Seeking your suggestions on my upcoming undergraduate course workload

In summary: If the student were to consult with multiple advisors at his school, it would be likely that at least one would be able to provide more specific guidance.
  • #1
july21
2
1
I'm an upcoming undergraduate physics student and I had make a brief plan on my undergraduate study.

sem 1: general chemistry, introphy1+lab, calculus, linear algebra 1
sem 2: advanced calculus 1, introphy2&3+2labs
sem 3: advanced calculus 2, classical mechanics 1, electrodynamics 1, linear algebra 2
sem 4: quantum mecahnics 1, electrodynamics 2, methods in theoretical physics 1
sem 5: applied quantum mechanics, quantum mechanics 2, methods in theoretical physics 2
sem 6: statistical mechanics, differential geometry
sem 7: particle physics, general relativity
sem 8:

besides those courses I would also take some "student centered learning", "seminars and projects" courses which were not mentioned above.
please leave a comment regarding on my planning!
 
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  • #2
At the risk of stating something you already know, most universities have undergraduate academic advisors, often who are department-specific. If you're curious about your course choices, it's best to book an appointment with one of these people. They are more likely to give you actionable advice that people online who aren't familiar with your specific school, program requirements, instructors, typical course loads, prerequisite materials, what's offered each semester, etc.

The reason I say this is that I look at your first semester and think: chemistry, physics, calculus and linear algebra... that's a pretty typical first year course list and only 4 courses. What's that person going to take for an elective to round out a full program of study? Other people from different programs might look at that and think that is a full course load because to them the physics lab is counted as a fully independent course. Others might say four STEM courses IS a full course load. Your local advisor should know what a typical course load is at your school and remove any ambiguity from the problem.
 
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  • #3
And talk to the people farther along than you are. BUT talk to multiple people before you take action based on what they say. Individual people can have eclectic views of various courses; you want to make sure to average those out by asking multiple people. Lastly, every plan should be followed until it shouldn't be. You will almost certainly develop new interests as you learn more physics, so any plan you make now will have to be tentative.

Your current plan seems to include all the meaty stuff.
 
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  • #4
Your plan is likely to change after you learn more about your institution, the STEM options, and yourself. So, it's OK to speculate now, but recognize that it doesn't really matter too much at this point, you can/will adjust. The freshman year at university is a time of great change for most students. Default to the institution's standard classes for your area and add elective(s) (or not) according to your current interests. Focus of the fundamentals now, the stuff every STEM student needs to know. Get an advisor and ask them these questions, they know more than us. You don't have to decide now, provided you don't choose something really unusual for your intended field.
 
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  • #5
july21 said:
sem 1: general chemistry, introphy1+lab, calculus, linear algebra 1
sem 2: advanced calculus 1, introphy2&3+2labs
Those first two semester plans are a little strange. What specific "Calculus" is that in semester 1? It should be Calculus And Analytic Geometry 1 which instructs on single variable differentiation and introduction to integration. You are also planning to have Linear Algebra, whatever first course. Your semester 2 then should contain, if you succeeded in Calc 1 of sem. 1, Calculus And Analytic Geometry 2, which carries on further with Integration (Integrals), some topics about sequences and series and include some topics on Conic Sections. I do not know how you mean "Advanced Calculus 1".
 
  • #6
symbolipoint said:
Those first two semester plans are a little strange. What specific "Calculus" is that in semester 1? It should be Calculus And Analytic Geometry 1 which instructs on single variable differentiation and introduction to integration. You are also planning to have Linear Algebra, whatever first course. Your semester 2 then should contain, if you succeeded in Calc 1 of sem. 1, Calculus And Analytic Geometry 2, which carries on further with Integration (Integrals), some topics about sequences and series and include some topics on Conic Sections. I do not know how you mean "Advanced Calculus 1".
This is a key reason why we can't properly advise the OP and why the OP needs to seek guidance from an advisor at his own school. We have no clue as to the contents and degrees of difficulty of the courses at his school.
 
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Related to Seeking your suggestions on my upcoming undergraduate course workload

1. What factors should I consider when planning my undergraduate course workload?

When planning your undergraduate course workload, you should consider your academic strengths and weaknesses, your career goals, your personal schedule and commitments, and the course requirements for your major and graduation.

2. How many courses should I take per semester?

The number of courses you take per semester will depend on your individual abilities and goals. It is generally recommended to take 4-5 courses per semester, but you should also consider your personal schedule and commitments to ensure you can handle the workload.

3. Can I take more than the recommended number of courses per semester?

Yes, you can take more than the recommended number of courses per semester, but it is important to consider your ability to handle the workload and maintain a good balance between your academic and personal life. It is generally not recommended to take more than 6 courses per semester.

4. How can I balance my workload and still have time for extracurricular activities?

Balancing your workload and extracurricular activities is all about time management. Make a schedule and prioritize your tasks, and be sure to include time for breaks and self-care. It is also important to communicate with your professors if you are struggling to manage your workload.

5. What should I do if I am struggling with my course workload?

If you are struggling with your course workload, it is important to communicate with your professors and seek help from academic advisors or tutoring services. You may also need to reassess your schedule and commitments and make adjustments to better manage your workload. Remember to prioritize your mental and physical health as well.

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