For most Dartmouth students, the average course load per term is three courses. However, depending on your situation, you may, at one point of your undergraduate life, take a two-course term or a four-course term. This term, I am taking four classes. Here's why.
During fall term, I was taking three class. My classes were in the French, Religion and Neuroscience departments. While I was enjoying all three of them, I was struggling in my neuroscience class. While I enjoyed the material, I wasn't understanding the content and my grades were not what I had hoped they would be.
After I spoke with my parents about my struggles in this class, I met with my academic advisor and my dean. We talked about why I wanted to drop the class and what the ramifications of that would be. I would, at some point, have to take another science class to receive the distribution requirement for graduation. I would also have the ability to take a four-course term. So this term, I'm taking four classes. My fourth class? MUS 56.01 - Strings 1. In this class, I meet with my professor once a week for a personal lesson on the upright bass. My homework for the week involves working on my assigned music pieces and my instrument technique. Having taken music lessons growing up at home, it's really nice to be able to study an instrument again (and receive credit for it!). At the end of the term, I have a graded performance.
So far, I have had three upright bass lessons. I think it's really cool that our academic curriculum enables me to take classes that aren't defined by the stereotypical class-room set up. I think that my ability to take music lessons is a nod to the incredible liberal arts program we have here at Dartmouth.