Credit Hours: How Much Is Too Much?

Ready for the semester to start up again? Ready to just graduate?

There’s really only one reason college students start over-stuffing their schedules with classes:



Some students start college off knowing that they’re not trying to stick around for four years. Others, start getting a little antsy around their third year when they hear talk of graduation.

So when student’s start feeling anxious about graduating, they start packing on a few extra classes into their schedules in hopes of graduating sooner.

But how much is too much when it comes to deciding how many classes to take per semester?

Health Concerns:

College courses are not like high school.

Your classes are typically designed for you to attend every other day for a reason.

Generally, one class can last anywhere from 1 1/2 hours to 3 hours unlike a 45 minutes to a 1 hour high school class.

Packing on too many classes in a semester can exhaust and stress you out to the point of illness. That’s why advisors suggest taking 12 to 15 credit hours per semester. Especially if you’re a freshman.

Difficulty Level:

Consider the difficulty and work load the class offers. Taking too many classes is hard. Taking too many HEAVY classes is even harder.

If you’re really considering packing on a heavy load, talk to the professor and find out exactly what their class consists of in terms of commitment, studying, projects, papers, etc.

Take a few challenging classes. As for the rest of your class schedule, take classes you know you’ll fly through or at least can handle without feeling overwhelmed. Balance it out so you’re not over-doing it with a bunch of difficult classes.

Speaking of Workload:

Got a job? Depending on where you work and how many hours you work for, don’t forget that when you wake up in the morning, you still have class to attend and homework to complete.

However, some bosses are lenient with students.

If you have a job, talk to your boss and find out if they can loosen up the work load for you. That way, if you take more than 15 credit hours, you know how to schedule it around your work schedule.

Some bosses will even let you do homework during lulls in the office or store.

Cutting Out the Good Stuff:

If you’re one of those students who enjoys hanging out with friends or going to parties, you’ll quickly have to start cutting that stuff out of your life. More than 15 credit hours means more time hitting the books!

Schedule some free time to do whatever it is you find relaxing or fun. This is college! Once you graduate, the REAL work begins.

Whether you’ve been in college for three or six years, if you’re thinking about taking more than 15 credit hours, remember to arrange your schedule according to your work ethic as well as your life outside of school.

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