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Semester vs. Quarter


Replies to: Semester vs. Quarter

  • masterchiefllmasterchiefll Registered User Posts: 532 Member
    I think your math is a bit off.

    lol oops you're right. my bad. now that you pointed that out, i look back at what i wrote and i'm like 'ehhhhh.....what da heck did i do here...' hahah
  • snufflessnuffles Registered User Posts: 1,147 Senior Member
    Harvard and Princeton are unique in that they have finals after coming back from break. This is a small minority in semester schools.
  • mikemacmikemac Registered User Posts: 10,191 Senior Member
    2) If you are planning to transfer to a different college, for whatever reason, make sure both colleges use the same systems. To successfully transfer your credits, both schools will have to be on semesters or both on quarters.
    This has a grain of truth but is mostly false. It is easy to convert from quarter to semester units. As the University of California transfer website says "To convert semester units to quarter units, multiply the semester units by 1.5. To convert quarter units to semester units, divide by 1.5". See http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/admissions/undergrad_adm/paths_to_adm/transfer.html

    The only catch, as the website notes, is that if you have a yearlong sequence like math or chemistry you should complete an entire year of it so that the transfer credit works out correct. If you've only taken one quarter of math they can't give you credit for a full semester.
  • EllenFEllenF Registered User Posts: 736 Member
    "Standard load in a semester system is generally 4 courses, 3 hours a week, for 15 weeks..."

    Are you sure? Back in the dark ages when I went to school (and walked up-hill 5 miles each way in 8 feet of snow <g>) 12 credit-hours per semester was the minimum permitted for full-time status. Almost everyone took at least 15 credit-hours per semester. In engineering, the average was about 17.

    BTW, the discussion so far hasn't mentioned summer semester. Several schools on the semester system offer this option. It is half the length of regular semesters, but classes meet for twice as long. It was my favorite semester. Classes were smaller and everything seemed easier. We didn't have midterms for most summer semester classes, an added benefit.
  • bluebayoubluebayou Registered User Posts: 25,966 Senior Member
    A few years back, Berkeley changed from quarter to semester, bcos, as some students and professors said at the time: you cant' afford to get sick, bcos if you do you will be behind big time. Under a quarter system, Berkeley required 180 units to graduate. A 'normal' schedule was 15 units (ignoring summer school) to graduate in four years. Since most classes were 4-5 units, kids took 3-4 classes each quarter. Under the semester system, the graduation requirement is now 120 units. With the change, fall classes started earlier so finals occur before the holidays.
  • purpletransiencepurpletransience Registered User Posts: 145 Junior Member
    While you could take 15 credit-hours per semester (and while I plan to), every school I considered applying to required 30-32 courses to graduate, excluding engineering, and taking 15 credit-hours was considered overloading.

    That said, a friend of mine at UMass-Amherst said something to the effect that taking 15 credit-hours per semester there was more common. What school did you go to? It may be that different schools have different standards.
  • TheDadTheDad Registered User, ! Posts: 10,228 Senior Member
    15 units/semester x 8 semesters = 120 semeseter units = pretty standard for graduation.

    180 quarter units is pretty standard too.
  • purpletransiencepurpletransience Registered User Posts: 145 Junior Member
    I guess I'm just used to how private colleges in New England (at least the ones I was applying to) do it. All of the ones I looked at, even BU, only required 32 courses total, i.e. 96 semester units. Public universities seem to all require 120 units, though. What about private schools in other parts of the country?
  • TheDadTheDad Registered User, ! Posts: 10,228 Senior Member
    Ah...PT, there's a difference: many schools, including my D's Northeast LAC, have the typical course count for 4 units, not 3. Engineering classes and science lab courses often get the shaft in terms of # of credits for amount of work.

    4 x 32 = 128...similar ballpark.
  • EllenFEllenF Registered User Posts: 736 Member
    Interesting discussion. I checked my transcript. (I graduated mid-70s). My school had a semester system. I majored in engineering, took 47 courses, and earned 137 credit hours.

    Thinking perhaps things had changed, I checked the current graduation requirements for the course I took. They are almost the same, although students no longer take courses in slide rules.
  • kterbokterbo Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    I've gone to both semester and quarter schools! 4 Universities total. My advice is this.... Go to a term school for your first two years to get unimportant classes out of way... but .. for junior and senior or graduate work go to a semester school!!

    You do not want to be rushed through classes you love at a very fast pace not having a chance to absorb the material properly if you love you major. At term schools you feel like you are all just taking survey classes, no chance to go into real depth. I love "semester" schools over term after being put through both.

    I strongly disagree with 2nd comment of chelsea ..it is very easy to transfer credits from a semester school to a term school and opposite. You will not loose and credits unless it's a terrible school with lazy admissions department.
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