what is a typical course schedule for Obies

<p>Just wondering, as we near the orientation process and D will meet with her advisor to select the next set of classes, (she has two lined up), how many classes is typical to take in a single sememster? What are the typical "total credits" per sememster? Does anyone have experience with a student taking too few credits or too many? How did it all work out?</p>

<p>D is in the process of "thinking" about the other courses she may want to take and yet not fully understanding the time commitment of the courses (as they are different from the 9 class-day of High School)!</p>


<p>Most students take 4 main classes. Normally you split them up between Monday, Wednesday, Friday classes and Tues Thurs classes. However, there are also module classes (half a semester) and excos which can add to your course load. Looking at the credits can be helpful. You must take between 12-16 credits - I don't think there is an exception. Looking at how many credits a class is should give you a good example of how much work it is, with 3 being the standard. Often if you take only 3 classes, you can add excos to get to the required credit level. Or if you take 5 academic classes, often one of them is easier. Normally I took 4 main academic classes and then maybe one exco or module class a semester as well.
One thing I would recommend is for your daughter to get her requirements out of the way quickly - like if she is not a science/math person, to try and fulfill those requirements the first two years. It's also a good time to just try out random subjects that seem interesting and not try to overload oneself. Also, I'd point to the site ratemyprofessors.com when choosing classes.
Hope that helps!</p>

<p>thank you-Estargrl88--what you wrote is very helpful. Did you find your advisor(as an incoming first year) to be helpful in figuring out those requirements you might need to "get out of the way"...?</p>

<p>The total number of credit hours you need to average is 14 per semester.</p>

<p>My advisor did keep track pretty well of making sure I was aware of my credits and requirements. It'd probably be good if your daughter remembered to ask about it too incase they don't bring it up.</p>

<p>Something to think about... although a typical course load has four academic courses, my advisor strongly encouraged me to take only three academic courses my first semester. That took up 11 credits; I filled the rest of my schedule with music lessons and an ExCo. It was a really good way to try a bunch of different options (I couldn't have handled an additional academic course and still had time for music lessons), and to figure out how to handle college work, without getting completely overwhelmed.</p>

<p>The workload at Oberlin isn't gruelling or anything, but it takes time to adapt -- even if you've taken AP classes or courses at other colleges. Lots of first-years take first-year seminars, intro science courses, or intro language courses, which are pretty work-heavy. And getting used to college life is like a non-credit course of its own (can I bike to Lake Erie this afternoon and still finish my paper by midnight? yeah, not really...) If your D isn't sure about the time commitment, an easy first semester is not a bad idea -- she'll have plenty of time to overload on credits later :)</p>

<p>Sometimes a light course load can backfire. You feel less pressure and can get a little too laid back or casual, which can have an impact on your GPA. My D just finished her frosh year. Comparing fall and spring semesters, the heavier her couse load the better she did. Add work-study on top of that and she did even better. Some kids are built that way.</p>

<p>Yep, it depends on the student. My daughter was pretty much always at the upper limit because she was usually taking primary lessons (4 credits on double bass) plus one or two kinds of secondary lessons (2 credits on jazz bass most semesters, plus secondary lessons on viola da gamba, keyboard, percussion, Indian and African music some semesters). Occasionally she had to resort to taking her ensemble classes for 0 rather than 1 credit hours to keep from triggering the tuition surcharge. Somehow, with all of that, she still managed to keep up her grades and be in both the dining and housing co-ops, rising to the position of head cook. I guess she has always been very good at time management and multitasking.</p>

<p>I would say never take less than four primary academic courses. There is a credit discrepancy between 3 and 4 credit courses (i.e. most science and english courses are 4 credits, most other courses are 3), meaning that a Physics major is likely going to be unable to take more than 4 courses, and will end up close to the credit limit, whereas a history major would only have 12 credits if they took only four courses. The college is taking steps to standardize credit loads, but I'm not sure when that will actually take effect.</p>

<p>I think that it's important to take 4 or 5 distinct academic courses (rather than ExCos, module courses, etc) each semester, for several reasons. First, college only comes once, and tuition is absurdly expensive. It's worth it to take as many unique academic courses as you can. Second, those courses help you build relationships with faculty, discern longer term interests, and get you in good shape for grad school/post-Oberlin.</p>