Credit Hours - How Much Is Too Much?



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Descartes
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Thu Jun 16, 2011 7:22 pm

I'm pretty much finished constructing my schedule for the upcoming fall semester. So far, here's what it looks like:

Mondays/Wednesdays

U.S. History Since 1876
3:50 - 5:10

General College Biology I
5:30 - 6:50

(Mondays Only)
Laboratory for Biology
7:00 - 8:50

Tuesdays/Thursdays

U.S. Government
10:00 - 11:20

Theatre Appreciation
11:30 - 12:50

That's thirteen credit hours right there. I'm considering adding one more course (Creative Writing) to my Tuesdays/Thursdays slot, which would occur right after Theatre. I haven't really made up my mind yet, because that would obviously cost a lot more in terms of book costs and I'm trying to save money. Plus, I'm wondering if I could take the load.

If I do decide to go ahead and sign up for Creative Writing, then it, along with Theatre Apprecation, are two classes that I expect to breeze through all semester. I don't expect to have a difficult time in Government and History, either, but they will obviously require more studying. The one class I'm expecting to be somewhat of a challenge will be Biology.

What was the average number of credit hours you've taken per semester?


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Northeastern292
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Thu Jun 16, 2011 7:33 pm

I've taken as much as 17 credits. And I might do more in order to graduate on time.



Dessie
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Thu Jun 16, 2011 7:45 pm

That's a pretty cool schedule you've got, I think. I hope you enjoy your classes.

I had 13 hours my first semester of college, 17 hours last spring, 3 I'm doing this summer, and I've registered for 15 for this fall...so really I have no idea what is too much or too little. I haven't had the chance to find a balance because of the requirements I need to meet and knowing that certain classes aren't offered every semester. :roll:

Good luck with the Biology and Bio lab!



Orwell
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Thu Jun 16, 2011 8:31 pm

I typically do 18-20 credits each semester, consisting mostly of upper-level math/science courses. You are correct that the creative writing and especially theater appreciation courses will be easy. Theater appreciation is a negligible consideration in your workload. US History (that looks like a survey course, correct?) and US Government should also be simple. Maybe some amount of reading, but not much. The general college biology won't be too bad, either, especially since it's the only course you expect to find challenging. You should probably go ahead and add the extra course. Taking only 13 credits each semester, you will not be able to graduate in four years, and you don't want to have to make up that credit deficiency later on when you're into the real coursework for your major.


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Descartes
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Thu Jun 16, 2011 9:16 pm

Orwell wrote:
I typically do 18-20 credits each semester, consisting mostly of upper-level math/science courses. You are correct that the creative writing and especially theater appreciation courses will be easy. Theater appreciation is a negligible consideration in your workload. US History (that looks like a survey course, correct?) and US Government should also be simple. Maybe some amount of reading, but not much. The general college biology won't be too bad, either, especially since it's the only course you expect to find challenging. You should probably go ahead and add the extra course. Taking only 13 credits each semester, you will not be able to graduate in four years, and you don't want to have to make up that credit deficiency later on when you're into the real coursework for your major.


I believe the U.S. History course is a survey course.

I don't really expect to finish community college in two years, anyway. I need at least 18 credit hours of electives, and so far I only have three, despite having already completed a year there (two years if you count dual credit in high school).


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Orwell
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Thu Jun 16, 2011 9:49 pm

It could still make the difference between sticking around for another semester and having to pay more for it, or getting out a bit earlier.


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Descartes
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Fri Jun 17, 2011 7:46 am

I went ahead and registered for that Creative Writing class.

One thing I didn't mention is that it's being taught by the same professor I had for British Lit. I really liked her, and I was wanting to take another one of her classes anyway.


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Sat Jun 18, 2011 7:43 pm

First year, start slow, Expand as needed and required.

graduating on time? Maybe not the issue

I got caught - did too many credits normal semester plus summers.

Senior year they called me in, worried I was trying to cheat the U - I should have been graduated a semester earlier.

They decided I meant no harm, but it was awkward.



Orwell
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Sat Jun 18, 2011 8:21 pm

Philologos wrote:
First year, start slow, Expand as needed and required.

graduating on time? Maybe not the issue

I got caught - did too many credits normal semester plus summers.

Senior year they called me in, worried I was trying to cheat the U - I should have been graduated a semester earlier.

They decided I meant no harm, but it was awkward.

What a curious university that must have been. I had enough credits to graduate two years in. The university does not mind my staying (and they continue to pay my scholarship for four years) regardless of what I am doing with that extra time. By the time I finish, I'll have nearly 200 credits (normally it is 120 to graduate).


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Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:50 am

That's one hell of a semester there Descartes. Are you sure you can handle that workload? I know the creative writing classes will have you writing 6+ pages twice a week.

History and biology require a lot of study time since its a lot of memorization and analysis.

US gov. is just boring..and it also needs some brute memorization.

Theater appreciation sounds cool.

Descartes wrote:
What was the average number of credit hours you've taken per semester?


I did the standard 12 credits per semester (4 classes) to guarantee A's in all my classes. This coming semester i'm signed up for 18 credits (6 classes) since I need to speed up my graduation date.. and 3 of those classes are classes that I already spoke to the prof's and confirmed they do not assign much take-home work. I can handle a lot of reading just not a lot of writing or group projects.

