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4 Classes and a Language

terencterenc Registered User Posts: 1,128 Senior Member
edited May 2012 in Brown University
What do you guys think about the workload involved in taking 4 classes and a language class (Mandarin), for a total of 5 classes per semester? The problem is I would probably be a CS concentrator (1-2 CS classes per semester), which would worsen the workload.

I'm mainly concerned about whether or not language classes at Brown are a lot of work or not.
Would I still be able to have some social life and 1-2 extracurricular activities? (Obviously, I wouldn't be partying all the time. I would be working most of the time)

Let's assume I'm not taking 3 classes and a language (even though it is possible).
Post edited by terenc on

Replies to: 4 Classes and a Language

  • BrownAlumParentBrownAlumParent Registered User Posts: 661 Member
    Why the rush? Yes language classes at Brown are a lot of work, mainly because you have language lab etc. I don't know specifically about Mandarin. In general I would not recommend more than 4 courses for your first semester.
  • bruno14bruno14 Registered User Posts: 2,051 Senior Member
    5 courses is considered a tough workload - most students take 4. Intro language classes, especially, take a lot of time and work because they often meet 4 days a week and have extra sessions sometimes. I'd suggest you reconsider this workload, especially for your first semester. You won't have time to socialize, which is really necessary, and I doubt you'd be able to do extracurriculars.
  • terencterenc Registered User Posts: 1,128 Senior Member
    I see your points, and I probably won't take 5 classes. It's just that there's so much I want to learn, and so many classes I want to take, but only so much time to take them.
  • franglishfranglish Registered User Posts: 2,308 Senior Member
    I understand that with a course catalog of some 3000 courses, and only being able to take around 30-40 during one's time at Brown can feel frustrating. One thing you could consider doing is taking courses over the summer, if that is a possible option for you. My daughter did that twice. She worked during the summer as well, so it was not really an expense. And, financial aid can help pay for summer courses as long as you don't do five (I think that's how it works, anyway) during the semester. Five courses during the regular semester is a lot of work. Daughter did that as well and nearly drowned in it all.
  • aleph0aleph0 Registered User Posts: 238 Junior Member
    Though 4 courses your first semester is generally good advice, there really no reason not the explore the option of taking 5 courses after that. The amount of work really depends on the specific combination of 5 courses you are doing.
  • UrooglaUroogla Registered User Posts: 1,431 Senior Member
    It's potentially doable. My freshman spring was 3 language classes, CS32 (which used to be the hellish intermediate class, but that will likely no longer be the case when you take it), and APMA1660. Except during final projects, I was fine. However, depending on your priorities, something like that may not make you happy. I'd take 4 classes freshman fall and see what you can handle and what you want to do. It may be that the extra time of a fifth class outweighs the benefits.
  • BrownParentBrownParent Registered User Posts: 12,776 Senior Member
    I think you need to test yourself over a first semester to see the load you are comfortable with. It may start off okay, then you are drowning at finals. My daughter was a math-cs concentrator and took a year of Mandarin. She did it sophmore year S/nc which helped with the pressure. I got the impression the language class was a lot of work. There are lab sections for each of the 5 teachers I think, one where you just do pronunciation with the teacher and one other student for 1/2 hour. Then there is writing, etc.
  • JFVollegirl27JFVollegirl27 Registered User Posts: 123 Junior Member
    You could do it with an even balance between humanities....but probably not the smartest choice with the sciences, particularly CS. I took CS15 the first semester of my freshman year and it consumed so much time....but I also never had any prior experience. This semester, I am in 5 classes (with an intro language) and i still have less work than I did last semester with CS.....I have a really good balance though between the types of classes I am in.
This discussion has been closed.