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Quarter-to-Semester Updates - December 2010

Quarters to Semesters Update 

December 2010

Dear Colleagues,

As promised in last month’s QSU, this edition of the quarter-to-semester update will focus on the May session, the 25-day period between spring semester and summer session.

The May session: an overview. The inaugural May session will start on May 6, 2013, and will conclude on May 31, 2013. Here is an overview of this coming new element of Ohio State’s academic life.



May Session begins

May 6 (M)

Memorial Day - no classes, offices closed

May 27 (M)

May Session ends

May 31 (F)


Summer Session begins

June 10 (M)

Independence Day - no classes, offices closed

July 4 (R)

Last day of regularly scheduled classes

July 26 (F)

Final examinations

July 29-31 (M-W)

Summer commencement

Aug 4 (Sun)

  • As you can see from the calendar above, the summer term will consist of two sessions: the May session and the summer session. Courses can take place during the four-week May session; during the seven-week summer session; or during May and summer, spanning both sessions for a total of 12 weeks, including the one-week break between the two sessions.
  • Registration for both sessions of summer term will take place during spring semester.
  • Students enrolled full time in spring semester may take up to three credits during the May session with no tuition costs. Fees, however, will continue to be charged. Tuition for enrollment beyond three credits will also be charged. Both tuition and fees will be charged during the summer session.
  • The May session is considered the first part of the summer term, not the concluding part of the spring semester. Credit hours earned in the May session will be added to credit hours earned in the summer session to determine the amount of a student’s federal financial aid.
  • Students who finish their coursework during the May session will graduate at the end of summer term.
  • Students not otherwise enrolled during summer term cannot be required to attend school during the May session. Accordingly, although required courses may be offered during the May session, such courses will not be offered only during the May session. Some exceptions to this general rule are possible, especially in the health sciences.

May session course offerings in the Arts and Sciences. Faculty in the Arts and Sciences will be following a number of guidelines in developing their May session course offerings. Because these guidelines may be helpful to units across campus, we are including them here.

  • May session offerings could include necessary “bridge” courses to help students who must transition from quarters to semesters. These bridge courses would be phased out over time as these students graduate.
  • Units can consider whether a May session version of a General Education course is academically viable. When appropriate, units can develop and offer May session versions of such courses.
  • The May session provides the opportunity for departments to tailor coursework to new components of the semester-based General Education curriculum, especially service learning, cross-disciplinary seminars, and education abroad.

May session: An opportunity for new study abroad programs. As noted in the Arts and Sciences guidelines above, the May session is an ideal time for study abroad programs. The Office of International Affairs is ready to assist academic units in developing new study abroad programs for the May session, including discipline-specific and early access programs, research abroad, international service learning, internships, and field work. Successful study abroad programs require advance work. Interested faculty are encouraged to contact Grace Johnson and visit

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For continuing information on what Ohio State is doing to prepare for the shift to semesters, please check the calendar conversion website on a regular basis. We will be back in January with our next QSU update. Meanwhile, we send you our very warmest wishes for the upcoming holidays.


 W. Randy Smith
Vice Provost for Academic Programs and Co-Chair,
Semester Conversion Coordinating Committee

 Steven S. Fink
Associate Professor of English and Co-Chair,
Semester Conversion Coordinating Committee

Questions or comments about the transition to the semester calendar?
Contact Assistant Provost Jay Johnson,