Big changes are coming next fall to Ohio University, chiefly among them being the switch from a quarter-based academic system to semesters. With only a few short weeks left of quarters, many collegiates may find themselves wondering what a year under semesters will actually be like. For students who have studied under quarters more than a year, it may be hard to imagine anything else. Though it’s tough to say goodbye to our beloved quarters, semesters come with their advantages too. So what differences can students expect next year?
Fewer Credit Hours
Once semesters start, most classes will change from being worth four credit hours to three credit hours. That means that OU collegiates can expect a regular course load to be 15 credits, or five classes, as opposed to 16 credits and four classes. Ultimately, the reduction leads to a lower amount of classes needed to graduate. Under quarters, the required number of hours to receive a bachelor’s degree is 192, which amounts to a total of 48 courses. Under semesters, it will change to 120, or 40 total courses. Who doesn’t love the idea of having to take fewer classes?
More Weeks in Class
Under semesters, collegiates must adjust to a school year consisting of two 14-week terms instead of three 10-week quarters. Of all the changes, this is probably the one that elicits the most moans and groans. Though some students may loathe the idea of being in a set of classes longer, there’s a bright side to everything. A semester system gives professors more time to cover vital concepts. With four extra weeks, instructors won’t be forced to cram a bunch of material in during a short period of time. Ultimately, assignments should be more spaced out, leaving less stress on students.
Shorter Class Lengths
A huge bonus of semesters is that students can expect most class lengths to be shorter than under quarters. Classes between 7:30 a.m. and 3:05 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays will be only 55 minutes. Tuesday and Thursday classes during the same time period will last for 80 minutes. Classes after 3:05 p.m., though, will vary in length and could be 55 minutes or longer. OU collegiates should definitely keep these differences in mind when planning their fall classes in order to take advantage of the best times that work for their schedules.
Earlier Meeting Times
Classes will also start earlier in the day under semesters. The daytime class schedule will run from 7:30 a.m. to 5:05 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and from 7:30 a.m. to 4:25 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Look out for classes after 5:15, however, which can follow any pattern (unless scheduled in a large classroom). If collegiates plan their schedules accordingly, most should be able to finish their classes much sooner in the day. That leaves more time to finish homework and take part in extracurricular activities throughout the week.
Extended Summer Break
Though our cushy six-week winter break will get cut down to four weeks, the school year will come to a close much earlier on May 4. That means OU collegiates will be able to enjoy a much longer summer break – a total of 16 glorious weeks to be exact. Having a longer summer break not only leaves room for more relaxation, but also more flexibility for competitive career opportunities, such as internships, study abroad trips or jobs. And don’t forget we still have a three-day break in November and a full week of spring break in March!
*For more information on the Q2S switch, visit ohio.edu/q2s/.