summer courses

Are Summer Courses Easier?


As a teacher, I certainly wouldn’t want to imply that corners are cut during a summer course. However, maybe I can help put things into perspective by considering what can reasonably be accomplished in a five week span.

Here are FIVE things I CAN’T do in five weeks.

  1. Train for a marathon.
  2. Learn a second language.
  3. Write my memoirs
  4. Find a new home and move
  5. Plan my future

Here are FIVE things I CAN do in five weeks.

  1. Watch all seasons of Breaking Bad in a Netflix marathon
  2. Learn Pig Latin
  3. Find my diary from 6th grade and the tiny key that goes with it.
  4. Clean my apartment
  5. Take a summer class

Don’t even get me started on three week winter sessions.


  • BSeelick

    Summer Classes? I am decidedly undecided!!!!
    Check out why below:

    • There are usually a smaller number of classes offered and they tend to be required or introductory courses.
    • Summer presents itself with opportunities to learn something new outside of the classroom.
    • After finishing up two or three regular semesters, you may feel burnt-out.
    • Your may have exhausted all of you financial aid during the regular school year.
    • You may miss out on a terrific internship or summer job that will look great on your resume.

    • You can complete a prerequisite for a course you want to take during the regular semester.
    • You can complete more courses in a shorter period of time. While they usually contain the same amount of material, the work is more intense.
    • Summer classes can be smaller, offering students more individualized attention from professors.

  • Gabriel Kremer

    As someone who’s taken summer courses both abroad and in the states, my main problem with them is that there’s only so much that you can be taught in a few weeks. It’s also hard to get back in the habit of being productive after you’re done with finals.
    I think the best way to optimize time and learning with a summer course is to make it an intensive course with classes 5 days a week for a few hours. That way, the most can be learned in the fewest amount of days. Granted, this doesn’t work for everyone. Not everyone wants to spend that much of their summer doing schoolwork every day, not to mention that packing so much work into such a small amount of time might overload some people. That said, I think that it’s the best way to take a summer course if you’re dead serious about learning a large amount of information over a small amount of time.

  • CPich23

    I think it truthfully matters by the professor. I have taken a couple of summer classes now through out my college career, and one professor thought she could jam a 16 week semester in 5 which is unbelievable. I believe that a summer course should be a little easier. Think about one of the reasons kids are taking classed in the summer, its to get the credits or extra credits they need so they can graduate on time or early. There for i think they should be easier. I mean its summer no one professor or student wants to be doing school work. If its easier it puts everyone in a better mood, and gives the kid a much better chance to graduate on time.

  • MRunes

    I believe that there can be true benefits taking a summer class while sometimes having the benefit of a few months for a semester can be more helpful for achieving the better grade. It does depend on your professor like “CPich23” mentioned above and it can sometimes be very stressful and feel impossible to complete within the 5 weeks and sometimes it can be a breeze and you can still do what you want during your summer without it being affected by school work. I am a student just taking a summer class to make up a credit, i currently go to Lynn University and if i were to take summer classes there it would be a whole different story compared to other schools.I Chose WCC for summer classes due to it being cheaper but also because i heard better things about the summer class and how the professors tend to teach it. My sister currently takes online classes at WCC and is a full time student, she does love it but it sometimes can be very difficult because it all depends on the professor and type of class your taking. In my experience i do believe that it depends on your school and professor and so far i love taking 5 week classes!


    I agree that it depends on the professor. I recently took an STL class and both my lab and lecture teacher knew they couldn’t fit a whole course load in 5 weeks, so the course went smoothly and we only covered what they believed to be the most important topics. During the Fall and Spring semesters, there are many days where we go off topic and class seems to be a waste. With summer classes, there literally is no time do that so you get the most for your time.

  • dreynolds1

    Personally, I do not feel summer classes are easier. Of course the length of the courses are significantly shorter, but the content is basically the same. The summer courses encompass the entirety of a normal semester long course, but fit for the time given which may warrant some shortcuts by the professor. Though they may feel rushed and do take up a good amount of time, they are extremely beneficial and convenient for those who need credits. In the time that it takes to complete a course, one would most likely not even utilize that time considering it is summer, a token time of relaxation. This being one of my first experiences with a summer course, I am now aware of the difficulty and commitment. At the end of each, I envision a great sense of relief and achievement which I am definitely looking forward to.

  • Jmoose

    In my opinion I believe that summer courses are easier then full semester courses. In a summer course all the work and material is condensed in order to maximize the short time we have to cover topics. Now, with that said this is not the fault of the teacher or the college but rather out of necessity. Students take summer courses for all different reasons, whether it is to catch up, get ahead, or fill a credit the majority of students who take summer courses are doing it because it is a simpler alternative to a regular course. In my opinion everyone in this world cuts corners to accomplish their tasks and responsibilities and for college students, a summer course is a way for then to do so.

  • jenntrombacco

    Personally I believe that it depends on the teacher you have for your summer class. In such a short period of time you need to have a teacher that can teach quickly and help you understand the material you are learning. The only problem I have with taking a summer class is keeping focused. My year all around is busy with work and school but in the summer time I personally would rather be at the beach instead of doing homework. It takes a lot out of me to focus enough to get all of my homework done on time, especially when you have to read for a class. With it being only a few weeks long if you even procrastinate for one day you are far behind already. You don’t realize how quick the summer classes go until you only have a week or two left and a ton of homework to do. I would never be able to do the winter session classes because it is not long enough for me to retain the information the professor is trying to teach. If you have a teacher that gives you a ton of homework because it is a shorter period of time, you end up feeling overwhelmed and aren’t sure you can get it all done on time. But at the same time, 15 weeks feel so long. I would have to say I would prefer a full term school schedule this way it doesn’t feel so rushed to learn everything. I think that kids just don’t like to be in school so if they take the summer and winter classes they can get everything done in a shorter term, but they may not be learning everything that they could if they took a 15 week class.

  • Mcollins1

    It really depends on whether its a online course or classroom course. I recently had to take a sociology class this summer online and it was really hard for me. I basically had 5 weeks to learn the subject on my own and take an extremely hard final. I was able to pull out a C in that class but I believe if I was in a classroom and had a full semester to learn it I would’ve been able to get a higher grade. Two years ago I took a summer writing course which wasn’t online and I have to say I had a better experience. My professor was able to help me face to face whenever I needed help and did a great job teaching. I was able to pull out an A on that course too.

  • bryanp

    In my experience taking online courses, they can be challenging but easy to neglect. Physically showing up to a class takes enormous planning to ensure being on time, prepared and ready to learn. Summer and especially Online courses are the same except that it allows you to create your own schedule that without structure, can constantly “evolve.” I’m balancing a full-time life like many of my classmates I’m sure, but it’s the persistence and self discipline that result in a good grade at the end of the incredibly accelerated course, or so I hope!

  • MacaiahGross

    I took a summer course just this past semester, 2014. It was not easy! Not because the course is hard or because of the short span of time but, instead because IT”S SUMMER. I felt my brain just switched to a complete relax mode after my last final. Also, the two week break you get before the semester begins does not help. I became used to the staying up all night and sleeping all day that summer brings. My course was four days a week and three hours long each day. My teacher was funny and easy going but still, by the first hour I was thinking to myself “Okay now it’s time to get out of here”. The course was a math course.I’m more of the literary artsy type so three hours of math killed me a little with each day. I had very low patience and attention span during the whole semester that I didn’t have for the previous math course the previous semester. Based on my experience, I believe summer semesters are useful and can be completed well. However, in the future I will choose a subject I have a better liking to in hopes of it being less dreadful.

  • jaynelleS

    I am currently considering taking upcoming winter and summer classes. This post is hilarious and also makes me think about reconsidering. Like most students, I want to attend winter/summer breaks to graduate faster. But I fear that being taught so much in such little time will be more stressful and more difficult to retain. I believe I can do it as long as I keep my head in the game, however, I’m not entirely positive that it is all up to me. I believe that successfully getting through a winter/summer class depends partially on the professor as well. A professor who uses poor strategies will only make the class more difficult to get through. I do hope that I am lucky enough to have an excellent winter/summer professor when the time comes!

  • lizaanne

    Its funny how in the first five things the professor said she could do in five weeks are usually things that can prevent someone being successful in a five week summer session. I took three five week classes over the summer and two ten week online courses and even thought it is cutting a lot of the course content that would normally take place in a regular semester, these classes were quite enjoyable. You really focus on the core concepts in a class and the classes seem to be a little bit more interactive, if you’re a quite learner, as one of my summer professors would put it, then you’re not to make new friends you’re there for the credit or to raise your GPA. I will say it does have a lot of difficulties, if you’re in a math class and you aren’t great in math- I would suggest taking an express five week course. You’ll fall behind.
    The classes are easy ways to rack up credit or even boost up your GPA ,but if you’re taking a class that’s not necessarily your strong suit than make sure you can truly dedicate the time to put in the work. I wouldn’t suggest the slacker to take a summer course, but if you’re trying to turn over a new leaf and stop procrastinating with school work those summer course deadlines may do the trick.

  • Experience01010

    As a student that was going to take a course in the summer of 2014, I find this article very interesting. I was working a lot during the summer; but looking back I should’ve put in the effort just to graduate faster. getting some credits isn’t a bad idea, especially if they require separate labs. Some credits are better than no credits. I might just take a course this winter to speed things along.

  • Tyler J Stagg

    I am taking a summer course for the summer of 2015, I can relate to the article. I also work so it is hard for me to keep up with the schoolwork that is required and also work five days a week. I believe that if you put you’re mind to it you can get both done. I do agree with that the fact you do not learn as much in 5 weeks as you would in a typical semester. It is important to take summer classes to maintain a nice balance with work as well. I need credits because i am a semester behind. So taking internet marketing will expand my knowledge in the business world. I also own my own golf company where I give private lessons. This class will help me in life and expand my knowledge. This article really opened my mind.

  • Taylor Dawson

    Certainly depends on the course/professor! I took my very first summer course this past June. Of course, out of pure knowledge I chose the course I have been putting off since the beginning of my college career. It also happened to be math related. And math in my books, is a second language. I was actually told by a friend of mine that the class was turning me into a monster. I was certainly not a ray of sunshine those five weeks. It felt as if I could not grasp all this new knowledge in such a short amount of time. Miraculously, I ended up doing considerably well in this course. But it was by no means enjoyable. I am not swearing off summer courses, but I will definitely choose more wisely in the future.

  • Daniel Martinez

    Summer Classes, Easier? To each their own. From my experience, summer classes tend to be more difficult than a regular semester. I think it depends on the professor and the course. About 95% of my summer classes were more difficult simply because all the material was squeezed into a 5 week span, where it would normally be completed in 10-11 weeks. Summer Classes require attention to detail and great time management. If a student didn’t have these qualities it would be nearly impossible to pass the class. Summer Classes have advantages and disadvantages. The first advantage is, the obvious, getting 3 credits in 5 weeks. Another advantage of a Summer Class is the professor usually lets you out early. The disadvantages of Summer Classes are, too much information at once, more workload, requires a lot of time, and some of the material isn’t properly taught, which will require a student to do more research to understand it.

  • Amanda Rivera

    It all depends on the course and the professor. I took two summer 15′ courses. The first was a health and fitness class (piece of cake). The professor outlined the assignments perfectly, and they were incredibly easy (plus I have knowledge in the health and fitness field). The second class was Entrepreneurship. This class wasn’t hard, but the professor wanted way too much work done given a 5 week period. I became overwhelmed with the massive amount of information I needed to learn in order to write my business plan. I’d suggest chosing summer classes wisely. Know how much of a specific subject you can handle in such a short time frame.