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Encyclopedia > Semester

An academic term is the time during which a school, college or university holds classes. Most such schools use either semesters or quarters.


A semester typically lasts between 15 and 18 weeks. Institutions often have two (spring and autumn) semesters in an academic year, with the possibility of a summer semester as well. A quarter (or trimester) lasts between eight and 12 weeks, and there are typically three (autumn, winter and spring) per year, again with the possibility of a summer quarter.

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semester - definition of semester in Encyclopedia (326 words)
Institutions often have two (spring and autumn) semesters in an academic year, with the possibility of a summer semester as well.
Australian universities have two semesters a year, between February and November.
In Japan, it is common for schools to have a first term from April 1 to summer and, after the summer break, a fall term until Christmas break followed by a spring term from January to March.
UC Davis Quarter to Semester Information (4810 words)
The semester calendar being considered would be the calendar adhered to at Berkeley and referred to widely as the "early semester calendar".
Should a semester calendar be endorsed, it must be flexible enough to permit departure from regular semester­long course schedules." 6 Indeed, both Berkeley and Michigan State University have encouraged modules of information in the sciences as part of a thoughtful major.
The subcommittee believes that conversion to the semester system could be of benefit in providing a unique opportunity for thorough reorganization of the curriculum, but it also recognizes the difficulties that conversion may create for academic units that have recently completed or are completing a reorganization of its curricula.
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