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College Application Questions.

Layzie

Senior member
Feb 2, 2000
380
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Im filling out this college application and they ask if I want to get an Associate's degree. I'm planning on attending the local college then transferring to a UC school. I'm still undecided on what to major in.

What's an Associate's degree and do I really need one?

BTW: How many classes a semester should I take?

Whats normal?

Thanks.

<edit> Wohoo Senior Member!</edit>
 

Viper GTS

Lifer
Oct 13, 1999
37,791
173
116
An &quot;Associate's Degree&quot; is a standard two year degree. There are two common varieties, the &quot;AA&quot; (Associate of Arts), &amp; &quot;AS&quot; (Associate of Science). The AS has more emphasis on math &amp; science (physics, chemistry, etc) than the AA does.

Semester loads are not usually determined by the number of classes, but by the number of credits. For example, a typical college math class could be 4 credits, physics 5, writing 3, &amp; PE 1. As you can probably tell, credits are pretty much determined by the workload of the class. Also, how much time a week you spend in class. A four credit math class might meet four times a week for an hour, while the physics might be three times for an hour and a half. Labs don't carry credit values, but are often required with classes (typically lower level calculus, &amp; most physics/chemistry classes).

How much should you take per term or semester? 12 credits is typically considered full time, but most people take 15 or more. 17 is a comfortable load, 19 sucks (I know...:(). For starters, I'd say take 15 credits or so. Do that for one semester to get used to college life, &amp; how things work. Then go to 17 or so. Granted, you may not finish in exactly two years or exactly four years, but the reduced stress vs. 19 credits is worth it, if you ask me.

Viper GTS
 

randypj

Platinum Member
Oct 9, 1999
2,078
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What I did:

1. signup for 24 hours, especially if you are just getting trash electives out of the way and don't know much about the instructors--yes, the univ. may give you trash about this many--be creative.
2. then, decide which instructors/times you like during the first couple weeks and drop down to 18 hours, or if you can handle the load, keep it at 21.

As Viper GTS said, you might want to cut it down to 15 your first semester. Over 18 can be a bear. I liked 'em all one semester and ended up doing 24. I hated that semester, but sure loved my last Senior semester with only 12 credits, girlfriend, beach, motorcycle.

Another thing I would do the first week was &quot;sample&quot; other classes. If I liked them better, I'd just transfer.

BTW, has anyone ever had an instructor refuse to let them transfer in? I think I had one, maybe.
--Randy
 

Kjazlaw

Senior member
Feb 18, 2000
603
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24 credits? that's insane...

like Viper suggested, try 15 at first. then adjust accordingly. something else you might want to consider is that the first semester is half about getting yourself motivated and used to college life. once you get used to it, it becomes easier. (15 credits first semester will usually be harder than 15 credits your junior year.)
 

randypj

Platinum Member
Oct 9, 1999
2,078
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Kjazlaw--not insane....but I wouldn't recommend it. Just happened that I liked all the courses, times, and instructors. I wasn't working that semester. Actually, I didn't hate it. One of the few semesters that I even cared about grades and enjoyed studying.
--Randy
 

montanafan

Diamond Member
Nov 7, 1999
3,551
2
71
If it's your first semester in college and you have a job, I'd recommend no more than 12 hours. You really should make it as easy as possible on yourself to adjust to college life at first.

If you don't work, you should be able to handle 15 hours easy.
 

CyberSax

Banned
Mar 12, 2000
1,253
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Yup. If you have a job, don't attempt more than 12 credit hours in one semester. 12 credit hours usually translates to about 3 to 4 classes, which is quite a bit. If you don't have a job, you might be able to push to 18 or so. A typical college requires 120 credits to graduate. Divide that by 8 and you get 15 credits per semester.

24 credit hours per month is just too much. If you really want to take that many classes, take some during the summer.
 

warlord

Golden Member
Oct 25, 1999
1,557
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24 hours is insane, they must have been some pretty easy classes. I've done 21, chemistry, calculus, psychology, english comp, and something else (elective), along with 15-20 hours a week working, it almost killed me ;)

I'd go with the majority here, stick with between 12-15 hours, you'll learn what you can handle and what is too much. besides, if you load up on credits, what happens when you decide you want a life?

Viper-Frag, I don't know anything about stevens, but it looks like a 4.5-5 year program cramed into 4 years :) have fun. :D
 

Viper GTS

Lifer
Oct 13, 1999
37,791
173
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My 19 credits were:

Differential Eq's (MTH 256, 4 credits)
Statics (GE 221, 5 credits)
Circuits (GE 222, 5 credits)
Physics (PHY 213, 5 credits)

Bitch of a term.

