How Long is a Semester in College?

Posted: July 06, 2021 | Author: Southern Utah University | Read Time: 2 minutes

How Long is a Semester in College?Starting your college career comes with many changes to your lifestyle as well as academics, there are more than a few differences between high school and college. Learning the in’s and out’s of college includes learning how long a semester is, what the academic schedule looks like, and determining the best way for you to meet the demands of higher education.

What is a semester?

A semester is an academic time period when classes are in session. Depending on the college or university, the school year might be divided into semesters, trimesters, or quarters. Southern Utah University follows a semester schedule, however, summer semester has more academic offerings than many other universities.

How long is a semester?

Typically, a college semester is around 14-18 weeks and makes up half of the full academic year (fall and spring semesters combined make the full academic year). At SUU, semesters are 14 weeks of instructional time with one week of finals and a few breaks. And fall, spring and summer semesters are the same length. This shortened semester allows for students to take part in the three-year degree initiative by taking a full summer schedule.

When does each semester start?

At SUU, fall semester typically starts in late August or early September, spring semester starts in early January, and summer semester starts in May. Because each year is slightly different, it’s a good idea to check the SUU Academic Calendar for the exact start and end dates for each semester.

When is finals week at SUU?

Finals week is held the last week of the semester for fall, spring and summer. Final exams are not held during regular class times, but are instead scheduled throughout the week. To be prepared for finals week each semester, check the Final Exam Schedule.

Should I take classes during summer semester?

Whatever your degree or career goals are, summer semester can help you achieve them. You can take classes over the summer to meet prerequisites, fulfill major requirements, boost your GPA and graduate on time or early. More summer courses are now being offered at SUU, here are our top three reasons why you should take summer courses.

What is the three-year degree initiative?

SUU’s three year degree is an optional program offered to students who wish to graduate in a shorter period of time than the traditional four years of undergraduate school. To finish a degree in three years, students will enroll in all three semesters (fall, spring and summer) during their first and second years at SUU. By taking all three semesters for the first two years, the 8 total semesters can be completed in three years instead of four.


As you schedule out your classes, homework and study times for the coming semester, it’s a great idea to keep in mind how long each semester is and all that you have to fit in. Visit the SUU Academic Calendar for add/drop dates, campus holidays, and other important dates.

Tags: Campus Resources College Prep First Year Experience

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