Normal Course Load
Students need 32 credits to graduate and 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 a typical first semester, the normal load is 4.0 to 4.5 credits plus PE. There are many reasons why we encourage you to take this load. Everyone should take 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 more than the normal load of 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 the normal load during your first semester.