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chelle21689's avatar

Can someone explain to me schools that go by semesters?

Asked by chelle21689 (5281 points ) December 10th, 2010

Next year I’m attending a school that goes by semesters. It goes by 12 weeks, some classes go by 6 weeks, some go by 3 weeks. Most of the classes I need to take are only 6 weeks long.

Why are some 12 weeks, some 3 weeks, and some are 6 weeks?
I’m used to taking many credit hours, I took 17 credit hours at my school that goes by quarters. Would it be difficult to take 3 classes at once for 6 weeks??

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8 Answers

Seaofclouds's avatar

Usually the classes that are over a shorter period of time meet more often or for longer time period and require a lot more work at a time then the ones over 12 or more weeks. They are generally the same as the longer classes, just packed into a shorter amount of time so that they can be completed in a shorter amount of time. If you look at how many classes you would normally take over 12 weeks consider that taking 2 classes would be the same as taking 1 class the first 6 weeks and the 2nd class the second 6 weeks. So if you normally would take 6 classes in 12 weeks, you should be able to do 3 classes for the first 6 weeks and then 3 classes the second 6 weeks.

Since this is the first time you will be taking the class in shorter time periods, you might want to start off with 2 the first time to get an idea of how much work you’ll be doing in that 6 weeks.

BarnacleBill's avatar

You would not want to take more than 2 classes in a six week semester. The workload is much more concentrated.

lillycoyote's avatar

I’ve never heard of a system like that, with the 3, 6, and 12 week semesters. Is that common? What college is it? The college I attended was on a semester system but the semesters, fall and spring, were both 15 weeks long.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Sounds like a block-plan college. I’d love to go to one if any of them offered my major.
Block-plan colleges are designed to help those who learn differently by having you take only one class at a time. For, say, 3 weeks, all you take is Physics 1010. You (might) go to the lecture MWF for 3 hours, then TR do 4 hours in the lab. Then, at the end of the 3 weeks, you’re done with Physics 1010 forever. The next block, you start Western Civilization to 1603 – 3 hours of lecture every day for 3 weeks, and then you’re done with that class forever. Only taking one class at a time allows students to really absorb the knowledge of each class and concentrate on what they are learning instead of having to juggle several different classes and subjects all at the same time. I’ve heard of many students that got really overwhelmed from taking 4–6 classes at once and started failing (and having mental/physical issues), but were really smart and excelled beautifully with the block-plan.

Do you mind if I ask what college you’ll be attending?

lillycoyote's avatar

@papayalily Thank you for the information on block-plan colleges! I hadn’t heard of this.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@lillycoyote As far as I know, there are only 3 or 4 colleges in the US that do it right now. I think all are liberal arts (part of why I didn’t end up going to one).

chelle21689's avatar

Wow, thanks for all the information. :)

chelle21689's avatar

Hm, well this kinda sucks lol. This school I’m going to next year is mostly online…and there’s not much choices for the time. It’s either 9am or 6pm haha.

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