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Normal WOrkload and A Balanced Schedule

The normal workload at UCD is 15 units per quarter. If all your preparatory courses are completed, 15 units every quarter will allow you to graduate in 2 years.

The UCD academic experience may be very different from your previous academic experience. To do well, you should plan to spend at least 30 - 40 hours a week attending classes and studying. (The same as a full-time job!) Students with large work or family commitments should discuss an appropriate amount of units per quarter with their major staff adviser. We do have a part-time program (certain criteria must be met).

We recommend that first-quarter transfer students balance their schedule with 2 major courses and 1-3 non-major courses such as General Education, English, non-science courses, seminars, research, or internships to reach 13-15 units.

We know you that want to graduate as quickly as possible, but be aware:

  • If you take only science courses, especially in your first quarter, you run the risk of negatively impacting your GPA due to the intensity of our science courses. Establish yourself during your first quarter. Wait to challenge yourself in following quarters.
  • If you only take the minimum to graduate, you may appear to be an average or unexciting candidate in the eyes of future employers and graduate/professional schools. Medical schools are looking for well-rounded candidates.

Instead of thinking about what is the fastest way to complete your degree, focus on getting as much out of your time at UCD as possible. We highly recommend that you include courses and special opportunities that will enhance your future life. There is a lot you can do in the next two years on campus.