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Should You Take Summer Courses? Five Factors to Consider

Taking summer courses is a smart way to get ahead, but is this shorter session right for you? Take these factors into account when signing up for classes.

Summer courses can speed up the successful completion of your degree program. If you're wondering whether you should sign up for a summer session this year, consider these factors in your decision.

Fewer Classes

Summer classes at the Tulane School of Professional Advancement are offered in six-week sessions and 12-week sessions, compared to about 16 weeks for the fall and spring semesters. Many students also only take one or two classes at a time, instead of adhering to a full schedule.

Increased Momentum

Taking the summer off can slow your progress if you're in a hurry to finish your degree. When you're already in school mode, it's easy to take advantage of that momentum to have a successful summer session. On the other hand, if you're prone to burnout and need a good break to function at your best, you may want to skip the summer session or only take one class per session.

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Smaller Class Sizes

Since fewer students take summer classes, you'll receive more focused attention from your instructor. For this reason, summer is a good time to take classes that may be challenging for you. However, it also means that the course selection is often more limited than it is during the spring and fall semesters.

Intensive Sessions

Because you're covering the same amount of material in a shorter time, summer classes can be tough. If you aren't ready to put in more hours of studying, consider opting for less challenging courses during the summer session or sticking to traditional fall and spring semesters.


Check with the financial aid office to find out how summer classes will affect your loans, grants, and other forms of financial aid. Make sure you budget for books and other costs associated with the summer semester.

Students at the Tulane School of Professional Advancement can take both online and on-campus summer classes in our bachelor's degree, master's degree, and certificate programs. If you think that summer classes are a good option for you, check out our summer class schedule and register today.

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