Wow, thanks for all the comments! I'd just like to steer the discussion back to the main topic, which is basically how much harder is it to take 5 classes per semester than 4? If I do end up transferring from Vassar to Columbia, and admittedly considering the acceptance rate that's a pretty big if, that would be the greatest adjustment I'd have to make. I'd be glad to hear from anyone who is taking, has taken, or knows people who take 5 classes per semester.
Last edited by tsakashvili; 02-09-2010 at 08:39 PM.
It all depends all the types of course you are taking. Some, like U Writing, feels like two or even three in terms of workload. Others feel like none (e.g. Frontiers if you get a good section leader, some classes in the "softer" humanities). I am a freshman in CC. I took six classes last semester with UW. It did feel like alot, but I assure you it was all because of UW (and I did have a "nothing"). This semester i'm doing seven classes, with I'd say 3 very light classes. It's all about how you balance, as many have said.
edit: op, it's probably not wise to be rude towards c02.
Thank you for the comment. I doubt that I was rude towards him/her. I merely noted that the purpose of my title was to attract interest. His/her commenting on the thread was proof of that, and I even thanked him/her for keeping the thread going. As for the main body of the comment, I have no idea how transfer students fit in the core. One thing I suspect, though this is merely a hunch, is that they might let some courses people took at their other schools count if they're close enough. In my case for instance, I think that the year of Arabic I've taken would count for part of the language core, while the art history course might be able to count for the Art core. Turning to the U Writing, Vassar has "Freshmen Writing Seminars" which are writing intensive classes that sound like they serve a similar purpose to the U Writing core. If I'm blessed with an admission offer, and as always that's a big if, that might count as a U Writing Core. Of course, I have no idea if Columbia would even give core credit for courses taken at another school, or that it would count these classes as equivalent if it did. I'd appreciate it if anyone with some insight into this could offer me some perspective.
columbia is rather notoriously strict on the 6 main core courses when it comes to placing out (uw might be the most flexible). and columbia is also very open about this ahead of time because they want even transfer students to feel like they graduated with the full columbia experience. you should go in with the expectation that you will have to fill them. though peripheral core classes you can usually fill easily (arabic fitting for a language, math/sci reqs).
also, admissions officer are not the only ones who counts courses, it is done in conjunction with the center for student advising the folks that know the course offerings inside and out. nor do i think it is as subjective as i hope that my admissions officer is nice, it is a bit more objectively based on whether or not the material taught is similar enough to columbia's class (as far as i know, many frosh writing courses are taken). most transfer students at the point of acceptance will receive a transfer credit evaluation letting them know what will or will not count, it is not a definitive credit evaluation, that happens when you get your DAR (degree audit report) when you fully enroll, you can continue to petition classes and should use old syllabi to do so.
"Do I have to take the Core curriculum, even if I’ve already taken similar courses at my current college/university?
The Core is the cornerstone of undergraduate academic life at Columbia. Even those transferring in with advanced credit should expect to take elements of the Core, if not all of it. Students are very rarely exempt from Core classes like Literature Humanities, Contemporary Civilization, Art Humanities and Music Humanities."
and lastly - i think i need to take a shot at you, but i would research before you go on hunches. i know you were conceding that you didn't know stuff, but quickly after that you made it seem like you were an authority (i am talking about tone here). the fact being, you really didn't need me to post because all of this information i got straight from columbia's website and most of it from the instructions for the application. the only extra thing i know is about the csa people being involved in transfer evaluations because my old advisor was involved in that and mentioned it once in passing.
second, he said don't pick a fight with Columbia2002 because s/he is notorious for picking your argument apart and being vicious. it creates a linguistic fury of nothingness. it is best to ignore c02 when s/he talks grammar (not because s/he doesn't usually have great grammar) but because it tends to be tangential to the question. beyond that s/he offers good advice and knows a lot.
Thank you for your comment. I certainly didn't mean to sound like "an authority", and as you noted I did point out that I really have no clue, but thank you for the feedback. I was merely stating my own, again admittedly uninformed opinion, that if Columbia accepted some outside classes for core credit at all, that those might be some that it would accept. Clearly that base presumption was itself wrong, except apparently in regards to the language requirement. I also did read the part of the website on the core curriculum. Because of the phrase, "those transferring in with advanced credit should expect to take elements of the Core," it seemed to me that I might be exempt from some classes. My point was simply that the classes I noted (freshman writing seminar, art history, and language core) seemed very similar to the core courses. This is why I sought out other people's opinions as to whether my suspicions were right, since I said I couldn't answer them myself, and why I'm glad that you were able to show me otherwise. As always I appreciate other people's opinions and comments.
