Credit Hours for ROTC Students

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by Seawings18, Apr 16, 2014.

  1. Seawings18

    Seawings18 Member

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    I thought this thread would be beneficial for prospective mids/cadets to hear different opinions about how many credit hours an ROTC student (regardless of branch) should take a semester. I understand there many are variables for more intensive academic programs, extracurricular involvement, and the like but I am referring to the average cadet/midshipman in a "typical" major, not a NCAA athlete, etc. I have heard pulling 22 hours a semester is harmless while others have warned me against taking over 15. As of right now, I am trying to cap myself at 17. Any suggestions, ideas, experiences or opinions?
     
  2. nofodad

    nofodad Member

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    credit hours

    I imagine this would vary considering the college/university, but assuming you're a freshman, I would start out in the 15-17 credit range, best to get your feet wet before you jump into the deep end.
     
  3. Moosestache

    Moosestache Member

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    It is an awful lot easier to take more credits next semester, than to do poorly or fail out this semester. I assume all the ROTC's are the same in that your GPA plays a really big part of your rankings and such with your detachment. Until your feet are wet, I would certainly be conservative with your work load.
     
  4. Seawings18

    Seawings18 Member

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    Could you please explain further (if it helps I am not currently in college, will be attending a large public university in the SEC)?
     
  5. meh126

    meh126 Member

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    Most professors (and colleges) assume you will work 2 hours outside of class for every semester hour in class. So 15 credit hours would entail 30 hours of work a week. As a current "mature" student returning to school to finish my BA, I can say that that applies to me but probably not a lot of my fellow classmates who follow the "C's equal degrees" mantra :) I actually do all of the assigned reading, etc. in every class I take, take notes (which is apparently very old school!), and study! I'm finishing my junior year and have a 4.0 that I stress over way too much. I would wholeheartedly caution you against taking too many classes, at least until you have acclimated to college. I tell all of my DS's friends that college is not at all like HS. I know everyone on this board is a high achiever, just be careful to not go into college thinking it will be a piece of cake for you, just because HS was.
     
  6. txpotato

    txpotato Member

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    I would just add that sometimes a student doesn't have much of a choice or leeway depending on the course of study/major.

    For example, my son took 15 his first and 19 this current semester. This summer he is taking 10, followed by 17 in the fall and 17 in the spring next year. This is all so that he can finish his lower division requirements and apply to the upper division on time.
     
  7. afrotc16

    afrotc16 Member

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    It really depends a lot on the school. In my school, a 'normal' course load is 18 credits a semester. We have quarters so you take 3-3 credit classes first quarter and 3-3 credit classes second quarter. Then add 2 credits of ROTC and you have a minimum of 20 credits a semester. So my semesters have been somewhere between 20-23 credits. I'm an engineering major if that makes a difference. Pretty much every class is 3 credits.
     
  8. impulse224

    impulse224 Member

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    This is so true - Keep in mind that doing poorly in the beginning will make it harder to raise your GPA up. Personally, I goofed my first couple semesters before I took school seriously and I'm still paying for it as a senior. It is extremely hard to raise my GPA now after having a large amount of credits.

    Take a lighter load, get a 4.0 and get on scholarship is what I'd do if I could do it all over again.
     
  9. paradoxer

    paradoxer Member

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    One approach

    Take the number of credits to graduate and divide by 8 (semesters), this would be an average normal class load. If your ROTC credits don't apply toward graduation add those into the total and that will be the number required to graduate timely. And expect your college GPA to be about 1.0 below your high school GPA.

    Most would counsel to stay on the low end first semester.
     
  10. Moosestache

    Moosestache Member

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    College is often a huge transition for kids from high school. Lots of time they have done really well in high school without being forced to develop good study habits. In college you are taking classes with all the kids that did well in high school, you are forced to either develop those study skills or you end up doing poorly, and it may take you a while to develop those skills. If you overload yourself with classes, you make it much more difficult to work through that transition.

    So, if it were me, I would take a lighter load 1st semester, if you find it easy to keep up you can take a harder workload, ie more classes, the following semester.

    I believe all of the ROTC programs work the same way, in that you have to have a certain minimum GPA to remain in the ROTC program. Further, if you are on a scholarship, there are even more stringent minimum GPA requirements. If you fail out, you may well be forced to pay the military back for any scholarships you received. Finally, in Air Force ROTC, and I imagine the other branches too, you are judged against the other students in ROTC, one of the big ranking measurements they use in your GPA, so if you struggle with classes your detachment ranking will be lower.
     
