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15+ Year Member
Oct 5, 2002
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Hello everyone,

New to the forums here. I am an undergraduate 3rd year student, with a few questions. I spoke with my counselor about my academic transcript recently, which brings up a few questions. =)

1. Anyone here attended a University with a quarter system want to answer this one? My question here is how many units on average per quarter did you take? My counselor looked at my transcript and she said that my coursework was generally too light for professional school. Been here at UC Davis 2 years now, four of my quarters I took 2 science classes and 1 non-science, which is three classes, generally around 12-14 units. Only the other two quarters I took 4 classes 2 science 2 non-science, 15-16 units.

2. My counselor tells me that I should boost up my workload. She looked at my transcript, and saw that I have been getting As and A-s in science subjects such as genetic analysis, o-chem, bio,etc. She tells me that I am bright, and that I should be taking more units because the workload fits my abilities. I, however, don't feel that way. I feel overwhelmed, i.e. burned out with just 3 classes 12-14 units. I feel that I need a lot of study time to get good results in my classes. Yeah, Im a bit incompetent, oh well. What am I supposed to do? Put in more classes so that I will get less study time? There are times that studying for just 2 more minutes saves me 20 points on a 100 point exam! I don't know if I should trust her on this...., but i have noticed that other bio sci students have been taking three classes, and i had a lot of looks at their schedules, over the years...

3. I have done no internships, community service, no letters of recommendation whatsoever for my first two years. If I want to be admitted to professional school this would hurt me real bad right? If the admission board looks at my transcript will they question why I have not done anything the first two years?

4. For your last two years in college did your performance in academics improve? I'm just wondering, and I know its going to be different for every person because everyone goes to different schools with different professors, different classes, etc. My GPA has been sitting in the 3.6 range for some time now. *sigh*:(

No flames plz.


hey i am not familiar with the quarter system but i just want to say, don't take too much course work if it is going to affect ur gpa, ur advisor says u are very smart, really? who better knows how smart u are than u? again i am not familiar with the quarter system so i dont know how to recommend how many credits would be best, but my main point is dont sacrifice ur gpa for a heavy course load, remeber some schools screen, so if ur gpais loo they might not even get to see ur transcript! anyway ur gpa is great too, u dont even want to know mine!


Senior Member
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15+ Year Member
Jun 12, 2002
Alrighty here goes....
1. My first 2 years I took on average 16 units and then my last two years I had an average of 14. Of those 14 units for the last two years, one of the classes was a 6-unit core class for my major.

2. You know, I wish that I had lightened up my load some times. I know that I would have gotten better grades for sure. Why didn't I take my time? My GPA would have sure thanked me for it. Anyways, if you're comfortable with the classes you're taking and the load that you're taking it at, I say go for it. An "A" is an "A" no matter how you get it.

3. I didn't do anything my first year. Hmmm.. majorly sucks right? I don't really know what to say about this one and how it's going to affect you. Heck, I'm not quite sure how it affects me. How do you view your last two years of stuff. Do you think they were meaningful for you? It is important to be able to stress this in your application if they were.

4. My GPA was steady my first two years, went down my third year, and then went back up my last year. I am sitting in ithe 3.6 range as well. Sigh... damn that third year.. HAha...

Anyways, hope that was helpful in some way...??

Street Philosopher

10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Aug 10, 2000
ann arbor
I took about 12-14 units a quarter for most of my undergrad. I'm going to graduate in 5, but that's more due to having a non-science major and another minor. I too feel that 4 classes a quarter is a little overkill. I did that once during my freshman year and never did it again.

No one has yet looked at my transcripts and remarked about a light schedule. I haven't gone to interviews yet, so maybe it'll come up then. I don't think it's a big deal though.

I also did very little outside of the classroom during freshman and sophomore years. I was under the impression that doing well, making sure you adjust to college life, etc. were important, and that doing extra curricular things should only start when you can determine what you're capable of doing at the college level.

My grades did generally improve. The science courses really did become more interesting. Competition is bad as always, but for a variety of reasons, my grades were generally better.
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