Should Gettysburg College switch to a trimester system?


And here is why:

Course Load: Under the current scheduling system broken down by semesters, students take four courses per-term and eight courses per-year. Look at that math! On a trimester system, students would only take three courses per-term, yet they would finish the year having taken nine. And, seriously, I didn’t use a calculator. This system fits more courses into the school year while still maintaining a lighter course load per-term. Imagine only taking three classes at a time and still ending the year with more credits. Only UMichigan, Dartmouth College, and a handful of smaller schools have this trimester system in place, and this fact is honestly upsetting.


Clean Breaks! I’m talking about classes, not relationships. On a semester system, students travel back and forth between home and school mid-semester. We go home for Thanksgiving only to return for exams and only to return home yet again for winter break. For me, that means all the way back to Massachusetts. On a trimester system however, students finish exams BEFORE thanksgiving and remain home until AFTER the new year. That’s so much vacation and so much less driving!

Longer Vacation: On a trimester schedule, students enjoy an uninterrupted six-week winter vacation. This extra long mid-year break gives students enough time to relax, enjoy time with family and friends, and even get a job/internship — meaning extra money for notebooks, pens, fruits, vegetables, and whatever else you guys spend money on.

150% As Many Terms: Andy Warhol said, “three’s a party.” I believe he meant that having three terms instead of two means that if you don’t like a class or a professor, you will be done with it/him/her much more quickly. This turnover rate virtually guarantees that you will never get bored with a class. You will get an exciting “beginning of the new term” feeling three times each year instead of just two. Having 150% as many terms in a year also means more opportunities to study abroad or participate in any other programs that occur on a termly basis. We are in school for three seasons, it makes sense that there should be three terms. I don’t care if the school year is a little bit longer; college is fun.

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