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Determining When to Add/Drop a Course

January 27, 2014
Determining When to Add/Drop a Class

As it is the first of the semester for most college students across the country, it has come time for many to decide whether they would like to add or drop any credit hours to their course load for the semester.

It can be a tricky thing to maneuver, and has a lot of implications – good and bad – either way. Here are some things to think about before adding or dropping classes.

  • Does your university have a set date to add/drop course by? Many schools have certain schedules outlining when you can drop a course and still get a refund, and how long after the semester starts that you can still add to your course load. Check into this information – it should be available on your university’s web page, the academic calendar for the semester, or in various offices around the campus. Make sure you know this date (or dates) as it’s an important deadline that the school takes very seriously.
  • Before dropping a class, consider what you’re not enjoying about it? Is the professor dry, or offensive to you in some manner? Is it a general ed. class that you could take a different version of and still get the same credit (for instance, if you need your science credit, but you don’t think chemistry is for you after all, try physics or geology)? If it’s for your major, is it a class that’s offered every semester? Because, if you drop it, you wouldn’t want to be stuck in a tricky situation where a course is only offered every other fall semester and you’re a senior finishing up your degree – that could lead to costly and timely delays in your education. If you don’t like the prof, or the time slot, try switching into a different section of the class, and try your luck there.
  • Before adding a class, be certain to examine your courseload – if you’re already taking 16 credits, it may not be the best idea to pile on another three on top of that. But if you find that you have extra free time on your hands, and you don’t feel overtaxed, go ahead and get another gen. ed. out of the way, or try your hand at one of those electives everyone’s always talking about, like yoga or fencing or fly fish tying. The tricky thing is to determine all of this before the deadline is up. It can be hard, as the first week of class is often much different than the rest. But look over your syllabi and class schedules, and think about things such as social life, jobs, or any other extra-curricular activities you may be involved in.
  • As with everything, TALK TO YOUR ADVISER. Seriously, these guys are there to help you. Don’t know which course to take? Ask your adviser. Unsure of which section will be best? Ask your adviser. Considering getting highlights? Well, I can’t be certain on this instance, but you get the idea. In the end, just do what’s best for you!

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