In India most of the universities have system of fixed courses each semester, which means subjects will be same for everybody in a particular semester. But coming to US education system, you are free to choose courses. So it is important when/what to choose in course menu. Your department will offer specific courses each semester, you can select from the options.
Tips for Course Selection
Follow these basic principles of course selection to get maximum advantage.
Courses of Professors with good funding
Take courses of professors who have good financial funds for research. If you can make good grades and show your skills, they might hire you as TA/RA/GA.
Take easy courses in the first semester
Lot of students does mistakes in courses selection. Due to lack of proper guidance they select tough courses and ends up with bad grades in the first semester which may also lead to cancellation of funding/assistantship in worst scenario. Talk you seniors to find out list of easy to get grade format courses.
Complete ‘prerequisites’ in First semester:
Prerequisite courses are additional ones you need to take for the completion of your degree. You must take some assigned prerequisites to proceed with the other core courses of the Major.
Example: Some universities allow computer science students to take main stream courses only after completion of prerequisites courses like basic OOPS programming, Algorithm related courses.
Prefer Core subjects in First semester. Out of department courses last choice:
Completion of core courses with good grades will improve the chances of funding in future. Also it will help you to get internships easily.
Suppose, if you need to complete 12 courses for the completion of your masters degree your department may ask you to take 8 courses within the department and the rest of the 4 courses of your choice(electives). Usually Electives can be any course from other departments of the university.
Example: Generally Mechanical Engg students would like to take 1 or 2 Project Management/computer science department courses as Electives.
Get seniors help in Course selection
They have already experienced with the courses in the department. They can suggest you the better ways of course selection than your Advisor at the university.