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Transferable Summer Coursework Questions

f77a9b82f77a9b82 Registered User Posts: 60 Junior Member
Hi there,

I will be matriculating at UChicago this fall. I'll be graduating from high school in a few weeks and would like to take a college class this summer. So I'm looking for classes that will easily transfer to UChicago for credit. Not sure what I'll major in, but thinking of Environmental Science, Political Science or Business Econ. Although I'd love to go to UChicago this summer, the College does not allow newly admitted students to take classes on campus the summer before matriculating. So this leaves me to find a 4 year institution near home to take a class.

I've taken a look through the UChicago policy on transfer credit: http://collegecatalog.uchicago.edu/thecollege/transfercredit/

Courses taken during high school: To be considered for credit, petitions must comply with the preceding regulations and the following restrictions:
*Courses may not have counted toward high school graduation requirements.
*Credit for science and calculus courses is not accepted; students should take the appropriate placement or accreditation exams at the time of matriculation.
*Approved credit may only be used as general elective credit. Credit will not be awarded for general education requirements or foreign language courses. Courses must have been offered to a cohort that included undergraduate students. Courses taught specifically for high school student programs will not transfer.

But this is a little unclear. I'm still a bit confused. In particular:

1) Do psychology or computer science classes count as a 'science'? There is no placement/accreditation exam, so not sure.
2) Do I even count still as a high school student? Course would be taken after high school graduation but before matriculation.
Here are some of the classes that are offered at a nearby university that I'm considering:
  • 01:198:110 Intro to Computers and Their Application (UChicago equivalent CMSC 12100)
  • 590:101 Latin America an Introduction (UC equivalent HIST 16101)
  • 01:830:101 General Psychology (UC equivalent PSYC 20000)
It looks like I can't petition until my 2nd year at Chicago. But I don't want to risk paying money to take a class that ultimately won't transfer. I also have not yet been assigned a College advisor, who typically fields these types of questions. Should I call the Dean's office and inquire? Anyway to get someone at the College to confirm that a course would transfer before I take it?

Would love any advice that you may have.

Replies to: Transferable Summer Coursework Questions

  • HydeSnarkHydeSnark Registered User Posts: 850 Member
    edited May 1
    Science = lab science. They want to funnel advanced chem students into honors chem, advanced bio students into AP5, advanced physics students into honors physics, advanced math students into honors calc, etc. Those are likely special requests by those departments that expend lots of energy setting up intro classes for advanced students and don't want people ignoring those classes and skipping ahead.

    Anyways, I think there's a good chance any of those would transfer as an elective credit but elective credits are pretty useless.
  • f77a9b82f77a9b82 Registered User Posts: 60 Junior Member
    @hydesnark thanks for your feedback. Could you please explain a bit more why elective credits are useless?

    I've heard about how rigorous the classes at UChicago will be. So I'd like to be able to take 3 classes per term instead of the standard 4. I know that even without any incoming credit, I'll be able to take 3 classes for at least 6 quarters. But even having one extra quarter where I have a lighter load will certainly help. The more terms that I can take 3 classes, the better.

    Are you saying that the workload will be the same, regardless of taking 4 vs 3 classes?
  • JHSJHS Registered User Posts: 17,988 Senior Member
    Most people wind up taking more than the minimum number of classes to graduate. You need 42 classes to graduate, but you could fit 48 into four academic years (12 quarters), and I think 45-46 is probably the average. No one winds up short of elective credits. Elective credits are what you use to take really interesting courses outside your major, stuff that, at best, is really exciting, really interesting, and not necessarily as demanding as some of the other courses you will take.

    The University of Chicago is an incredible opportunity, a chance to take classes at one of the greatest universities in the world, with a stellar faculty and stellar classmates. Why would you not want to take as much advantage of that as possible? (OK, I know, you probably want a super-high GPA, like you had in high school. Just be aware that answer won't earn you a lot of respect at the University of Chicago. It's not how most people there approach their education.)
  • f77a9b82f77a9b82 Registered User Posts: 60 Junior Member
    @JHS yeah I get that. From what I hear, most of what I need in my career I'll learn on the job anyway. Not afraid of a challenge, but why take more classes than are necessary?

