Q: What are the benefits of taking summer courses?

March 02, 2016

A: For Penn State students, taking summer courses is a great way to stay on track with their studies and graduate on time or early. By enrolling in summer courses, students have the opportunity to catch up on missed requirements or incomplete credits, or complete prerequisite courses while enjoying smaller classes.

During the summer session, more than 400 undergraduate courses are offered across the University, including courses available online and through World Campus. The summer course schedule offers flexibility by giving students the option to choose among three summer session periods: Maymester (May 9 to June 8); Summer Session I (May 16 to June 27); and Summer Session II (June 29 to Aug. 12).

Summer session also gives students access to special courses that are not offered during the regular academic year, providing students with unique learning opportunities that otherwise may be unavailable. For example, College of Education students majoring in curriculum and instruction can fulfill their CI 295 requirement by enrolling in The Philadelphia Urban Seminar, a three-week program that immerses students in inner-city classrooms to work with and observe teachers in the largest public school district in Pennsylvania. CI 280 Introduction to Teaching English Language Learners also takes students beyond the classroom and into schools and communities to gain valuable hands-on experience.

When enrolling in summer courses, students also open up their schedules to complete internships during the fall and spring semesters, a time when the race for internships is less competitive. Graduate students who have required clinical internships and practicums also may benefit from summer courses. The college offers multiple 500-level courses both on campus and online in which graduate students may enroll.

Aside from the obvious academic benefits, enrolling in summer session allows students to be a part of the State College community during a time of year when many activities and events come to the region. In addition to on-campus activities and luxuries such as swimming at McCoy Natatorium, students can experience the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, one of the largest arts festivals in the country that takes place in the streets of downtown State College and on parts of the University Park campus. Arts Fest, as it has come to be known by visitors, brings thousands of tourists and alumni back to the area each year. Students can also hike Mount Nittany, attend a State College Spikes baseball game, or travel the short distance to Whipple Dam State Park to experience the great outdoors.

Students who have completed summer courses in the past have expressed gratitude for the opportunities to stay on track with their classes and credits. To read more about students’ experiences with summer session, visit bit.ly/1oAOqM1 online.

Registration for summer session is open now, and will remain open until courses begin. For a list of summer course offerings from the College of Education, visit http://ed.psu.edu/current-students/summer online. To register for classes, visit http://schedule.psu.edu/ online.

Last Updated March 02, 2016