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How many hours of classes should I take per semester?

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I am working on enrolling, and I will be a full-time student. I want to take as many gen-ed classes as I can to get them out of the way, but how many hours would you recommend I take? I won't be living on campus, so I don't want to overload on classes, but I would like to get classes done. #student-counseling #college-admission #college-admissions #college-advice

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John’s Answer

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Based on personal experience, I think it is important not to overload on your first semester or trimester at college.  I would suggest taking the minimum full time student load that first semester or maybe add in one class of interest that is less that a full credit class (maybe it is1 unit instead of 3).  Perhaps a sports class, drama, or film.  Pick an area of interest.  For the courses that make up your full time student load, make sure those are your core general education classes.  Being a commuter takes a little extra time so factor that in accordingly.  That "extra" class might give you an opportunity to connect with other students with a common area of interest.  I was a commuter kid and know that connecting with others on campus is important for a sense of camaraderie and belonging.

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Gloria’s Answer

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I would recommend taking the minimum to meet full time during the first semester. You have to know how college would impact your daily life. It can also vary from semester to semester. Some classes that appear easy are sometimes not. You want to review in advance what the expectations are for the class. I am not sure if everyone posts a course syllabus in advance. If they do, I would review them to make sure that you are ready to read however many books or how much work you will have to do with writing papers. Also check with others who might have taken the class to see what the work effort is like. When I was in college, some of the heaviest study classes were core classes like Texas History or Women's Studies.
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Yasemin’s Answer

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Hi Clarise! So usually hours for classes are 12-15 hours. I also stayed at home and was working at the same time, most of the time I took 16-18 credit hours but 15 is ideal. It is definitely important to balance your life and each student is different so take class hours that you feel comfortable in. Some classes also make a difference in your class hours, usually students take 4-5 classes per semester however let's say you are taking some heavy science electives, you have auditions to prepare for or an internship then that could be narrowed to 3-4 classes per semester. Make sure that you are enrolled full time though and that is 12 hours anything below that you become considered part-time and your financial aid could be affected. Best of luck!
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Seth’s Answer

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I think it is very reasonable to take up to 15 hours a semester. I would think about other responsibilities that you have that could compete with study time. 15 hours is good but if you could do really well taking 12 hours and only only taking 15, then I would consider 12. Choose what works well for you given all of your other responsibilities.

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EmilyAnn’s Answer

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It really depends on the level of difficulty and workload of the courses you are taking. You may be able to squeeze in a few extra general education classes as these tend to be a bit less time-consuming, but don't spread yourself too thin just to get done. I'd recommend taking a comfortable amount to start, and then think about whether you can challenge yourself without overdoing it. For reference, I am a physics major and have roughly 12 hours of class a week. I never overload on classes and instead do research hours, which is just enough to challenge me without overwhelming me. I balance my class difficulty so that I am always mixing general-ed courses with harder physics courses.
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Kim’s Answer

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Clarise,

In addition to the previous excellent advice, I would add that a lot depends on how intensive the classes are. You don't want to take too many classes that will involve a lot of reading and writing. The more interesting the subject matter is to you, the less important this reading/writing intensity will be. But, if you are studying something you don't care for, it will make it difficult. Spread out the reading intensive classes!


Kim

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Marilyn’s Answer

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I wouldn't take over 12-15 hours at first. Then depending upon your commute and whether you are working part-time, I definitely would not take over that amount. Also, watch what courses you are taking, your level of interest and whether they are reading intensive. You can take more when you are more comfortable with the level, the school and your commute.

Marilyn Lowry

College Guidance Consultants

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Sarah’s Answer

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I agree with the others about 12-15 hours to start. Also, some institutions will actually charge you an "excess credit hour fee" if you go over a certain amount of hours. Sometimes this is assessed by semester, sometimes by year, and other times by degree so it's worth looking into before you sign up.

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Richard’s Answer

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12 hours would be good for a first semester. If you achieve your goal GPA easily you can add more hours the next semester
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Rachel’s Answer

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12-15 hours is an appropriate course load. Only take as many classes as will allow you to study adequately to get A's.
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Yvonne’s Answer

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Hi Clarise,


It's great that you are already thinking ahead! Since you won't be living on campus, and it depends on how close you live from the campus, you will probably spend more time travelling during the week. Even though gen-ed classes are assumed to be easier, I would not recommend taking more than 15 credit hours especially during your first semester. Many college students struggled in their first year as they tried to achieve a positive balance among schoolwork, friends, extracurriculars and health. I would suggest you to only take up to 12-15 credit hours for your first semester to get a feel of how it is like, and whether you feel overwhelmed. This way you are not risking your mental/physical health or your GPA , which are both important!


In addition, many college offers a huge variety of classes over the summer. If you would like to get ahead of schedule, summer classes can help! You might also want to look into opportunities to study abroad in summer with your program. Some programs award up to 12 credit hours, depending on the time you spent overseas.


I hope this helps! Good luck in everything!

I will have to drive 30-40 minutes to get to campus, and I am hoping to only be there on campus around 3 days a week. Some of my classes are online also, so I don't have to go to "real" lectures for multiple hours. Thank you for the advice! Clarise B. Translate
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Leah’s Answer

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THIS ALL DEPENDS ON IF YOU WILL BE WORKING OR NOT. WILL YOU?

I will be working during the summer, and I am enrolled in only 6 summer class credit hours, but during the fall semester I will not be working. Clarise B. Translate
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