    I wasn't the greatest student in high school. I have a learning disability, and taking a lighter load in college is something that was recommended by my neuropsychologist. Taking fewer classes at a time helps me focus my energy. I tend to get distracted easily. The UChicago quarter system appealed to me because of taking 3/4 classes per term instead of 5. I also want to maximize my job prospects down the road, and having a good GPA will certainly help with that.
  • HydeSnarkHydeSnark Registered User Posts: 850 Member
    Even without any elective credit you can take 3 class quarters half of the time here. If your goal is to maximize three class quarters, elective credits are useful, but everyone I know wishes they can take more classes, not less, so your goals are certainly unusual (though understandable).

    Do you have AP credits? That's the easiest way to get elective credits.
  • f77a9b82f77a9b82 Registered User Posts: 60 Junior Member
    @hydesnark I took only 3 AP classes in high school. One of these I got a 4 on, which doesn't qualify for credit. The other two classes are not granted credit by UChicago (Comp Sci and Environmental Science). So basically I'll enter the College without any advance credits.

    I'm definitely not like the typical UChicago student. I'm sure I'll love the classes, but given my LD want to make sure that I take a measured approach. So hence the desire to take some courses this summer.

    Do you think if I called the Dean's office and asked about transfer credit ahead of matriculating they would get upset?
  • HydeSnarkHydeSnark Registered User Posts: 850 Member
    @f77a9b82 I don't think they'd get upset. I think contacting the Dean's for confirmation about whether those credits can transfer as elective credits is a good idea.

    I think you should contact student disability service if you have not already done so and talk to them about accommodations.
  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying Registered User Posts: 4,990 Senior Member
    Would second calling disability services. You might find once you arrive on campus and get used to the workload that you WANT to overload more than you originally thought. They are there to help you with that. Give them a call over the summer to arrange to send anything that's useful (an eval. report by a health professional that details your LD, for example). They might require intake once you arrive on campus in order to figure out the best set of accommodations.

    Some more unsolicited advice: :)

    A. If you are on meds, please make sure to set up continued access to them so that you aren't stuck w/o needed medication in the middle of the academic year or right before finals. You have no idea how many students believe they can just take their local prescription to another state and have that filled there. That is NOT the case. States will differ. Summertime is the perfect opportunity to arrange for the fulfillment of your meds. Employ your health provider's and your parents' help on this issue.

    B. Some options for registering this fall to help with that GPA: 1) start with three courses; many on this site discuss taking four, but it's not necessary and three is a full load. 2) consider math/science sequences that are a bit less taxing unless you need a particular sequence for your major. 130's Calculus, for instance, satisfies several major pre-reqs, and UChicago offers many non-major physical science sequences that are - according to my kid - both fun and challenging. There are very few, if any, "throw-away" classes at UChicago so it's ok to be cautious. 3) If you struggle with writing, spread your writing-intensive Cores over three years, not two. That's going to be Hum in year One, Sosc. in Year 2, and Civ. in Year 3 (YMMV depending on whether you apply and get into a study abroad that fulfills one of those). Sosc. has some cool new options for the SSI sequences that might be less "writ'y" and more modeling and theory.

    C. You might consider taking courses at UChicago in the summer as well, unless that's simply too expensive (there is FA offered but it's a separate application process than for the school year). That way you can spread your course-load over 12 months instead of nine and still be educated at one of the best schools in the world.
  • Lea111Lea111 Registered User Posts: 199 Junior Member
    To the original poster: I admire your drive in attempting to get the quality of education offered at Chicago, and commend you on being cautious about overdoing it on the quantity. Sometimes people can sound like the only thing that's valuable about a college experience is class time and class assignments (what I call "grown-up assigned learning"), but all kinds of intellectual and growth experiences can await you at a great college - non-credit lectures and workshops, extracurriculars, hanging with friends, spending time talking to professors. And sometimes you really just want to go deep into work you're doing for a class, something that might not be possible if you're taking too many classes (whatever "too many" is for you). I agree that you don't want to be so overwhelmed that you get anxious and depressed and crash, so overwhelmed that you don't have time to go deeper in a class that interests you a lot, or even so overwhelmed that you don't have the opportunity to make friends and spend time on other activities and experiences that a college like Chicago can offer you. So it makes sense to be cautious. (By the way, are you sure that classes taken after high school graduation can transfer? Not something I've looked into.)

