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Courses How many math courses do math students take every semester on average?

  1. Jun 3, 2010 #1
    As the title says. =) I still have one more year to go and then get into a math program but i'm wondering, Do most math students at the undergraduate level take 4 courses on math per semester or is it 3? This can be divided in 1st second third and 4th year.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 3, 2010 #2
    I took three upper-division math courses (real analysis, abstract algebra, complex analysis, probability) throughout the year, and I must say it was A LOT of work. I can't really imagine taking four at the same time (and only saw one person who did that), but I guess it isn't impossible as long as you have nothing else to do.

    Which three/four are you thinking of? Some math classes require more work than the others, so you might want to mix with intense and not-so-intense math courses.
  4. Jun 3, 2010 #3
    I don't know what's normal, but I can offer what I did. I did analysis II, complex analysis, topology, and knot theory last semester. The semester prior I did analysis I, algebra, and number theory.
  5. Jun 4, 2010 #4
    3 is more common once one gets the ball rolling [which can take some time]. When one is starting off, it can be tougher.

    Honestly, I think 3 extremely solidly taught courses in math is a lot - but then again, not all math courses in all universities are solidly taught at all.
  6. Jun 4, 2010 #5
    In the beginning it's hard because you have those pesky core requirements to take care of. So, in general my first two years I've tried to take three maths but there just wasn't room in my schedule for it. Once you get into like junior year and you get some of the core classes done than you can begin taking 3 maths at a time. I've never heard of anyone taking 4 in a single semester, but I'm sure it could be done.
  7. Jun 4, 2010 #6
    All that can really be said is that you need to find your own pace. Unfortunately, you don't really know what you can handle without going for it. Finding your limits is a trial-and-error thing. I used to not have much self-confidence and stuck with low class loads, until I slowly ramped it up and found what was appropriate for me. Don't worry about comparing yourself to other people, because you are not other people!
  8. Jun 4, 2010 #7
    your school should have a showcase curriculum that you can use to see what is "normal"
  9. Jun 4, 2010 #8
    My pure math major friends took about 2-3 per semester. It certainly would never be 4 per semester, you'd never be able to fit in breadth requirements.
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