That depends on the subject matter I tackled, the assignments I required, and the number of students registered, and I would think the same is true for students who are asked the same question. I prefer the semester system. Semester system schools have summer sessions too. While neither system is inherently better than the other, there are pros and cons of each. The semester … For instance, if a UW student transferred into a program at Walla Walla Community College with 5 quarter credits, she would now have 3.3 semester credits. Who’s winning? A quarter system divides the academic year into four sessions: fall, winter, spring, and summer. Plus, from 1990 to 2001, the percentage of colleges using the semester system has gone up from 62% to 70%, according to writing services reviews. If you go to college in the United States, you’ll likely attend a school that either follows a quarter or semester system. Class periods on the semester system are usually shorter than those on the quarter system, lasting 50-75 minutes. So, even though it looks like you’re either gaining or losing credits (depending on how you’re transferring), this isn’t necessarily the case. In this format, the average full-time student takes 3-4 courses per term, or 9-12 credits. Yes, computer science type classes can get intense on the quarter system, but then again they may get spread out such that you're only taking one such intense class per quarter, whereas on semesters the more intense classes could get doubled up. Its usually 12 weeks in a quarter vs 16 weeks in a semester. Students who fall behind due to illness or who are performing poorly may be able to salvage a grade if they remain in frequent contact with their professors. If you're planning on studying abroad, the quarter system makes it a lot harder. I have taught college on both the semester system and the quarter system, so I am keenly aware of the pros and cons of each — for students and professors alike. However, one disadvantage of quarters vs. semesters is transfer credit. Colleges and universities in the U.S. that operate on a semester system award semester credits, and those that operate on a quarter system award quarter credits. The quarter system is less popular with schools than the semester system, and many schools that once relied on the quarter system switched to the semester system in recent years. The institution of 10-week quarters is not quite as rare as some may think; though a majority of schools in the US adhere to the more standard two semester academic year that we all fell in love with in High School, around one fifth of colleges use quarters. One of the biggest problems with the quarter calendar is that it makes it difficult for students to transfer from two-year colleges. The traditional quarter system (10 weeks) does seem more poetic. Copyright © University of the People 2020, Giuseppe Zerilli, UK, Computer Science Graduate, Rie Sakurai, Business Administration, Japan, Semester Vs. Quarter: Pros And Cons Of The System, Simone Biles, Olympic Champion, Business Administration, How To Survive A Boring Class (And Still Get Good Grades), College Move in Day: Everything You Need to Know, 2016 University of the People Student Satisfaction Survey Results. It ultimately is a preference, and as such, every student has their own preference. If you are switching from a semester to quarter system, here’s what you should expect your year to look like. ", "By studying at UoPeople, I have more control over my schedule. It is also very hard for all students to learn a semesters worth of material condensed into two months. While teaching on the semester calendar, faculty members have more time to prepare courses between terms and to engage in their own scholarship and research. In the United States, colleges and universities use different academic calendars or schedules. In a regular semester system, everything is much more dragged out and it can be hard to stay motivated. However, if there’s a specific school you want to attend no matter why, then the choice between quarter vs. semester system becomes a moot point. Instead, you merely wait a couple of months and there is a new start! A big majority of schools in the United States operate under a semester system. In 2012, The Ohio State University transitioned from a quarter calendar to a semester calendar, with the ... University Classification and Course Numbering System . In a semester, it feels like the year progresses so damn slowly. What is a Quarter? The spring / summer semester is often split into two halves, so instead of classes being four months long, they’re usually two months long. Like a semester system, a quarter system's benefits derive from length, condensed though it may be. What is a Quarter? It’s normal to want to attend a school regardless of its calendar system, but let’s check out the differences between a semester vs. quarter system for those who may judge a school based on this factor. I enjoyed teaching on the semester system, and I enjoyed teaching on the quarter system. Many internships align with semester systems, so students will have to find businesses or organizations that are more flexible to adhere to the quarter schedule. Quarters are shorter academic units than semesters and allow a school to offer three to four different sessions of classes per year. Similarly, quarter system students may also be ineligible for study-abroad programs, which often run on a semester schedule. About 95% of U.S. institutions of higher education operate on a semester calendar. The intensity of the quarter system is higher than that of the semester system. 