    I will say this, for whatever it's worth. My DD has a diagnosis that made me concerned about how she'd do at Chicago, and I had the same concern that you have and encouraged her to max her AP and placement credits both so that she could choose her schedule a little more freely and so she would not have to take 4 classes at a time if that turned not to to be best for her. After a so-so high school experience and a so-so high school education, she's finding Chicago classes so much more interesting, and, in some ways, easier than high school. Especially for kids with certain kinds of diagnoses / personalities, the busywork and rote memorization of high school, the keeping track of so many minute details (for her, 8 classes at a time in high school, with no or unreliable syllabi and disorganized teachers), being in class bored out of their minds most of the time for 30+ hours a week - is just so much harder than being in 3-4 interesting and challenging university classes for 9-16 hours a week, and then doing their reading and problem sets and writing on their own time table and in correspondence their own diurnal rhythms. DD decided to take only 3 classes first quarter of her first year, out of caution and because of a desire to get involved in extracurriculars and make friends quickly. That was fine - she found that having only 3 classes didn't leave her bored at all, because she enjoys spending time with friends in her House and did a big extracurricular activity and likes to sleep late. But she had so much more free time than many of her friends, and there were (as others say) so many interesting-sounding classes! After the first quarter, she decided to start taking 4 classes each quarter from now own (allowing herself the option to drop one if class demands or extracurricular obligations require). She's taken 4 courses for each of her 2nd and 3rd quarters, and it's been just fine.

    Now she's not a slow reader, and she is the kind of kid who can write an essay in a couple of hours (if you keep up with the reading and attend all classes, the unconscious mind can frequently work through stuff on its own if you get enough sleep and "play time" - at least, that works for her). And she did place out of some classes she wasn't interested in taking, so she actually enjoys virtually all her classes to a lesser or greater degree, which makes things much easier and much better. So depending on your issues, your abilities, and your personality, and your level of preparation, you certainly might decide you want to take 3 classes most of the time, and that's fine - quality over quantity, staying in the marathon versus burning out by sprinting.

    But you may also find yourself pleasantly surprised by how much more wonderful, and thus in some ways unexpectedly easier, a good college experience can be, compared with high school, for a certain kind of person.

    Good luck.

    (And yes, it's too bad that kids who need to scale back quantity of school work at one time, but still want the quality, may not have that choice. It's one thing to charge kids for room and board in the summer - that's a real expense that someone has to pay. But it's a shame that kids can't take 3 classes a quarter - which may be something like 4.5 classes at a semester school - and then use their extra paid-for class during the summer without extra tuition.)
  • f77a9b82f77a9b82 Registered User Posts: 60 Junior Member
    I'm so grateful for all of your thoughtful responses. You all have got to be the nicest group of parents/alums/students on CC! Compared to the other forums, the people here post some useful advice. Thank you very much.

    I will definitely get my prescription issue sorted out over the summer. Didn't even think about that one. I did try to make an appointment with the disability office during Admitted Student Days last month, but they were filled. I have an appointment to speak to someone in the Disability office in about 2 weeks. Will definitely get all my documentation in so that I can use my accommodations. I also love the idea of spreading out the writing intensive core classes over 3 years. Fortunately my parents are paying for my education, and don't need financial aid. So staying over the summer quarter and taking a few classes sounds like a great idea. Thank you @JBStillFlying for this great advice.

    @lea111: Your daughter sounds a lot like me. I'm hoping that things turn out the same. It does appear that from the transfer credit page that college classes taken during high school will count for credit. With a few stipulations (must not be for high school students, and cannot double count for high school credit). So if I do take a class this summer, I think it will qualify.
  • ccccguidegccccguideg Registered User Posts: 57 Junior Member
    I would not take any classes this summer with the expectation of getting any credit even elective. My child had 4 college classes taken during HS and none resulted in any credit even though they technically met the transfer requirements. None of them matched up with UChicago courses closely enough to get credit. They will need the syllabus from your class to even consider it. The advice on spacing out the heavy reading/writing parts of the core is a huge help. If foreign language is difficult for you start over at the very beginning of whatever language you already know or consider taking ASL (you will probably need help from the disabilities office to register for ASL before 4th year as it is very popular). The foreign language classes at UChicago are excellent but not ideal for those who have issues learning foreign language. Even first quarter consider registering for 4 classes each quarter. My child has found that in some cases due to lack of a previous background and in some cases disability issues they were unaware of because it was new content to them that they needed to drop a class even some that others consider easy. Having 4 courses makes dropping one a non issue where if you go from 3 to 2 there are issues with full time/part time, etc. My child's grades have actually been better in quarters with 4 rather than 3. It definitely reduces the pressure knowing that if they are just not catching on to something they can drop it and try a different option later.
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