Viper GTS
 

commodore

Member
Jun 20, 2000
29
0
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i think you guys are being too hard on randypj, i totally understand what he's saying. take as many classes as you can (24 credits) and then decide which classes you like and drop the others before the drop date. most universities don't charge for extra classes after full time status is met, and as long as you drop before the drop date, it doesn't even go on record that you were in the class. its an easy way to figure out what teachers are gonna suck, and it also works if its a hard class cuz you can usually take the first two tests, drop the course, and then have a great edge the second time around!
 

bUnMaNGo

Senior member
Feb 9, 2000
964
0
0
Layzie if you plan on getting a Bachelor's degree from a UC then I don't think you'd need to get an Associates degree. What most people do is stay at a community college for approximately two years and earn about 60 semester units (which converts to 90 quarter units, which all UC campuses use except for Berkeley). 90 quarter/60 semester is usually what is considered junior standing, and UC's take that into consideration when you're transferring (some don't accept transfers below the junior level). Also, if you go to an accredited community college, your chances of getting into a UC might be higher- go to the student center at your school and visit the Office of Relations With Schools or something along the lines of that. Also, visit http://www.assist.org- this site has a listing of alotta the community colleges AND universities in California, and which classes are transferable to UC's etc. As for how many classes you should take, 3 classes is the minimum usually (or around 12 units) to be considered a full time student (which becomes important if you're applying for financial aid). Typically you would want to take around 16 units/semester. Most colleges limit you to around 18 or 20 a semester, and you have to petition in order to enroll in more classes. However, taking more classes is good if you can handle it- it would save more time of course, since most people who do transfer from a community college to a UC don't graduate in four years (two at a JC, two at a UC) since some core major classes were not available at the JC. As to what classes you should take, generally at a JC, you take what are called General Education classes- classes such as general chemistry, physics, a whole lot of social science/humanities (ugh!) classes such as history, philosophy, psychology, etc. Of course you'd want to take some english/writing courses- usually one or two semesters would do- Freshman Composition, and Critical Thinking and Writing are the most common, I believe. Also depending on your major, you'd want to take some math- all engineering/computer science majors require one full year of calculus, and maybe even more (multi-variable, differential equations, boolean algebra, linear algebra). Most engineering schools also require you to complete 3 semesters worth of calculus based physics- also known as engineering physics, which involve mechanics, heat, waves, electromagnetism, etc. I'm sure this is more information than you need, but if you have more questions, feel free to ask. IMO, JC's are the best bang for the buck- I went to UCR for a quarter, then dropped out to go to a JC- Mt. Sac. I was surprised to see that my BOOKS costed more than my tuition. I hope this information is useful for you- it's probably way more than you need. One question if you don't mind though- what JC were you planning on attending?

<edit> Actually I just read your profile, and it says you live in Pasadena- so I assume you're gonna be going to PCC? I have a few friends going there right now, and they spoke to some advisor there to get their 2 years planned out (what classes to take, etc). I suggest you go see an advisor there to help you plan out your schedule. Oh yea, one thing that I hated about community college- THEY TAKE ROLL!!! AAAHHHHH :p </edit>
 

Layzie

Senior member
Feb 2, 2000
380
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Yep bUnMaNGo Im going to PCC. Thank you and everyone else for the great advice. I'm gonna go tommmorow to see If I can talk to an advisor to get my stuff planned out. Thanks
 

Ladi

Platinum Member
Apr 21, 2000
2,084
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Oh gawd...stevens tech. evil evil EVIL! One of my closest friends goes there now and after about 2 weeks into his second semester, he was already looking to transfer out. Along with a good 90% of his friends. His claims: he's not learning anything that he couldn't get anywhere else, tons and tons of blatant cheating, nothing to speak of to do in hoboken, double-proxies (no streaming media), a T1 for the entire student population (28.8 dialup is faster), etc etc etc. NOT a school he ended up enjoying.

Other notes: 15 credits is nice, 18 can be hellish. Look into the actual classes though...There are some 3-credit classes out there that truly deserve 6 and some 4-credit classes that should barely count for 2...

~Ladi
 

Mday

Lifer
Oct 14, 1999
18,646
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i guess the stevens honor code is not working. :|

--

let's see, i took ODE at stevens, and there was someone taking the course for someone else, and someone paid someone else to do HWs. i found both out after the final.

the people don't seem that smart.
 

warlord

Golden Member
Oct 25, 1999
1,557
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0


<< most universities don't charge for extra classes after full time status is met >>


what universities have you been looking at? MOST universities charge by the credit hour, full time status is not a billing status. most universities also require written permission to take over 20 hours.
 

bUnMaNGo

Senior member
Feb 9, 2000
964
0
0
Actually warlord, community colleges, aka junior colleges charge via a per unit fee, in addition to registration/health/etc fees. As far as I know, universities, for full time status, have one set tuition. I believe that commodore is correct in his saying that most universities don't charge extra for more classes. At least that's how the University of California works. I've taken 12 units, 16 units, and 20 units before and have been charged the same amount.
 

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