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Encyclopedia > Academic term

An academic term is a division of an academic year, the time during which a school, college or university holds classes. These divisions may be called 'terms', 'semesters', 'quarters', or 'trimesters', depending on the institution and the country. Students in Rome, Italy. ... College (Latin collegium) is a term most often used today to denote an educational institution. ... Representation of a university class, 1350s. ...


Institutions often have two semesters (four-month terms, though it literally means "six months") in an academic year, each lasting between 15 and 18 weeks. A quarter or trimester (three-month term) lasts between 8 and 12 weeks, and there are typically three per year. Other permutations are sometimes used – for example, two semesters each divided into two quarters, four quarters, or even three semesters.


In contrast to a calendar year, in most countries an academic year begins with the start of summer and ends the following spring. This is because it follows the medieval agricultural pattern of the year in northern Europe, in which July and August were when able-bodied young people were needed on the farms.

Contents

Australia and New Zealand

In most of Australia and New Zealand, the school year lasts from Late January to Early December, and is split into four terms.

  • Term 1: Starts Late January or Early February in some places and Ends on The Thursday before Easter. some schools end on 30th March
  • Term 2: Starts 2 Weeks after Easter (1 week in some places) and Ends in Late June.
  • Term 3: Starts Early-Mid July and Ends Mid-September.
  • Term 4: Starts Early October and Ends Early-Mid December.

The exact dates vary from year to year, as well as between states, and for public and private school. In Tasmania, the school year is split in to three terms, the first one being the longest and including an extended Easter holiday. The following is a link with details on Australian term dates for 2007. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Private schools, or independent schools, are schools not administered by local, state, or national government, which retain the right to select their student body and are funded in whole or in part by charging their students tuition rather than with public (state) funds. ... Slogan or Nickname: The Apple Isle; Holiday Isle Motto(s): Ubertas et Fidelitas (Fertility and Faithfulness) Other Australian states and territories Capital Hobart Government Constitutional monarchy Governor William Cox Premier Paul Lennon (ALP) Federal representation  - House seats 5  - Senate seats 12 Gross State Product (2004-05)  - Product ($m)  $16,114... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      Easter, the Sunday of...


Australian universities have two semesters a year, between February and November. Many universities offer an optional short summer semester. One recent innovation in Australian higher education has been the establishment of the fully distance / online Open Universities Australia (formerly Open Learning Australia) that offers continuous study opportunities of individual units of study (what are called courses in North America) that can lead to full degree qualifications. Open Universities Australia operates 4 13-week study periods each year. Since students study only part-time and offcampus these study periods mesh reasonably easily with existing university offerings based on semesters. Representation of a university class, 1350s. ...


