Small classes in a big school

Imagine being a senior and all of the classes needed are mapped out, only 12 credits left and all the classes are required and can only be taken at one time.

What happens if one of the classes doesn’t have enough students to carry?

It seems like a stretch to think that at a university that has grown to over 32,000 students would ever be short of students, but according to Vegor Pederson, academic advisor for Communications, “it happens all the time.”

Classes with less than ten don’t generally carry.

Some cancelled classes may only be annoyances because the class seemed fun or interesting, but it is possible that the class is required for one or more students.

If there are not enough students in the class in the days leading up to a new semester, there is a chance it could be cancelled. The departments have discretion to drop them, and they try to drop it before school starts to allow the students time to get into other classes.

There may not be any tricks to get the credits needed, but there is a way to improve the odds.

“Stay in good contact with your advisor,” Pederson said, “[but] keep in mind that it might not carry. It’s always better to sign up for more, then drop, than to not have enough credits.”

Sometimes there may be a class that makes it to the first day of class with only a handful of people and later will get cancelled. This is something else that Pederson has advice for.

“Speak up to the teacher on the first day, ask if the class will carry, and if not, then cut it and look for something else,” Pederson said.

Even still there may be a credit needed for a class that just isn’t available and independent study is a way to get around that as well.

“Independent study can be as low as one person,” Pederson said. “A professor will do it without adding to their load.”

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