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Quarter system question

APez77APez77 Registered User Posts: 18 New Member
edited January 2014 in Drexel University
I see that Drexel has a quarter system as opposed to the typical semester system that most colleges have. How does this work? There is a summer quarter as i understand? Do students get winter or summer breaks at all like most other colleges do?
Post edited by APez77 on

Replies to: Quarter system question

  • SuwaidiSuwaidi Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    - There are four quarters: Spring (March - June), Summer (June - September), Fall (September - December), Winter (January - March).
    - Each quarter is 10 weeks long (Fall is 11 since Thanksgiving break is an added week).
    - I speak as a Non-Coop student. I get both winter and summer breaks (attend 3/4 quarters). This varies for co-op students.
    - Generally the "school year" starts end of September and ends mid June. Pretty much +1 month from usual semester schools
    - Winter break is in line with other schools (mid December to early January), but classes start earlier in January (usually) in comparison to others
    - Spring break falls on the end of March
  • quarter2004quarter2004 Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
    My experience with the quarter class scheduling system at SCAD.

    I attended SCAD from 2001 to 2004 studying architecture in the Master of Architecture program. Since I was a student with an undergraduate degree in a related discipline, I needed to go for 3 years to meet the requirements. For anyone considering to go to SCAD I can provide some first hand experience that can help anyone make their own decisions of where to go to college. I am going to list the major things that someone should consider before going to SCAD.

    1. SCAD has the quarter scheduling system. A quarter system class scheduling system is a lot different than a semester system class schedule. A quarter system academic year is three quarters: fall, winter, spring. A full time class schedule is 3 classes. This sounds reasonable but each class is 2.5 hours long. Studio classes are 5.5 hours long. If you schedule a studio class and a regular class back to back you are in class all day. In architecture studio classes. we spent a lot of time discussing our own projects or other students projects with the class which limits your own time of getting your own projects completed.

    To make up the time, students have to spend long hours into the night to get their projects complete. Eichberg Hall where the architecture department is located at SCAD was open 24/7 when I was there. Students had to do a lot of all nighters because the quarter system class periods are too long.

    I personally did at least 100 all nighters in 3 years while attending SCAD. I look back and consider that torture. I would never go to a quarter system college again. All nighters become a very painful experience after a while. I still suffer from all of the sleep deprivation. I did not waste time going to parties. I worked on my projects as much as I needed to do to do my best considering the time constraints of the quarter system. I managed to get straight 'A's my last year and my GPA was over 3.7.

    2. Another downfall of the quarter system is that professors have difficulty maintaining a class for 2.5 hours. I had some professors at SCAD cancel class after about 1 hour of teaching. But I paid for 2.5 hours of class time. SCAD is very expensive.

    I also think the quarter system is not flexible. You cannot take extra classes over full time like you can a semester system.

    I went to a semester system college for my undergraduate degree. Class periods are only 50 minutes long 3 times a week or 1.5 hours long 2 times a week. Since the class times are shorter I had much more time after class to do my work. I only needed to do 1 all nighter and that was because I was taking extra classes over full time. I was able to take 1 or 2 classes over full time each semester in order to study business classes outside of my major and complete the required elective classes for my major.

    3. Quarter systems are designed to prevent you from taking free classes like at a semester system. At a semester system, you pay for a full class load of 12 credits. Since the class times are shorter, you can easily take an extra class a semester. Since you only pay for 12 credits, that extra class is free. The quarter system at SCAD is virtually impossibly to take an extra class. So, no free classes. I paid for my own college education. I greatly appreciate being able to take an extra class a semester at the semester system college.

    4. The scope of classes at SCAD is limited compared to a college such as Penn State University. Do your research on what classes a college offers before choosing a college.

    To any student considering going to college, I highly recommend going to a semester system college.

    I think the quarter system at SCAD is a fundamentally flawed educational system.

    Since I graduated from SCAD, I have finished the Architecture Registration Exams and became registered. I passed all of the exams one the first attempt. Most importantly, I have not experienced an all nighter since 2004. I do not miss the all nighter life at all. I would never ever consider going to a quarter system college again. If I take any college courses in the future, I will certainly go to a semester system college.
  • momneeds2nomomneeds2no Registered User Posts: 755 Member
    My Drexel daughter loves the quarter system. She's a procranistinaor by nature, and the quarter system keeps her on her toes. 10 weeks flies by fast.

    Look at the coop calendar for your prospective major. It will give you an idea of what to expect in terms of breaks. Everything at drexel is pretty planned out in advance. My daughter likes that.
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