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Thread: College classes

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    218

    College classes

    Hello, berries.
    This is for a story, by the way, set in the northeastern US. in a fictional university (which is Catholic, if that will make a difference). I'm just wondering what the deal is with classes in college? For a philosophy major or possibly an English major, what would some classes be? And how many classes do you usually take at a time?
    If possible, could I have it for year by year?
    At the beginning of the story the main character is a freshman.
    I am quite clueless about this--thanks in advance!
    Last edited by caritas; July 30th, 2014 at 03:10 PM. Reason: Not enough information
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  2. #3
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    What country are we talking about? University requirements differ from place to place.
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  3. #5
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    Erm, yeah this might not apply to your country, but at the university I most recently graduated from full-time postgraduate study was defined as 60 credits per academic year, generally 30 credits per semester. So it depends how many credits the modules are worth, because they weren't all the same. E.g. some semesters I took e.g. 2 10-credit modules and 2 5-credit modules, some semesters I took 3 10-credit modules. So I was generally taking 3 or 4 modules per semester, and I studied a humanities subject (not philosophy, though). The credit system might be different where you are, though (e.g. might be more courses that are worth fewer credits, might be a larger/smaller credits-per-semester requirement). I don't really remember how many credits I was taking per semester back in the UK for undergrad/postgrad, but it was the same, about 3-4 modules per semester.

    What you should do is go on the website for a university in the area you are interested in and look for information on the degree programmes on offer (there should be something like a 'course catalogue' - that's what we call it at the University of Iceland but it could have a different name). It should show you exactly the credit requirements, including the specific mandatory and elective courses that a student must/can take in order to obtain the degree. If the information is hard to find, just pick another university with a better website - eventually you ought to find a good framework for what the structure of a philosophy degree in your country will generally look like. E.g. the first US university I thought of: http://www.philosophy.ucla.edu/major.html (this looks very different to what I'm familiar with).
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  4. #7
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    I think the year of your character also matters greatly. A freshman, regardless of major, would have very general requirements, whereas someone in their final year would have courses greatly specified to the major.

    Jackal did a good job explaining the way credits work and how it can vary greatly. I will say that from my experience I have taken as few as five courses a semester and as many as seven, as my school has a 30 credit a year set up for a total of 120 come graduation. This also might be directly related to the year, as I find that as a senior I have fewer requirements left so I'm no longer taking seven classes in order to get ahead.

    I go to school in the Northeast US, for reference.

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  5. #9
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    @jess0044 has a pretty good idea for American schools. Generally, you take 30 credits a year, for a 4-year degree. Courses can vary between 1 credit to 4 or 5 credits (usually one credit per hour you're in class--many classes meet three times a week, for one hour each class, and are 3 credits). B.A. degrees usually have much more varied Gen.Ed. requirements (including more artsy subjects, and I've heard that only B.A. students are required to have foreign language courses, but not B.S. degrees). I could go fairly in-depth into my major, which was Professional Writing (but I was also enrolled in Library Science and Theology and Psychology programs at various points in college--I changed my mind a lot!--so I have a little experience with all three. Generally you can find a PDF document of the courses required for each major, and the suggested courseload for each semester. I went with my sister to meetings this afternoon at her university where she was given such a document--it's just a matter of finding it. I really have no idea about a philosophy degree, though--I don't think I've ever even had a philosophy course--just religion and psychology/sociology ones.

    For reference, I've gone to college in both the Midwest and the Mid-Atlantic region (think Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia, etc.).

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