1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Courses College Course Selection Question, Credits Per Semester

  1. Jun 16, 2011 #1

    My whole goal of going to college is to make myself as marketable as possible to employers. I'm a incoming freshmen and have to sign up for my courses. Due to taking several college courses while in high school I have reduced the number of credits for my BS down to 109. I'm going to begin earning my BS in engineering physics (electrical engineering). So my question for everyone is, which of the following is a smarter thing to do: average 16 credits a semester and earn my degree in seven semesters or average 14 credits a semester and and earn my degree in eight semesters. By finishing off my BS in seven semester I would save roughly 13 grand. However, by averaging 14 credits a semester instead of 16 I'm sure my GPA would be slightly higher. Would the slightly higher GPA be worth it? I don't even know if my GPA would be that much higher neither sense it's the difference of only two credits. My father, who's holds an engineering profession, claims that GPA doesn't matter that much and that he was never asked his GPA once when applying for jobs. He claims that the only thing that matters is what degree you earned, were you earned, and when you earned it. I however have a very hard time believing this. I plan on seeking employment right after earning my BS and paying it off first before I pursue my masters. Hopefully which ever company I find employment at will fully pay for my masters and earn that degree completely free, some how my father pulled that off.

    So what are you recommendations for me, and why? Average 14 credits a semester and earn my BS in 8 semesters or average 16 credits a semester and get my BS in seven semesters and save 17 grand. If GPA really doesn't matter, but I do plan on eventually pursing a masters, I guess averaging 19 credits a semester is also an option. If I averaged 19 credits a semester I could get out in 6 semesters and save 26 grand but I'm sure my GPA would suffer as a result and I would be extremely stressed out.

    Thank you for any advice.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 16, 2011 #2


    User Avatar

    I would recommend getting good grades and translating that into good internships during your summers off. That's the best way to get a job right out of college.
  4. Jun 16, 2011 #3
    So you would recommend doing the 14 credits a semester and graduating in four years rather than 16 credits a semester and getting out in seven semesters and saving 13K, do you think the difference of two credits would bring my GPA up that much were it would be worth it
  5. Jun 16, 2011 #4


    User Avatar

    I don't think either approach will help you more than getting a good internship/work experience, especially since there's no way to tell if your GPA will be affected, and by how much.
  6. Jun 16, 2011 #5
    If your school is anything like mine then this kind of planning is sort of hard. Every semester doesnt offer every class, some semesters specific professors teach some special class (for instance we had a class that designed a parking monitor system for the uni), and its hard to plan for internships and co-ops.

    So really any of your scenarios could very well pan out. On average an engineering student will take 15-17cr semester though so take what you can handle. 17 is a pretty decent course load if you're not working on the side. I'm took 17 last semester and 20 for the next but averaged around 15-16 when I was working 20-30hrs a week.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook