!

Class Selections

Of course, it all starts with enrolling and selecting your degree and classes. No matter which degree you pursue, you’ll have to select up to 4 classes per term. Classes change every term so you’ll see new ones available every time you select your classes at the start of term. You can’t change which classes you’ll be taking for your degree; you can only choose the number of classes.

However, Sims have the option of enrolling in 1 elective each term. Electives are fun classes that focus on skills outside of your degree and you will be able to select which elective your Sim will take that term. There are all kinds of electives that span a wide variety of skills. Electives are fully integrated across all packs, so depending on which add-on content you have installed, you may see different electives for skills from different packs.

Electives are optional; your Sim doesn’t need to take any electives at all, but if they do choose to take an elective, they can only take up to 3 other classes. Sims are limited to 4 classes per term in total, so either 4 classes, or 3 classes and 1 elective.

Our recommendation? Take 3 classes and 1 elective every term for maximum academic success. Electives still count as credits towards your degree so taking an elective doesn’t hurt your progress at all, plus your Sim will graduate with a few extra skills thanks to the electives they took.

Terms

One term last 5 working days. There is no way to shorten or lengthen a term. They are fixed periods. Sims can begin a new term anytime during the week, but weekends don’t count as term days. If your Sim starts a new term on a Friday, the term won’t end until Thursday the following week. Starting a new term in the middle of the week can be a good academic strategy for dedicated students because it will give them the weekend to catch up on homework and final assignments.

How many terms your Sim needs to complete in order to graduate is entirely dependent on how many classes they decide to take per term. A Sim needs to earn 12 credits in order to graduate.

Here is the breakdown of how many terms your Sim will need to complete based upon their classes:

  • 4 classes per term = 3 terms (15 working days)
  • 3 classes per term = 4 terms (20 working days)
  • 2 classes per term = 6 terms (30 working days)
  • 1 class per term = 12 terms (60 working days)

These calculations are based on the assumption that your Sim completes the same number of classes every term. It is possible to take a different number of classes each term (4 classes one term, 2 the next term, for example), in which case the number of terms needed to graduate will vary.

Even if a Sim only takes 3 terms to graduate, they will still spend the majority of their young adult life in university; however, unlike past Sims games, your Sims are not trapped on campus with no way to work or live a life outside of university. Sims can live wherever they want, have a job, and raise a family while going to school, so this balances things out. If the length of university is not ideal for your play style, we recommend turning aging off in the game options while your Sim is in university. That way, they don’t lose any time to climb a career ladder or pursue other life goals.

Of course, you will want to be taking 4 classes every term for maximum efficiency. Sims who don’t mind sacrificing their social life and plan to devote all their time to their studies should take a full course load every term.

Attending Classes

It’s important to actually attend class in order to get the most out of your university education. Missing class will hurt your grades. Sims in the area will autonomously try to get to class a little early. Sims who’ve arrived to class early will wait outside the building with the other early bird students. This can be a good time to get some last minute homework finished or to quickly finish the rest of that coffee and snack you purchased to-go at the cafe vendor.

While your Sim is inside the classroom rabbithole, they will have various options available to them by clicking on their portrait, much like the different work options for inactive careers. Click the class icon on the Sim’s portrait to see the various actions they can take in class. Sims can Actively Listen, Take Notes, Sleep in Class, or Chat with Friends. To get the most out of every class, make sure your Sim is taking notes or actively listening. I’m sure we don’t need to tell you that sleeping in class and chatting with friends are not good ways to improve your grades.

If you’re taking a full course load, it’s likely that your Sim will have more than one class in a day, or even back to back classes. Make sure to check the career panel often to keep track of your class schedule so you can budget your time for homework, finals, and self-care effectively.

Ideally, you will want your Sim to attend every single class with all of their homework completed and taking an active role in the class while they are there. This will ensure your Sim gets the most out of their classes and, in turn, gets the best grades at the end of term.

Homework

Every course your Sim takes has homework due before every class. When your Sim enrolls in university, they are automatically given a homework notebook in their personal inventory. Sims can complete homework for all their classes using this notebook. Homework takes some time to complete, but Sims with high enough Research & Debate skill complete homework faster.

Sims who stay on top of their homework and pay attention in class will get more out of attending classes and it will have a positive impact on their final grade. Always complete homework before every class and actively pay attention in class for maximum academic success.

Finals

In addition to homework that must be completed on a regular basis throughout the term, each class also has a final. Finals are very important and worth a large chunk of your grade. Skipping out on your finals will have a big negative impact on your final grade, so make sure you complete all of them.

Each class will have different requirements for its final. Some classes will require your Sim to write a term paper. Others have final exams and presentations. Look at your class schedule in the career panel to see what’s required of each class.

