Many college freshman have moved into their dorms and have already been in session for a few weeks to a month. However, there are still some that have barely just moved in and not yet have started classes. These few students are most likely on the quarter system, differing from their peer counterparts that have already started on a semester system.
The quarter system works differently than a school using the semester system. To begin with, it starts the school year with three academic quarters – Fall, Winter and Spring. Students however, may choose to enroll for a fourth quarter in the summer.
A typical quarter system usually consists of only ten weeks as opposed to the average fifteen weeks a semester school holds. Therefore, quarter system schools go through class material much more quickly and not as in depth on the material as a semester system typically would.
Because the quarter system is much shorter, students usually do not start the school year until mid or end-September. Thus, the school year does not end until June.
Because there are three quarters, students are more exposed to different classes and professors and may take a larger subject variety in their courses. There is no room for procrastination and students must work diligently as to not to fall behind.
There are only a small percentage of schools in the United States that operate on the quarter system. Some well known colleges on the quarter system are: Dartmouth College, Johnson and Wales University, Santa Clara University, Stanford University and all Universities of California (with the exception of UC Berkeley and UC Merced).
Like the semester system, the quarter system holds both pros and cons and may not be fit for everyone. However, students who a enjoy a faster pace of learning and are capable of handling high pressure situations may do better in a quarter system school.
Good luck to all students starting classes this month!
Lead Image Credit: Eric Rothermel via Unsplash