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Courses Are Graduate Courses Harder or Something? Engineering Major

  1. Dec 27, 2011 #1

    I'm pursing a B.S. of electrical engineering at my university at the moment. I have like 21 credits which I can freely choose which is a lot. I wanted to take courses that would be required of me if I were to pursue a M.S. in electrical engineering so that way if I ever do finish pursing my masters I would have less classes to take. My parents are only going to support me for 3 years to earn my bachelors in 3 years and then I'm on my own for my masters in which case I will have to work first to have enough money to finish pursuing my masters.

    Any who when I looked at the course requirements it was only 27 credits which typically 9 credits per semester are taken.

    Does this mean that graduate courses are harder and take more time and 9 is the reasonable amount? Right now I'm taking 19 credits a semester for my undergrad and it's fine. 9 seems so small and am wondering if this is because it's harder and 9 is a lot (even though it seems small compared to me) or people typically only take 9 credits semester because they are working full time as well or whatever.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 27, 2011 #2
    Generally in graduate school you aren't only taking courses. You will also have research or teaching responsibilities, which is why you would only be taking 9 credits, you just wont have enough time to fulfill all of your responsibilities if you take more. Also, thoroughly look into what monetary benefits you will be getting when you're in graduate school, odds are you will be getting a stipend (I know in Canada it's guaranteed, not sure about the states), you wont need to work before going to graduate school because you'll be getting paid to go there.
  4. Dec 27, 2011 #3
    It really, really depends on the graduate course. It isn't uncommon to take 3 or 4 classes if they are all standard material for which there is a non-notoriously-difficult textbook. If it's a special topics course, you could spend your entire term on the class and still have more to learn in order to really appreciate it. Some of the first year courses designed to prepare students for qualifying exams are very difficult as well, due to the extreme amounts of work thrown at students to ensure they are adequately prepared.
  5. Dec 27, 2011 #4

    D H

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    The OP appears to be asking about a masters program rather than a PhD program. Some of the comments such as teaching and research responsibilities are more applicable to PhD programs than they are to masters programs. People enrolled in a masters program, at least in the US, typically pay their own way -- even in technical fields.

    27 credit hours - that's a typical requirement for a thesis option masters degree. That thesis alone will take a lot of time. Some schools offer a non-thesis option, but typically require 36 credit hours of graduate level classes. Taking that extra 9 hours required for the non-thesis option is oftentimes a lot easier than doing a thesis.

    Those graduate courses typically are harder than an undergrad course. Some of your undergrad courses were designed as bustout classes. The difficulty and workload of your typical bustout class: That's your typical graduate level class. Also, regarding those 19 hours you have been taking as an undergrad: There's no more Basketweaving 101 in grad school to pad out your course load to an easy 19 hours.
  6. Dec 27, 2011 #5
    :rofl: good point
    thanks everybody
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