1. Why is Ohio University moving from a quarter academic calendar to a semester academic calendar?
The creation of the University System of Ohio in March 2008 has already ensured that the education of
future Ohio University students will be different in many ways than the education of current Ohio
One of the major goals of the University System of Ohio is to create new academic opportunities that
allow students to take advantage of the resources of state universities regardless of the location of
their home institution. When a student at Ohio University would like to take a class that is not offered
at our institution the University System of Ohio wants to enable that student, through the use of
distance education technology, to have access to that course at another Ohio university. The
University System of Ohio also aims to build new degree programs that span institutions. A common
calendar is the first step in creating new and important opportunities for future generations of Ohio
Although future students of the university will not enjoy the advantages of shorter periods of
instruction or a long winter break, they will have opportunities that current Ohio University students
do not have, such as:
- Additional class time for the faculty to explore in greater depth the topics of study. This also gives
students more time to absorb the class material and build a more solid base of knowledge to assist in
future classes and careers. It is often hard to finish major projects and papers in 10 weeks. Semesters
give students greater breathing room in doing more in-depth work.
- The chance to be more competitive for internships and permanent positions because of an earlier end
to the academic year.
- Greater ease of transfer between institutions and academic exchange programs, with an academic
calendar consistent with the majority of colleges and universities in the United States, in Ohio, and
around the world.
2. What are the advantages of changing from quarters to semesters?
Semesters provide several advantages to students, faculty, and staff. The semester system:
- Provides more time for learning course material
- Provides an opportunity for faculty curricula innovation
- Provides more time for summer internships
- Brings our courses in line with most textbooks, which are written on the semester calendar
- Gives students a better chance at summer jobs because the school year ends earlier
- Allows graduating seniors to enter the job market earlier
- Reduces registration and financial aid activity from three times to two times per academic year
- Brings our calendar into line with most of the state-supported universities in Ohio
- Allows better scheduling of off-campus learning experiences such as student teaching and
- Promotes better scheduling of activities involving other universities and colleges such as
conferences and athletic events
3. What is the difference between a quarter- based and a semester-based academic calendar?
Under both the quarter and the semester academic calendars, the academic year is approximately 30
weeks in addition to summer sessions of varying lengths. Our quarter calendar comprises three 10-
week quarters and two summer sessions, while a semester calendar comprises two semesters and
generally 1-3 summer sessions. The overall classroom contact hours (actual time spent in instruction)
will remain the same over the course of an entire academic year.
4. Will the financial aid of transition students be altered by the conversion to semesters?
You will receive the same financial aid annual amounts per eligibility as established by the awards you
receive. However, the amounts will be divided between two semesters as opposed to three quarters.
5. When will the change occur?
The conversion to semesters will occur Fall 2012.
6. What is a transition student?
Any student who does not graduate by Fall 2012 will be considered a transition student. Ohio
University is committed to making the process as smooth as possible for all transition students and to
ensure that you will not be disadvantaged in the process.
7. Will I have to take more classes under a semester-based academic year?
To be considered a full-time student under quarters or semesters you need to take 12 credit hours a
term. Typically, this can be done with three classes under the current quarter system. Under the
semester system this will typically be done by taking 4 classes per semester.
8. What should I do to prepare for the semester conversion?
It is extremely important that you meet with your academic advisor frequently during the transition
process. You will be required work with your advisor to submit a degree completion plan outlining your
coursework through the transition process. Please pay special attention to your email and regular mail
for notice of advisor meeting requirements. If your degree plan needs to be completed on the Athens
campus, it is important that you consult with an advisor in Athens.
9. What does the semester calendar look like?
The semester academic calendar can be found at the
following link: www.ohio.edu/q2s/upload/2011-12_thru_2013-14_Calendars_Approved.pdf
10. Where can I find additional information on the OU transition?
Please also check with your College (Arts & Sciences, Education, etc.), and the Department of your
major, as they may have additional, more specific information on their websites.