What is the quarter system?

Happy start of winter quarter classes! Ah yes, the quarter system, the love hate relationship with our academic calendar. As I write this, everyone is madly in love with our quarter system. After all, they have all been on break since the week of Thanksgiving, so while others were stressed about finals week last month, we were four weeks into getting the full use of our ski pass. Students tend to hate the quarter system in early May when they still have a few weeks left in the spring quarter.

The University of Denver’s academic calendar looks like this. But the overview goes like this, 10 week classes vs. 16 week classes. Things move quickly. The advantage of the quarter system is that you cover more topics in a year because you take classes three times per year. The disadvantage is that things move very quickly–like you’re working on your midterm in early October quickly.

You: Wait, you said three times per year? Quarter suggests four, why is it called a quarter system?

Me: Oh, yes, my fault, let me explain.

We offer classes four times per year: fall, winter, spring and summer. Since the Josef Korbel School has a required internship, most of our students take the summer off to pursue an internship somewhere off campus or out of the country. Thus, I often think about three quarters, but we do have summer classes in the event you want to take them.

Brad Miller

Director of Admissions






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