Balancing Academics, Study, and LifeThis section will help you to understand how many units you might want to enroll in and the time commitment it will take to be successful in your classes. It is important to be enrolled in the correct number of units based on the other activities and time commitments you have in your life.
One unit equals one hour in the classroom. Most classes are three units, which means for a three-unit class you are in the classroom for three hours a week. Additionally, the rule of thumb is to allow two hours of outside study time for every unit taken.
3 unit class =
3 hours of classroom time
+ 6 hours of homework/outside assignment
= 9 hours total for one class per week
Students taking 12 or more units during a semester are considered full-time students. Therefore, a full-time student can expect to spend 12 hours in the classroom and 24 more hours on homework and study for a total of 36 hours a week. That is almost a full-time job!
That’s a huge time commitment, especially if you are working or have other commitments outside of school. Use this table as a guideline when deciding how many units to enroll in.
|If you work:||Take no more than:|
|40 hours per week||6 units per semester|
30 hours per week
|9 units per semester|
|20 hours per week||12 units per semester|
|10 hour per week||14-16 units per semester|
Once classroom time plus outside study time is factored into your schedule, you will notice there is less time for work and play. Being a full-time student is a full-time job!
International students studying with the F-1 Visa must obtain authorization for employment. Please contact the International Office for details.