Online winter courses an option for quick, condensed classes over the holiday break


Getty Images

Man wearing Santa hat sleeping in front of laptop computer

By Lauren Martens

Last year, the University began offering online winter courses. They can be a suitable option for students looking to knock out a GenEd requirement, take a quick GPA booster or trying to finish a course in a short period of time.

Winter courses allow students to take only one class over winter break.

Amy Krusess, sophomore in Education, took ATMS 120, “Severe and Hazardous Weather,” last winter.

“I enjoyed taking the winter course because it fulfilled a GenEd and helped raise my GPA,” she said.

A possible downside to consider when signing up for a winter course is that it is condensed into four weeks, which can make it a little more stressful than a full-semester course, depending on the course content or how much free time a student has.

Get The Daily Illini in your inbox!

  • Catch the latest on University of Illinois news, sports, and more. Delivered every weekday.
  • Stay up to date on all things Illini sports. Delivered every Monday.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Thank you for subscribing!

“The only negative was that I had to fit a full semester in the short weeks of winter break,” Kruse said.

Lisa Hongss, junior in LAS, took ECON 102, “Microeconomics,” last winter. She didn’t think the condensed format was an issue.

“I would recommend it to others because it’s a class that could take up your whole semester, but can so easily be compressed into one month, too,” she said. “And this didn’t make the content any more difficult. It was very doable.”

Another possible con to taking a winter course is the tuition rate for the four-week course. The University does offer financial aid to students, but at a limited quantity. According to the online winter courses website, tuition rates can range from $362 to $

The website explains how the tuition rate is calculated: “The base rate tuition will be charged per credit hour to all undergraduates based on their residency status and when they started at the University.”ss

Hong noted another probhlem: the inaccessibility of an instructor.

“If we had any complicated questions, we couldn’t just go into his office hours or anything like that,” she said. “This didn’t impose a major problem, however, because he made himself very accessible via email and whatnot.”

Despite the possible cons, Kruse said she would definitely reccomend winter courses to other people.

“I had a very positive experience,” she said.

The University is offering 23 courses in advertising, atmospheric sciences, astronomy, business administration, community health, earth society and environment, economics, gender and women’s studies, geography, geology, global studies, media and cinema studies and sociology.

The courses span four weeks, beginning Dec. 21 through Jan. 15.

For more information about the courses offered and tuition rates, visit the online winter courses website.

[email protected]