3. Typically, students will enroll in about five courses per semester, which tend to amount to 15 credits. The semester system would probably work better for your needs. Quarter system we are in school fall term, winter term and spring term. It may be helpful to bookmark a quarter-to-semester conversion calculator like the one from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. A quarter system shares the academic year into four terms: fall, winter, spring, and summer. For students seeking the most flexible college education available, then online college may be the best bet. At the University of Washington, for example, "a student who earns 30 credits in an institution on a semester calendar would have earned 45 quarter credits at the UW.". This more leisurely pace can positively impact both learning and teaching. Conversely, a student switching majors on the quarter system likely would not have given up that amount of time and money. The cons for the Semester system seem to be fewer classes per year. © 2021 BestColleges.com a Red Ventures Company, Top 25 Accredited Online Colleges and Universities, Graphic Design, Film, Web Design, Game Design, Photography, Accounting, Business Administration, Human Resources, Finance, Marketing, Computer Science, Information Technology, Software Engineering, Web Development, Cyber Security, Paralegal, Legal Studies, Criminology, Early Childhood Education, Special Education, Elementary Education, Social Work, History, Communications, Writing, Political Science, Healthcare Administration, Public Health, Nutritional Sciences, RN to BSN, Forensic Psychology, Family Counseling, Mental Health Counseling, Ministry, Christian Counseling, Bible Colleges, quarter-to-semester conversion calculator. What is the quarter system? I understand and have experienced the pros and cons of each. The main differences would include the foll… Quarter system schools convert incoming semester credits to quarter credits. While both the semester calendar and the quarter calendar clearly benefit both college students and instructors, they also have drawbacks. It’s best to contact your school directly to discuss the credit conversion. On the semester system, students who wish to switch majors may end up taking — and paying for — courses they do not need, often up to 15 credits. So how does a student transfer successfully from one system to the other? One big advantage of the quarter system is that students are taking less classes than students in a semester system. The first semester happens in the fall and is followed by winter break, and the second semester is in spring. But in a quarter system, you don’t have to wait half a year. Shorter terms mean students do not have to spend as much time in a class or with a professor they find disagreeable. They typically take their midterms within the first four weeks of classes beginning, an… These are 10-week sessions that occur in fall, winter, spring, and summer (optional). a quarter is usually shorter than a semester. A semester calendar year provides more opportunities for student-faculty contact. In a quarter system students typically attend classes for four “quarters” each year, often year round. It's time for another midterm. You have a … This could be because of a career change, change of location or any other reason. Generally, academic advisors are instructed to multiply any transferred credits by 1.5. Since the semester system closely aligns with most high school and community college schedules, it allows traditional college students to adjust more easily to the newness of university life. Again, because its sessions run five weeks longer than the quarter system's, the semester system can feel less hectic and stressful for both students and professors. The quarter system, semester system, and trimester system are the type used in the United States. The majority of the two-year colleges function on a semester calendar and often the quarter calendar universities’ schedule does not line up correctly. If you plan to take a variety of courses outside of your major, this system helps you do that, with the added benefit that if you don’t love a class, you only have to spend 10 weeks in it. One of the downsides of a quarter system is for students who may be interested in obtaining an internship. This allows us to take 12-15 different classes per year, while on the semester system, only 8-12 classes are taken per year. Therefore, they can accommodate the attention span of most college students. Prospective transfer students should know that many schools allow only a certain number of transfer credits — usually around 60. The academic year tends to begin in late August and end in early May. It allows for more serious and in-depth approaches to the material. This smaller number of classes means a lighter workload per student, which can help reduce stress. On the quarter system, students may have a hard time landing internships because businesses generally set internship program dates around a semester schedule. To transfer credits, you’ll likely need to: The choice between a semester and quarter system doesn’t come down to one being better than the other. Class periods on the semester system are usually shorter than those on the quarter system, lasting 50-75 minutes. Let’s take a look: For the semester system, there are two major drawbacks, namely: Now that we know the pros and cons about the semester system, it’s time to check out the benefits and disadvantages of the quarter system. In this setup, the average full-time student takes five courses per term, or roughly 15 credits. Everything takes place online so students have flexibility to decide when they want to learn based on their own schedules and unique needs. This also stands for anyone who has