How long is a college semester? (Quick answer)2 min read

How long a college semester is, is one question a lot of students, especially high school graduates, ask. This question doesn’t have a straight answer though as the length of a semester depends on how the school’s academic calendar is structured, amongst other reasons.

Schools have different academic structures, but the most common ones are: the semester, trimester, and quarter systems.

How long is a College Semester?

The Semester System

This is the most commonly used system in institutions. It divides the academic year into two: fall and spring semesters, with an optional summer semester.

The fall and spring semesters are typically 15 weeks long, while the optional summer semester lasts for 12 weeks.

The fall semester usually starts around the end of August or the first week of September and runs till mid-December. The spring semester usually starts around mid-January and ends around mid-May.

The summer semester is optional, and usually starts around the end of May or the first week of June, and runs till the first week of August. It is mostly for students who wish to take extra classes they couldn’t take during the other semesters, or for those who want to get ahead and possibly graduate early.

In each semester, students can take up to five or six classes depending on the credits, or an average of 15 credits.

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How long is a College Semester?

The Trimester System and Quarter System

The trimester system divides the academic year into three: fall, winter, and spring, with each trimester being 12 weeks long.

The fall trimester starts around early September and runs until mid-November. The winter trimester starts around early January and runs until the end of March. The spring trimester starts in mid-April and runs until the first week of June.

In each trimester, students can take three to five classes.

The quarter system divides an academic year into four quarters: fall, spring, winter, and summer, with each quarter being 10 weeks long. The summer quarter in this system, like the one of the semester system, is optional. It allows students to take extra classes and probably graduate early.

In each quarter, students can take three to four classes.

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