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Get ahead of the game: Plan for summer term

A student sits with their yellow labrador on a red blanket at a park. They are looking at a silver laptop and there is a stack of textbooks nearby.

By Olivia Bogdan | Ecampus enrollment services specialist
May 11, 2018

Whether you would like to complete an entire year’s worth of language requirements in one term or you’re planning around a summer vacation, Oregon State University’s unique summer session term allows you to design your schedule your way.

To help you navigate what works best for you, we’ve developed a list of key tips to consider when planning your summer schedule:

Tip 1:

Take advantage of Oregon State’s uniquely designed Summer Session. It features the regular 11-week session as well as shorter sessions that run from one to 8 weeks in length.

The various accelerated sessions allow you to get ahead in your studies or complete an entire course sequence in just one term.

It’s important to take time to plan your summer course schedule early so that you’re not overwhelmed once the term begins.

Tip 2:

When preparing for the summer term, use these helpful resources as a guide:

  • Take a look at the summer calendar to view the course lengths and session dates
  • If you are a degree-seeking student, you will want to speak with your academic advisor for help planning out your summer term
  • Visit the schedule of classes to see which sessions certain courses are offered. Look at the comments column for specific session dates

It’s important to take time to plan your summer course schedule early so that you’re not overwhelmed once the term begins.

Tip 3:

You might want to think twice about taking two courses during the same accelerated session. Instead of limiting the amount of coursework in these classes, the work is condensed into a shortened time frame.

During the regular academic year, we estimate you will devote 2-3 hours per week per course credit hour. That means you can expect to spend 8-12 hours per week on a 4-credit course. If you were taking this same course in a four-week session during summer, you would be looking at 20-30 hours of coursework per week.

Tip 4:

When researching which classes to take during summer, it can be helpful to look for courses that are prerequisites to multiple courses in your degree program.

By taking a prerequisite during summer, it can open up your scheduling options during the rest of the school year.

Tip 5:

If you’re considering taking a course sequence (such as a world language or chemistry) but you’re only able to take the first class in the sequence during summer term, find the next time the other courses in the sequence are offered and determine how that fits in your schedule.

It could be challenging to start a sequence in June or July and then wait to pick up the sequence during winter term, which begins in January. Your academic advisor is your best resource to help inform your decision.

Tip 6 (personal bonus tip):

When I took summer courses at Oregon State, I often took my most difficult courses during summer term, leaving the other courses for the regular school year.

During the typical school year, it can be hard to devote more time to a single course when you are juggling three or four courses at once.

I found it was easier to work on harder courses one at a time in the condensed summer format. This allowed me to get immersed and focused on absorbing the difficult material. Then in three or four weeks, I was done.

No matter your reason for attending Oregon State’s Summer Session, these tips will help you plan your summer schedule and find the best courses that work for you.

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