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CMBalla8

How many credit hours can I take before I overload myself?

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Hey all,

So here's my thing. I'm starting the dual master's degree program at Indiana University this fall, MIS and MLS. The degree program is 54 credit hours. I'd really, REALLY like to get it done in 2 years instead of 3. So I'm wondering how many credit hours I should take each semester. I'm not opposed to taking summer classes, but I'd like to limit the amount I have. I'm mostly wondering if 12 credit hours is too many to take first semester. I have a fellowship, so I'll be working 19 hours a week as well.

To be fair, I'm not afraid of a challenge. I took 15 credits a semester all through undergrad while working 20 hours a week. I just want to make sure I don't burn myself out too quickly in grad school.

Any advice? Is 12 credits a semester too much? Should I stick with 9 and just load up on summer classes? Any and all advice would be helpful :) thanks in advance! 

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Outside perspective: 12 credits of grad courses can be very different from the same amount of undergrad credits. Some people can do it and some can't. Over time, it can easily lead to burnout. To the extent that you can, I would suggest starting with the recommended number of credits and seeing how you cope and adjust. You could also see if you can track down current students in your program who are trying to do the same thing to get a first hand account of how doable it is. Since you're suggesting this, I assume it's a possibility and at least some students take advantage of it. Ask the department admin or the chair (or whoever you're in contact with) to put you in touch with some of them. 

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Before planning on summer courses, I would check with the departments to see what is offered over the summer, if anything. Many graduate programs offer few or no classes over the summer because the expect students to be doing research or internships.

FWIW, I took 12 credit hours while also having a GA position and it was too much at times. I would recommend taking 9 hours your first semester and then gauging your ability to do more from there.

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