Not only are you faced with endless college decisions, such as what classes to take or how to juggle your coursework and personal life, you also need to figure out whether you want to take regular class sessions or the accelerated eight-week sessions. There are definite benefits to enrolling in the shorter college courses, but it’s not for everyone.

Shorter Time Frame

Taking an eight-week course may be more intense, but you will be done much quicker than regular college quarters or semesters. Those courses can last somewhere between 12 to 18 weeks. Regardless of the length of course session, you can still earn the same amount of credits.

Flexible Schedule

If you have a busy schedule, such as a full-time job or family responsibilities, the shorter courses could be a better fit. Sometimes you can even find these classes offered in the evenings or on weekends for longer stretches of time per class session. With flexible scheduling, you may be able to complete more credits than you would only going part-time for a regular quarter or semester.

Number of Classes

Since you can fit in two eight-week sessions in one regular semester, you can opt to just take one or two classes for each eight-week stretch. Regular full-time students often enroll in three or four classes at a time for the quarter or semester. So a student taking the shorter class sessions can take one or two classes at a time, as opposed to having to study and attend three or four classes.


Some students prefer slower, more relaxed courses, while students who opt for eight-week courses often like the fast-paced atmosphere. These accelerated courses work best for highly motivated, self-disciplined individuals. Some students like to jump into the material and just go for it. They find it more engaging and structured. These classes require the student to concentrate and focus on his studies since the information must be learned and retained quicker.