Copyright

The Pros and Cons of Taking Summer Classes

Considering if summer classes are right for you? Then it's time to figure it out by looking at both sides of the issue. There are both pros and cons to this decision that should be weighed carefully. Some factors might even surprise you.

View popular schools

You've seen in your local newspaper that summer classes are starting up soon. There are even a few that fit into your intended major. So now you're beginning to wonder if you should sign up and get a few extra credits done before you go back to school. Still, you're not quite sure if it's the right decision for you. It's true that there are ups and downs to summer classes, and it's important to consider both before you make your choice.

Pros:

Getting General Education Courses Out of the Way

General Education Courses, or Gen Eds, are the basic courses that give students a wide breadth of background knowledge. Also, they're usually pre-requisites for classes directly related to your major. Whether you see them as an interesting window into different disciplines or an uninteresting detour from your major, summer classes give you the chance to take them in less time. This means you can dive into classes directly related to your major sooner, or even graduate early!

Sticking to the Routine

During the school year, it's pretty easy to fall into a sort of rhythm. You'll hit your stride and be able to keep momentum and work ethic up. But after a lengthy summer break, you might notice that you've lost your rhythm when school time comes back around. If you don't stop working, that work ethic doesn't go away. So by taking summer classes you'll already be fully in the swing of things by the time you get back to school.

Smaller course-loads

Just about every school has some sort of credit minimum for graduation. Summer classes can help you reach that minimum. If you can find classes that help you in your major, you can work towards your degree in both credit amount as well as major requirements. This means that during the year you'll be able to take less of a packed course-load, which means more time to focus on the more difficult classes, or napping.

Shorter Classes

If you pick a class that you really don't want to take but have to, there is at least one thing to look forward to. Summer classes run at a very accelerated pace. In a much shorter time than during the school year, you'll be done. You won't have to put up with a subject or teacher you hate for very long, and once you've finished you'll probably still have a chunk of summer left. Some students actually excel at the shorter programs, so if you're one of those students then summer classes are probably right for you.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Agriculture
  • Architecture
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • Business
  • Communications and Journalism
  • Computer Sciences
  • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Legal
  • Liberal Arts and Humanities
  • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
  • Medical and Health Professions
  • Physical Sciences
  • Psychology
  • Transportation and Distribution
  • Visual and Performing Arts

Cons:

Less Downtime

Summer, to many, is about relieving school anxiety and cutting loose for a while. Instead of freaking out over homework and tests, you can see friends from your hometown, party, and just let all that stress go. Doing another class would just maintain that high stress level and no one in college wants to hit that burnout point if they can help it. After all, once you hit the working world, you don't get a summer break anymore. Might as well live it up while you can, right?

Harder to Get a Summer Job

Sometimes people use summer to get job experience and make a little extra cash. It can really set you ahead for future resumes and make school life more financially comfortable next semester. If you're taking summer classes, it makes your schedule a little more hectic. Some places you would rather work at might not even hire you because of your inability to work certain hours.

Less Variety

At college, you might find a huge selection of classes. If you don't want to study European history, you can study ancient Asian civilizations instead! With summer classes you probably won't get that kind of selection. You'll have to take whatever is available with whatever teachers are available. Even though you won't have to be in the class for very long, it can still be a drag if you're studying something you have no interest in.

Shorter Classes

This was already listed as a pro, but it can also be a con. With no time for study groups, reviewing tests and asking teachers for help, you'll be forced to adapt or risk failing. The material also comes at you so fast that if you're not clear on an initial concept, you probably won't understand the later related concepts. If you're the kind of student who can't easily deal with a fast paced class that has no time for review, then summer classes probably aren't the best choice for you.

Another Option

If you think summer courses might not be for you, or you're still on the fence, there is another option. Study.com offers a wide variety of college credit courses that you can take online. Taking courses online lets you choose when you want to study, meaning you can still spend time with your friends or accept that awesome internship. Check out our full list of college credit courses to see if online studying is for you.

Next: View Schools

What is your highest level of education?

Some College
Complete your degree or find the graduate program that's right for you.
High School Diploma
Explore schools that offer bachelor and associate degrees.
Still in High School
Earn your diploma or GED. Plan your undergraduate education.

Schools you may like:

Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

  • What is your highest level of education?

    • Master of Business Administration with a General Business Specialization
    • Master of Business Administration - Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise Concentration
    • Master of Business Administration - Finance Concentration
    • Master of Business Administration - Human Resource Management Concentration
    • Master of Business Administration - Hospitality and Casino Management Concentration
    • Master of Business Administration - International Business Concentration

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • Master of Science in Nursing - Doctor of Nursing Practice Path, Executive Leader Specialization
    • Doctor of Nursing Practice
    • Master of Science in Nursing - Doctor of Nursing Practice Path
    • Master of Science in Legal Studies
    • MS in Psychology
    • MBA
    • Master of Public Health
    • MBA - Human Resources
    • MBA - Health Care Management
    • BS in Liberal Studies
    • BS in Business Administration
    • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Investment Career Focus Area
    • BS in Liberal Studies Leadership
    • BS in Nutrition Science
    • BSFIN in Accelerated MS Finance
    • AAS in Business Administration - Business
    • AAS in Legal Support and Services
    • AAS in Business Administration
    • AAS in Business Admin-Office Management
    • AAS in Criminal Justice
    • AAS in Accounting
    • Medical Office Administration Certificate
    • Human Services Certificates in Child and Family Services
    • Pathway to Paralegal Postbaccalaureate Certificate
    • Medical Billing and Coding Certificate
    • Family Nurse Practitioner Graduate Certificate
    • Executive Leader Graduate Certificate

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • MA in Communication
    • Master of Liberal Arts
    • MA in Science Writing
    • MS in Applied Economics
    • MS in Geographic Information Systems
    • MS in Bioinformatics

    What is your highest level of education?

  • What is your highest level of education completed?

    • Doctor of Strategic Leadership - Healthcare Leadership
    • Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership
    • Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership - Ecclesial Leadership
    • Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership - Entrepreneurial Leadership
    • Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership - Individualized
    • Doctor of Strategic Leadership - Global Consulting
    • Master of Arts in Communication
    • Master of Arts in Communication - Political Communication
    • Master of Arts in Communication - Strategic Communication
    • Master of Arts in Government - Political Communication
    • Master of Arts in Journalism
    • Master of Arts in Law - Business
    • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies
    • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies - Rhetoric and Public Culture
    • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies - Strategic Communication
    • Bachelor of Arts in English - Communication
    • Bachelor of Arts in Leadership Studies - Criminal Justice
    • Bachelor of Science in Business

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • Automotive Technology
    • Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC)
    • Electrical/Electronics

    What year did you graduate High School / Receive GED?

    • Master of Business Administration
    • Associate in Business Administration Management
    • Associate in Medical Assisting
    • Associate in Network Administration
    • Paralegal
    • Diploma in Accounting
    • Diploma in Business Administration
    • Diploma in Medical Office Professional
    • Diploma in Pharmacy Technician
    • Certificate in Phlebotomy
    • Diploma in Medical Billing and Coding

    What is your education level?

    • Online Master of Professional Studies in Cybersecurity Management
    • Online Master of Professional Studies in Information Technology Management

    What is your highest level of education completed?

  • What is your highest level of education?

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?