Quarters v. Semesters?

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QueueToo
Posts: 36
Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 10:32 pm

Quarters v. Semesters?

Postby QueueToo » Mon Apr 05, 2010 9:42 am

I have my options for next year more or less boiled down to two options; I won't drag you through all the stuff I'm trying to suss out but I'm curious to hear your thoughts on the relative merits (and detriments) of a semester system and a quarter system as my final two differ in this aspect.

Thanks!

hsprophet
Posts: 161
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2009 10:42 am

Re: Quarters v. Semesters?

Postby hsprophet » Mon Apr 05, 2010 10:23 am

My undergrad was quarters. Never been on semesters, so I don't have a personal comparison. I do like quarters in that the terms are shorter - classes only last about 10 weeks, and you have fewer classes at a time to worry with. Class periods are longer (Tu - Th classes were 1:50). The faster pace really wasn't that hard. Breaks are different. Christmas isn't as long, since it's in the middle of a quarter, which also makes it hard to get back into the groove when you come back. Fall and Spring quarters don't have many breaks or holidays.

My school did quarters but on semester hours, so the total time in class is the same. A quarter of English 101 is equivalant to English 101 at a semester school. Some schools on quarters are on their own system, so basically their English 101 isn't "enough" to be equivalant to the semester class.

Personally I really liked quarters. Semesters just seem too long... a class lasting 16-18 weeks just seems like forever.

legends159
Posts: 1090
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2007 4:12 pm

Re: Quarters v. Semesters?

Postby legends159 » Mon Apr 05, 2010 10:29 am

semester is more relaxing IMO b/c with quarters the academic year is longer, you end up having 3 sets of finals instead of 2 and the subject is rushed through. With a longer school year you have a shorter summer and there might be conflicts with summer employment.

hsprophet
Posts: 161
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2009 10:42 am

Re: Quarters v. Semesters?

Postby hsprophet » Tue Apr 06, 2010 10:06 am

The summer at my quarter-system undergrad was just as long as other schools. We did finish later in May, but we started school later in the fall. We got two weeks for Thanksgiving, but only two weeks for Christmas, and up to two weeks in the spring (depending on if Mardi Gras break fell into spring quarter break - yes, it was in Louisiana).

We spent the same amount of time in class, it was just broken up differently. Of course your school may vary.

It really comes down to personal preference. You have 3 sets of finals per year, but I usually only had three classes at a time and a lab or something.

QueueToo
Posts: 36
Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 10:32 pm

Re: Quarters v. Semesters?

Postby QueueToo » Tue Apr 06, 2010 1:28 pm

For anyone who cares, I was doing other reading and came upon this: http://lsi.typepad.com/lsi/2007/09/should-law-scho.html.

ToTransferOrNot
Posts: 1928
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 12:45 am

Re: Quarters v. Semesters?

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Tue Apr 06, 2010 1:35 pm

I can't sing high enough praises about the quarter system at Chicago. Finals are easier to prep for since they only cover 8 weeks of material, the classes aren't as overwhelming in general, classes end around the time they start to get stale, it forces the professors to focus on the important stuff, you get to take a wider variety of classes, and you get to experience more professors.




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