taken college classes during high school and wants to count them towards their college degree. What this means for transfer stud… Study abroad programs tend to have students taking classes for longer durations because there's more than ten weeks worth of material to learn. Since the semester system closely aligns with most high school and community college schedules, it allows traditional college students to adjust more easily to the newness of university life. This also means they have more time and brainpower to prepare for assignments, tests and projects in each of their classes. The two most common are the semester system and the quarter system. Meanwhile, in a semester system students typically attend classes for two “semesters” each year, typically a fall semester and a spring semester. One benefit (or drawback, depending on who you are) of the quarter system is that you get to take more classes per year than at a semester school. This means each student will take 4 or 5 classes per quarter. On average, quarter-system students take six more classes than semester-system students in their undergraduate careers. Quarter to Semester Conversion Guide . These are 10-week sessions that occur in fall, winter, spring, and summer (optional). A quarter system means that full semester classes will be condensed to a quarter, rather than taught throughout the whole semester. Also the quarter system is more fast paced than the semester system. This is extremely detrimental to … Think hard about this before you make a decision. Classes begin in September and end in December; new classes begin in January and end in March; new classes begin in March and finish in June. The fourth (and optional) summer quarter allows students to take more classes and possibly graduate early. Moreover, how does the new school count those earned credits? In a quarter system, the student can explore more classes, usually 9-12. These are how the academic calendar year will be broken down, which will dictate your breaks and the pacing of the classes you take. At the University of the People, there are actually five course terms offered per year and each one spans about two months. 3 sets of finals, 10 week terms + finals week. In the same way, students transferring quarter credits to semester credits would divide quarter credits by 1.5. There is very little room to fall behind, and in return, I feel it makes us tremendously harder workers and ultimately better students than those in a semester system. Professors teaching on the quarter calendar have more opportunities to teach their chosen fields of study instead of only curriculum requirements. In some cases quarters vary in length, although the typical quarter lasts 10 or 11 weeks. The quarter system breaks happen in March, December and June. If a student does poorly in a class, it could be harder to, Submit your credit transfer information and wait for your new school to audit/approve the completed credits to be applied to your degree. Short Class Periods. ", "In the age of information technology and innovation, University of the People is showing us the way". Also, if you don’t like … From both a student and professor perspective, there are benefits and disadvantages of the semester system. This system also lets students finish their work faster. A quarter system consists of four 10-week sessions: fall, winter, spring, and summer. Since the quarter system is shorter than the semester system, students tend to take less classes per quarter, averaging about 3-4 classes for 9-12 credits. An academic year on the quarter system usually runs mid-September through early June. They have a real Spring break between quarters, they get a class done with less cumulative finals over ten weeks not fifteen weeks Like the name implies, a quarter system breaks the year into four pieces. As a result, they may find it easier to focus and succeed in each course. It’s possible that you’ll find yourself wanting to transfer colleges before graduating. It is easier for faculty to take a sabbatical (i.e., paid time away from classroom teaching) to focus on their research in a quarter system. Some experts claim that students who take semester-long courses have ample time to learn and digest new material, as well as to create and complete assignments. No matter why a student chooses to change schools, the education they’ve paid for and knowledge they’ve learned should not go to waste. Look at the actual path to your degree at each school and compare how the classes would be grouped. (Gary Robbins / The San Diego Union-Tribune ) The 10-week quarters … As this joint study reports, by the time of graduation, students on the quarter system take roughly six more courses (or 18 credits) than those on the semester system. Since each quarter is only 10 short weeks, it is easier to stay motivated compared to going for a full 15-week regular semester. Welcome, my friends, to the quarter system. This is because they can still fit annual teaching requirements into the other two quarters. biggest downside to a quarter school is that it's harder to transfer out for a variety of reasons .... but if you are happy with the school that doesn't really matter 04-19-2012, 04:09 PM In the quarter system, school begins mid-September and ends in early July. So which do I prefer? Let's first tackle the advantages of the two types of academic calendars. The 10-week terms of a quarter calendar offer several academic advantages for both students and professors. Having more options permits students to try out different majors, attempt a double major, make up for academic failures, and register for elective courses they may not otherwise pursue. Full-time students on the