  11. Non Ducor Duco

    Non Ducor Duco I am not led, I lead

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    How about instead of looking at it in terms of credit hours, look at it in terms of how many classes you can comfortably take at one time. For AFROTC you have to fill out a Form 48 of what classes you will take each semester for the next 4 years (or 5 if you are a tech major and intend to do an extra year). For army they have the 104R, idk what Navy uses but I bet they make you fill out an academic plan too. On the Form 48 there are only 7 class slots and ROTC takes up 2 of them.

    For the adverage college student, 5 is the highest number of classes they can take without feeling overwhelmed and spread too thin. I've found from talking to other ROTC cadets that 6 classes per semester is the optimal amount (2 ROTC and 4 core). With 4 regular classes and the 2 ROTC classes, you have enough time to give all of your classes, and ROTC, the attention they deserve.

    My 1st semester I took it slow because of the notorious difficulty level of classes at my university and because I wanted to have time to learn the ropes in ROTC. I took 5 classes, 2 ROTC and 3 core, which was good for me. But, since I picked up a 2nd major, in every semester since then I've taken 7 classes per semester and a full load during the summer (don't do that!! if you take summer classes take like 2 or 3, not 12 hours of all math and engineering courses. I'm scarred for life from that, ppl told me not to but I did anyways. Made it out with my gpa in tack, but I'm never ever doing that again). 7 classes is definitely the max amount you want to take if you want to hold on to your sanity. With 7 classes it is definitely a lot harder to give focus to all of them. The ROTC class is basically the equivalent of a history class. Doesn't take a lot to get an A, but can definitely take up some time. With PT, Leadership Laboratory, the ROTC class, and all the other mandatory/volunteer activities you will do throughout the semester, ROTC can be 5+ days a week. It can eat into your study time if you let it. If you decide to take 7 classes in a semester, sprinkle in at least one humanity/SS class or some of the easier engineering classes because 5 hard core engineering classes at a time will most likely sink your gpa.

    Now, I'm an Engineering major and idk what your intended major is OP, but I think similar advice will go for a non tech. Sure classes of government or polysci majors will be easier than tech classes by them selves, but they involve some serious writing and reading. Do you really want to have to do papers and projects for 6 different classes at one time? Do NOT take 21 hours unless you're at some college where ROTC some how accounts for 6 of those credits. I'd suggest not taking more than 18 or 19 with ROTC classes.
     
  12. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Seawings - DS at your soon to be alma mater kept his academic load to 15-16 hours per semester including NROTC academic courses but not counting PT and Navy Lab. If you are going to try for more don't start until 2nd semester of freshman year. (If you know one of the extra courses is really going to be a cake course - like the Intro to College or whatever it is they call it.... then just add it in regardless.) Give yourself time to get adjusted as there is a lot to adjust to. Also, your NROTC responsibilities are going to increase and demand more effort over time so if you are going to load up, do it at the front-end (but after first semester). Also, when planning, be sure to include the Sat. tailgate parties, home football games, and stadium cleanup on Sunday.

    EDIT: Since you will always have a Navy academic course each semester you may need to up the load some semesters to meet your major requirements... which is why the 4 year academic plan they have you put together is so helpful. At least you shouldn't have to worry about a cognate as you'll have the Naval Science minor.
     
  13. sheriff3

    sheriff3 Member

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    For what is't worth... DS is an MSI, AROTC. He took 15 credits the first semester and 18 this semester. 15 gave him the ability to get adjusted to college life without a ton of pressure. My advise is to start out slowly. This will be a 4 year marathon and not a sprint. Good luck.
     
  14. ABF

    ABF Member

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    Asking how many units a Cadet should take is like posting a question like "How much weight should I start out with when I bench press?". Since you don't know anything about me, my fitness level, upper body strength, or general health, you couldn't even make a guess.

    If you are wondering if the ROTC program will be so demanding that it will affect your ability to get your studies completed, you need not worry. ROTC isn't a heavy burden. As for your academic load... see advisors on campus. They will have the knowedge to guide you.
     
  15. Seawings18

    Seawings18 Member

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    Thank you everybody for the insight. I will definitely keep all of this in mind during course registration. I'm finding that my academic interests are very broad and I want to learn a lot about a lot of different disciplines (breadth and depth) but I don't want to let my curiosity kill me academically; reminds me of an old saying about a cat:shake: Thank you all again!
     
  16. The OC Josh

    The OC Josh Member

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    One thing to consider as well is ROTC coursework. I loaded up my sophomore and freshman years because I knew MSIII and MSIV years would be a lot more work for ROTC.
     

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