right arrow
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04

Academic Workload at Top Colleges

shayan81shayan81 16 replies14 postsRegistered User Junior Member
How is the academic workload at ivies and other top schools(e.g. Stanford) for an econ major ?
How many hours a week should I study if I attend these colleges ?
I searched a lot but I couldn't find a good answer I just want to know How many hours per week should I study as a freshman .
16 replies
· Reply · Share

Replies to: Academic Workload at Top Colleges

  • skieuropeskieurope 38455 replies6720 postsSuper Moderator Super Moderator
    How is the academic workload at ivies and other top schools(e.g. Stanford) for an econ major ?
    Comparable. The big difference with Stanford is that they are on a quarter system.So the workload is high per class, but,on average, you take fewer classes per term.
    How many hours a week should I study if I attend these colleges ?
    As many as it takes. The rule of thumb is that for every hour of class you will spend 2-3 hours of studying/prep time. But this will vary by class and instructor. The grapevine at the college (or an official/unofficial guide) will give a new student a better idea on specifics.

    All this is moot, of course, until one gets accepted, so that should be your focus.
    · Reply · Share
  • RiversiderRiversider 694 replies76 postsRegistered User Member
    edited July 18
    It varies for different students, courses and teachers but there is no standard rule. However, if you got in on merit, you can certainly handle it with good study habits. There are lots of non scholar athletes and other low academic tier quota admits graduating from top schools every year so no reason a merit admit can’t manage any college. No need to underestimate yourself.
    edited July 18
    · Reply · Share
  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 3675 replies16 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited July 18
    For any college you will have more in depth classes. Some skated through high school and now in college is like the first time they have to really study. Be prepared to go to peer to peer tutor sections. Get professor help. Many schools have math /science help labs. Talk with the learning centers at the schools your considering. They will also have a better clue since they are the ones helping the students to succeed. Don't rely to heavily on the current students reviews. Everyone is doing great.
    LOL.. Talk with the learning centers.
    edited July 18
    · Reply · Share
  • skieuropeskieurope 38455 replies6720 postsSuper Moderator Super Moderator
    edited July 18
    There are lots of non scholar athletes and other low academic tier quota admits graduating from top schools every year
    @Riversider How much more misinformed can you possibly be? Your comment is beyond insulting. In my opinion, of course.

    Having graduated from one of these top schools 6 weeks ago, IME, all these "non scholar" and "quota" students performed as well as the majority of their peers
    edited July 18
    · Reply · Share
  • scmom12scmom12 3078 replies21 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited July 18
    Actually some “merit” students hit a wall in college because they didn’t have to study in HS and don’t have study skills. Even at top schools out of class time will vary by course, but bottom line is that a lot of it is on you. D was great math student in college, but she did all problem sets even if not graded and then redid them before tests. Unless really crunched for time she did readings that were recommended but not required. She went to class. Both my Ds began papers far enough ahead of time to take advantage of prof offers to look at outlines or rough drafts.

    As to exact question, I’ve seen the 2-3 hour outside for one inside class as well and that seem to be true for older D at LAC that was ranked top 15 for how hard students work (if you believe in rankings).
    edited July 18
    · Reply · Share
  • shayan81shayan81 16 replies14 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Thanks everyone for their replies . I was scared that I wouldn't have time for gym or extracurricular activities or I have to sleep 3 hours every night .
    Seems like it is a bit easier than I imagined .
    · Reply · Share
  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 6609 replies39 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    My D is an engineering major. Took 17 credit hours last semester and worked around 40 hours/week on school work outside of classes (depending on the week). She still had time to get to the gym, do theater, and sleep :). You've got this!
    · Reply · Share
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 77105 replies671 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    With Stanford in particular, economics is math heavy. For example, intermediate microeconomics requires multivariable calculus. This is similar to some other colleges like MIT, Chicago, and UCSC, but many other colleges require only up to single variable calculus.

