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Quarter vs Semester

LizfromHollywoodLizfromHollywood Registered User Posts: 379 Member
edited April 2011 in UC Transfers
i have never been on the quarter system. does anyone have anyone opinions about which is system is "better" (however you define that)?

i just noticed Cal starts Aug 25th while UCLA starts in late September.
Post edited by LizfromHollywood on

Replies to: Quarter vs Semester

  • RheeL3RheeL3 Registered User Posts: 611 Member
    I definitely think the quarter system is better. When I was debating between Cal/UCLA, I thought to myself: "there's a bunch of courses that I would want to take...but is there enough time?" Reflecting back, I don't know how I survived semester courses in CC. That's why I procastinated so much too, because I could, not with the quarter system! I always feel like its..."FIRST...THIRD...MIDTERM...PAPER DUE...FINAL." It's already sixth week!

    Good luck!

    Edit: I suppose a downfall to the quarter system would be all the books you have to buy, ek. |: Thankfully all of my professors have been super chill, and they put them on reserve at the library or post to links online for the course reader.
  • ChargoChargo Registered User Posts: 49 Junior Member
    I think quarters are more fast paced, there really is no breathing space like you get in the first couple weeks of semester classes. Also, you can take a greater variety of classes in quarters, but they'll also be slightly compressed.
  • LizfromHollywoodLizfromHollywood Registered User Posts: 379 Member
    thanks guys!

    so i am assuming in the quarter system, each class period is longer? do you have classes M-W-F in some cases?
  • deanzatransferdeanzatransfer Registered User Posts: 696 Member
    I love the quarter system! I'm actually sad Berkeley is on the semester system (my summer's cut by a month). Oh well... I'll have experience with both the quarter and the semester system then.
  • RheeL3RheeL3 Registered User Posts: 611 Member
    This is the first time I've had a MWF course, and it's usually three days a week because it's short. My class is from 9-9:50.

    Usually it's from (for example) MW 2:00-3:15 or 2:00-3:50, it depends on the course itself.

    That was what my course time was in the semester system too, so we're good, don't trip about that.
  • RigolettoRigoletto Registered User Posts: 45 Junior Member
    The quarter system is pretty fast paced. Especially if you are a science major where the classes have 2-3 midterms, you might have one midterm every single week after the 4th week of class. Or you might experience one horrible week with with something like 3 midterms and a paper due with no breathing room.

    For me, I like the quarter system. It weeds out the kids who have bad time management (which is a lot of them)! I am transferring from Davis (quarter) to Berkeley (semester), so I hope the semester system there isn't as boring as it was in high school.
  • redopleaseredoplease Registered User Posts: 1,276 Senior Member
    the semester system is the only reason I would ever reconsider going to berkeley. I LOVE THE QUARTER SYSTEM! It's like WHAM BAM THANK YOU MAAM
  • deanzatransferdeanzatransfer Registered User Posts: 696 Member
    @redo: Same here.
  • passwordis123passwordis123 Registered User Posts: 251 Junior Member
    i like quarter system. i like to focus on few subjects at a time. also, under quarter system, you have more control over your gpa.
  • LizfromHollywoodLizfromHollywood Registered User Posts: 379 Member
    ^wait what do you mean? you take less classes at once?
  • california510california510 Registered User Posts: 152 Junior Member
    In a quarter system you take about 3 5unit classes or 4 4unit classes per quarter compared to 5 classes per semester in a semester system.
  • redopleaseredoplease Registered User Posts: 1,276 Senior Member
    lol^ i've talked to some berk kids, and they dont even take 5 classes/semester. they say some do, but most just stick with 4.
    i've never taken less than 4 classes/quarter!
  • beyphybeyphy Registered User Posts: 2,237 Senior Member

    Pros: you get a lot of breathing room. It's really possible to have an actual life without struggling in school in semester system as opposed to quarter system

    you get two 2 month vacations in between both semesters, so in the beginning of each semester you'll feel pretty rested and ready to do work again.

    cons: if you have a semester that you ABSOLUTELY hate (i've had these before) then the semester system can just seem like it drags on and on and on...

    If you don't do anything productive during your free time on your breaks you'll just feel like time is passing by hoping that school would start again (i've been there)


    pros: get to take more classes
    uber-long summer-fall break (nearly 4 months) means you can do something crazy like travel somewhere or take an internship somewhere without the worry that school is starting soon for all of summer and still have nearly a month to prepare for school to start.

    cons: not a lot of breathing room to have a life
    can feel really exhausting (especially since the break from winter to spring is only 1 week)
    teachers (at least in the classes i've been in) generally have to modify the syllabus and aren't able to teach as much as they like because of time restrictions.

    Overall, i think i'd prefer a hybrid of quarters and semesters if i had the option like Yale's 12 week semesters (+2 weeks for each quarter, and minus 6 out of the 15 weeks we get for summer) but that isn't an option.

    I've got to take more interesting classes than i would if i were on the semester system, so i guess i'd say i prefer quarters.
  • LizfromHollywoodLizfromHollywood Registered User Posts: 379 Member
    awesome list. thanks!

    you went/go to LACC? i am at LACC also.
  • jg2290jg2290 Registered User Posts: 125 Junior Member
    i am in a semester system right now at my jc but i am transferring to UCLA, a quarter. Personally i love the semester because i gives you the ability to take it easy(ier). Everything is more stretched out, easy to learn things, especially math when we go slow. However, the length is can also be hinderence because you have to maintain ur grade longer
This discussion has been closed.