# Why You Should Complete An Engineering Degree In Five Years

#### cushyChicken

Joined Aug 3, 2015
39

#### WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
25,745
The example you throw out is a red herring. If you take 18 semester hours per semester, than you will have 144 semester hours after four years, well in excess of the 120 semester hours that most programs require (and those that require more are under increasing pressure to get down to no more than 120 semester hours).

To graduate in eight semesters, from scratch, you need to average 15 semester hours per semester. As you said yourself, the two or three hours out of class for every hour in class is very handwavy. But even at a full three hours outside for each hour in you are talking 50 hours a week total (remember that, at most schools, a 3 semester hour class meets for just 2.5 hours a week -- either three 50 minute classes or two 75 minute classes). But that can usually be trimmed down considerably since most engineering students are able to pass the many humanities courses they are required to take will very little time outside of class. So load up on those courses early on and get them out of the way. With a bit of thought, you can take 18 or even 21 semester hours in the first few semesters without overloading yourself. Then in your later semesters you can take just 12 semester hours in your major and focus on doing a good job while still not getting overloaded.

And never forget that there are LOTS of people that work 50 and 60 hours a week their entire career and still manage to find time to raise a family and do many other things.

#### joeyd999

Joined Jun 6, 2011
4,391

The 18 credits/semester were limiting my enjoyment of beer and women.

And I didn't want to leave.

Seriously.

#### paulktreg

Joined Jun 2, 2008
784
A degree in the UK is three years and I'm of the opinion, based on the experience of my two daughters, it is quite easily possible, and cheaper to do it in two!

#### tindel

Joined Sep 16, 2012
716
I took 9 years to graduate. I have no regrets. I had two major changes. Once I finally decided to go EE (Or rather EE decided to find me, I always say), it took me 6 additional years. I worked 20+ hours a week while attending class. After junior college I went to university and took the triangle of terror. EM, Numerical Methods, and Circuits. 4hrs each class. It was rough, but I got a C in each and still graduated with a cum laude. I don't recommend the triangle of terror to anyone - not while working anyway.

#### WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
25,745
A degree in the UK is three years and I'm of the opinion, based on the experience of my two daughters, it is quite easily possible, and cheaper to do it in two!
A lot of it comes down to what is required outside of the major course of study.

For recent classes, the CS requirement here is:
39 hrs CS Core
9 hrs CS Electives
9 hrs Technical Electives
21 hrs Mathematics
14 hrs Basic Science
6 hrs Technical Writing
23 hrs Humanities and Social Sciences
7 Open Electives

This is 128 semester hours (and the department is trying to get it down to 120 semester hours).

There's a particularly long-tailed course (Compiler Design) that is at the end of a 5-semester long course sequence.

You have an entire year devoted to the Humanities and the Open Electives, so if you got rid of them you are definitely at the three year mark. But that brings up the whole issue of what a "college educated" person should be as far as being "well-rounded".

But a bigger part of it, increasingly, is that students are not entering college with the level of skill and preparation they should be and that is crippling their ability to proceed on pace to graduate in the four years that it nominally takes for a U.S.-style bachelor's degree. A significant fraction of them are entering college with math skills that were expected from my generation by the time we entered high school. Instead of telling those students to go away and attend a community college until their skills are up to par, we let them in make them take remedial classes (that don't count toward their degree) but are needed before they can even begin that 5-semester sequence for Compiler Design.

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#### Papabravo

Joined Feb 24, 2006
13,709
...by the time we left entered high school.

That's a new one on me, but I know what you meant. Sounds kind of like the young lady named Bright. She left one day in a relative way, and returned on the previous night.

#### WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
25,745
...by the time we left entered high school.

That's a new one on me, but I know what you meant. Sounds kind of like the young lady named Bright. She left one day in a relative way, and returned on the previous night.
Oops. Originally wrote "left junior high" but because most places have "middle school" instead of "junior high" I changed it to "entered high school" and mess up. Thanks for the catch.

#### joeyd999

Joined Jun 6, 2011
4,391
Oops. Originally wrote "left junior high" but because most places have "middle school" instead of "junior high" I changed it to "entered high school" and mess up. Thanks for the catch.
I'd love to know how many graduate H.S. these days with a solid understanding of calculus. My middle school went as far as trigonometry, but I took it upon myself to learn integrals. Believe it or not, my 8th grade math teacher encouraged me and helped me along. Do the teachers these days take such an interest in individual promising students?

#### tindel

Joined Sep 16, 2012
716
But a bigger part of it, increasingly, is that students are not entering college with the level of skill and preparation they should be and that is crippling their ability to proceed on pace to graduate in the four years that it nominally takes for a U.S.-style bachelor's degree. A significant fraction of them are entering college with math skills that were expected from my generation by the time we entered high school. Instead of telling those students to go away and attend a community college until their skills are up to par, we let them in make them take remedial classes (that don't count toward their degree) but are needed before they can even begin that 5-semester sequence for Compiler Design.
Ugh - Compiler design... ugh... triple ugh... gouge my eyeballs out! I sure hope you're not teaching that 5 semester course (or I'll open mouth, insert foot).