Exams

Exams take place during the last class of the term. If your Sim has done all their homework and attended all their classes, they’re likely to do well on their exam, but Sims can also study for a class using a course book purchased from the university kiosk, a computer, or research station to boost their chances of doing well on their exam.

Don’t miss your final exam! Failing to write the exam results in a big fat zero and will seriously hurt your final grade!

PSST! You can also cheat on your exam by selecting the option on your Sim’s portrait while they’re in the exam… but you would never do that… would you? Getting caught has serious consequences.

Term Papers

Term papers can be written on the computer under the University menu option. A Sim can write and submit a term paper for a class at any point during the term, so dedicated Sims might want to get these out of the way early.

Term papers take a long time to complete, but Sims with high enough Research & Debate skill complete term papers faster. The first draft of a term paper is usually poor quality. Your Sim can submit poor quality term papers, but f they want the best grade, they should spend some time editing their paper before they submit it.

Term papers can be edited until they are outstanding quality. You’ll receive a notification telling you that your term paper won’t benefit from any further editing once your Sim has increased its quality to outstanding. Scrolling over the term paper option in the computer’s menu will tell you the quality of the term paper.

When your Sim is satisfied with the quality of their paper, they can submit it using the computer.

PSST! You can also plagiarize your term papers by selecting the plagiarize option on the computer… but you would never do that… would you? Getting caught has serious consequences.

Presentations

Your Sim will receive a presentation board in their personal inventory at the start of term for any classes that have a presentation requirement as their final. Presentations function similar to term papers; your Sim will need to compile all of their material on the board, then refine the presentation board until it’s suitable to present in class.

To start, drag the presentation board out of your Sim’s inventory and into the world somewhere, then choose the Capture Information option on the board. Your Sim will spend some time compiling all their material for their presentation onto the board. When they’ve finished, they will have a poor quality presentation board. You can see the board’s quality by hovering over it.

Sims can improve the quality of their presentation by refining and organizing it, and asking other Sims for feedback on their presentation. They can also practice their presentation. Practicing presentations builds the Charisma skill. Once the board cannot be improved any further, you will receive a notification informing you that your Sim’s presentation board looks great and that continuing to fiddle with it won’t improve it any more.

When your Sim is satisfied with the quality of their presentation, they can go to class with the presentation board in their inventory and present it. Presentations do not take place during regular classes; your Sim must click on the class rabbithole and select the presentation option. Presentations can only be given during the day. Your Sim won’t be able to present in the middle of the night.

Final Grades & Starting a New Term

If your Sim has done all their homework, attended every class as an active participant, and completed all their finals with outstanding quality, they should have no trouble getting an A+ grade in every class. However, perfect grades don’t come easy. You’ll find that your Sim has little to no time for extracurricular activities, organizations, or socialising when they are taking 4 classes and trying to achieve an A+ grade in every single one of them. University is definitely a rewarding challenge in The Sims 4, just like in the real world.

Since grades aren’t given out until the end of term, it’s up to your Sim to take a proactive approach to finding out how they’re doing in their classes. They can visit their professors during their office hours or email them on the computer to get an idea of how they’re performing in their classes and how they can improve.

Once all coursework has been submitted, your Sim will be free to enjoy themselves (for once) while their final grades are being processed. Once the final grades are in, you’ll receive a popup with all your final grades for each class, as well as your overall GPA.

From there, you can choose to enroll in another term right away, or take some time off before starting a new term. If your Sim has any scholarships, they must enroll in a new term immediately or they will lose their scholarships. Tuition costs for the new term will be handled at this point as well. Sims can pay with household funds or take out a loan to pay any tuition costs for the new term that scholarships don’t cover.

Your Sim will also be given the opportunity to make different housing arrangements at the start of each new term. They can choose to stay wherever they are currently living, or move somewhere else. This change does not happen right away. Your Sim will have about a day left in their old residence, which gives them an opportunity to pack up any personal items they may have purchased for their living space. A small “Packing Up” event will occur a couple hours before the move to remind your Sim to gather up their things, too.

As long as your Sim continues on the path to success they started in their first term, all their future terms are bound to result in perfect A+ grades across the board. Keep doing that homework, working on those finals, and paying attention in class!


Have any tips of your own for academic success? Share them with us in the comments or come chat with us on social media!

About the author

SnarkyWitch

A cranky old lady who prefers the company of cats and Sims over people. Occasionally peeks out from her lair long enough to chuck Sims articles at innocent bystanders.

60 Comments

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  • Thanks for the explanation on how the academic portion of this pack works! <3 I really like that you can ask others for feedback on your presentation before you turn it in! :)

    • I have to say, I did not want a uni pack at all before Discover University was announced. I never liked uni in past games, but I’ve completely changed my mind now. This expansion is a total game-changer!