Austria

The Austrian school year for primary and secondary schools is split into two terms, the first one starts on the first Monday in September in the states of Vienna, Lower Austria and Burgenland and on the second Monday of September in Upper Austria, Salzburg, Styria, Carinthia, Tyrol and Vorarlberg. Most schools have holidays between the national holiday on October 26 and All Souls Day on November 2, but those are inoffical holidays not observed by all schools in Austria. Christmas holidays start on December 24 and end on the fist weekday after January 6. The 1st term ends in Vienna and Lower Austria on the first Friday of February, in Burgenland, Carinthia, Salzburg, Tyrol and Vorarlberg on the 2nd Friday of February and in Upper Austria and Styria on the 3rd Friday of February. “Wien” redirects here. ... Map of Lower Austria showing districts and the four quarters (Waldviertel in green, Weinviertel in red, Mostviertel in yellow and Industrieviertel in blue) Lower Austria (de: Niederösterreich) is one of the nine states or Bundesländer in Austria. ... Burgenland (Hungarian Várvidék, Őrvidék or FelsÅ‘Å‘rvidék, Croatian Gradišće, Slovenian Gradiščansko) is the easternmost and least populous state or Land of Austria. ... Upper Austria (Ober sterreich) is one of the nine federal states or Bundesl nder of Austria. ...   (Austro-Bavarian: SÃ¥izburg) is the fourth-largest city in Austria and the capital of the federal state of Salzburg. ... Styria (Steiermark in German, Štajerska in Slovenian) can refer to: Styria - a federal state of Austria Styria - an informal province in Slovenia Styria - a duchy of the Holy Roman Empire and crownland of Austria-Hungary This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that... Carinthia (Kärnten in German, Koroška in Slovenian) can refer to: Carinthia - a federal state of Austria Carinthia - an informal province in Slovenia Carinthia - a duchy of the Holy Roman Empire and crownland of Austria_Hungary Karantania - the first Slovenian state This is a disambiguation page — a navigational... Coat of arms of Tyrol: *[1] The Tyrol is a historical region in Western Central Europe, which includes the Austrian state of Tyrol (consisting of North Tyrol and East Tyrol) and the Italian regions known as the South Tyrol and Trentino. ... Vorarlberg is the westernmost state (Land) of Austria. ... “Wien” redirects here. ... Map of Lower Austria showing districts and the four quarters (Waldviertel in green, Weinviertel in red, Mostviertel in yellow and Industrieviertel in blue) Lower Austria (de: Niederösterreich) is one of the nine states or Bundesländer in Austria. ... Burgenland (Hungarian Várvidék, Őrvidék or FelsÅ‘Å‘rvidék, Croatian Gradišće, Slovenian Gradiščansko) is the easternmost and least populous state or Land of Austria. ... Carinthia (Kärnten in German, Koroška in Slovenian) can refer to: Carinthia - a federal state of Austria Carinthia - an informal province in Slovenia Carinthia - a duchy of the Holy Roman Empire and crownland of Austria_Hungary Karantania - the first Slovenian state This is a disambiguation page — a navigational...   (Austro-Bavarian: SÃ¥izburg) is the fourth-largest city in Austria and the capital of the federal state of Salzburg. ... Coat of arms of Tyrol: *[1] The Tyrol is a historical region in Western Central Europe, which includes the Austrian state of Tyrol (consisting of North Tyrol and East Tyrol) and the Italian regions known as the South Tyrol and Trentino. ... Vorarlberg is the westernmost state (Land) of Austria. ... Upper Austria (Ober sterreich) is one of the nine federal states or Bundesl nder of Austria. ... Styria (Steiermark in German, Štajerska in Slovenian) can refer to: Styria - a federal state of Austria Styria - an informal province in Slovenia Styria - a duchy of the Holy Roman Empire and crownland of Austria-Hungary This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that...


There is a one week break between the two terms. In the 2nd term there are the easter holidays, the Mayday Holiday on May 1 and the long weekends of Pentcost, Ascension and Corpus Christi. The school year ends in Vienna, Lower Austria and Burgenland on the last Friday of June, in Upper Austria, Styria, Carinthia, Salzburg, Tyrol and Vorarlberg on the first Friday in July. “Wien” redirects here. ... Map of Lower Austria showing districts and the four quarters (Waldviertel in green, Weinviertel in red, Mostviertel in yellow and Industrieviertel in blue) Lower Austria (de: Niederösterreich) is one of the nine states or Bundesländer in Austria. ... Burgenland (Hungarian Várvidék, Őrvidék or FelsÅ‘Å‘rvidék, Croatian Gradišće, Slovenian Gradiščansko) is the easternmost and least populous state or Land of Austria. ... Upper Austria (Ober sterreich) is one of the nine federal states or Bundesl nder of Austria. ... Styria (Steiermark in German, Štajerska in Slovenian) can refer to: Styria - a federal state of Austria Styria - an informal province in Slovenia Styria - a duchy of the Holy Roman Empire and crownland of Austria-Hungary This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that... Carinthia (Kärnten in German, Koroška in Slovenian) can refer to: Carinthia - a federal state of Austria Carinthia - an informal province in Slovenia Carinthia - a duchy of the Holy Roman Empire and crownland of Austria_Hungary Karantania - the first Slovenian state This is a disambiguation page — a navigational...   (Austro-Bavarian: SÃ¥izburg) is the fourth-largest city in Austria and the capital of the federal state of Salzburg. ... Coat of arms of Tyrol: *[1] The Tyrol is a historical region in Western Central Europe, which includes the Austrian state of Tyrol (consisting of North Tyrol and East Tyrol) and the Italian regions known as the South Tyrol and Trentino. ... Vorarlberg is the westernmost state (Land) of Austria. ...


Brazil

In Brazil, due to the Law of Directives and Bases of Brazilian Education, the academic year must have 200 days, both at schools and at universities, although many don't follow it. The school year usually begins in February. There is a 4-week long winter break in July. The Brazilian school year ends in December.


In Brazilian universities academic terms are defined as periods or semesters (período, semestre). The majority of undergraduate courses are 8 semesters (four-year) long or 10 semesters (five-year) long. In some educational systems, undergraduate education is post-secondary education up to the level of a Bachelors degree. ...


Bangladesh

In Bangladesh, universities follow yearly, bi-semester or tri-semester system. Most of the public university follow yearly system with an exception of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET). BUET follows bi-semester system with a length of six month semester each. Most of the private universities follow tri-semester (e.g. East West University) system though there are few exceptions that follow bi-semester (e.g. Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology). Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Bengali: বাংলাদেশ প্রকৌশল বিশ্ববিদ্যালয় Bangladesh Prokoushol Bishshobiddalôe) or BUET is a Government Engineering University in Bangladesh. ... Nickname EWU Affiliations University Grants Commission Website http://www. ... Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology (Bangla: আহসানউল্লাহ্ বিজ্ঞান ও প্রযুক্তি বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়) (AUST) is a technical university located in Dhaka, Bangladesh. ...


Some of the universities and their semester title are as follow:

Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology (Bangla: আহসানউল্লাহ্ বিজ্ঞান ও প্রযুক্তি বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়) (AUST) is a technical university located in Dhaka, Bangladesh. ... American International University - Bangladesh (Bengali: আমেরিকান ইন্টারন্যাশনাল ইউনিভার্সিটি) or (AIUB) is a private university of Bangladesh. ... BRAC University is a private university located in Dhaka, Bangladesh. ... Nickname EWU Affiliations University Grants Commission Website http://www. ... North South University (Bengali: নর্থ সাউথ বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়) or NSU is the first private university in Dhaka, Bangladesh[1] [2]. The University offers undergraduate education in several subjects such as Business Administration, Electrical and Telecommunications Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering, Pharmacy, Architecture, Microbiology, Economics, English and Environmental Studies. ...

Canada

Generally in Canada, high schools run on a two-semester arrangement (often with a between-semester school holiday including Christmas and New Year's Day), also known as fall and spring semester, the first semester starting from September to January and the second running from February until June. The semesters are often divided into two terms each. Some schools in Canada run on a three-term system (trimester), the first running from September to January, the second from January to March, and the third from March until June. The trimester is more common in elementary schools (K-8) than in high schools (9-12). In Canada the school year for elementary and high school consists of 190 days. There are a few school boards in Canada experimenting with a year schooling. This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


Universities usually run from early September until the end of April or early May. Often this winter session is split into two terms running September to December and January to April. Various forms of summer studies may be offered May to August. Universities in Canada are established and operate under provincial government charters. ...


Ontario Ministry of Education Academic School Year Information


Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada


Czech Republic

In the elementary and high schools in the Czech Republic, the school year usually runs from 1st of September to 30th of June of the next year.


Estonia

In Estonia, elementary and high school begin at the 1st of September and end in the beginning of June. Universities start on the first Monday of September and usually end in the middle of May or in the beginning of June.


Estonian Ministry of Education and Research


Germany

Schools

The school year in Germany runs from September to next September and includes six breaks/holidays:

  • Christmas Break Two weeks around Christmas and New Year
  • Winter Break / Carnival Break: One week or two weeks of February or the beginning of March.
  • Easter Break: Two weeks of March / April
  • Whitsun Break: One week or two weeks around Whitsun (not in all states)
  • Summer Break: Six weeks from July to September
  • Autumn Break: One week or two weeks in October/November

[1] Christmas is an annual holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus. ... The New Year is an event that happens when a culture celebrates the end of one year and the beginning of the next year. ...


Due to the Germany's federal structure, all breaks may differ depending on the state. Most countries with a federal constitution are made up of a number of subnational entities called states or provinces. ...


Universities

German universities run six month long semesters. They are from April 1st to September 30th (Sommersemester) and from October 1st to March 31st (Wintersemester). The semester is divided into a time with and without lectures. The lectures usually starts three to four weeks after semesters beginning and run for three months. The lecture free period is for writing exams, doing internships and for earning money.


The University of Mannheim changed their schedule to conform with international standards in fall of 2006. The semesters there are now from August 1st to January 31 (Herbst-/Wintersemester) and from February 1st to July 31 (Frühjahrs-/Sommersemester). [2] The University of Mannheim is one of the younger German universities. ...

Hungary

In the elementary and high schools in Hungary, the school year usually runs from 1st of September to 10-15th of June of the next year.


India

In the elementary and high schools in India the school year is usually from July to April, while in universities generally it is from June to April.


Ireland

The primary school year generally runs from the beginning of September till the end of June. There are breaks for Christmas and Easter and two mid-term breaks usually in late October and mid February. Secondary schools run a similar schedule but break a month earlier in May for Summer holidays. Third level institutions run a much shorter calender generally from mid to late September, sometimes early October, through to December for their first semester. The second semester usually runs from January through to mid to late May with a break for Easter of up to a month.


Israel

The school year in Israel starts in elementary and high schools on September 1, and ends on June 20 (high schools) or June 30 (elementary schools). is the 244th day of the year (245th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 171st day of the year (172nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 181st day of the year (182nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


The university academic year starts after Sukkot (typically mid to late October) and ends in May. Sukkot (Hebrew: סוכות or סֻכּוֹת,  ; booths. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


Japan

In Japan, almost all schools run a three-term school year. Most schools have a first term from April 1 to mid-July. The exact date of the beginning of the summer break and its duration vary across regions, but commonly the break lasts for about one or two months. The break originated to avoid the heat in summer, so elementary and middle schools in Hokkaidō tend to have a shorter summer break than the rest of schools in Japan. A second term lasts from early September to late December with a winter break at the end of the year. The term is followed by a third term from early January to early March and a brief spring break lasting several weeks. The graduation ceremony occurs in March, and the enrollment ceremony in early April. is the 91st day of the year (92nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...   literally North Sea Circuit, Ainu: Mosir), formerly known as Ezo, Yezo, Yeso, or Yesso, is Japans second largest island and the largest of its 47 prefectural-level subdivisions. ... Academic procession during the University of Canterbury graduation ceremony. ...


Some universities and colleges accept students in September in order to let those students from other semester systems enroll. In recent years a few colleges have begun experimenting with having two semesters instead of the traditional three with the break between two semesters in summer.


Korea, South

In South Korea, the school year is divided into two terms. The first term runs from early March to mid-July. The second term usually resumes at late August and runs until mid-February. In the second term, there is a long winter break from mid-December to early February. School pets also enjoy all breaks that students take, it is traditional for these school pets to be taken on holiday on with students, however this practice is currently facing stiff opposition due to a number of high profile cases of dogs becoming affected with rabies when taken abroad.


Pakistan

In Pakistan, the school year runs from September to June. There is a two week winter break.


Philippines

The Filipino school year runs for 10 months, and a school year must be at least 200 days as prescribed by law. The school year usually begins between the first and third weeks of June and lasts until the last week of March. It is commonly divided into quarters, with every quarter about two and one-half months long. Commencement ceremonies are often held in late March or late April. The summer break last for two months, from the first week of April to the last week of May. Christmas break usually begins in the third week of December, and class resumes after New Year's Day.


Poland

In Poland the academic school year begins in September 1 and ends in the first Friday after June 18. There is a Christmas break in December which lasts till the New Year's Day. There are also another two weeks of break after the Christmas break. Every province has the winter's break at a different time. Winter break divides school academic year into two semesters. is the 244th day of the year (245th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... is the 169th day of the year (170th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Christmas is an annual holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus. ... This article is about January 1 in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Most universities starts their courses in October 1 and ends first term in January. Before the second term begin there is an examination session. Second term starts just after the end of examination session and finishes in the first days of June. After it next, usually month long, session begins. In some facilities academic term begins several days before October 1. is the 274th day of the year (275th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 274th day of the year (275th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Portugal

The school year in Portugal runs from September to June and it is divided in three Terms (or Períodos, in Portuguese):

  • 1st Term: From middle September until middle December
  • 2nd Term: From the beginning of January until Easter (March-April)
  • 3rd Term: From the week after Easter (April) until the end of June (except for 9th and 12th grades, who finish early due to exams)

During the school year there are several breaks or holidays (interrupções or férias, in Portuguese): Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      Easter, the Sunday of... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      Easter, the Sunday of...

  • Christmas Break: Usually beginning in the 3rd week of December and lasts for two weeks including Christmas and New Year holidays. The 2nd term then begins, often in the first Monday of January.
  • Carnival Break: Three days (Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday) during Carnival. This break used to be one week long but in recent years it has been reduced.
  • Easter Break: Two weeks including Easter. It varies form year to year, but it is usually around late March or middle April.
  • Summer Break: Usually known as "Férias Grandes" (Big Holidays) it lasts during the summer from late June to middle September and it separates one school year from another.

