Comparing the semester and quarter system

Unlike many other schools and universities in Europe, we use an academic calendar that is based on a quarter system instead of a semester system. The following provides a basic comparison between both systems:


14 weeks of classes per semester
1 weeks of evaluations per semester
Total of 15 weeks / 30 ECTS credits per semester
Total of 30 weeks / 60 ECTS credits per academic year
750 to 900 study hours per semester


3 x 10 weeks of classes and evaluations per quarter
Total of 10 weeks / 20 ECTS credits per quarter
Total of 30 weeks / 60 ECTS credits per academic year
500 to 600 study hours per quarter

We believe the advantages of a quarter system are as follows:

  • Courses are spread over 3 quarters instead of over 2 semesters, resulting in a smaller number of courses per quarter than the number of courses per semester, thus allowing a better focus on the courses offered each quarter.
  • While the study pressure of a semester system is usually concentrated during the evaluation periods at the end of the semester, a quarter system allows for a more equal spread of the study pressure during the whole academic year.
  • With the use of a quarter system, it is easier to implement a system of permanent student evaluation as students will get more feedback faster, thus providing better options of self-evaluation throughout the academic year.