      • Yeah I’m actually looking forward to this pack too. Prepped my game for what sims I want in dorms and who to commute. Also made a fraternity and sorority using GTG so they can function in the background. The dorms look lively and I like that roommates don’t have to be part of the household plus can have their own quirks. I think this pack brings some challenge. Some people were complaining that recent packs didn’t provide that and simmers can make this pack as challenging or as relaxing as they want especially if they have aging on. Plus I’m so happy that going to other dorm rooms where a player is at doesn’t involve a loading screen which was a concern of mine since they were using a similar format from CL. I wished CL apartments had been like the dorms but I think it shows the team is learning from past packs.

  • I hope modders can extend each term. So I could spend my university life doing classes, socializing, then switching between hhs for longer time..

    • How do you know which building your sims class is in? I send them to one building to wait so they will be early to class only to find that their class was on the other side of campus. They receive bad grades when they are late for classes and will get an F if they miss or are late for finals.

  • I thought there was only one word you needed to learn in order to succeed at college: PLAGIARIZE. Plagiarize! Let no one else’s work evade your eyes! Remember why the good Lord made your eyes, so don’t shade your eyes, but plagiarize, plagiarize, plagiar…oh, but always be remembering to be calling it, please, “research.”

    • Ghah I had this problem too and never found a solution. :( But I was using debug cheats so I figured it was due to that. I wasn’t able to find the presentation board anywhere, not even the debug menu.

      Did you leave the board somewhere? If so, it’s probably still wherever you left it.

  • how do you do the final presentation of your board? you say to click on the class rabbit hole, but I don’t know what you exactly mean. If I click on the buildings, it doesn’t show it, and while in class, I can’t choose a present option. So I am unsure of what you mean. Please help, I don’t want my sims to fail <3

    • I don’t recall between what hours it is, but you can just click on the board (either from the inventory or out of it and it should have “Give Presentation” as an option once you’ve finished working on it.

    • I was able to present in class by clicking on my finished board in my inventory, too, so try that if the rabbithole isn’t working. It’s possible you might have the wrong building, too. I’m always mixing up where my classes are on campus lol.

    • As soon as you start making your presentation board when you click on it you get the options to reorganize which improves it. You also get the option to complete the presentation by clicking on the board itself but only during certain hours. After 8 am. It should be an option just greyed out if it’s outside the hours.

  • When it says completing 2 classes every term will make your sim do 6 terms, does that mean 2 classes pertaining to their major? Or just 2 classes in general (1 major class and 1 elective, for example)?

  • So my sim finished uni but the class schedule pop up hasnt gone and the sim hasnt had a grdauation and hasnt recieved her diploma… and cant get a job. any tips?

  • Help! My sim moved in with a pre made sim and it says he has finished all his credits but still does not have his degree. I don’t know how to get him a degree, and it says he cannot enroll right now (because he still didn’t technically graduate I guess).

  • I moved my sim from the dorm room to a normal residential lot. the presentation board was always in his inventory but when I moved in I wasn’t able to access it. The game kept on telling me it wasn’t his board.
    I want my sim to do well in uni and if I don’t complete things his grade goes down. do you know if I can buy a new one or if I can use a cheat?

  • Hi, just back into the game after a long time away. Had to try the Uni. Very interesting! I started one of my Sims to take a Degree in Psychology, and 4 4 papers per term. Was I in for a shock!!! With no idea what to do, took some time to work it out. Once thou I had made it through OK. Now playing another Sim [Academic Aspiration] 2 main subjects and an elective. Doing much better and its easier! Couple of question, 1 if you wait till near the end of term tp hand in a paper/presentation does it make the grading better, likewise does the timing of doing homework ie. attend a few classes then do it, or right at the start?
    Best wish’s from another gamer who began playing this from it’s release.
    Sam the poet [New Zealand]

  • I’m playing now and even tho I’ve done all the homework correctly and on time, my sim’s mom still comes to “scold for cheating”??? It doesn’t happen as often once I moved my sim on-campus (she lived at home for the first term) but it happened again once when she came to visit? Is this just a generic interaction for parent-children or a glitch?

  • My sim is living in a dorm on the Foxbury campus. I just had my first term and found it a bit much when I got the ‘sign up for new classes’ notification immediately. Can I still live in my dorm if I wait a couple of days before enrolling in new classes? Or is that not possible? Because my term also starts on a thursday, and I’d like for it to start on monday/tuesday so I have the weekend before finals to wrap things up and study.

  • I’m trying to write a term paper for my sim, but none of the computers have the option to do so! Has anyone else experienced this?

