Stanford's quarter system is an alternative to the semester and trimester systems at other colleges and universities. The year is split into 4 academic periods of equal length (about 10 weeks of instruction, including exams).

Benefits of the quarter systemEdit

Many students and faculty praise the quarter system for some of its differences from semester systems. Students often enjoy the ability to take more courses than under a semester system.


There is also much criticism of the quarter system. Some find that ten weeks is not a lengthy enough period to cover the necessary amount of material for a course. This complaint is often heard from professors, and occasionally there is talk of switching to a semester system[1]



  1. "Commission on Undergraduate Education recommends modifications to academic calendar." press release, Stanford University: 1994.

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