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Our Best Answer - How many units should I take per session?

Deciding How Many Units to Take

The number of units you should take per session depends on what other commitments you have in your life, such as work and family.

It is recommended that you plan your schedule according to how much time you need to dedicate to classes, so here is a good rule of thumb:

For taking classes in a semester, multiply the number of units you will be taking by 3. This will tell you how many hours are needed each week between going to class and doing homework outside of class.

For example, if you are planning on enrolling in 12 units in a semester, you will need 36 hours (12 x 3) each week to dedicate to school, which is almost a full-time job!

Remember, it is not the number of classes that will determine how busy you will be. It is the number of units you enroll in. Taking three classes that total 7 units is very different from taking three classes that total 11 units.

The general guidelines for the number of units you should take in a semester are as follows (the maximum allowed is 16):

40 hours of commitment per week (work, family, etc.) - take 3 to 6 units

30 hours per week - 3 to 6 units

20 hours per week - 6 to 9 units

10 hours per week - 9 to 12 units

Fewer than 10 hours per week - 12 to 16 units

Take note that winter and summer sessions are 6 or 8 weeks long, but classes are much more condensed, move at a more rapid pace, and meet for more hours during each week.

When taking classes in a shorter session, multiply the number of units you will be taking times 6. This will tell you how many hours you will need each week between going to class and doing homework outside of class.

For example, taking 6 units in the summer session means you'll need about 36 hours (6 x 6) each week to dedicate to school - again, almost a full-time job!

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Suggested Questions

What is the maximum number of units I can take in a semester or winter/summer session?

How much does it cost to attend SMC?

What do I do if I drop below 12 units during the semester?

If I'm eligible for aid, how often will I receive money?

How is a students' enrollment status determined?


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