How Many Classes Should You Take Your Freshman Year?

Tackling a Heavy Course

During your freshman year, it is hard to know if you should cram in as many classes and credits as possible or take a step back and slowly transition into the college life. The truth of the matter is that freshman year is usually the best year to really get ahead in college – think of it like a head start. However, this only really works if you know exactly what you want to do.


If you aren’t sure and you are using college as a platform to explore your interests, it can help to know how many classes you should take. You may be wondering what constitutes too many or too few courses. Here are some things to think about when wondering how many classes you should take your freshman year.


Placement Testing Results

Your testing placement will let you know, or give you a good idea, as to how much you should be investing in your course load. If you soared through your testing, you may want to take a few more classes to really push yourself. If you haven’t placed well, you may want to think about only taking a few classes to lower your stress level and thoroughly cover the basic material that all of your future classes will build off of.


Cost of Credits

Your budget will also determine how many classes you want to take. If you have a grant or a big budget for college, you may want to invest in getting the bulk of your prerequisites out of the way. It is important that you get the most tedious classes out of the way early on so that you can focus on what you really want to study later on down the line. If you don’t have a big budget, you may only want to take a few classes at a time so that you don’t drown in debt.


Major Requirements

Whether you are attending Ohio University or UCLA, you want to think about your major before you think about how many classes you want to take. If your major requires a lot of prerequisites, you want to consider taking them during your freshman year. If you don’t, you could risk lengthening the time you need to be in college. If you don’t know your major, don’t sweat it – it will come to you in due time.


Outside Commitments

If you are working another job, playing a sport, or if you have a family to support, you may want to think about taking online courses or shrinking your coarse load as a freshman. Indeed, you don’t want to risk getting bad grades just because you didn’t have the time to study for all of your exams. If you have more time, or don’t need a full time job, you may want to think about diving in head first.


Graduation Timeline

On top of everything, you want to think about your graduation timeline. If you want to graduate in two years, you may want to start cramming in your classes. However, if you have more time, you may want to really immerse yourself and enjoy each class. In the end, it all depends on how long you want to be in college.