A unique feature of the UC system is the use of quarters rather than semesters. Instead of having two semesters, the UC’s (with the exception of Cal and UC Merced) run off a 10-week quarter system. We have fall quarter, winter and spring. The quarter system is often an adjustment for new students but after a few weeks most end up loving it! One of my favorite aspects of having quarters is how easy it is to motivate and organize. When you only have a class for ten weeks, you can find the self-motivation to power through (even when it’s a really tough course!).
The quarter system has taught me how to be incredibly organized. Instead of letting my work pile up, I adjust my schedule to work within the ten weeks. This allows me to enjoy UCLA but also keep up with my academics. After graduation, the real world moves fast and I definitely think the quarter system teaches students to hit the ground running!
Yet another awesome part of the quarter system is how it ends right before breaks. While semesters end before winter break, they are still in their second semester during spring break. At the UC’s we finish winter quarter right before spring break. This means a nice relaxing week with zero homework.
I also enjoy the fact that the quarter system allows students to experience many different courses. Each student typically takes 3-4 classes a quarter. Over the course of the regular school year students are taking anywhere between 9-12 different classes. This means different professors, classmates, and courses. I really have enjoyed being able to take multiple courses with my favorite professors each quarter. I get a lot of variety but still learn an amazing amount. In other words, don’t let the idea of a quarter system overwhelm you; it is actually an incredible opportunity!