As told by Ted Baza, Academic Advising Mentor
1) What classes should I take over summer?
We recommend that students take one major course as well as one “filler” or a less difficult course. This way the student isn’t overwhelmed with two difficult classes, and they will be completing two requirements simultaneously.
2) Should I take a class that has a lab over summer?
Classes that have lab components generally meet twice a week during summer, which means that you will have two lab reports due each week. For example, if you have lab on Mondays and Wednesdays, then Monday’s lab report will be due the following Monday, and Wednesday’s lab will be due the following Wednesday. The decision is up to the student but this is something to keep in mind. It isn’t uncommon to take courses with lab over summer.
3) What classes have you taken during summer?
My first summer I took Bio 01, Bio 01L, and Psy 10. I did well in these courses, but had I not taken Bio 01L it would have been much easier/less stressful. That being said, if I didn't take Bio 01L over summer and pushed it to the Fall semester, it would have made my Fall semester much more difficult. This is also something to keep in mind as far as when to take a lab (which semester would it fit best with). Other then the lab component, I found that balancing the heavy workload of Bio 01 with Psy 10 was very doable since Psy 10 was a lot more math/homework assignment based.
My second summer here I took Writing 116 with Physics 19. I found this semester to be very doable as well. The heavy workload of physics was manageable with the writing-intense assignments of Wri 116. Once I finished with my writing assignment for the day/week, I would then focus my attention on studying for Physics quizzes, homework, tests, or lab. Again, it was a very manageable summer session but there’s always going to be a lot of work due to the condensed time. I actually found writing 116 to be a bit more doable in summer rather than Fall, but I also know some people that did not feel this way. It is just another thing to keep in mind.
4) What if I want to take a course at a community college during summer that’s a pre-req for one of my fall courses?
You would have to send a screenshot that shows proof of your enrollment to your advisor, and they can place the override for you to enroll in that fall course.
5) If I take a summer class at a community college, will my GPA be affected?
If a student takes a summer course at a community college, only the GPA will transfer over, but not the GPA since community college’s don't offer upper division courses. However, it will fulfill any lower division degree requirements as long as that class is transferrable. Check with assist.org to see if your course is transferrable.
6) If I take a summer course at a CSU or a UC, will my GPA be affected as well as having the units transferred?
If you take a course at a CSU, the units and any degree requirements (lower or upper division) will be fulfilled as long as the course has an equivalent here at UCM. However, your GPA will not be affected.
If you take a course at another UC, your GPA, degree requirements, as well as units will all transfer over.
To see whether or not the course you want to take has been previously approved, check her: http://ns-advising.ucmerced.edu/summer. If it is not, you will have to fill out a course approval form found here: http://ns-advising.ucmerced.edu/forms.
7) How is the work load/rigor of summer classes?
Since a 16-week semester is condensed into 6, 8, or 12 weeks, the workload is quite heavy and much faster paced then a regular semester. With that being said, it is definitely still doable because you only have a couple classes, you have much more free time throughout the week, and your school days aren’t as compacted either due to only taking a few classes. As long as you keep your distractions to a minimum for the time being, you could walk away with having completed a course in half the amount of time (or less) that it would’ve taken in the regular semesters, as well as fulfilling more of your degree requirements to possibly catch up or get ahead.