Should I take college classes in the summer?

Taking summer courses is a consideration made by numerous college students. Some students take summer courses to get ahead in terms of credit hours while others take them due to make up credit hours due to falling behind. Summer courses may be offered to replace a bad final class grade or simply for a need to learn more. Taking summer courses has both advantages and disadvantages. It is important to research properly to learn how the college or university you attend would handle the summer semester to help you make a well-informed decision. In this article we shall see Should I take college classes in the summer?

The choice to take college classes in the summer is dependent and varies from student to student. If you did not get the final grade you desired, need to make up credit hours, want to gain additional knowledge in a particular field, or might want to change to another minor or major in college, taking summer courses might be of great help. However, attending summer classes also has its disadvantages. 

Should I take college classes in the summer?

What Are Summer Courses? 

These are classes offered during the summer at both colleges and universities. They are generally short courses that try to compress a lot of material to into a shorter period. Some of these courses could be attended in person while others may be offered as online courses. All summer courses aim to assist students to progress in their academics and achieving their desired certification or degree. Most schools provide students with different options to take summer classes due to the workload of courses. Some even require students to enroll in summer courses such as programs in medical schools.

Summer classes, however, have their advantages and disadvantages, some of which are listed below:


a. They can help speed up your graduation process: College is an expensive endeavor. This means the more time you spend, the more you will spend. Taking summer classes will afford you the needed credits to graduate, even a semester earlier. This has to be discussed with your advisor and registrar to ensure that you are doing the right thing.

b. Grants you more time for classes that might seem difficult: No matter your chosen major, you’ll have to offer a class that consumes a lot of time and is challenging. Summer can be an appropriate time to take these difficult classes. There would be time since your attention would be focused solely on the summer courses instead of the class you have to attend under normal circumstances.

c. The classes are smaller: Although this might not always be the case, summer courses tend to have smaller classes than those in fall and spring. Fewer people in class means more opportunities for a closer interaction with your instructor/teacher. It is also easier to make friends in smaller classrooms such as these.

d. A chance to take classes somewhere else: It isn’t always the case for summer classes to be attended in the school you got. Many gen. ed. courses are available at the local community college near you and there’s a high probability of transferring these credits back to your college or university.  


a. The issue of opportunity cost: The time spent attending summer courses could be put to better use. Your summer could be a period to do an internship, learn a skill or even start a blog. All these are important in their own right in whatever career you plan to have in the future. However, summer classes do not need to take up all your time.

b. Summer classes do not benefit from financial aid: Attending summer classes is one way to save money in the long run but most of these classes are not free. Though scholarships could be used to pay for summer courses, you should discuss with your student aid office at your college the requirements for this arrangement.

c. Costs of living: Summer classes come with the perks associated with normal college attendance. These include food, housing, and transportation. You could also save money by attending online summer courses while living at your parents’ house, depending on how comfortable it is for you.

d. The material may be too condensed for assimilation: Because summer classes are taught over a smaller period, courses are usually taught faster. This means the same amount of material you were meant to cover in a semester will now be covered in less than half the time. This includes projects essays and tests. This pace can be tiring.

e. Timing for some courses may be inconvenient: Some courses may need to be attended in the evenings. This is not a problem if the summer classes were online but this can be quite awkward for in-person classes. Make sure to properly read the schedule of courses before signing up.

f. Less time to relax: Most students need to work throughout the summer to cover the costs of college. Attending summer courses can add more stress. Even if you do not have a summer job, it is pleasant to enjoy a break during the warm weather but this might be impossible with summer classes.


Whether it is a good idea to take summer classes is up to you. The decision is entirely dependent on your grades, goals, and program – not forgetting the courses your school offers during the summer months. If you are not quite sure whether to attend summer classes, you can discuss it with your school counselor. Although, if you desire to graduate early, or are interested in gaining knowledge on a particular topic, taking a summer class or classes is a sure way to achieve these goals. 

Frequently Asked Questions

a. How can I pass summer classes? Due to how fast-paced summer courses are, it is important to create systems that can help you keep up with the course materials, create time for study and attend to assignments.

b. Can I drop my summer class? Yes. If you discover that you are having bad grades or perhaps the instructor’s way of teaching isn’t a good match for you, you can drop your summer classes. If the classes are required for graduation, make sure you make plans to retake the class at a more suitable time.

c. How many credit hours can I take during summer? This depends on your schedule and your ability to adapt to a fast-paced environment.

d. Are summer classes easier or harder? Generally speaking, summer classes are harder than normal classes due to their pacing.