My suggestion is that you focus on getting high grades rather than taking as many credits as you can. Your GPA will be the *only* thing that will matter when you try to go for a masters degree (or higher)... and it also gives you access to a lot of grants to help pay for college. If that wasn't enough, depending on your major, your GPA may be vital in securing a job (some jobs will ask you for your transcripts..again this depends on your major and job).

What is your major though?



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Sun Jun 19, 2011 7:34 pm

Orwell wrote:
Philologos wrote:
First year, start slow, Expand as needed and required.

graduating on time? Maybe not the issue

I got caught - did too many credits normal semester plus summers.

Senior year they called me in, worried I was trying to cheat the U - I should have been graduated a semester earlier.

They decided I meant no harm, but it was awkward.

What a curious university that must have been. I had enough credits to graduate two years in. The university does not mind my staying (and they continue to pay my scholarship for four years) regardless of what I am doing with that extra time. By the time I finish, I'll have nearly 200 credits (normally it is 120 to graduate).


Yep. The CURIOUS thing is that years later I went back to work for them. My pet name for the place "El Cheapo U". I was rather shocked - it is not like they were not getting fees out of me. But the dean who interviewed me was clearly suspicious I was trying to get grad courses at undergrad rates - or something.



Descartes
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Sun Jun 19, 2011 9:51 pm

Dantac wrote:
That's one hell of a semester there Descartes. Are you sure you can handle that workload? I know the creative writing classes will have you writing 6+ pages twice a week.

History and biology require a lot of study time since its a lot of memorization and analysis.

US gov. is just boring..and it also needs some brute memorization.

Theater appreciation sounds cool.


Well, I'm trying to compare all of this to high school (even though that might be a faulty comparison). I was on campus for about seven hours a day taking classes like these, and I could handle it. I wonder if it would really be that different in college.

Plus, I already have prior experience with these classes. I'm sure there won't be much that is covered in all these classes that I'm not at least somewhat familiar with already.

By the way, how do you know that I'll be writing that many pages in my Creative Writing class? I took a Creative Writing class in high school and I didn't have to write nearly that much.

Dantac wrote:
Descartes wrote:
What was the average number of credit hours you've taken per semester?


I did the standard 12 credits per semester (4 classes) to guarantee A's in all my classes. This coming semester i'm signed up for 18 credits (6 classes) since I need to speed up my graduation date.. and 3 of those classes are classes that I already spoke to the prof's and confirmed they do not assign much take-home work. I can handle a lot of reading just not a lot of writing or group projects.

My suggestion is that you focus on getting high grades rather than taking as many credits as you can. Your GPA will be the *only* thing that will matter when you try to go for a masters degree (or higher)... and it also gives you access to a lot of grants to help pay for college. If that wasn't enough, depending on your major, your GPA may be vital in securing a job (some jobs will ask you for your transcripts..again this depends on your major and job).

What is your major though?


I'm an undeclared major, though I am considering majoring in anthropology, if I could only take an intro course in it. I'm also thinking about doing a minor in history.


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Dantac
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Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:23 pm

Descartes wrote:
Well, I'm trying to compare all of this to high school (even though that might be a faulty comparison). I was on campus for about seven hours a day taking classes like these, and I could handle it. I wonder if it would really be that different in college.


The biggest difference is that in college the prof. will give you a syllabus on day 1 of class. That syllabus will tell you what chapters of the text you need to have read prior to going to class. Upon arrival to class the prof. will only cover a few key things you read on the text... I'd say they usually just cover about 25% of what you read. When the exam comes you will get questions from the entire set of chapters not just the 25% that was talked about in class.

Thats the biggest difference there. High school you get things covered nearly 100% by the teacher before the exam. In college its your responsibility to have learned the stuff from the text and other resources.


Quote:
Plus, I already have prior experience with these classes. I'm sure there won't be much that is covered in all these classes that I'm not at least somewhat familiar with already.


You may have the general coverage from high school (which is the point of high school) but college level classes go into a lot of detail. You may have heard Roe Vs. Wade in high school.. in US gov you may end up reading about the entire bloody thing and tested on it. I sure was :P

Quote:
By the way, how do you know that I'll be writing that many pages in my Creative Writing class? I took a Creative Writing class in high school and I didn't have to write nearly that much.


Because I took it :) . Creative writing is more of a workshop writing class. They cover the techniques and approaches to writing and then you must apply them. That means you'll be asked to write 2 to 4 page short stories as homework..and the first half of the class is peer critique and review of your work. Its a lot of writing but its also fun.

Descartes wrote:

I'm an undeclared major, though I am considering majoring in anthropology, if I could only take an intro course in it. I'm also thinking about doing a minor in history.


LOL! That's what im doing. Anthropology+History major. Im halfway through them already ^^.



Descartes
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Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:39 pm

Dantac wrote:
LOL! That's what im doing. Anthropology+History major. Im halfway through them already ^^.


Yay! I didn't know there were so many anthro majors. I already know of several people who are majoring in it. One such person has already given me advice on the area. All I have yet to do is take an intro course.

Are you double majoring in Anthropology and History? Or is History your minor? Is there any particular subtopic within those two fields which you are concentrating on?


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Dantac
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Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:48 pm

double majors. my minor is on cultural tourism.



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