Semester or Quarter – What system is the best choice for you?

Usually, colleges or schools in the U.S. are distributed in two different academic systems: quarters or semesters. Both have their benefits regarding the scholarships. The number of faculty and experience for the students on quarters is more than semesters. By quarters study, students get 18 credits for study than a semester system.

How Does The Semester System Work?

From late August to mid-December and mid-January to May academic year of semesters is organized with 15 weeks semesters each. Four or five classes being taken by students in this semester system. Scholarships are obtained according to their need.

Duration of Semester in Colleges or schools

Usually, a semester system is 15 weeks long; however, it depends on specific school holidays. In which fall and spring semester starts or ends alternatively of six months. The following timetable is on schools and colleges:

  • Fall: From August to mid of December
  • Spring: From mid of January to May 
  • Summer : (elective): June and July

How Does The Quarter System Work?

Four quarters are held (fall, winter, spring, and summer) by the institutions for the quarter’s system. The vacation from periods is in the summer quarter, though students take three to four classes in the quarter system. Somehow scholarships are available in a particular way. 

Duration of Quarters in Colleges or schools

It varies with the students‘ average classes from 10 to 11 weeks, which coincides with reasons. In the following way, the quarter system is broken up:

  • Fall: mid-September to December
  • Winter: early January to March
  • Spring: mid-April to June
  • Summer: mid-June to August

Differences between Semesters vs. Quarters


Length of each termNumber of courses taken per teamCredit hours required per programHours in class per week
Semester 15 weeksAround 5120 hours5 classes = 15 hours 
Quarter 10-11 weeks3-4180 hours4 classes =4 classes

Advantages and disadvantages of semester System

Since the common identity of the semester system in U.S. colleges or schools and universities, some of the advantages or disadvantages are as follows:  


Semester System advantages

Semester System disadvantages
To Learn Information using more time.
Stress increased
Establishing time for Student–Professor Relationships
Potential for Unusual Classes
Shorter Classes
Improving GPA in a complex way
Scholarships for every Semester
Extra practice is not possible due to a strict timetable and time constraints.

Advantages and disadvantages of Quarters System


Quarters System advantages

Quarters System disadvantages
Work Loads become smaller
Difficulties in internship
The flexibility of more class
Interruptions in study abroad
Shorter Breaks
Fast-Paced Classes

To Wrap Up

Furthermore, the Semester system is the better choice. In the semester system, most of the things being regained their previous knowledge by projects are very acknowledgeable. 

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