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SEMESTER CONVERSION UPDATE: Curricular Revisions, Bridge Courses, Asking Students to Meet with Advisors

UC continues to prepare for its conversion to semesters on Aug. 27, 2012. Work to translate quarter courses into semester courses continues, planning for “bridge” courses is underway, and updated materials are available on UC’s conversion site.

Date: 1/18/2011 12:00:00 AM
By: M.B. Reilly
Phone: (513) 556-1824

UC ingot   The first day of the University of Cincinnati’s new semester calendar – Aug. 27, 2012 – is a year-and-a-half away.

The university continues to prepare: evaluating and converting quarter-based courses to semester-based courses; planning for “bridge” courses to help students complete course sequences; planning both an online and print student advising guide for release in August 2011, and continually adding updated materials to UC’s conversion website.
Conversion website image


Preparations for semester conversion are ongoing in three major phases:

  • Ongoing curricular revisions, the bulk of which are substantially complete.
  • Encoding and cataloguing of these revisions, which will be complete by Fall 2011.
  • Student advising, which will run from Fall 2011 to Fall 2012.
Currently, close to 8,000 (7,915) university courses are either “in process” in terms of review/revision or have substantially completed the review/revision process for conversion to semesters – meaning they have been reviewed by department faculty and chairs as well as reviewed and approved by the dean’s office of each college. All semester conversion courses – which will eventually number close to 8,880 – will have undergone a complete review process by March 1, 2011.


The most important thing for conversion transition students (students who will experience the transition from quarters to semesters) at this point is to meet with their advisors and seek to complete course sequences. Course sequences are two or three courses that are intended to be taken together in order to fulfill a degree or program requirement. These courses are meant to be taken in a specific order, as the earlier courses are generally prerequisites for later courses. If possible, a course sequence begun on the quarter system should be completed on the quarter system.
Examples include
  • Spanish I, II, III (15SPAN101, 15SPAN102, 15SPAN103)
  • College Algebra I, II (15MATH173, 15MATH174)
And students planning to repeat a quarter course in order to take advantage of UC’s grade-replacement policy should seek to repeat that quarter course before the conversion to semesters.

The university registrar’s office is monitoring student progress on sequences and will work with unit heads of academic programs to add additional sequence offerings as needed. Prior to and after the conversion to semesters, it may become necessary to offer some students “bridge” options in order to complete sequences.

A “bridge” course would be any special course created specifically in advance of or just after semester conversion to help students complete sequences begun under the quarter system. An example would be accelerated “stacked” courses wherein students would complete two quarters of a specific required sequence within one quarter.

More information on bridge courses will be available from academic advisors in summer 2011. It’s anticipated that bridge courses will be made available as needed in winter, spring and summer of 2012 (prior to conversion) and then in the Fall 2012 semester and the following spring semester.

It’s likely that the most common “bridge” courses will be STEM (science, technology, engineering or mathematics requirements). The academic challenge inherent in these courses increases demand because students sometimes need to retake courses. Other “bridge” courses may be required for those requirements that traditionally experience larger demand because they are fundamental to almost all majors.


The most important thing conversion transition students can do in order to prepare for semester conversion is to meet regularly with their academic advisors. Advisors will work with students to keep them on track for course-sequence completion and graduation.

Updated information is continually added to UC’s semester conversion website. Recent updates include

  • An updated semester ready checklist for students.
  • Suggestions related to graduating before semester conversion.