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Quarters to Semesters:

Frequently Asked Questions


Q. Why is ONU changing from quarters to semesters?

A. After careful deliberation over a period of years, the ONU faculty voted to recommend the change from quarters to semesters. The change was approved by Ohio Northern’s Board of Trustees.


Q. When will the change happen?

A. August 2011


Q. What does the change mean to current students?

A. The students currently enrolled under the quarter system will continue to work towards their established quarter-system degree requirements using appropriate substitutions and waivers as needed in order to complete their degree. This will require each student to meet with their academic advisor to develop an individualized graduation plan. The semester graduation requirements will apply to all undergraduate students who begin their studies in the fall of 2011 or thereafter. Each student will need to meet his or her college’s graduation requirements. Most will be taking five courses per semester instead of an average of four under quarters.


Q. How will faculty be affected?

A. Most faculty members will be teaching an additional class each semester, but the total amount of instruction and preparation time over an academic year will be similar to that under quarters.


Q. What other changes are happening in concert with the change to semesters?

A. The University’s new general education requirements will also go into effect for the freshman class of 2011. The plan was approved in May 2009.

Under this plan, students will complete courses to meet one or more of seven learning objectives. They include:

  1. Effective communication
  2. Critical and creative thinking
  3. Scientific and quantitative literacy
  4. An understanding of diverse cultures and their effects on human interaction
  5. Integration of concepts across disciplines
  6. Informed and ethical responses to personal, civic and global needs
  7. Informed responses to aesthetics in art or nature

In addition to completing the appropriate courses, each student will build a personal portfolio documenting what he or she has learned in those seven areas.


Q. Where can students and their parents find more information?

A. Beginning in the fall of 2010, undergraduate students will meet with their advisors to map out personalized plans to fulfill requirements for graduation. A preliminary semester course catalog listing will be released for the campus students and community in fall 2010. University administrators emphasize that students’ progress toward graduation will not be impeded by the switch to semesters.


Q. Where can faculty find more information?

A. Faculty members will find additional information on the Academic Affairs Web site. Semester course catalog compilations can be viewed by faculty and staff in an Excel file located in the P:\ drive folder called “SemesterConversionFile”.