Your Academic Journey
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What is an Appropriate Course Load?
Conventional wisdom is to take 15 hours per semester if possible, not 12. Why is that? Most bachelors degree programs require 120 credits to graduate. By taking 15 hours each semester, you can graduate in eight semesters. In other words, you’ll get your degree in four years, assuming you complete all your courses. If you take 12 hours per semester, you’ll need five years to earn your degree in most programs. When you plan your course load, consider the following:
- Don’t forget: that extra year can be expensive
Five years instead of four means one more year of expenses and putting off earning money until you get your degree. That can make a big difference. You want to get your degree as soon as possible. Finishing school on time is the best way to minimize the amount that school will cost.
- Balance your course load
Not all courses take the same amount of work. Look at your prerequisites, and then talk with an advisor to see if you can spread out the courses that might be the most demanding for you. Note that certain courses may be offered only at certain times.
- Don’t underestimate yourself
Most people can do more than they think they can. Take 15 hours and see how it feels. You might be surprised to find yourself doing better than you expected. You’ll never know if you don’t try.