Regardless... why would they encourage anybody to go to community college? It's not in their interest to do so ($$). #### WBahn Joined Mar 31, 2012 25,745 Ugh - Compiler design... ugh... triple ugh... gouge my eyeballs out! I sure hope you're not teaching that 5 semester course (or I'll open mouth, insert foot). Regardless... why would they encourage anybody to go to community college? It's not in their interest to do so ($$$). Compiler Design itself isn't a five semester course -- it's only one semester. It's the prerequisite chain that stretches back an additional four semesters. I've sorta taught it. When I was at Mines they didn't have a full compiler course so the Principles of Computer Languages course had a significant amount of compiler design material in it. I would LOVE to teach compiler design, but I doubt I will get a chance anytime soon as the person that teaches it here has no intention of letting it go. #### tindel Joined Sep 16, 2012 716 Compiler Design itself isn't a five semester course -- it's only one semester. It's the prerequisite chain that stretches back an additional four semesters. I've sorta taught it. When I was at Mines they didn't have a full compiler course so the Principles of Computer Languages course had a significant amount of compiler design material in it. I would LOVE to teach compiler design, but I doubt I will get a chance anytime soon as the person that teaches it here has no intention of letting it go. And that is why I love EE... what I think is masochistic, someone else can take and enjoy enough to want to teach a course in! Such a humongous field! Good on ya WBahn - here's hoping you get to teach the class, in full, someday! #### joeyd999 Joined Jun 6, 2011 4,391 I would LOVE to teach compiler design... If you get the chance, can you please eliminate all the delayms() function calls from the libraries? #### JoeJester Joined Apr 26, 2005 4,259 Regardless... why would they encourage anybody to go to community college? It's not in their interest to do so ($).
Very true. Pell Grants can be used to pay for the remedial courses, the colleges gladly take the money. If College is "mandatory" these days, the preceding schools should be accountable for their part of the preparation so the "student" doesn't have to take remedial courses.

Now, I have no problems with someone who was in the workforce doing remedial courses.

#### WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
25,745
Very true. Pell Grants can be used to pay for the remedial courses, the colleges gladly take the money. If College is "mandatory" these days, the preceding schools should be accountable for their part of the preparation so the "student" doesn't have to take remedial courses.

Now, I have no problems with someone who was in the workforce doing remedial courses.
Speaking only about the people coming straight out of high school, it's a mixed bag. You have students that really could have and would have learned had they only had the opportunity -- I've seen many of those types and they are the real losers in the current educational setting. But you also have (and have always had) the people that even when the system offered them every opportunity to learn they simply weren't interested in doing so.

#### WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
25,745
If you get the chance, can you please eliminate all the delayms() function calls from the libraries?
I know what you mean, but a Compiler course doesn't get into library design (at least not beyond the basics).

#### joeyd999

Joined Jun 6, 2011
4,391
It appears that even remedial math is no longer required as part of a college education:

#### justtrying

Joined Mar 9, 2011
429
It appears that even remedial math is no longer required as part of a college education:

That was painful.

Here, about 50% of high school graduates cannot do fractions by hand...

#### WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
25,745
I love how she claims that her and her friends would be happy to pay 90% of their income in taxes, yet at the same time she is demanding that her and her friends not pay a dime for their education.

She spouts the 1% mantra over and over even though, as is always the case with these folks, they haven't got the faintest clue what the numbers actually are. And to show that notice how she originally claims that the 1% can EASILY pay for everything that she's demanding, then when it's pointed out that if you were to take EVERYTHING the top 1% have that it would only pay a bit over half of the outstanding student loan debt (and not even touch the cost of "free" college), she falls back on how it will be a "good start".

To underscore how delusion she is and how much she lives in a fantasy world where she believes her desires define reality, when ask whether the schools wouldn't just jack up the tuition rates even more if someone else is paying for it, she claims that the "people" will rise up and prevent that. Hah! The reason why tuition and other things are spiraling out of control in the first place is precisely because someone else is being forced to front the costs and the schools know this and they know that these young, mush-headed, math-illiterate kids will just sign on the dotted line promising to pay for it later. Now that that game is getting so expensive that it is getting hard to ignore it, those same mush-headed children simply want the government to double down so that they can sign on the dotted line and not have to pay at all. If that happens, then why on Earth would she or any of her friends give a damn whether tuition is $1,000 a course or$10,000 a course? Either way, they are "entitled" to their free college and as long as someone else is forced to pay for it, they won't care (or even be curious about) how much it is costing.

The bottom line for her seems to be -- my family already receives all kinds of free money from government assistance programs, so all I'm saying is that that's not enough and I deserve more.

#### joeyd999

Joined Jun 6, 2011
4,391
Either way, they are "entitled" to their free college and as long as someone else is forced to pay for it, they won't care (or even be curious about) how much it is costing.
Nor will they care about the education itself. Nothing is worth more than what one is willing to pay for it.