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Understand Academic Calendar

An academic year is approximately nine months long and can be divided into different terms according to one of the following units:

  • Semester
  • Quarter
  • Trimester
The semester system divides one academic year into Fall and Spring semester, each lasting about 14 - 15 weeks. A typical Fall Semester starts in late August or early September and last until mid December. A typical Spring semester starts in mid January and last until mid May. In the summer, some institutions may offer summer classes but they are usually offered under a different schedule. For example, summer can be divided into two modules, each offering classes at double the frequency of the regular class schedule. The semester system is used by most U.S. institutions (nearly 70% of all U.S. Colleges).

The quarter system divides one academic year into Fall, Winter, and Spring quarter, each lasting about 10 - 11 weeks. A typical Fall quarter starts in late September and last until early or mid December. Winter quarter is from early January to mid March. Spring quarter is from late March to early June. The quarter system also offers regular class schedule during the summer quarter though they are usually optional.

The trimester system is the least popular among the three systems. It is similar to the quarter system, except that it does not offer regular class schdule during the summer quarter.

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Undergraduate Ranking
1. Princeton Univ.
2. Harvard Univ.
3. Yale Univ.
4. CIT
5. MIT
6. Stanford Univ.
7. Univ. of Penn
8. Duke Univ.
9. Dartmouth College
10. Columbia Univ.
Graduate Ranking
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Academic Calendar
1. Semester
2. Trimester
3. Quarter
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