Summer Session classes are popular for current MSUM students, but are also open to high school students, students from other universities, and the general public. This year’s summer schedule includes more than 270 courses with an increased number of online classes offered in three-, four-, five-, six- and eight-week sessions from May 14–August 2.
More students are taking advantage of summer classes, and some universities are even considering a year-round academic calendar. In his March 1, 2012 State of the University address, University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler talked about exploring a year-round calendar that would include a summer semester and a longer winter session.
“We haven’t gone as far as saying that summer session is a third semester, but in many ways we treat it like that,” said Marsha Weber, dean of the College of Business and Industry and co-chair of the summer session committee. “We offer enough classes to cover a lot of ground, including a large variety of general education courses.”
“Summer classes allow a student to catch up if they’re behind on credits,” said Sheri Erickson, accounting professor and co-chair of the School of Business. “They might have had a scheduling conflict or had to drop a course. Summer classes also help to lighten the load for more difficult classes that may be taken during the regular school year.”
Erickson said the business core—those required of all majors in the School of Business as well as many other majors on campus—can all be completed online and in the summer.
Senior biology major Brittany Harris took summer courses because she changed her major a few times. “Now I will be able to graduate in May, which kept me on the four-year track,” she said.
A well-advised and well-planned academic schedule can help students graduate sooner.
“A student could definitely complete a program in three years with no difficulty at all if they take summer session courses throughout their academic career,” Bradbury said. “At the very least, they would have a more relaxed pace over the course of four years, which may help them to excel in their courses.”
Harrison Pantera , a biochemistry/biotechnology and biology major, took summer courses last year to catch up with major requirements that also fulfilled requirements for a scholarship for which he was applying.
“I also took Dr. Brisch’s Biology of Brewing class just for fun,” Pantera said. “It met two nights a week for three weeks, but it was some of the most fun I had all summer!”
He’s also enrolling in courses this summer, some to fulfill academic requirements and some to satisfy a personal interest, such as Buddhist Philosophy.
Summer classes are just as rigorous and challenging as face-to-face classes that are offered during the school year. “We are proud of that, but students must be self motivated and self directed in order to succeed,” Weber said.
Summer session registration is open to non-degree seeking students and to students from other institutions. For more information, visit the Summer Session website.