The University adopts the credit-hour system. The academic year is divided into two semesters -- the first (the Fall) and the second (the Spring) with an optional Summer session. In each semester the student usually takes between 12 to 19 hours or four - six courses. Each course is usually three credit hours -- three class hours a week for four months. The credit-hour system allows the students to distribute the University and Faculty requirements over the years of their study; it allows them to mix with students from previous and subsequent years allowing them to take a major and minor degree. If one fails a course, you will have to repeat this course alone if it is a compulsory course or take a substitute course if it is an elective.
The credit-hour system has obvious advantages over the year system. For one thing, students enjoy more freedom when choosing courses and professors -- there is a substantial list of electives to choose from and one can delay taking certain courses till later or earlier. For another, it recognizes the principle of individual differences. Students who are unable to complete 18 hours a semester for one reason or another, can take 15 or 12 hours. In some cases, they can even take nine or six. Students have the opportunity to finish earlier, if they wish (i.e. three or three and a half years, instead of four) or finish later ie., five or six years should they choose to do so. In addition, while the yearly system allows students who are accepted in the same year to get to know each other well, the credit-hour system allows one to get to know students from the previous and subsequent years as well. Furthermore, the credit-hour system enables students to study more than one subject, through the minors and double majors; this reflects positively on their employment opportunities as well as on their broadness of vision and it gives them more freedom in changing majors. Moreover, there are in addition to the daily quizzes and homework assignments, two exams per semester for each course in addition to the final exam. Besides giving the student more chances to do well, the multiple exams enable students to get more feedback with respect to their performance, also simultaneously enabling the professor to assess the progress the students make far more accurately. Some educationalists have also argued that the credit-hour system places more pressure on students and trains them (due to the shortness of the semester compared to the year and frequency of exams) to work and think at a faster pace.