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Cornell University School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions

Course Formats

Three-Week Sessions

The three-week sessions concentrate on the needs of Cornell undergraduates. We recommend proposing courses expected to have wait lists in the spring term, prerequisites for fall courses, and special interest to majors in a particular field.

This session is made up of twelve to sixteen days of classes and two to three study weekends, depending on whether it is in the winter or summer term. Most students are permitted to register for only one course in a three-week session and are expected to work on this course full-time. We recommend that instructors post the initial assignments or books to be read so that students may get a head start if they wish.

Three- and four-credit courses must have a minimum of 37.5 contact hours (not including the final exam).

For the 2018 Winter Session, three- and four-credit classes must meet daily, Monday through Friday, for three (3) hours, or Monday through Saturday, for two and a half (2.5) hours, as convenient for the instructor. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day will be observed Monday, January 15, and no classes will be held on campus. The contact hours above have taken this holiday into account. Two-credit Winter Session classes must meet for a minimum of 25 hours.

Three-week summer courses usually meet for two and a half to three (2.5–3) hours per day, Monday through Friday, as convenient to the instructor, preferably in two meetings daily rather than a single meeting.

Because students take only one course, class meetings may be adjusted at the discretion of the instructor and students at the first class meeting. The school office must then be notified of any change made to the published class time.

In summer, final exams are given on the last Friday of classes.

In winter 2018, final exams will be given on Saturday, January 20. Exams are given in the classroom at the regular class time or at another time convenient to both the instructor and the entire class. (See Final Exams)

Six-Week Summer Session

The six-week session has the greatest number of course offerings and the largest enrollment of all the sessions.

Three- and four-credit courses meet a minimum of one and a quarter (1.25) hours per day, Monday through Friday, during the following time periods:

  • 8:30 - 9:45
  • 10:00 - 11:15
  • 11:30 - 12:45
  • 1:00 - 2:15
  • 2:30 - 3:45
  • 4:00 - 5:15

Two-credit courses meet a minimum of 50 minutes per day, Monday through Friday during the following time periods:

  • 8:30 - 9:20
  • 10:00 - 10:50
  • 11:30 - 12:20
  • 1:00 - 1:50
  • 2:30 - 3:20
  • 4:00 - 4:50

Where July 4 falls on a weekday, no classes are held.

Final exams are given in the classroom on the Monday and Tuesday following the last Friday of classes. (See Final Exams for any classroom changes.)

Eight-Week Summer Session

The eight-week session is designed primarily for science and mathematics courses that require more laboratory time than is available in the six-week session.

Three- and four-credit courses meet a minimum of 55 minutes per day, Monday through Friday, during the following time periods:

  • 8:30 - 9:25
  • 10:00 - 10:55
  • 11:30 - 12:25
  • 1:00 - 1:55
  • 2:30 - 3:25
  • 4:00 - 4:55

Where July 4 falls on a weekday, no classes are held.

Final exams are given in the classroom on the Monday and Tuesday following the last Friday of classes. (See Final Exams for any classroom changes.)

Evening Courses

Evening courses are usually 1000- and 2000-level courses designed to be of interest to people in the local community and/or attract students who are working during the day. We encourage evening courses that can be taught during the six-week session.

Three- and four-credit courses meet a minimum of three hours twice a week at variable times starting between 5:30 and 7:15 p.m.

Online Courses

For information about teaching an online course, visit the resources page on our Online Learning website.

Special Programs

Special programs are designed to serve a specific clientele's interest in a particular discipline. The audience may consist of any combination of undergraduate and graduate students and adults who share a serious interest in the subject. Such programs are often scheduled for time periods other than the regular Summer or Winter Session. The program may be presented on campus or, in the case of field-study programs, on site. The special program format allows most aspects of a program to be tailored to fit the area of study and the preference of the instructor and students.

Application, admission, and registration procedures may differ from those of the regular Summer or Winter Session, and a program fee may be charged in addition to per-credit tuition.

Examples: