Despite its bad reputation among Cal Poly Pomona students, the semester system isn’t as horrible as everyone claims it to be; it does have its upsides. For one, the semester system has shorter classes.

While it can be argued that shorter classes seem less meaningful, a lot of students tend to feel antsy or unmotivated in 2 to 3-hour-long classes where the professor just lectures and expects students to keep their eyes glued to a PowerPoint for hours.

(Nicole Goss | The Poly Post)

Shorter class times ensure that students will be more engaged and focused.

Having 50-minute classes also allows students the space in their day to either take more classes, since the content is less overwhelming, or fit work shifts or other priorities into their schedules.  In the semester system, students have the chance to improve their grades if they realize they are struggling halfway through the semester. In the quarter system, the content was crammed to fit into the 10-week span. Students were moving quickly, trying to memorize facts, rather than absorbing and understanding concepts.

Midterms came as early as week 3 and could last for weeks leading up to finals. If you were struggling, it was hard to catch up and felt nearly impossible to miss a class session without totally falling behind. However with semesters, things are taught at a slower pace, making it easier to retain and thoroughly understand what you are learning and even seek help if you find yourself struggling between the midterm and final.

This slower pace is also better for students’ mental health and well-being. College is considered one of the most stressful times in one’s life and the quarter system was a major stressor for everyone. It’s difficult not to feel overwhelmed when you’re constantly preparing for exams and your professor is teaching multiple chapters in a single lesson. Professors and instructors also appreciate the pace of the semester system. Having the extra few weeks allows them more time to grade and evaluate students, and even do any outside work. In addition to the slower pace, the semester system is beneficial because everything else operates on semesters.

From internship opportunities to seasonal breaks, converting the school to the semester system makes the transition into the real world much smoother.

According to, the semester system is used in 90 percent of all U.S. colleges, so CPP switching to semesters makes us more cohesive with everyone else. Although the transition into the semester system was not as smooth and convenient as it was supposed to be, in the long run, switching to the semester system does have its advantages and can eventually lead to a more satisfying and meaningful college experience.

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