    If you like math and are good at it, a math heavy economics major will be a good fit for you. Otherwise, it will be harder.
    · Reply · Share
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 77105 replies671 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited July 18
    In terms of hours per week, the nominal workload for 15-16 credits (or equivalent) per term is 45-48 hours per week, including in class and out of class time.

    In practice, courses with labs, big projects, art studio or performance, or computer programming tend to be on the high side of workload, compared to other courses.
    edited July 18
    · Reply · Share
  • lookingforwardlookingforward 33093 replies358 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Some classes will seem easy, come to you naturally or build on hs learning, skills you bring.

    The issue in general is that when you put yourself in a group of peers better prepped, who may have experienced more in hs or beyond, one can find himself running, just to keep up.

    Count on a Stanford to be tough.
    · Reply · Share
  • GoatGirl19GoatGirl19 298 replies4 postsRegistered User Member
    The rule of thumb given above (3 hours outside of class for every hour in class) is, I believe, federally mandated, so the average student at that school should have to work that much. Let's say you committed to a 15 credit load your first semester.
    I've done this math before:
    There are 168 hours in a week. Say you go to class for the normal 15 hours a week:
    168 - 15 = 153.
    Study another 45 hours a week.
    153 - 45 = 108
    Sleep 8 hours per night.
    108 - 56 = 52
    So that's 52 hours of free time before working, if you study the normal 45 hours a week and sleep a healthy amount. Let's say it takes you an hour a day to get ready in the morning and at night combined:
    52 - 7 = 45
    You have exactly as much free time each week as you do time required to study!
    Assuming you like to eat, let's say you take half an hour each for breakfast and lunch and an hour for dinner:
    45 - 14 = 31
    If you split that time totally evenly, it leaves you just about 4 1/2 hours per day of free time! That's plenty of time to hit the gym in the morning and watch a movie in the evening every day.
    · Reply · Share
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 77105 replies671 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited July 18
    GoatGirl19 wrote: »
    The rule of thumb given above (3 hours outside of class for every hour in class) is, I believe, federally mandated,

    It is actually 3 hours per week including both in-class and out-of-class time (commonly 1 hour in-class and 2 hours out-of-class).

    https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?rgn=div8&node=34:3.1.3.1.1.1.23.2 says:
    Credit hour: Except as provided in 34 CFR 668.8(k) and (l), a credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than—

    (1) One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out of class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester or trimester hour of credit, or ten to twelve weeks for one quarter hour of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or

    (2) At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other academic activities as established by the institution including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.
    edited July 18
    · Reply · Share
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 77105 replies671 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    skieurope wrote: »
    The big difference with Stanford is that they are on a quarter system.So the workload is high per class, but,on average, you take fewer classes per term.

    Based on https://explorecourses.stanford.edu/ , it looks like a very common credit value for Stanford courses is 5 units, so taking three such courses each quarter would be a nominal full course load. However, some Stanford courses have other credit values (e.g. 3 or 4 units), so it may not necessarily be the case that a Stanford student will have three 5 unit courses every quarter.
    · Reply · Share
  • lookingforwardlookingforward 33093 replies358 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Nothing holds a student to 2-3 hours per class session. Sometimes, an hour will do it and other times, an entire weekend might not.

    OP is a rising senior, yet to retake the SAT, to significantly improve. His/her targets will need to reflect the record.
    · Reply · Share
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 77105 replies671 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Nothing holds a student to 2-3 hours per class session. Sometimes, an hour will do it and other times, an entire weekend might not.

    Yes, some students will work more or less than others for a given course. However, the assignment of credits per course by the college is supposed to be based on typical students, rather than individual outliers.
    · Reply · Share
  • rickle1rickle1 1814 replies14 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Think of it like a full time job. All in it could easily take 50 hours per week (much more during finals and projects, etc.) Just be good about budgeting your time. If you're organized, you'll still have time for the gym, ECs, socializing, etc.
    · Reply · Share
Sign In or Register to comment.

Recent Activity