Now that you have started receiving admits, this is a crucial time for many applicants as there are choices to make. So while you ask your seniors and friends regarding which universities you should choose, I thought I will write a post to remind regarding the importance of courses.
As you are aware, the US Universities offer credit based system and you need a certain credits to graduate at the end of the Program. While Most universities allow students to take courses as per their liking, things have become tough lately as the number of accepted students keeps rising for the popular Universities. So here is a insight into how the courses are chosen by the students for their Graduation. (I am writing this post from a CS point of view, but you can benefit by reading even if you are not from CS).
It is essential that you plan which courses you will take and in which semesters you will take them, well ahead (read before landing in US). As per your program, you will have a few mandatory courses, or an option to choose a few courses from mandatory fields of study.
Be thorough with the Offerings
Many students go with the flow and end up graduating with more courses than required. Some students even make the costly mistake of graduating with many courses that are irrelevant for their career goals and do so just in order to graduate on time. It is important to note that not all courses are offered in both fall and spring and thus you should be wise while choosing them. Just because your friends are choosing Mobile computing this Fall doesn’t mean that you need to drop a core course like Algorithms this semester and take up mobile computing. Plan well, and decide which courses you want to take each semester and confirm that they are indeed available at that time.
The process of registration of courses is not easy and one should not make the mistake of taking it for granted. Some universities start offering the courses just after admits and you can register for them from India only. Some Universities require the students to meet their graduate advisors and then register the courses. In that case it is recommended that you schedule a meeting with your advisor as early before the start of the semester as possible.
Finally, I would recommend you to focus on one core area and its specialization and only after that if it is feasible then you should delve into other fields for interest. Ask your seniors, take the advice of your advisor but at then end make a choice yourself. Learn from the mistakes of your friends and seniors and do it early. All the best
Some popular courses for CS :
Courses at RIT:
Courses at UIC and UMBC (pardon my Sublime text :P)