Eight things to know about taking summer courses

Thinking about taking summer courses? A summer course can be a great way to stay in the academic mindset, get ahead, catch-up, or study subjects you don't have time to explore during the regular academic year. However, there are important things to keep in mind should you choose to register for a summer course.
Considering summer courses? A summer course can be a great way to stay in the academic mindset, get ahead, catch up, or study subjects you don't have time to explore during the regular academic year. That being said, there are a few important things to keep in mind when choosing whether or not to take summer courses:

  1. Courses taken during the summer at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities contribute to your cumulative and technical GPAs. However, courses taken at any other University of Minnesota campus (Crookston, Duluth, Morris or Rochester) will only impact your cumulative GPA. 
  2. Courses taken at another institution (i.e. a community college or four-year university outside the University of Minnesota system) will come in as transfer credit. The grades of those courses do not contribute to your UMN cumulative or technical GPAs. 
  3. Summer courses taken at the University of Minnesota count towards academic standing requirements. Therefore, it is possible to do poorly in a summer course and find yourself on academic probation or suspension fall semester. 
  4. Tuition is different for summer courses because the 13-credit policy does not apply. Review the University's tuition and fees page for more information. Contact One Stop if you have questions about your particular situation.
  5. If you are taking courses at another institution, be sure that the courses are equivalent to what is offered at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Check out CSE's technical course equivalencies, as well as the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities Liberal Education Transfer Guide
  6. Be conscientious of the amount of credits you are taking. What might be considered a manageable credit load during a standard academic semester could be very challenging during summer. We strongly advise taking no more than 2 classes in the summer; should you choose to take 2, we recommend no more than 1 of those be a technical course.
  7. Summer courses move quickly and meet more frequently than you might be accustomed to. You need to manage your time very carefully and understand the commitment you are making.
  8. It can be tempting for newly-admitted students to jump into courses right away in the summer instead of waiting until fall. While it's great that you want to get started, you should very carefully consider if it is in your best interest. If you are not prepared for the pace or rigor, the stakes become high. We want you to start off at the University of Minnesota feeling positive and confident - it is perfectly okay to take the summer off from academics to refresh and regroup! 

Most institutions are starting registration now for Summer 2018 courses; the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus summer registration opened March 1. If you choose to attend another school, it is your responsibility to understand the institution's policies for taking courses as a non-degree-seeking student. Also remember that final official transcripts need to be submitted to the Office of Admissions to receive transfer credit.

Keep your academic advisor in the loop! We can offer insight to help you decide if summer courses are right for you. We will also help you navigate what taking a summer course may mean for your fall registration. Have a great summer!