Christmas is an annual holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus. ... The New Year is an event that happens when a culture celebrates the end of one year and the beginning of the next year. ... This article describes the festival season. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      Easter, the Sunday of...

Russia

The school year in Russia traditionally starts on 1 September — The Knowledge Day — and lasts until 25 May which is also known as The Last School-Bell day for the graduates. The school year is divided into four terms, or 'quarters', separated by one- or two-week holidays (first week in November, first two weeks in January, and last week of March). School summer holidays last for three months: June, July, and August. is the 244th day of the year (245th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Knowledge Day (День Знаний), often called just 1st of September is the day when the school year traditionally starts in Russia and many other former USSR republics. ...


The academic year at universities also starts on 1 September. It consists of two terms (1 September–circa 20 December followed by a five-week winter exams session and 7 February–circa 20 May followed by a five-week summer exams session). is the 354th day of the year (355th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 38th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 140th day of the year (141st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Thailand

There are two semesters in Thai academic year with an optional summer semester. From kindergarten to high school the first semester opens from mid May and continues until the end of September. The second semester lasts from November until end of February (or early March). The university academic year is slightly different, lasting from June to October and mid November to mid March.


United Kingdom

In England and Wales, the school year runs from September 1 to August 31, with teaching running from early September to late July, and is split into three terms. In Northern Ireland, the school year runs from the start of September to the end of June, and there are also three terms. In Scotland the school year begins mid-August and ends late June/ early July. There is a four term system in Scotland. is the 244th day of the year (245th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 243rd day of the year (244th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


English, Welsh and Northern Ireland Schools

Most schools run a three-term school year. They usually have a week's break half way through (half-term) and are structured as:

  • Autumn term: September to December (half-term, October)
  • Spring term: January to Easter (half-term, February)
  • Summer term: Easter to July (half-term, May)

The time between the end of school and the start of the next academic year is known as the summer holiday or, as was the traditional length of the break, the six-week holiday. Term Dates for maintained schools are set by Local Education Authorities, some of which have begun to trial alternative arrangements. A Local Education Authority (LEA) is the part of a council in England or Wales that is responsible for education within that councils jurisdiction. ...


Alternative arrangements

The academic year was originally designed for the pre-industrial era when all able-bodied young people were needed to help with harvesting over the summer. It is thus designed around a long holiday in July and August, placing the rest of the year into three terms arranged around Christmas and Easter, which constrain things still further. The long terms then require a half-term break to give pupils and teachers time to recharge.


The long summer holiday has often been criticised by educationalists who say that the long breaks delays academic progress [1]. Even a House of Commons Education Select Committee recommended in 1999 that schools should switch to a five-term academic year, abolishing the long summer holidays. Each term would be eight weeks long with a two-week break in between, and a minimum four-week summer holiday. And no half terms—the idea being that children can keep up momentum for eight weeks without a break.[2] The proposals were introduced at a small number of schools nationally.


In 1999, the Local Government Association set up a commission to look at alternative proposals for a more balanced school year. In partnership with Local Authorities and teachers unions, they were unable to agree a suitable alternative arrangement for terms, but by 2004 came to an agreement with the NASUWT Union for a standardised arrangement of school terms. Since 2004 around one third of English local authorities have signed up to the proposals which see a standard academic year agreed between the authorities, and includes slight variations on the traditional schemes, based on the following principles: The Local Government Assocation is a body for advancing the interests of local authorities in the England and Wales. ... Local governments are administrative offices of an area smaller than a state. ... The National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) is a trade union representing teachers including headteachers throughout the UK. As the government introduced the Education Act 1870, the National Union of Elementary Teachers (NUET) was formed to unite existing teacher associations across the country. ...

  • start the school year on a September date as near as possible to 1 September;
  • equalise teaching and learning blocks (roughly 2x7 and 4x6 weeks);
  • establish a two-week spring break in early April irrespective of the incidence of the Easter bank holiday. (Where the break does not coincide with the bank holiday the date should be, as far as practicable, nationally agreed and as consistent as possible across all local authorities);
  • allow for the possibility of a summer holiday of at least six weeks for those schools which want this length of break.
  • identify and agree annually designated periods of holiday, including the summer holiday, where head teachers are recommended not to arrange teacher days.[3]

Scottish Schools

In Scotland, school begins in late August, and ends around late June or early July, usually in eastern counties from the third Monday in August to the first Friday in July and in western counties from the second Monday in August to the last Friday in June. Pupils attend school for approximately 190 days a year. This article is about the country. ...


