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How many courses do Master Students usually take a semester?

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Hello All,

I have not been here in some time and I needed to clear my head. After not getting funding but securing two grad assistant interviews (tomorrow and next week; same people different jobs. I'll figure it out later) and dealing with a difficult advisor (still going through this) I have a question. As you can see in between not doing my work for classes, I have arrived at an impasse. I am aware it is different for schools, program, etc. How many courses do master students take? How many did you take? or how many have you heard people take?

Thanks,

I hope all is well with you all :D

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Like you said, course load depends on the program. For my 2-yr MS toxicology program, I've been advised to take no more than 3 classes a semester. This still leaves plenty of time to conduct research or TA. Friends in comparable 2-yr MS programs took 2-3 classes per semester/quarter depending on the unit requirements in their program. With that said, this only applies to science programs though. I can't speak for non-science fields. Your advisor should be able to make a recommendation in this area. Since you've mentioned experiencing difficulties with your advisor, ask current students in the program about their course load. I did this by asking the grad coordinator of my dept for contact info of current students and was given several contacts. All of them have been candid and helpful.

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It depends on the program, and (at least in Germany) also on whether you took any grad courses during your undergrad and can transfer the credits. I did that, and only ended up taking about 3-4 classes in my first three semesters, and none in my last semester. I've just looked at our course plan though. It shows about 15 courses for the first three semesters, including an "independent research" course (this can be work on your thesis, and typically you simply meet with your advisor and maybe other students he/she supervises) in the third semester. There are no courses for the fourth semester, during which one is supposed to focus on writing the MSc thesis.

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For my MA, I took three in the fall session and three in the winter. This included the mandatory MA thesis seminar (which can also take the form of research practicuums ect:), a mandatory theory course and a mandatory methods course. So: 6 classes in total for two semesters, 3 of which I was able to pick.

Good luck!

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Thank you all for your responses. My advisor said most people take 3 classes. He also said that I have to take a class that is 1 unit/credit and there is not much work in it so, I 'might' want to take another course to give myself some more work. Well, I dont want to but what do you all think? Should I? Is there any benefit of doing this?

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What do you mean by a 1 credit class? Is it a seminar? Or is it thesis hours?

It is a seminar.

For professional master's programs, it's not uncommon for students to take 4-5 courses plus fieldwork. I'll reckon in discipline-based master's programs, it's 3-4 courses plus TA/RA.

So if I am going to be a RA, then I should take no more than 4 classes a semester? Just checking to make sure because I really want to make sure that I am able to balance my commitments properly.

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My MA program requires 2 classes (6 credit hours) each semester but they suggest 3 classes (9 credit hours) each semester in order to complete the masters in 2 years.

If you try to go faster than the recommended time frame by taking 4 classes (12 hours) or more, you might get out of "sync" and run into an issue where required classes are not offered when you need them and then you'll be hanging around for a semester for one class.

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3 a semester for a total of 2 years (12 courses) for my program (Cinema Studies). Still leaves some time to do stuff on the side but this is considered a full-time course load.

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I took 3 classes (9 credit hours) per semester in my Master's. As a PhD, I have either taken 3 per semester, or 2 classes and 3 dissertation hours. Honestly, since we are expected to make major progress on our dissertation while taking classes, the latter option works much better for me.

I think the best advice would be - talk to your advisor and determine what you would like your graduation date to be. Then decide how to distribute your classes between now and then. If you don't have to take more than two a semester, that might be best for you so you can make progress on your thesis.

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I took 2 classes a semester, for a total of 4 classes. I also had to attend an ethics seminar and my Research Assessment Committee is listed as a "class" on my transcript.

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