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Yet another course load question

  1. Apr 23, 2015 #1
    Hi there, I would like to hear your opinion on taking 15 credits vs 12 credits. All the classes are engineering classes worth 3 credits hours. The list goes as follow:





    Im thinking about adding ENGINEERING PROBLEM SOLVING to complete 15 credit hours. This class also has a lab. Is this too much. This is my first semester at UT Arlington and I'm transferring from a Community College I understand that the courses are harder at the University.

    Thank you for any guidance you could provide.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 23, 2015 #2


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    I think it is essentially impossible for us to advice you in this matter. In order to do so we would need specific knowledge of what is taught in your courses and at what depth. Course credits are not necessarily directly proportional to the amount of work required even if this is te intention, at least not where I am from. It is more of a political struggle between the departments giving the courses.
  4. Apr 23, 2015 #3


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    The first question you might ask yourself is what a standard course load at your university for your program is. Normally in the course calendar this is spelled out. At my undergraduate institution taking 15 credit hours per semester was the norm. You needed at least 12 to be considered a full time student. 18 was considered overloading.
    The standard courseload serves as a rought guideline on how many courses you should be taking.

    Students will sometimes get nervous about taking too many challenging courses, and while in some cases it can be warranted, I think far more often this kind of thing is ascribed more weight than it deserves. If you want a degree in engineering or physics or some other STEM field, you're going to have to take challenging courses. You are going to have some tough semesters where you'll have a lot of assignments, mid-terms, projects and general studying to do. In my experience these challenges aren't aways predicable either. Sometimes it's the semesters you expect to be "light" that end up being the most work.

    I once signed up for a humanities class (based on my interests) and later found out that it had recently been listed in Maclean's magazine as the easiest course at the university. The professor got wind of this and specifically turned up the intensity in the course for our class.

    All of this said, you also have to factor in yout personal circumstances. Are you holding down a part-time job? Do you have extra-curricular committments? Do you have family you have to support or be available for?

    Generally speaking as a strategy for adderssing a question like this, unless there is a major red flag, I would sign up for the courses you want to take. At most schools you can take a few weeks of lectures before you have to either commit or drop without penalty. If you get close to this deadline and you really feel ike dropping a class will benefit you in the long run then exercise that option.
  5. Apr 23, 2015 #4
    Sign up for class in question. If the course load is too much for you, drop it before the cutoff date.
  6. Apr 24, 2015 #5


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    I would be especially cautious about taking too heavy of a load this semester since it is your first at a new school. I would say you should attend all of these classes to see what they are like and to estimate the workload. That being said, do not feel afraid of dropping one if you feel too stressed. It's better to learn things well than to take too many courses and not get as much out of them.
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