Most schools run a three-term school year and are structured as:

  • Autumn term: Mid-August to December (October Holidays: One Week; Christmas Holidays: Two Weeks)
  • Winter term: January to March (Easter Holidays: Two Weeks)
  • Spring term: April to July (Summer Holidays: Six Weeks)

Universities

As with many aspects of UK universities, there are a lot of differing practices that use confusingly similar terminology. Many universities run 10-week Autumn, Spring and Summer terms, though some use different names or a semester system, with the new semester beginning halfway through the second term. Many other universities run unevenly lengthened terms, with the autumn term usually the longest. Even within individual institutions practice can vary from year to year to accommodate factors such as the changing date of Easter. Some universities also have a "reading week" in which no teaching takes place at all, the equivalent of a school half term. At other universities "reading weeks" are not uniform and may be in different weeks in different faculties, departments, modules or even seminar groups. Some reading weeks only cover seminars whilst lectures continue; others suspend both for the week. Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      Easter, the Sunday of...

An exception is the Open University: most of its undergraduate courses do not coincide with the academic year used by universities in Britain and elsewhere. Instead, they largely coincide with the calendar year — they typically start in February, with examinations in autumn. The University of Oxford (usually abbreviated as Oxon. ... The University of Cambridge (often Cambridge University), located in Cambridge, England, is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world and has a reputation as one of the worlds most prestigious universities. ... Affiliations 1994 Group European University Association Association of MBAs EQUIS Universities UK N8 Group Association of Commonwealth Universities Website http://www. ... University of Wales, Lampeter Prifysgol Cymru, Llanbedr Pont Steffan   University of Wales, Lampeter (Welsh: Prifysgol Cymru, Llanbedr Pont Steffan) is a university in Lampeter, Wales, the oldest degree awarding institution in Wales, and the third oldest in England and Wales after Oxford and Cambridge. ... Mascot Beaver Affiliations University of London Russell Group EUA ACU CEMS APSIA Golden Triangle Website http://www. ... Affiliations University of London Russell Group LERU EUA ACU Golden Triangle G5 Website http://www. ... Mascot Reggie the lion Affiliations University of London Russell Group Golden Triangle Website http://www. ... The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) is a constituent of the University of London specializing in the arts and humanities, languages and cultures, and the law and social sciences concerning Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. ... St Marys College Bute Medical School St Leonards College[5][6] Affiliations 1994 Group Website http://www. ... Affiliations Alliance of Non-Aligned Universities, Association of Commonwealth Universities, European Association of Distance Teaching Universities, Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Website http://www. ...


In England, academic and judicial institutions traditionally organised their year into four terms:

  • Hilary: approx January–April
  • Easter: approx April–May
  • Trinity: approx June–July
  • Michaelmas: approx October–December

In Scotland, academic and judicial institutions traditionally organised their year into four terms: Hilarius or Hilary (c. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      Easter, the Sunday of... Trinity Sunday is the first Sunday after Pentecost in the Western Christian liturgical calendar. ... Michaelmas (pronounced ), or the Feast of Ss. ...

  • Candlemas: 2 February, Candlemas, which fell forty days after Christmas, marked the presentation of the infant Jesus in the temple and the purification of the Virgin Mary.
  • Whitsunday: originally a moveable term day, coming the seventh Sunday after Easter, was fixed in Scotland at 15 May in 1693. Whitsunday was originally the feast of Pentecost, around which a great many christenings would occur, so it became associated with the color white.
  • Lammas Day: 1 August, feast of St. Peter ad Vincula was a corruption of loaf-mass, the Sunday on which the first fruits of harvest were offered, first corn ground, and first loaf made. In Scotland it was associated with hand-fasting and some fairs on this day were called handfasting fairs. (Originally synonymous with betrothal, handfasting became a contract binding a man and woman to live together for a year and a day before they decided on permanent marriage.)
  • Martinmas: 11 November, was known as St. Martin in Winter or St. Martin of Tours to distinguish this from another feast of St. Martin in July.

(Specific dates varied between institutions, and all except Michaelmas were determined by the date of Easter).


Over time, Cambridge dropped Trinity term and renamed Hilary to Lent, then Oxford also dropped Trinity term, and renamed Easter term as 'Trinity' thus establishing the three-term academic year. The University of Cambridge (often Cambridge University), located in Cambridge, England, is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world and has a reputation as one of the worlds most prestigious universities. ... The University of Oxford (usually abbreviated as Oxon. ...


