College of LAS « Illinois

For Parents

Consider summer courses

Years ago, when I was in college, the idea of taking courses in the summer really never occurred to me. In fact, very few students I knew took summer classes, in part because there were only a few courses from which to choose. Today, of course, things are very different—many of the undergraduate students I know see summer courses as an integral part of their overall degree plan, and can choose from hundreds of courses offered here on campus.

Some students take summer classes in order to focus on one or two key courses without having to worry about balancing a full course load. Others have learned that summer is a good time to find courses in their major, or to work on satisfying their general education or non-primary language requirements. Still others take summer courses to free up their future schedules, especially if they are planning an internship or study abroad experience during the academic year, or to work toward an early graduation.

In response to the increased demand for summer courses, many LAS departments have been expanding the number of online courses they offer in the summer. Online courses make it possible for students to take required courses wherever they happen to be, which is especially helpful for students with summer travel or work plans. And because these are the same LAS courses as those offered on campus in a face-to-face format, students don't need to worry about transferring courses back or dealing with transcripts from another institution.

Students who are thinking of taking courses at other institutions in the summer should always be careful to check the transferability of the courses they plan to take. Students should plan to talk with an advisor or an admissions and records officer to make sure they know whether (and how) the course(s) will transfer, or they can use the U.Select online tool at Transferology.

So if your student is having trouble deciding what to do this summer, you may want to encourage them to consider their summer course options—along with that summer job!

Karen Carney
Associate Dean