  • Hi again SnarkyWitch. There’s a major glitch! [BUG] in the game! I played a couple [One from ‘other player’ who I brought into my game who was attending Uni] She joined him as a room mate, in his home off campus. Being BF’s and were attracted to each other becoming boy/girl friends. They progressed through to graduation, becoming engaged the night before grad. By this time I’d spent many hours in this game! In fact was my major game.
    After they attend graduation [On campus] when they go home afterwards, off campus [I guess the pack-up and move out thing time if you play a Sim on campus] The game crash’s and you get this 102:6ee24dd4:4e6f578f. You can no longer play them! So after many hours in my Fav game I lost all the work I’d done, let alone how I felt!! This should be pointed out to all players.

  • If you miss the pop-up with your end of term grades, is there a way to see them again? I went to a different family just for a few minutes and when I came back I had the “you need to enroll in the next term now” message, but no grades. But my overall GPA dropped so I know I didn’t do well in something.

  • I have a question: how exactly do I attend guest colleges? When I hover over it says: click on college room to attend guest college… but how exactly?

    (Ps: I have translated the text from Dutch so it could be worded a bit different)

    • In the English version, they’re called “guest lectures,” and I think you can only attend them during certain hours of the day. Click on the class building and it’ll give you the option.

  • Hello! If a player decides to leave a household with a university student sim to attend to another household, what advice can you give so that when the player come back to it later, the marks the sim gets are not too bad?

  • Does anyone know what you need to do to be able to cheat on schoolwork and not get caught? I get caught with my evil sim every single time and that just isn’t very real to life.

  • I’m REALLY confused about final exams and when and why they sometimes don’t get taken? For example, my Sim went to the last class of the term, but didn’t “take” the final? But he attended. I even got the message that said he got a lot out of class that day since I was there right on time. But the final exam is left unchecked in the task menu when he came out of the class, and now the class is now over. Can someone explain how the final exams actually work? And how to know when and where to take the final? Is there a place to tell EA Sims Community? I can’t find the right forum/feed for this issue. I don’t have mods. I just need tips on how to make it work??

  • For the biggest thing that I am having trouble getting my head around is this GPA/grade average thing as is does not make much sense to me, for example, my Sims grade from the last term was A+, C+, A-, A+ = A-?

    Now I never was any good at this average thing but I thought if you got two or more grades of A+ then you got an A, posable A+, not an A_, it just does not make any sense to me at all.

  • My sim went to class on her final day, but didn’t take the final exam. So even though I’d done all the homework and gone to every class and taken note I failed the class cause it said she didn’t take the final. How do I take finals?

    • I did get exactly the same issue with all of my 3 sims that are enrolled in Foxbury. They were all on probation from the previous semester (not enough work, well deserved) so I made them work double but yet the final exam didn’t happen, just like a normal class instead and they all got expelled. Maybe a bug that will be fix in a later patch?

  • hi, i have a little problem and think is an EA bug. when my sim try to convincing other to make homework they agree but after taking the notebook they put again back in inventory. Dont have mod/cc, tryed also repair game. Desk are clear and the area around too, and dont have modified any dorm, all are the original one.

  • I’ve had my sim email his professors and they told him there is room for improvement before final grades. He does all his homework and goes to class, so I don’t know what else I need him to do to “improve” to better his grade before term ends. Does anyone have any ideas?

  • I am still having trouble getting my college sims to get good grades, their skills are up, they study, they do their homework, and all required, they go to class and take notes and listen actively. But still at the end of the semester it fails them. I have no clue what to do more. Any ideas or suggestions?

    • I’m not positive, but I think if their skill level starts off too high, then they have no room for improvement and so they fail. This is what I think happened to my sims.

      If you do two classes at a time, they would take two pairs of classes for one skill (4 total). When they enter the university, I try to start them at skill level 3 or 4. Then after the first round, they should be up to a 6 or 7, and for the second round, they should max the skill.

      Or if they enter the university at a higher level, you would have to take all 4 classes with that skill to max it out in one round, I THINK.

      • Forget that last part about the 4 classes to max the skill, I remembered that the classes still come in two pairs, so you would have to raise 2 different skills at the same time.

  • Hey, it’s seems like my homework isn’t getting completed.. Is this normal that the green circle around it takes forever?

    • Mine has been doing this as well. Your sim is still completing the homework it’s just only available to see completion under the career tab where your courses and assignments are listed. It will say just started or 50%-75%. It will fill up when they are almost done. College work takes many hours.

  • I came here to find out what will happen if my sim cheats and you didn’t even bother explaining that. I wasted my time reading this. Please give actual info instead of just being cheeky.

  • Hi SnarkyWitch, I have a question. When you email your professors about your course progress they can each say different things. Do you know what their responses all mean? Like is there a guide which equates their responses to certain grade levels?