quarter system take fewer subjects at one time (3-4 classes). In the quarter system, you are usually busy enough that by the time you realize it, it's already week 8. One of the biggest benefits of the quarter system is the frequent breaks. ", "UoPeople opened an opportunity for me that didn’t otherwise exist. A semester school year typically starts in late August and concludes in early May. The same goes for professors: Managing a rowdy class or a combative student is usually much easier to do for 10 weeks than 15. Most 4-unit quarter courses have been converted to 3-unit semester courses, and the number needed for most majors to graduate went from 180 quarter units to 120 semester … In short, the quarter system may cause students to miss out on potentially life-changing opportunities. Regardless of whether you attend a school that operates on a semester or quarter system, the most important factor in determining your success will be your determination, motivation, and level of effort! The quarter system is just as hard as the semester system and for a college to keep its accreditation, classes have to be in session for a certain amount of time. If a student wants to switch their major mid-way, they’ve likely spent more money and time on classes. Summer term is optional, We have three summer sessions so you can do a whole accelerated series in one summer. Additionally, a student in a semester calendar who fared poorly in a course may also have a harder time improving her overall GPA since each term carries a larger weight as compared to quarter terms. If you want to switch from a quarter system to a semester system, or vice versa, your new school will convert the units you’ve completed. Because terms last roughly 15 weeks each (as opposed to the quarter system's 10 weeks), the semester system automatically yields several academic advantages for students and professors. Having shorter breaks between quarters (as opposed to a long winter break and a long summer break) helps some students stay focused on their studies and makes it easier for them to recall prerequisite material. • The duration of the two systems is more or less same for students (32 weeks in a semester system and 33 weeks in a quarter system). Background . Nope. having experienced both a quarter and semester system, I would have to say the quarter system is much better. The Law School holds classes in Autumn, Winter, and Spring quarters each year (there are no classes during the summer). At this point, about 71.2% of the colleges make use of the semester calendar, but only 14.7% use the quarter system – or so the National Association of College Stores claims. A professor is able to cover a full unit in one class of the quarter system; therefore, the student who misses a class misses a unit of learning. For example, a comparison of psychology, English, and political science courses at UCLA (which operates on the quarter system) and UC Berkeley (which does not) reveals that UCLA offers 45% more courses in each department, on average. This extra time may be especially helpful for graduate students, who are often required to complete lengthy and rigorous assignments. A semester system consists of two 15-week terms: one in the fall (followed by a winter break) and one in the spring (followed by a summer break). On the quarter system at my school, most students take between 15-19 credit hours on average. Spring is followed by summer break, and this marks a year complete. 2. "My degree has already helped me in getting a great job at IBM. According to your situation, it seems that the fast paced quarter system is not working for you. Many students decide to switch colleges before they’ve earned their degree. Like the name implies, a quarter system breaks the year into four pieces. UC San Diego is considering dropping the quarter system for a semester calendar. The academic calendar systems used in the U.S. are the quarter system, semester system and trimester system. Study abroad is mainly directed towards semester systems. Quarter system students have to be on their A-game almost all the time. Make your guess. There is also more variety of electives since, as the author of this article states, “it is much easier for professors to teach one quarter of their specialty than one semester when they have other teaching requirements, like teaching intro classes.” The biggest both advantage and disadvantage of the quarter system is its pace. At Carolina College of Biblical Studies, our campus classes begin every September, December, March, and June. Most schools follow the same standards for conversion, but it’s possible they may not. A semester system is designed with two semesters a year that are 15 weeks each. If they follow the standard conversion, it may look something like this: The number of credits required to graduate will be different based on the type of system the school runs by. Since the quarter system is shorter than the semester system, students tend to take less classes per quarter, averaging about 3-4 classes for 9-12 credits. Class Intensity. Each quarter moves faster, obviously, but ultimately, the amount of time spent on a class or subject is the same. Most benefits of the semester system derive from its length. Students on the quarter system get to experience more courses and interact with more faculty members than those on the semester system. You get a few weeks off between each quarter, and you can use that break to visit with family, work full-time or take a vacation. Sessions so you can do a whole accelerated series in one summer seem. System derive from length, although the typical quarter lasts 10 or 11.. 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