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How Do I Choose the Best Part-Time Engineering Courses?

By Bobby R. Goldsmith
Updated May 17, 2024
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Choosing the best part-time engineering courses requires that you honestly assess your current situation. You should know exactly how much time you have to devote per week to study outside of your part-time engineering courses as well as how much time the courses themselves will take from your schedule. If you work a full time job outside of school, you may need to choose courses that fit your employment schedule, will lead to the completion of your degree, and do not overload your weekly schedule. Part-time engineering courses can be quite demanding, requiring you to appropriately manage your time and to juggle several commitments every day throughout an academic quarter or semester.

On a calendar, write out each of your current commitments for every day in a week, with the start and end time for each commitment. Include weekend commitments in the schedule. Look for open three-hour blocks of time that you will be able to attend class, then free up three hours of study time for every credit hour that you are enrolled in. This will most likely take up a large portion of your weekend with the general coursework taking up most of your nights.

Generally, part-time engineering courses are geared toward working students and are held at night, but if you have a night job, you can successfully take engineering courses during the day on a part-time basis. You should begin your part-time engineering courses with a focus on introductory concepts in the branch of engineering that you plan to study. For example, a structural engineer will want to take basic part-time engineering courses in structure and design, structural materials, and structural mechanics as well as several courses in chemistry and physics.

The completion of introductory courses in the beginning helps you ease into the process of acquiring an engineering degree on a part time basis. Choosing the best courses requires that you select the classes that best meet your educational goals as well as your time constraints. Taking several graduate level part-time engineering courses in a single quarter or semester, on top of working a full time job, is usually not feasible. Stretching out your degree plan longer than a full-time course load would require may be the best choice.

Make sure that you complete all prerequisites for a particular course before you take the course. Even if the university registrar says that you can take a prerequisite course concurrently with the course you need, it is best to take each course in succession. Attempts to overload on coursework can sabotage your ultimate educational goals.

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Discussion Comments
By anon298658 — On Oct 21, 2012

I can vouch for the last piece of advice: "Even if the university registrar says that you can take a prerequisite course concurrently with the course you need, it is best to take each course in succession." I took Eng. Physics with no background in Calculus or even haven taken physics in high school. I immediately recognized my inability to catch up to the class as I had no basis for the application of what the teacher wanted us to do.

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