Summer is the season of fun. We’ve all been conditioned since grade school to view summer as a time of rest, relaxation, exploration, and endless opportunities. And while rest and relaxation are vital to a successful and fulfilled life, what about exploration and endless opportunities? Is it possible to take on something new and exciting without completely derailing your chance for some well-earned r&r?
To that end, why would anyone forgo an opportunity to take it easy over the summer to instead take on a serious commitment, such as a degree program? Are those that do so just masochists? Or, do they see summer as a unique opportunity to move their career forward?
Top 5 Reasons to Start a Degree this Summer
We’ve compiled the top five reasons students choose to start a degree program during the summer. Whether you’re considering a program at CSU Bakersfield or not, we hope this list aids you in the decision-making process.
Reason #1 – Get out to a fast start
While the bulk of classes for a degree program are offered during the fall and spring terms, summer presents an opportunity to get a jump on your degree. Look at it this way: let’s say you’re interested in a 36-unit graduate degree program and you want to finish the program in less than two years. If you divide those 36 units over two fall and two spring terms, that’s nine units per term. However, let’s say you start by taking six units the first summer, and six units the following summer. This means that you would graduate in a little more than a year and a half. Nice!
Reason #2 – Unique course offerings
As with any degree program, most core and elective courses are offered in a rotation. Sometimes a course offered in one term won’t roll back around until two or three terms down the road. However, summer provides another opportunity to take a core degree course, or find a unique elective that isn’t normally offered. Summer offers a chance to tailor your experience – in both sequence and content.
Reason #3 – Flexibility
Many summer courses at CSU Bakersfield are offered 100% online (two of our graduate degrees are 100% online). This means students can get out to a fast start, find a unique course offering, and complete it online without coming to campus. So, if you’re afraid starting a degree will derail your summer vacation, don’t fret! Just grab your laptop on the way to the beach!
Reason #4 – Shorter terms
At CSU Bakersfield, our summer is split into two five-week sessions, and one 10-week session, allowing students to receive the same amount of credit as a traditional semester 16-week course in a compacted term. Same material, same outcomes, fewer days. What's not to like?
Reason #5 – Focused learning
In the fall and spring, a full-time course load can be very time-demanding. And rightfully so, right? This is a degree program, and you’re future we’re talking about here. However, the summer offers an opportunity to silo your classes and have a singular focus. Instead of worrying about several classes, students can structure their summer in a number of ways, including taking one class in the first five-week session, and another in the second five-week session. Doing so allows students to earn up to six units (possibly more) without overlapping classes.
While this isn’t a comprehensive list of the benefits of taking a summer course, we hope these reasons help you make the best decision possible. Be sure to explore our degree programs, many of which offer summer starts. And if you don’t see what you’re looking for, let us know, and we’ll help you find a school that offers it!