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Quarter system

Canadian112Canadian112 Registered User Posts: 110 Junior Member
edited April 2013 in University of Chicago
Compared to sememster system.
What are the pros and cons?
Post edited by Canadian112 on

Replies to: Quarter system

  • hevydevyhevydevy Registered User Posts: 275 Junior Member
    From what I've heard:

    A. It isn't really a quarter system--more like a trimester.

    B. You can take more classes. Think about it. 4 classes a quarter, 3 quarters a year for 4 years. That is 48 classes. With a semester system, it's usually 40.

    C. Because you have class material that would normally take up a semester shrunk into 5 weeks less than that, it is a ton of work.

    This is based off of what I've heard from students and my own opinions and reasoning. How far off am I?
  • sa0209sa0209 Registered User Posts: 610 Member
    Fairly accurate. Some courses are the equivalent of a semester course into a quarter. Others are yearlong sequences that are equivalent to year long sequences at semester schools so not much difference for those. But overall, quarter system allows you more diversity in your classes. The pace is also faster, but it's not really something one should concern themselves with when choosing schools. More logistical things.
  • dunbardunbar Registered User Posts: 1,376 Senior Member
    The pace is faster on a quarter system (you'll only have a few weeks at the beginning before you start having midterms and papers), and I think overall it makes for a little more work proportionally. You can take more classes, obviously, which gives you one more time every year to eagerly peruse the catalog. With the limit of four classes and the size of the Core, you won't get to jump into many upper-level courses until your second year. It can be difficult to fit in three or four especially time-consuming classes, but you'll also be able to put more of a focus on what you're taking overall. The quarter system also pretty much limits your study abroad options to quarterly UofC programs and year-long visiting enrollment, but that still leaves you with plenty of options and you don't have to commit to spending 1/8 of your time here somewhere else.

    Whether these are pros or cons all depends on your preference.
  • Canadian112Canadian112 Registered User Posts: 110 Junior Member
    Thanks for the reply guys. I was just wondering.
    I am an EA admitted student from Canada and because I go to school that is term based (Instead of taking like 3 courses per semester, we take 8 courses a year), I was very unfamiliar with this system. At my school, we take 8 exams in a course of week and a half ( very different from quarter or even semester schools).
    If someone has more to say about this, it would be awsome if they post :).
    God UChicago students so friendly
  • waiting17waiting17 Registered User Posts: 33 Junior Member
    Sorry, I know this is an old thread (not really familiar with cc rules yet), but I was hoping someone could explain this excerpt from Dunbar's post:

    "The quarter system also pretty much limits your study abroad options to quarterly UofC programs and year-long visiting enrollment, but that still leaves you with plenty of options and you don't have to commit to spending 1/8 of your time here somewhere else."

    What does he/she mean about limited study abroad options? That if you want to go abroad it has to be during a specific quarter or that with this quarter system, it's difficult to secure a study abroad program, or something else altogether? Thanks for any help!
  • kenny97kenny97 User Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 9 New Member
    sometimes, if your school doesn't offer a study abroad program that you like, you can find another school that has it. but since chicago is kind of unique in its system, it would be more difficult to find another school that offers the program AND is on the quarter system
  • waiting17waiting17 Registered User Posts: 33 Junior Member
    Ooohhhh, I see- that makes sense. Thank you, kenny97! Does anyone know whether you are restricted to going abroad after your sophomore year or whether you can go earlier?
  • MarylandfourMarylandfour Registered User Posts: 378 Member
    This should help with study abroad questions:
    Study-Abroad | The University of Chicago
  • waiting17waiting17 Registered User Posts: 33 Junior Member
    Thank you, Marylandfour!
  • dunbardunbar Registered User Posts: 1,376 Senior Member
    Yeah, kenny97 explained it. It's hard to match a semester schedule you might find through another program find to the quarter system, so you're mostly limited to study abroad programs offered by UChicago. That's not really a big deal, though. UChicago still offers a fair amount.

    As for when, you can study abroad as early as Spring quarter of your first year (depending on the program and the deadlines). I actually know a few people who did this, but I wouldn't recommend it. The great thing about Spring quarter as a first year is that you still have (relatively) lighter responsibilities, and yet have also settled into the college environment.
  • FlyMeToTheMoonFlyMeToTheMoon Registered User Posts: 2,668 Senior Member
    I hadn't really thought about the effect the quarter system would have on study abroad options. Thanks for pointing that out.
  • gravitas2gravitas2 Registered User Posts: 1,474 Senior Member
    One should note Stanford has almost an identical academic quarter schedule as Chicago...they start late in September and usually end after the first week of June. It doesn't seem to bother the students there too much either.
This discussion has been closed.