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Courses Difficulty of lower division courses vs. upper division (undergraduate)

  1. Nov 19, 2011 #1
    Within the next year, I'm transferring from the local community college to the state university to complete my BS in chemical engineering. Right now I have about 3.5 gpa in my lower division courses (math, chem, physics, intro engineering, etc). Obviously, I'm going to work as hard as I can to maintain or even improve that average.

    But, realistically, I know that the university courses are going to be harder. Has anyone experienced this situation before? Did your gpa drop considerably?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 20, 2011 #2
    yeah, i know a lot of people who transfer with a 3.9 or whatever and end up getting a 2.x their first semester in ChE, so don't be too upset if it happens, but on the other hand I know of others who transfer and do well.

    the best thing to do is develop / implement good study habits, and continuously work hard, and things should even out after a few semesters.
  4. Nov 20, 2011 #3
    I am so screwed
  5. Nov 20, 2011 #4
    ^Not a good attitude. Don't worry too much about it but don't underestimate it either.

    Good time management is very important. I dunno about Chem.E but all other engineering disciplines (I'm EE personally) are very time consuming. You'll often have long lab reports, problem sets and projects due and each of those take a substantial amount of time.
  6. Nov 20, 2011 #5
    nah, just work as hard as you can, and get used to that as being the norm, that imo is what most people have trouble adjusting to / accepting -- they cant seem to register that to do well, you really have to work all of the time.

    some people may disagree with this and talk about how they were able to complete all of their assignments in a reasonable amount of time, and still go out drinking X nights a week, etc. -- and to that I say: not everyone is as smart as you.

    the thing about ChE is that it attracts a lot of smart and talented individuals -- yourself included. everyone is different, and some have to work at things more than others -- like i and my friends did, but, having struggled at the beginning, we (my friends and i) had developed a strong set of study skills (for engineering materials), so that when jr/sr year rolled around -- along with more difficult classes -- we were well prepared and really held our own. many of our peers on the other hand, who never had to / bothered to put in any more work than necessary to complete the assignment / get a good grade, didn't have these skills and visibly struggled.

    so the "too long; didn't read" is: stick with it, work hard, and you will do fine. but go in knowing that you have to work your *** off until you get used to things and then can adjust your work habits.

    also: as a transfer student you are at a disadvantage by not having a lot of friends on campus, and this is something that you need to remedy immediately. friends at school, especially in engineering is CRUCIAL to success. go in from day1, talking to EVERYONE. literally chat up everyone in your classes, and get to know people. they are your best resource.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2011
  7. Nov 20, 2011 #6
    Thanks for the advice. Just curious, do you work at all?
  8. Nov 20, 2011 #7
    I don't understand how it can be harder to keep a high GPA for upper level classes. Don't most universities keep a standard average GPA? For example, at my university, a lot of classes are normalized at the end so the average grade in the class is a C+/B-. Is this only done for lower division classes?
  9. Nov 20, 2011 #8
    That would be a function of the university.
  10. Nov 20, 2011 #9
    My GPA's dropping considerably, yeah. I'm at my first semester after transferring from a community college into aerospace engineering. I was never anything less than a B student, but now I'll be lucky just to pass my differential equations class.
  11. Nov 20, 2011 #10
    i didnt have a job to pay rent or anything at any point when i was in school, but i worked as an undergraduate researcher, and was there quite a lot. it had its perks though -- place to chill / study at all hours of the day/night, and access to a xerox at no charge. though, it did take up a considerable amount of time.
  12. Nov 20, 2011 #11
    keep up the good work though, there is def an adjustment period, and engineering isn't a cake walk.
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