Academic activities

  • Number of courses: 3 to 6
  • Class time: 12 to 18 or more hours

Most lecture classes are three units, but some lecture/lab combination classes, and some remedial writing classes, can be five units.

Attendance at class is not required, though participation in class is almost always required, and is usually part of the course grade. Those who are not there cannot participate. Many instructors will not be able to watch over individual students, as was the case in high school.

Students who receive Financial Aid, and some others (International Students) must be "full time," which is defined as enrolling in 12 semester units or more.

The average frosh unit load is about 13.5, and the absolute maximum allowed without very special approval, not usually given to frosh, is 18 units.

Homework and library work involves 20 or more hours

The rule of thumb is that for each hour spent in a class during the week, at least two hours must be spent outside of class to keep up with reading, papers, reports, and other homework

Tests: varies throughout the semester.

There is no standard "mid-term" time. Some classes have a single mid-term exam, others have weekly exams and quizzes, and papers and reports are due at a dizzying variety of times.

The one "crunch time" that everyone experiences is final exams, a week set aside after the last classes just for finals - which are typically two and a quarter hours. All new students are under tremendous stress at final exam time and you may not sleep much.