Will you be affected by the change to semesters?

The University of Minnesota will change to a semester-based academic calendar starting in the fall of 1999. There are three full academic years (and four summer sessions) before this change. The table below summarizes some of what will be different for students on a semester calendar. The highest priority of the Semester Conversion Project is to make the change for students as easy as possible.
Will you be affected by thecalendar change?
Whether you’ll be affected by the calendar change or not depends on your current status as an undergraduate, graduate or professional student and on your progress through a degree program. As we come to the end of the 1995-96 academic year, you need to plan ahead.
Undergraduate Students
If you’re currently a junior or senior just finishing your third or fourth (or fifth) year, you’ll want to finish your degree before the change takes place.
If you’re currently a sophomore just finishing your second year, you can avoid being affected if you plan now to graduate in five years or less.
If you’re currently a freshman just finishing your first year, you’ll be affected if you plan to take more than four years to graduate.
Graduate Students
If you’re a graduate student in a master’s degree program, you’ll want to finish your degree before the change to semesters takes place.
If you’re a graduate student in a Ph.D. program, you should not be affected, even if you have not completed your degree. You should be past your preliminary exams and working on your thesis by the time the University switches to semesters.
Professional Students
If you’re a professional student in a three- or four-year program, you should not be affected by the change to semesters.
What should you do now?
During each of the next three years, there will be announcements for students regarding the semester conversion via electronic mail, in the Daily and in printed and electronic advising materials. Look for these announcements. Just as importantly, talk with your adviser. The closer we get to the fall of 1999, the more specific the instructions will get. There are three things that you should do now, however.
1. First, think carefully about whether you can finish your degree program by the 1999 spring quarter or summer session, the last two academic terms on the quarter-based calendar. If at all possible, you should finish so you can avoid a situation where you are only two or three courses short of graduating and would have to take those two or three courses on the semester system. Remember that you have three academic years and four summers before the calendar change. Think ahead. Plan ahead. Graduate!
2. Second, if you can’t graduate before fall 1999, make sure that if you begin a two- or three-course sequence on the quarter calendar, you finish the sequence on the quarter calendar. For example, if you plan to take first year French or physics, both of which consist of three quarter-length courses, make sure you finish all three courses on the quarter system.
3. Third, if you’re an undergraduate student who can’t graduate before fall 1999, be sure you have completed all the liberal education requirements before the change in calendars.
The University is changing to semesters. Will you be affected by this change? It’s your decision! Plan ahead!
This piece was prepared by the Change to Semesters Implementation Task Force and Peter Zetterberg, director of the Semester Conversion Project.