Last edited by tsakashvili; 02-10-2010 at 10:54 AM.
1) job comes with columbia financial aid. i already do research so it'd be nice to continue asap
2) so you're telling me that it isn't possible to have uwriting and gateway at the same time?
I was planning ahead because second semester of freshman year i have to take two math classes (calc 4 and differential eq) with physics, chem, a professional engineering course and gym. which already adds up to 5 classes excluding gym. so yeah... i pushed both uwriting and gateway to first semester. better than having 6 major classes plus gym at the end of freshman year in my estimation
1) there are plenty of work study jobs that let you do homework on the job (library mostly) so consider those. i know the immediate impulse to get started, but play it by ear, don't feel like you need everything to come into place at the right time. if you get a great option to do research, take it, but otherwise use the time to work and build relationships with the people you want to have.
2) you might be able to petition, but i have never ever heard of a student take uw and gateway together.
3) taking 6 courses in seas is not unheard of, and not unheard of in the first year. in fact it might be the only way if you want to get that second math course out of the way. you could easily manage if you're organized and the better you are at psets the easier it will be.
Sorry to revive such an old thread, but I'm an incoming student I was wondering whether the courses I intend to take are too heavy. I'm a Junior transfer at GS and still have to take UW, Art Hum, Music Hum and one literature course for the Core. I'm an economics major and have already taken some core courses. I wanted to start this semester with:
- University Writing
- Stat B
- Economics of Money and Banking
- Calculus III
- Financial accounting
- Sculpture I
That would make 18 points, but one course is sculpture and there are two math courses (knowing that I really enjoy math and almost placed out of calc III with my HS coursework...). Do you think that's too much? I won't be interning/working this semester, but I still want to be able to have a social life / student groups / etc.
hey cocteau - i guess it depends on what was your most recent scholastic experience, was it recent or awhile ago? from the sound of it it may have been recent? if it was awhile ago i'd just note that it is one helluva reintroduction to school to take such a math intensive courseload.
if so i would say this is probably not going to be terribly too difficult. so long as you do all the impending problem sets which you say you like. UW can range from tedious to fun (mine was fun), but usually always you to just play with writing and thinking if you see it that way.
in the end you can always drop a class, and have about 5 weeks to do so, so always know you have something in your back pocket.
ease into things at first, there are tons of social things you can pick up slowly but surely, and quite a bit of columbia life tends to revolve around studying; especially GS students using Lewisohn as a place to work/congregate/procrastinate. and from there you can find your own way to get involved in student groups.
Yeah, actually I am pretty much a regular student, I'm 20 and studied two years at a french university. Although I didn't take much math at college (just a couple of quantitative-related subjects), I was really good at it in HS and am looking forward to re-discovering the beautiful realm of math.
I forgot I could drop a class, that's great and I guess it solves my problems. I really want to be able to take all my required classes and do sculpture...
i'm pondering why in vassar, 4 credits per course * 4 courses per semester = in columbia 3 credits per course * 5 courses per semester? is that implying the material in a course you take at columbia weighs less than that of at vassar?
Not necessarily. CC students need 124 and SEAS students need 128 to graduate. Say you come into CC with 9 points of AP credit. The 6 main core classes (plus PE), 2 global core, and 2 science core make up another 41 points. If you're taking 4 semesters of a language, that's another 16 points. If your major requires 40 points (~13 classes), that leaves 18 (6 classes) for electives or a concentration. So you could graduate having taken ~33 classes, or even fewer if you max out on AP credits. It's just that many students who have the option choose to go over the graduation requirement.
EDIT: Current Columbia students please correct me if I'm wrong about any of this.
I'm kind of worried about my schedule now because I'll have to take Lit Hum and UW together. I honestly thought UW would be one of the lighter courses, but from reading previous comments, I guess not. Almost all CC students have to deal with it, so I guess I'll pull through eventually.