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Credits and Graduation

  1. Nov 3, 2017 #1
    I am about to register for my final year of school and I have 21 more credits to go. Time wise, they all work together, but I was wondering if everyone thinks that 21 credits is a lot? I have never taken so many credit before in one semester. I could push graduation back one more semester but I am ready to start working in the industry. Any advice would help.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 3, 2017 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    I'd say so. I imagine you wont have a social life during that time.

    Normally folks take 15 credit hours per semester. I know some folks in their senior year take less. Perhaps you could take 10 and 11 over two semesters and enjoy life more. True it will be more costly but upper division courses are often much tougher and need a lot of extra work to get through.
  4. Nov 3, 2017 #3


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    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    It's probably possible depending on the specifics of the courses and you other commitments and study habits, but as a general rule that much coursework is not going to come without its drawbacks.

    You might want to consider your goals with your education. Overloading like that isn't going to give you a lot of time to learn the material in each course. If at this point you see the degree as more of a hoop to jump through and just want to get it over with, get the credential and start your working life, then maybe doing it all at once like this isn't the worst decision ever.

    But it can also help to step back and think a little about why you chose to get an advanced education in the first place. If, for example, you want graduate school to be a real possibility - as least as an option - then it would make a little more sense to slow it down and spread that work out over two semesters. If you want to get more out of the courses, have time for some of your own explorations, really dive deep into the coursework, then I'd lean towards stretching it out. Also, it can help to stir some volunteer or work experience in with your studies too. Once you're out in the working world, you'll likely look back at your university years and really appreciate the freedom that comes at that stage of life.
  5. Nov 3, 2017 #4
    It would generally depend on the difficulty level of the classes. Since this is your senior year, I assume these are all senior level classes, which are of course the hardest. Overloading like this could backfire. You may find it difficult to pass all of your courses. This would require you to stay an extra semester anyways to retake those courses.
    This is an important point. Are you sure you can mentally handle that much stress? I have seen too many instances of students just breaking down from being overwhelmed by coursework. Some can do it, but not many.
  6. Nov 4, 2017 #5
    A lot depends on the specific coursework and major, but I usually recommend much lower loads per semester for students we mentor in physics, chemistry, and engineering majors.

    Of course, if you are spreading out 21 credits over two semesters, you prolly have to add an extra course or two to stay full time (min 12 credits per semester in most of the US).
  7. Nov 4, 2017 #6
    Your scenario is not clear to me. Are you in the US? Your school year starts this late? So is your "final year" year four, and you are trying to shave off a semester (finish in 3-1/2 yr, assuming a normal 4 yr program?)?
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2017
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