How To Complete University/College in 3 Years

Before I start, first I want to ask you, “Why do you want to complete university in 3 years?” Maybe you want to shave a year off of your expensive university tuition. Or, maybe you like to grow fast and the pace of university is too slow.


I don’t know you, and I don’t know what you want…but if this is something you are truly interested in, read on til the end because I’ll show you step by step the details of how you can complete University in 3 years.

Step 1: Know Your Prerequisites

You do that by planning out your classes. You must know EXACTLY which classes are in your major requirements and THE ORDER in which you take them in order to complete them as fast as possible. Remember, you want MAXIMUM RESULTS in minimum time. A tool I recommend for mapping out your plan is Scapple.

Mind Map with Scapple

Scapple is a flowchart tool used by writers. For you, it is a flowchart tool to map out your courses. You can get it for $15 from the creators at Literature & Latte or on the Mac App Store.

Side note: Of you course you can use other mind map apps, I just happen to know the this one best. I didn’t actually try out many other mind maps tools. I left it to the Inspired Improvement to pre-vet mind map tools for me and his video on The Power of Mind Mapping is actually what convinced me to buy Scapple. I recommend you check out the video.

How To Do It?

First, let’s define the goal. Your aim is to put draw out the structure of your degree/major, so that you can physically see how the courses chain together. Now you go about drawing. The idea is simple…

  1. Represent each course as bubble
  2. Connect courses to each other using arrows

Look at my diagram for reference. The goal is to progress through the entire diagram as fast as possible. You want to take as many prerequisites as possible to clear the way for higher division classes. That way you graduate early.

You also want to divide and conquer. If you go hard in only one area and complete, let’s say, your Math series course, and for Physics you have not even begun your the first class in the series, then you’re back at square one.

Remember each class COSTS you one quarter/semester of your time, so tackle the classes that matter first. This means going after classes that serve as the prerequisite for MANY other classes. On the diagram, these are classes with lots of arrows coming out of them.

Worry less about General Education classes, and other peripheral classes that are not correlated to your major. Example: if you are presented a core class that has 7 classes that come after it and a peripheral class that has 2 classes that come after it, go after that core class with 7 classes that come after it.

Step 2: Enroll in the Classes You Want

This one is simple and most other student will be as adequate as you are in enrolling in classes. Simply, enroll in your classes during your pass time.

Tips For This One:

  • Be unconventional. The more unique your schedule is, the more likely you are to get your pick of classes. If your schedule is like conventional and similar to everybody else’s, should be competing with everyone else and fighting in the Red Ocean. Ignore the others who go after useless classes like General Education Requirements. Those can be filled anytime. Go HARD at enrolling for the major requirement courses.
  • Be prepared by having schedules and backup schedules. If you are a UC Davis student, check out Carrot Course. If you have, say, four specific courses you want to take in, say, Spring Quarter 2019, it shows you all the different possible schedules that allow you to take those four courses during that quarter.

Step 3: See Other Success Stories

You may ask yourself, “I don’t know, Self. What’s it like to graduate in 3 years?” To find this out research some alumni who have graduated in 3 years. For example, check out Katherout’s video on Why I’m Leaving College Early and Olivia Simone’s video on How You Can Graduate Early. So, that’s all I have to say for now. Do you think you want to graduate university in 3 years?

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