Semester Comparison


One Course At A Time

Semester Plan

Course credit value
Each course is valued at 4 credit hours. Cornellians earn academic credit in the same way as students on a semester plan.
Courses, typically, are valued at 3 credit hours; 4 credit hours, if they include a lab component.
Average daily class time
Three to five hours.
Typically, two to three hours in class (plus lab time, if applicable).
Average length of class
One course at a time for 18 days per block (with more actual classroom time spent than in same class on semester schedule).
Typically, four classes taken over three and one-half months. (An average of three hours per class per week.)
Number of courses per semester
Four (four blocks in fall semester; four in the spring semester).
Typically, four to five classes per semester.
Number of courses required for major
Typically, 10 to 12 courses.
Typically, 10 to 12 courses.
Number of courses required for graduation
31 course credits (124 credit hours).
Typically, 32 course credits(or a minimum of 120 credit hours).
Faculty teaching load
One course at a time (an average of 17 students per course); six courses per year
Three to four course load each semester with total responsibility for typically 50 to 100 students.
Class registration
Once per year with the flexibility to change course registration during any given block.
Once prior to the start of each semester.
Study abroad
Study abroad options are plentiful. Can be conducted as part of a single Cornell block course or for one to two blocks in length or for a traditional semester or full academic year.
Semester or full academic year options.
Full-time, credit-bearing (in some cases) internship opportunities of one to two blocks in length, with the flexibility to pursue them in the summer, across the nation and around the world.
Typically, time availability and location are limited as students must combine with semester and campus-based courses.
Within four years, or less.
Nationally, between five and six years.