1. Not finding help here? Sign up for a free 30min tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Courses What's a typical course load for grad student

  1. Mar 28, 2012 #1
    I'm going to be a first year grad student in the Fall. What is a typical course load in grad school? I will be leading recitation for 2 hours a week, plus 2-3 hours of "office" hours. I know most people take 12-15 or so hours during underdrad, but this seems like too many for grad school. I was planning on taking 3 classes (Algebra I, Intro to Geometry and Topology I, an Advanced Linear Algebra). I know this isn't too hard, but is it too easy? I mean, for the grad students (and former gradstudents or future grad students) how many classes did you typically take each semester?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 28, 2012 #2

    eri

    User Avatar

    Typical grad students take 2-3 classes a semester their first few years. I tried 4 once, but had to drop one at the last minute because they all decided to assign a huge final project in the last two weeks with no prior warning.
     
  4. Mar 28, 2012 #3

    morphism

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    In math, 2-3 per semester seems reasonable for the first year or two. There are usually course requirements that need to be met. Once they meet these requirements, grad students typically don't take any additional courses for credit (although they might continue sitting in on at most one or two per semester). The idea is that you should be focusing most of your energy on your thesis.
     
  5. Mar 28, 2012 #4
    Thanks for the answers, guys.

    So, Ph.D. students at my school can use up to 9 thesis hours to count toward their course requirements for the Ph.D. (the requirement is 54 hours where each class is 3 hours). Do most people take advantage of this in your experience?
     
  6. Mar 28, 2012 #5

    morphism

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    It goes without saying that the course requirement is the most trivial aspect of the PhD. :)

    I don't really know anyone who's had trouble fulfilling it - it kind of just happens.
     
  7. Mar 29, 2012 #6
    Haha. Yeah, I never really thought of it that way, but it makes sense.
     
  8. Mar 29, 2012 #7

    Pyrrhus

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    This. The classes are graduate level require a lot of time, so think wisely about taking many.
     
  9. Mar 29, 2012 #8

    Pyrrhus

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    I had known people struggle in their classes. It depends on the country, and the university. However, I think most pass the courses, and then in the qualifying those that struggle are likely to fail and drop out of the PhD.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook