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Courses 5 Engineering/Math/Science courses per semester?

  1. Jun 13, 2012 #1
    So basically, I feel that I have kind of made a mistake in my scheduling strategy thus far, and I'm wondering if anyone else is in the same boat. My plan was to get all of my gen eds (9 cr social/behavioral & 9 cr humanities/fine arts) out of the way as soon as possible so that I could focus on relevant classes. Well I have basically finished them by taking 19 cr last semester and already having some highs school transfer credit. So now I will be beginning my second year of my engineering degree and only need 3 more hours of a humanities, but I should also mention that I'm not behind on core classes... This now leaves me with extra room to take other relevant classes but is this the wrong approach? Should I have spaced out my gen eds to even out the workload? As it currently stands, my 4 year plan has me basically taking 5 engineering/math/science classes per semester - I'm working on 2 minors (math & computational neuroscience). So far I have a good GPA and I would like to keep it that way.
    Is it unreasonable to take this many technical classes per semester? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 13, 2012 #2
    Most people I know can not take 5 heavy classes at once and do well in all of them. Even fewer can take 5 classes at once and actually learn the material well even if they get good grades.

    You could be one of the people who can handle 5 classes while nailing down all the ideas.

    What has been the heaviest engineering semester youve had so far?
  4. Jun 13, 2012 #3
    If you choose to have 2 minors, you'll obviously have to take the 5 STEM courses per semester. There's no way around it.

    I was in the same boat, I finished my humanities courses in the first year and was left with a bunch of free electives (or the option to load up and graduate in 3 years, which I declined). I could have chosen a STEM subject for a minor, but I chose to explore the world of humanities and social sciences purely because I like knowing things and being well rounded. After all, universities aren't meant to produce computers, they're meant to produce educated persons.

    This, I know, is not the approach many others in engineering take.

    As far as your studies go, only you can decide if you'll be ok. Bear in mind 3rd year engineering is a lot more difficult than the first year classes. This will be equally true for your minor classes. You might be able to handle it second year and then find out it's too much in the third -- or you might be able to handle it the whole way through, who knows.

    The real thing to understand is that you are at the school to learn, not generate degrees. If you are too heavily loaded that you can't actually learn the material, and insetad find yourself cramming for tests, then you really aren't helping yourself...

    But, to each his own.
  5. Jun 13, 2012 #4
    Well the two minors that I am planning on getting aren't really too far of a stretch from the required bioengineering curriculum honestly... For math I need only one extra math class and for computational neuroscience, most of the classes count as technical electives towards my degree anyway. I just want to make sure that I am not completely crazy. I do spend basically all of my time on school work (and research) during the semester so as long as I don't get burned out I think I can do it. I guess I'll just have to wait and see at this point. Thanks for the input guys.
  6. Jun 13, 2012 #5
    Not to highjack this thread but I was wondering if you think that I am overloading myself for my 3rd year of college. First semester I am taking linear circuits, software design I, linear algebra, probability theory, and nautical science (required course). Second semester I am taking digital signal processing, control theory, computer networks, software design II and government (require course). Should I switch around some of my schedule or do you think this will be an okay load?
  7. Jun 14, 2012 #6
    I took 5 math/physics classes last term, and it nearly destroyed my life. I do not recommend this!
  8. Jun 14, 2012 #7
    I've found that labs are the biggest deciding factor. I've taken 5 semesters with 5 math/physics/engineering courses, and only two of them were bad. My very first semester was really tough because it was a HUGE step up in workload from high school, which is not really a surprise. My last semester was brutal pretty much because of labs. One of my physics courses had a lab every week, and the write-ups took literally at *least* 10 hours each. They were interesting and very useful, but to make matters worse, the material in them was almost entirely different from the lecture material. Add that to 3 engineering labs every week and a ton of assignments, and I had an absolutely brutal semester where I was spending so much time doing lab reports and assignments that I had very little time to study, meaning I learned a lot less than I would have liked. In hindsight, I realize that taking all those labs was essentially like adding another course, and was probably not a very good idea.

    I think 5 courses is usually quite doable, but check how many labs you're going to have a week with those 5 courses. Those can add a ton of extra work.
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