United States

Primary and secondary schools

In the United States, the academic year for most K-12 institutions typically consists of two 18-week semesters, each divided into two nine-week marking periods (or quarters), and typically constituting 180 instructional days. An instructional week is five instructional days, measured Monday–Friday at most public and private schools; Sunday–Thursday at some Jewish private schools; Saturday–Wednesday or Sunday–Thursday at Muslim private schools; and so on. Grades are usually reported per marking period, but major examinations are given per semester or per year. K–12 (pronounced Kay through twelve or just Kay twelve) is the North American designation for primary and secondary education. ...


The traditional start date for the school year has been the day after Labor Day (the first Tuesday after the first Monday in September), but many schools now start in the last two weeks of August and some schools (especially private ones) may start as late as the end of September or the first week in October. There are also some schools that begin at the end of July. The school year ends 36 instructional weeks after it begins. Also, some schools are now moving to the first Wednesday in September (usually two days after Labor Day, unless it falls on September 1 or 2) to allow a short week as people adjust to being in school again. Labour Day (or Labor Day) is an annual holiday that resulted from efforts of the labour union movement, to celebrate the economic and social achievements of workers. ...


School holidays, which are not counted as instructional days, typically include Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving Friday (two days), a winter break beginning on or before Christmas through the day after New Year's Day (about 10 days), Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday, spring break during the Western Christian Holy Week and sometimes the day after Easter (five or six days), and Memorial Day. Some schools also observe one or more of Columbus Day, Veteran's Day, Lincoln's Birthday, Washington's Birthday, and other state or local holidays. Some schools have additional holidays for students that are workdays for the staff, such as parent–teacher conference days. The aggregate of school holidays typically amounts to 20 days, so an academic year that starts the last week of August or first week of September will typically finish the second or third week of June. Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      Western Christianity is a form of... Holy Week (Latin: ) in Christianity is the last week of Lent. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      Easter, the Sunday of...

Community colleges

Many community colleges originated as extensions of the primary and secondary school system. These colleges often continue to follow the K-12 system calendar in their jurisdiction. Many, however, have changed to one of the standard collegiate calendars discussed below.


Collegiate calendars

Three calendar systems are used by most American colleges and universities: quarter system, semester system, and trimester system. These are ways the calendar year, measured September–August or August–August, are organized into a formal academic year. Some schools, particularly some business schools and community colleges, use the minimester or mini-semester system.


The quarter system divides the calendar year into four quarters, three of which constitute a complete academic year. Quarters are typically 12 weeks long so that three quarters amount to 36 weeks of instruction.


The semester system divides the calendar year into two semesters of 18 weeks each, plus an optional summer session of nine weeks. The two semesters together constitute 36 weeks of instruction, so that three academic quarters equal two academic semesters. Thus, academic credit earned in quarter hours converts to semester hours at 2/3 of its value, while credit earned in semester hours converts to quarter hours at 3/2 of its value. Or, to put it another way, 3 quarter hours = 2 semester hours and 2 semester hours = 3 quarter hours.


Some colleges and universities, such as MIT, Williams College, Middlebury College, UMBC and Colby College, have a 4-1-4 system, which divides the year into two four-month terms (September to December and February to May) as well as a single one-month term in January in which students can do independent study, activities or focus on a single class. Mapúa Institute of Technology (MIT, MapúaTech or simply Mapúa) is a private, non-sectarian, Filipino tertiary institute located in Intramuros, Manila. ... Williams College is a private liberal arts college located in Williamstown, Massachusetts. ... Middlebury College is a small, private liberal arts college located in the rural town of Middlebury, Vermont, United States. ... The University of Maryland, Baltimore County is part of the University System of Maryland and located in southern Baltimore County, Maryland near the towns of Catonsville and Arbutus. ... Colby College, founded in 1813, is one of the United States of Americas oldest independent liberal arts colleges. ...


The trimester system evolved out of the semester system. It divides the calendar year into three equal portions of 15–16 weeks each. The fall and winter (or spring) trimesters constitute an academic year of 30–32 weeks. The reduced maximum course load that accompanies the shortening from the traditional semester makes the trimester system compatible with the semester system. Academic credit is thus measured on the trimester system in semester hours; there is no such thing as a "trimester hour" of credit.


See also


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