How should I decide my course load?

Of course, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all for students when it comes to course loads. There are both benefits and costs to either increasing or decreasing your course load, which all play a part in paving your educational trajectory. When deciding, ask yourself what matters to you most: Is it your time? Your finances? Your experiences?

Benefits of Taking a Higher Course Load

  • Timely completion for your degree
  • Benefit from cost-benefits of enroling into fewer terms (e.g. minimizing your student fees, fuel or transportation costs, residence fees, etc.)
  • If you’re planning on doing co-op, study abroad or field school, you won’t feel like you’re delaying your degree even further or ”taking too long” as with a partial course load
  • Satisfy credit requirements for certain financial aid eligibility
  • You’re on campus more often, an environment conducive to learning and focusing on studies, while connecting with the SFU community
  • You may exhibit stronger academic performance by keeping your momentum at school

bulb-61 Why not do both?

It doesn’t have to be all that complicated—you can plan your degree one year or one term at a time. In your first year or two, try and see what works for you and your academic, professional and personal goals.

If one strategy isn’t working for you, switch it up the following term.

Benefits of Taking a Lighter Course Load

  • Alleviate some academic difficulty and challenging workload that comes with higher course load
  • Shift your focus more on your current studies, especially the more demanding upper level courses
  • Face less financial constraints due to having lower up front costs for less courses
  • Have more time to work or volunteer part-time hours on/off campus
  • Enjoy a bit of breathing room to accommodate non-academic pursuits on campus or life obligations off campus (e.g. family or social commitments)
  • You can focus more on your mental and physical wellbeing with the time you’ve freed up

bulb-61 Meet with an academic advisor

Still need help deciding on your course load for the next term and beyond? An Academic Advisor can discuss your options and help you make informed decisions about getting your degree.

Book an appointment