Post # 1
I’m going to grad school next fall and have taken a 2 1/2 year break. My advisor suggested I take 6 hours instead of 9 just until I can get back in to the swing of things. I’m torn because on one side I think it would be beneficial just in case I’m not ready and on the other hand I’ve never, ever taken part time in school. My last semester I was taking 18 hours and doing independent study/research while working 32 hrs a week so I guess it’s safe to say I’m used to pressure. So how many hours did you guys take your first semester of grad school?
Post # 3
@chouette: My program is accelerated, so I actually took 12 credits each term, so unfortunately I can’t be of help, but I think 9 is the average “full-time.” While I understand you want to get back in the swing of things, it also depends on how they calculate tuition (is it per credit or based on halftime/full time?) because in my case, based on full time (9-12 credits) it was the same price for 12 as it was for 9, or if you’re half time, it might affect financial aid.
Post # 4
@chouette: I went full-time always.
Definitely be sure to investigate though if being part-time will affect any scholarship/fellowship/assistantship, tuition remission, or stipend. Also see how it affects how they cover your healthcare. All those things can be dependent on maintaining full-time status so absolutely investigate before registering as part-time.
Post # 5
I took 12. It’s an accelerated program.
Post # 6
Our program is measured maybe differently; I took 5 courses per semester, 3 credits each. I had been out of school for a year and didn’t have any problem adjusting, although some of my colleagues did. Others are definitely right that you need to check how part-time status will affect a lot of important financial circumstances.
Post # 7
@bearlove: Yeah no healthcare but I’ve never heard of it being affected by your status as a student anyway. I’ll be getting a GA position next December and you are considered full time with 6 hrs. My loans will be deferred at part time status and I’ve missed the deadline to apply for scholarships until next year so my 1st semester will be on loans anyway.
I’m guess I’m asking is if people felt prepared for 9 hours or if 6 would be better.
Post # 8
@chouette: I went straight into my program from undergrad so it really felt no different. BUT I did not have a job or GA (again because of the accelerated). If you’re doing a GA I would consider less hours.
Post # 9
@chouette: Personally I think if you were a hard working student in undergrad (2.5 years ago) and know what it takes to stay on top of homework/reading/time management, 9 credits should not be a problem. Only if you had been out of school for that period because you had medical/emotional or other issues you were having to deal with where it might be necessary to not throw yourself into a stressful situation, would I really suggest 6. But it’s your call. You can always add more/remove classes next semester.
Post # 10
I was out of school for a little over three years before I went back for grad school. I did six credits, but I also worked full-time during that period.
Post # 11
When I was working on the course part of my degree I did full-time, 9 hours.
Post # 12
My program is for a masters and a PhD in 5 years (1 year is an internship). They require use to take 13-14 hours each semester. I am taking 7 hours this summer.
Post # 13
In my experience, graduate school is easier than undergrad because you are so much more invested in what you’re studying. I took four classes a semester until I was done; at my school it was one class = one credit so I don’t know how to tell you how many hours. I was full-time, though. Right now I am taking classes online for my special ed. certification and have three to take over the summer, which at this school is 9 hours. I took 6 “hours” during the last semester and it was not a lot of work at all.
Are you going to be working full-time? If not, I’d take a full courseload.
Post # 14
I’ve been out of school for 7 years, and now i’m doing my MS and it’s 6 hours. The first few weeks, I drove my self crazy with the pressure I was putting on myself to get things done. But now, I’m good with 6 hours and I could do more, but with a full time job, I don’t want to. Good luck!
Post # 15
I took 6, but I worked full-time at the same time
Post # 16
I took 6 credits, but I also worked 30 hours at my salaried job at the same time. I don’t think one more class was physically possible!
I had an 8 year gap in my schooling.