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Academic/Work Balance

How much is too much?

Work HoursAcademic CreditsCourses
40<Up to 41-2
30-35Up to 62
<1012-184 or more

Note: Knowing individual strengths and weaknesses are helpful when choosing the number of courses to take. Students wanting to complete a degree in approximately 2 years should take 15 credits a semester. Contact an Academic Advisor for program planning.

Common College Terms

Audit - Registration and participation in all functions of a class except tests and other graded assignments. No grades are issued and no credit is earned for audited courses. Students can only audit sections by completing paperwork at a CSM campus.

Credit Hour - One hour per week spent in class. (3 credit class=approx. 3 hrs. a week of class time)

Developmental courses - Courses that prepare students for college level work; required based on placement exams.

Drop - Students may “drop” a course from their schedule through the first week of classes. A dropped course will not show on a student’s transcript. A refund is determined by the drop date in the schedule of classes.

Elective Courses - Courses that a student may choose to complete as part of his/her learning program which count towards graduation requirements.

Full Time - A class schedule of 12 or more credits during the fall or spring semester; part time is less than 12.

General Education Requirements (GenEd) -Required general education courses in all degree programs transferable to all 2 and 4 year institutions in the state of Maryland.

Minisession - 7 week session that occurs within the fall or spring semester.

my.CSMD - Online system providing students with access to Online Services, Blackboard, library resources, etc.

Online Services - Online system providing students with a convenient method to register for classes, access account information including bills, financial assistance, schedule of classes, and other student services

Prerequisite - A course that must be completed before you can take another course (ex. ENG 1010 must be completed before ENG 1020 can be taken). These appear with an asterisk (*) in the catalog.

Required Course - Courses that are needed to complete a student’s Program of Study

Section - A 6 digit number (following the course number) that designates the time, day, and place that a particular class is offered.

Semester - A 15 week session during fall and spring.

Syllabus - An outline of course objectives, schedule of class activities, assignments, grading policy and contact information provided by the course instructor.

Transcript - An official record of your academic courses. It lists your completed courses, grades, and GPA.

Withdrawal - Students can withdraw from classes for any reason before the final semester withdraw date (check the schedule of classes) and receive a grade of “WD” on their transcript. A withdrawal will have no impact on your GPA and you will not receive any money back for the course.

Course Instructional Formats

LEC: Lecture: Traditional classroom setting consisting of two 80 minute meetings per week or one approximately 3 hour meeting per week. Occasionally sessions will be offered 3 days a week.

OPEN LAB:  Math Courses: A computer-assisted course in which students use computers in a lab to complete their assignments. No previous typing experience necessary. An additional fee may apply.

LAB: (Usually Biological/Physical Science) “Hands-on” coursework in a laboratory classroom. An additional fee may apply.

WEB: Web-based course: The course is taken entirely online. Students may be required to take proctored exams or assessments on campus. An additional fee applies.

WEBHY: Web-hybrid course: The course is a combination of traditional classroom meeting and web-based instruction. An additional fee applies.