Four female Mihaylo College students work on a tablet computer at a table next to the Starbucks in Steven G. Mihaylo Hall at Cal State Fullerton.

Taking a course during intersession is a good way to stay on track for graduation or explore a subject you’ve always been interested in.

Student registration dates for the 2016-2017 intersession have been assigned for Oct. 17 to 19. Should you take courses during winter break? Here are five things every student should know about intersession.

Cal State Fullerton students mark the third week of December in their calendars as final exam week. After completing their final tests and papers, they are off for five weeks until the start of the spring semester. But for some students, the winter intersession is a perfect time to concentrate on a course they need to pass in order to graduate on time.

This year, more than 100 courses, including prerequisites for business concentrations and general education courses, will be offered through CSUF Extended Education during the winter break. Individual registration dates and times are available on Titan Online on your student portal.

Here are five things you should know about intersession courses.

  1. Intersession courses are fast-paced.

There are two types of courses: intersession A courses, which last the entire five weeks between Dec. 17 and Jan. 20; and the more intense intersession B courses, which run from Jan. 3 to 20. Students should expect to devote as much time on one intersession course as they would spend on 12 units of coursework during a semester. Students may take no more than four units of coursework during intersession.

  1. Many intersession courses are online.

As in-person courses do not meet from Dec. 24 to Jan. 2 and most professors enjoy their time off during the holidays, many intersession courses are offered online. If you have never taken an online course before, you might want to try one during intersession. While online courses are not any easier than in-person classes, they can be better for balancing school and other activities, since most assignments can be submitted whenever the student finds time. Professors are available by email to answer any questions.

  1. Taking an intersession course can be a great way to try out a discipline.

Think you might be interested in a degree program? By taking an intersession course, you can devote a few weeks to finding out if the coursework is what you are looking for, without compromising your required classes during the semester.

  1. There is no financial aid.

If you have been awarded a grant that covers most of your tuition fees, you should be aware that financial aid is only available during the fall and spring semesters and the summer session. You will be on your own in paying for your intersession courses, though you have several options for payment, including paying online by credit or debit card, or by cash at Student Financial Services at UH 180.

  1. You don’t have to be a CSUF student to take intersession courses.

Alumni, prospective students and members of the community can take intersession courses and earn college credits through Open University. Courses are $366 per unit. More information is available through CSUF Extended Education.

For more on intersession courses, contact CSUF Extended Education at 657-278-2611 or visit the intersession website.

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