Semester Guide

For Graduate Students

Semester Conversion, August 2012

Semester Credit Load

If you were here for the quarter to semester switch in summer 2012, then you are a transition student. Understand that your credit load does not likely change under semesters.

Pledge to Students

In implementing its August 2012 conversion from quarters to semesters, The Ohio State University committed to protect the academic progress of students. The shift from quarters to semesters does not disrupt progress toward their degrees if students:

  1. decide on their degree plan within a time compatible with graduation;
  2. meet the standards for progress defined by their academic unit and continue to complete appropriate course loads successfully; and
  3. actively develop and follow academic plans in consultation with their academic advisors.

Students completing a quarter-plus-semester degree program receive approximately the same amount of instruction, and the changes to the calendar and to courses should only improve the quality of programs. Full-time tuition for an academic year under semesters will not cost more than what tuition would have cost for that same year under quarters, and the change should not adversely affect students’ financial aid.

To ensure that the conversion will not harm students’ progress, academic units will continue to provide intentional, purposeful advising. Academic advisors will understand how the changes in courses and curricula may affect students’ degree programs, will know where and how programs can be flexible, and will be prepared to assist students in planning their remaining semesters to graduation. Good planning around a student’s major will be particularly important, and the university will provide that support to students who begin their academic career under quarters and complete it under semesters.

Students will vary considerably in their academic progress, and each student’s plan for completing degree requirements will need to be determined individually. Every student will be responsible for getting and using the advice essential to assure progress toward his or her degree. Advising is a joint endeavor, and we are confident that students and their advisors, working together, can develop effective plans leading to timely graduation following semester conversion.


General Information about Quarter-to-Semester Conversion

Why did this happen?
The conversion was the result of a directive from the Ohio Board of Regents and affects twenty 2- and 4- year Ohio colleges and universities that were on the quarter system, including Ohio University, University of Cincinnati, Wright State University, Columbus State Community College, Sinclair Community College, Otterbein College, Clark State Community College, and others.  The reasons are many but the main benefits to students are:

  • The chance to be more competitive for internships and permanent positions because of an earlier end to the academic year.
  • Greater ease of transfer between institutions and academic exchange programs, with an academic calendar consistent with the majority of colleges and universities in Ohio, the United States, and around the world.

When was the semester system implemented?

The semester system was implemented the day of the first autumn semester at The Ohio State University on August 22, 2012.

How are earned course credits handled?

For transition students (those who start under quarters and finish under semesters), the credit hours for quarter courses will be converted to semester credits at the conversion rate of 0.6667.  

For example, a 5-hr. quarter course will be converted to 5 x 0.6667 = 3.3, 4 qtr. credits will convert to 2.6, and 3 credits become 2 under semesters.

Transition students graduate when they have the required number of semester hours and those hours fill required categories.

How are the courses numbered?

All semester courses are 4 digits to distinguish them from quarter courses.

  • 4000-4099: UG – Advanced courses providing undergraduate credit that may be counted toward major or field of specialization. Graduate students may receive graduate credit outside their own graduate program.
  • 5000-5099: UG and Graduate (G) courses providing undergraduate credit that may be counted toward major or field of specialization and foundation graduate credit.
  • 6000-6099: G – Foundational level graduate courses and research.
  • 7000-7099:  G – Intermediate level graduate courses and research.
  • 8000-8099:  G – Advanced level graduate courses and research.

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