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Taking 3 courses per semester and graduate admission

  1. Mar 7, 2015 #1
    Hello forum,

    I will be an undergrad senior majoring in mathematics. Instead of taking the ordinary 5-course workload, I am thinking of doing 3 courses per semester and postpone graduation by an year. But I am wondering if by doing so my graduate application is going to be affected negatively. I know law schools and med schools require full course load each term, but how about "average" graduate schools for biology?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 7, 2015 #2


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    In most cases it probably won't matter, but a lot can depend on your reasons. If you are cutting down on classes because you are also holding down a part time job, or are the primary care giver to a family member, or are a student athlete, etc. then no one is likely to fault you. But the people on admissions committees know the game very well and if you are reducing your course load because you can't hack a full course load, there is a good chance they will see that. Some may forgive it. Some may not. But if you do get into a grad program, you'll likely be facing a full workload then.
  4. Mar 7, 2015 #3
    Thanks for the reply!

    I could easily fill in "birdy" elective courses (like music or introductory french) to make a full time course load, I am just seeing if I could save $3k by spreading my last 10 courses over two years. Other than that there is no particular reason for taking three courses per term, unless they view that taking one grad level course per term is justifiable for this.
  5. Mar 7, 2015 #4
    I can't find the edit button so I am writing this here.

    P.S. Would you say 4 courses per semester look much better than 3 courses?
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