3-Year Bachelor's Degree

Frequently Asked Questions about the 3-Year Degree Option

Details are still being worked out for the 3-Year Degree program, so if you can't find your answers on this page then send us your question and we will respond with as much information as we have available.


General Questions

The three-year degree is an optional program for students to accelerate the traditional undergraduate process and enter the workforce earlier while still gaining the professional hands-on experiences needed for the job market. The program will include an adjustment to SUU’s academic calendar to accommodate three full semesters, plus a reasonable summer break. Students will have the option to attend SUU all three semesters, stick with the traditional two semesters, or attend just one - it all depends on the students’ needs and desired academic path. SUU is working to make more than half of the current degree offering available on a 3-year track by January 2020. Scholarships will be transitioned from the current 4-year model to an 8-semester model, allowing students to select the semesters they want their financial aid applied.

Students will still take eight semesters to graduate, but instead of two semesters each academic year they can opt into taking three semesters for the first two years of school and then two semesters their final year.

We believe that there are a number of advantages to students by giving them this shorter degree option, including:

  • Many students want to finish their degrees more quickly and are prepared to do so
  • Lower living expenses compared to the traditional model
  • The ability to enter the workforce more quickly
  • More effective learning retention by not taking a long summer break
  • Greater work stability because students can keep a job year round instead of just working from August to May
  • Less crowded classes
  • More housing options
  • Less crowded parking
  • More efficient use of facilities (helps lower costs)
  • Access to summer community and university events (Summer Games, Shakespeare Festival, etc.)
  • Getting to be on campus during one of the most beautiful times of year!
No. The 3-year degree is an optional program for students. Students still interested in finishing their degree in 4-years will be able to do so.
NO.  Students are not going to be assigned which semesters they are in school.  Students can go to 1 semester, 2 semesters, or 3 semesters a year; whichever they decide.

Academic Questions

Possibly. Right now we are still in the planning stages, and no decision has yet been made about the calendar except one: the fall 2019 calendar will not be changed.

Currently, President Wyatt is seeking input from faculty, staff, and students. If you wish to have input into the calendar discussion there are a couple of ways to do it:

  • Contact your leadership group (Faculty Association for faculty members, Staff Association for staff members, and SUUSA Student Government for students). The president has invited these groups to submit calendar ideas. These will be submitted to the President’s Cabinet for further discussion, consideration, and recommendations.

One of the models being considered includes full class schedules in three equal, 13-week semesters: Fall, Winter, and Spring. To finish a degree in three years, students will enroll in all three semester during their first and second years at SUU. By taking all three semesters for the first two years, the 8 semesters can be completed in three years instead of four.

No! Even if you decide to take the 3-year option, you will still get a six-week summer break, from approximately the last week of July until the week after Labor Day.

Yes! Based on current calendar models, you will have approximately 4 additional weeks of summer break - - starting earlier in April, and ending after Labor Day in September.

Yes. Courses that are currently offered for 50-minutes on MWF will now be 60 minutes long. Classes that currently meet for 75 minutes on TR will now be 90 minutes in length. So, despite the semesters being shortened, students will actually spend more time with professors during each class session.

When added all together, the overall instructional time in each semester in the new semester length is the same as it is under the current semester length.

Yes! There will be a mix of upper and lower division major courses available along with a full slate of General Education courses available. More information will be shared when it becomes available.

There will be some online major courses available during the spring semester, and this will vary by department and program as it does currently. There will be a full slate of online General Education courses offered online during spring semester, but initially, the majority of major courses will be offered in the traditional face-to-face method.

Yes! Some courses that lend themselves to a shorter, more intense delivery option will be offered as 6-week classes. These courses will be primarily offered online.

Approximately half of our current degree programs will be available with a 3-year option starting in January of 2020. Other degrees will become available in subsequent academic years. Your department can keep you up-to-date with this information.

Fall semester begins in early September (after Labor Day); Winter semester begins in January; Spring semester begins in late April.


Financial Aid Questions

No. All students will continue to pay their same tuition rates regardless of which timeline they choose.

Yes. Scholarships and waivers will now be offered for eight semesters, rather than four academic years. This will allow students the flexibility to apply them to any semester in which they are enrolled. Pell grants will also be available for all three semesters. Qualifying students can also apply for State and Federal aid to further reduce the expense.



Still have questions? You can contact us directly!