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Quarter vs Semester grad programs


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Was this (quarter vs semester programs) something you took into account when researching schools or deciding on a program? 

 

As I look into schools, I have found myself wondering what the academic pace is like at a quarter system university. Peers at quarter system undergraduate universities have mentioned that each quarter to them is "a fast paced big push" (of work.) 

 

Obviously this question depends a fair amount on learning style, but as someone currently on a semester system and enjoying the pace, I would be interested in the experiences of others as they research/ed schools that would fit them well.  

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Certainly I would prefer a semester system, but I don't think it is important enough to be a deciding factor. I actually accepted a quarter-system based offer, because the research and personal fit are really great for me. Classes aren't what a PhD is about, and won't be the focus of your time, at least after the first 1-2 years, depending on your program structure.

 

edit: I now see this is not a general thread... I guess for a Masters it might matter more, but I still don't think it's a big deal!

Edited by MathCat
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While I'm sure it's somewhat different with a graduate program, I went to a school with a quarter-based system for undergrad and loved it. If I didn't like a particular class I wasn't stuck with it as long. I never felt overwhelmed by the pace. This honestly wasn't something I even thought to consider when choosing a graduate program.

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I also did my undergrad at a quarter-based school and I loved it! I feel like semesters tend to drag on forever. I also didn't think to look into this aspect when applying to schools and I'm kind of wishing I had now.

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I personally wanted a program on the semester system. I have spent 4 years on the quarter, and it's too fast paced. The grad stidents at my sxhool feel that quarters were not enough for meaningful work. This affected the schools I applied to.

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I've taken both quarter and semester and while semester does feel painfully long sometimes, I think I prefer it over quarter courses because it also allows the courses to go more in depth at a good pace & more time to build relationships with professors, while quarter courses can feel sort of rushed and crammed with info. I also like the idea of taking less classes with having two semesters in a year rather than three quarters. I don't think one is better than the other though, just depends on what you prefer.

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Another thing to think about is that quarter systems allow you to have a wider variety and greater number of practicum experiences, which did greatly affect my decision on where I will attend. I spoke to students who did not mind the pace, and really did love the practicum opportunities that came along with a quarter system. 

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