Students need 32 credits to graduate and hence typically take 4 credits for 8 semesters to make satisfactory progress toward the degree. Courses are usually offered for 1 credit, though some courses carry .5 credits (e.g., Chorus), some carry 1.5 credits (e.g., language instruction), and most honors seminars carry 2.0. (physical education courses are not counted in the academic course load, but you should be sure to take action to satisfy the physical education requirements.)
In the first semester, we strongly encourage you to take
- 4 (or 4.5, particularly if taking a language) academic credits, and
- one PE credit each quarter or a one semester-long PE dance course, if you do not participate in a varsity sport.
If you want to take 5 credits in a semester, you should consider doing so very carefully, particularly if those courses include a laboratory component or if you anticipate having heavy time commitments outside the academic ones. Officially, you may take up to 10 credits per academic year without paying additional tuition, but we strongly encourage you to stick to 4 or 4.5 during your first semester.