Manage Time

Time management is one of the biggest challenges for college students as they balance school, work, personal, and family/relationship resposibilities. It is important that students be informed and realistic about how much time it takes to be a successful college student.

How Many Units?

Students taking 12 units are considered full time. Student athletes and students covered by family health insurance are among the students who must be full time. Students who have financial aid or scholarships must maintain the number of units specified by the financial services they are receiving.

The number of units for each course is based on the number of hours per week spent in class. For instance, English 100, which is a 4-unit class, meets 4 hours per week. Courses with labs or other additional time requirements meet for more hours. In addition to the time spent in class, a successful student must dedicate 2-3 hours of study time outside of class for every hour in class. In other words, a student taking 12 units is spending 12 hours in class and 24-36 hours outside of class in order to succeed. A full-time student has a full-time job just being a student.

Courses and students vary. However, students should consider these guidelines when planning for each semester. 

Work Hours Per Week Units Per Semester
40 hours 6 units
30 hours 9 units
20 hours 12 units
5-15 hours 14-16 units

How Many Units for How Long?

Students who start at SRJC in college-level courses can use this estimated timeline to see how long it will take to reach their goals. Taking summer session courses can shorten this time.

# of Classes Per Semester                     Number of Years to Reach Your Goal

  Certificate Program (CTE) Associate Degree Bachelor's Degree
One class (3 units) 5 Years 10 Years 20 Years
Two Classes (6 units) 2-3 Years 5 Years 10 Years
Three Classes (9 units) 1.5 - 2 Years 3.5 Years 6.5-7 Years
Four Classes (12 units) 1-2 Years 2.5 Years 5 Years
Five Classes (15 units) 1-2 Years 2 Years 4 Years

Tools to Manage Time

Students use various strategies to manage their time. Below are a few ideas: