Summer session offers unique academic opportunities

Second-year ecological engineering student Dan Hofmann prepares for summer courses outside the Memorial Union. 

Ercoli Crugnale, News Contributor

The most productive term at Oregon State University might just be the one with the fewest people.

OSU summer courses are a great tool for the over 7,000 summer students, which allows them to take a wide variety of courses in a shorter amount of time, according to Ali Duerfeldt, the summer session marketing program manager.

“It’s never too early to think about summer,” Duerfeldt said.

Taking summer courses can help students stay on their own personal graduation track, according to Duerfeldt.

“Students tell us that the top three reasons that they enroll in summer classes are to graduate on time, graduate early and to reduce their course load for future terms,” Duerfeldt said. “So, as we look at tuition increases, or the time for graduation getting longer, students are trying to find a pathway to get through their academics in a reasonable time that makes sense for them. For a lot of students, summer is the tool to help them reach their timely graduation goal.”

For example, a new opportunity allows students of any major to complete a business minor in just two summers. According to Duerfeldt, this helps students stand out in the competitive job market.

According to the director of summer session, Claire Cross, summer session courses also involve a price break.

“Summer school is usually a bit less expensive than fall, winter or spring,” Cross said. “Almost everyone pays in-state tuition, so it’s a great deal for out-of-state students.”

The students that do not pay in-state tuition are OSU Ecampus, VetMed and PharmD courses and INTO students. Undergraduate courses cost $193 dollars per credit, according to the OSU summer session website.

According to Cross, the structure of summer classes is slightly different than normal term classes.

“With smaller classes, it’s easier to get to know their classmates and instructors,” Cross said. “There are over 800 classes in over 100 subjects offered, including lots of Bacc Core courses. And, even though the classes are more compressed, there’s a laid-back quality to campus during the summer. Plus, it’s a great time to be in Corvallis.”

According to Duerfeldt, because summer classes are shorter and more flexible, students don’t have to only focus on school.

“Summer in Corvallis provides students a lot to do,” Duerfeldt said. “From local hiking and biking spots, to trips to the farmer’s market as well as summer intramural sports and special events, there are lots of activities occurring on and around campus to keep students engaged and active.”

However, according to former OSU summer school student Meghan Burrell, she has seen a lot of students, especially freshman, with a stigma against summer school.

“I think when people hear ‘summer school,’ they automatically go back to what summer school was in high school: a place for people who failed a class to retake it,” Burrell said. “And while you can retake classes during summer session, more and more people are realizing that it’s just another term, same as fall, winter and spring.”

Burrell, a double major in French and economics, was drawn to summer session because of her heavy course load. Due to College of Liberal Arts requirements, Burrell had to take two years of a foreign language in addition to her required French classes. Summer courses allowed Burrell to take an entire sequence of Spanish in the summer term.

“One of the most important things people don’t realize about summer classes is that you don’t have to spend 11 weeks taking classes. Summer has a number of different sessions, each with its own pace. There are opportunities to take an entire term of a class in a week, or four, or eight,” Burrell said.

For summer classes, session one goes from June 26 to September 8. Session two goes from June 26 to September 8. Session three goes from June 26 to August 18. Session four goes from July 24 to August 18. Session five goes from August 21 to September 8. And session six goes from June 19 to June 23.

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