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how difficult are 400 level classes really?

essence222essence222 Posts: 37Registered User Junior Member
edited January 2006 in Transfer Students
I am just wondering how difficult 400 level classes really are. It is my second semester but I am signed up for and want to take a 400 level Poly Sci class. What are the general expectations and how are they different from lower level classes? Is it advisable to take it with a well "not light" course load? Thanks! :-)
Post edited by essence222 on

Replies to: how difficult are 400 level classes really?

  • allenaallena Posts: 1,716Registered User Senior Member
    Where are you taking it?

    A lot of things are going to change this answer. I know personally that I'd do better an incredably hard poli sci class then I could ever do in a moderate math class. Are you good at Political Science?
  • konokono Posts: 198Registered User Junior Member
    Higher level courses are often graded easier as they are primarily comprised of majors.
  • essence222essence222 Posts: 37Registered User Junior Member
    Hey thanks for the replies guys--I am taking it at Penn State University Park. Does graded "easier" mean that it isn't as difficult to get an A? What I really want to know is there a drastic difference in the expectations (writing-wise, project quality-wise, knowledge-wise) than in lower level classes? Um, I guess I am good at Pol. Sci. I dunno, but this is a new area of Poly Sci (Politics in Underdeveloped Areas) for me. But I am also really interested in it at least. So I figure I wouldn't hate reading the text (hopefully).
  • konokono Posts: 198Registered User Junior Member
    Correct, there are typically more A's in these higher level classes. Due your homework and take a prof known for easy grading. This can be word of mouth, a formal or informal system of rating profs at the school, ratemyprofessor.com, ect..
  • essence222essence222 Posts: 37Registered User Junior Member
    thnx for the great feedback you guys! I really, really appreciate it! I have one more question if its alright though: do you think it would be advisable to take this course (i looked at the syllabus and it doesn't look horribly, horribly difficult-a big research paper though) with honors freshman english, intro poli sci, american sign language, race & ethnic rltns (i'll prolly drop this for maybe a philosophy class) & dance class?

    my main concern is that i still want to do well & maintain my GPA & most of A's are 95+ & I am thinking of transferring. So...

    I don't want to potentially mess that up with a 400 level class I didn't have to take until later & might struggle in. will other students with more poli. sci experience have a leg up on me in a 400 level..or does dedication matter more?
  • matm1matm1 Posts: 480Registered User Member
    thnx for the great feedback you guys! I really, really appreciate it! I have one more question if its alright though: do you think it would be advisable to take this course (i looked at the syllabus and it doesn't look horribly, horribly difficult-a big research paper though) with honors freshman english, intro poli sci, american sign language, race & ethnic rltns (i'll prolly drop this for maybe a philosophy class) & dance class?

    my main concern is that i still want to do well & maintain my GPA & most of A's are 95+ & I am thinking of transferring. So...

    I don't want to potentially mess that up with a 400 level class I didn't have to take until later & might struggle in. will other students with more poli. sci experience have a leg up on me in a 400 level..or does dedication matter more?

    Take the class. I took 400 level International Law the first semester of my freshman year and it changed my life. 400 level classes are awesome because you get to do a lot of outside research.
  • Rayver2380Rayver2380 Posts: 42Registered User Junior Member
    i'm taking a couple 300-400 level classes for upper division GE this upcoming semester..doesn't relate to my major, but the classes seem interesting about asian/multi-cultural studies and film
  • mr_sanguinemr_sanguine Posts: 798Registered User Member
    Upper level classes are usually the most interesting and engaging ones because usually the class sizes are smaller and there is more student/professor interaction. Definitely take it if you want.
  • nspedsnspeds Posts: 5,382- Senior Member
    Higher-level courses, at least the ones I have completed, are a blessing in disguise: sure, the information is interesting and there is more personal research involved, but professors have higher expectations. Though it is good to produce work that surpasses their expectations, enrolling in the course without requisite preparation (even if it is not listed as a prerequisite) is foolish. For instance, if you are going to be enrolling in any upper-level philosophy course, your writing style should be immaculate, as should your reasoning, which presupposes prior training in writing philosophy and in logic.
  • essence222essence222 Posts: 37Registered User Junior Member
    i just wanted to say thank you to all the people that responded above! all of your advice was sound and helpful--i really appreciate it! thanks for helping me out! :-)
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