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Advisor Resources

Help your students make the most out of their UW summer experience. Advise Summer Term.

Summer Term offers more than 1,000 classes on campus and 200 online from May through August. Courses are 3 weeks, 4 weeks, or 8 weeks in length.

The 3 Questions to Answer:

  • Why do it?
  • What’s it like?
  • How do students succeed?

Why do it? The benefits of taking Summer Term

  • It’s a great way for students to catch up on—or get ahead in—their studies.
  • Earning credits in the summer can help students who participate in semester-long study abroad programs, co-ops and internships to graduate on time.
  • Difficult classes can be easier for students to tackle in the summer. Courses are not easier in the summer, but students are more likely to thrive in a difficult class when they are not juggling a full course load.
  • It’s an opportunity for students to get ahead of the curve—and hopefully into their desired school or college.
  • Participating in Summer Term can save both time and money.
  • The average UW-Madison student takes just under 4 years to earn a bachelor’s degree. Summer Term can eliminate the need to spend an entire extra year on campus.

What’s it like? Accelerated classes at a glance

What should your student expect if they take a 3-credit or 5-credit course in 8-weeks? How much time will they be in class?

Typical 8-week summer courses, as compared to regular spring/fall courses:

3-credits: lecture only

3 credit table explaining what accelerated classes are like

5-credits: lecture, discussion, and lab

5 credit table explaining what accelerated classes are like

How do students succeed? Tips for Summer Term Success

Summer is a more relaxed atmosphere for students to be in school, but the pace of classes can be two to three times faster due to the condensed nature of summer term.

Below you’ll find a series of ways students can succeed in a class with an intensive pace:

  • Students need to give summer courses top priority. Although there are a lot of fun things to do in Madison during the summer, students need to make sure they don’t become a distraction from their classes. To be successful in summer term, advise students to use these activities as incentives to finish their schoolwork, not as a reason to avoid it.
  • Mental preparation is key. Recommend students review course basics and buy their books prior to the first day of classes.
  • Attend every class. Because the Summer Term format is so intense, missing even one class can be detrimental. Therefore it is important students plan their work schedules and trips around their course schedule.
  • Study and form a study group. Finding the perfect summer study spot will help students focus on their classes, as well as forming a regular study group with their classmates.
  • Ask questions often. There is no such thing as a dumb question. Asking questions can help clear up any confusion and verify that course material is being understood.
  • Physical wellness is a must. Long classes and lectures can be tough to power through, but getting enough sleep and bringing healthy snacks to eat during class can help students stay alert.
  • Manage your workload. Advise students to make a conscious effort to manage their time. Students who are aware of how they spend their day can maximize productivity, which makes staying on top of schoolwork (and saying “yes” to that beach day) easier.

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Contact Aphra Mednick at aphra.mednick@wisc.edu or 608-265-8041, with comments and suggestions for the advisor resources page. We appreciate your input.

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