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An academic term is a division of an academic year, the time during which a school, college or university holds classes. These divisions may be called terms. The schedule
School timetable
A school timetable is a table for coordinating these four elements:*Students*Teachers*Rooms*Time slots Other factors include the subject of the class, and the type of classrooms available ....

 adopted by institutions of learning or education systems vary widely.
  • A semester system divides the academic year into two terms, roughly 16–18 weeks each.
  • A trimester system divides the academic year into three terms, roughly 14 - 16 weeks each.
  • A quarter or quadmester system divides the academic year into four terms, roughly 12 weeks each, and generally counts the summer as one of the terms.


In most countries, the academic year begins with the start of autumn and ends during the following summer. In Southern Hemisphere
Southern Hemisphere
The Southern Hemisphere is the part of Earth that lies south of the equator. The word hemisphere literally means 'half ball' or "half sphere"...

 countries, this means that the academic year lasts from February or March to November or December; in Northern Hemisphere
Northern Hemisphere
The Northern Hemisphere is the half of a planet that is north of its equator—the word hemisphere literally means “half sphere”. It is also that half of the celestial sphere north of the celestial equator...

 countries, it lasts from August or September to May, June or July instead.

The summer may or may not be part of the term system.

Terminology


A 'semester' is literally a six-month period (from the Latin meaning "six-monthly"), but it has come to mean either of two academic terms, generally excluding the summer or January terms, if any, and so is about 16 to 18 weeks long. The word 'semester' is sometimes used as a synonym for a 'term', as in a 'summer semester'.

A 'trimester' is literally a three-month period (from the Latin meaning "three-monthly"), but the modern academic term evolved out of the semester system of academic calendaring. To wit, whereas the semester system divides the academic calendar into two portions (called 'semesters'), with or without an optional summer session; the trimester system divides the academic year into three portions. At the University of Michigan
University of Michigan
The University of Michigan is a public research university located in Ann Arbor, Michigan in the United States. It is the state's oldest university and the flagship campus of the University of Michigan...

, for example, the Fall trimester (informally still called 'semester') operates from September through December; the Winter trimester runs from January through April; and the Spring-Summer trimester operates from May through August, as two half-trimesters. Most Spring-Summer classes either meet double-time for 7 - 8 weeks in May and June or double-time/double-plus-time for 6 - 8 weeks in July and August (with summer half-term classes sometimes starting in the last week of June).

In some jurisdictions, "trimester" is used in its original meaning to indicate a quarter system (since three months is exactly a quarter of a year), or a variation of it.

A 'quarter' or 'quadmester' system treats the summer term on an equal footing with the other terms. It divides the academic year into four quarters, each of which is usually 12 weeks long. Three of the four quarters - Fall, Winter and Spring, operating from September through June or August through May, are thus equivalent to two 18-week semesters. Thus, when American academic universities convert academic credits between the semester/trimester and quarter systems, 36 quarter hours convert to 24 semester hours (2/3 conversion factor) while 36 semester hours convert to 54 quarter hours (3/2 conversion factor).

Australia



In most of Australia, the school year lasts from late January to early December, and is split into four terms:
  • Term 1 starts in late January or early February and ends one or two weeks before Easter
    Easter
    Easter is the central feast in the Christian liturgical year. According to the Canonical gospels, Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion. His resurrection is celebrated on Easter Day or Easter Sunday...

  • Term 2 starts one or two weeks after Easter and ends in late June.
  • Term 3 starts in mid-July and ends mid-September.
  • Term 4 starts in early October and ends mid-December.


The exact dates vary from year to year, as well as between states, and for public and private school
Private school
Private schools, also known as independent schools or nonstate schools, are not administered by local, state or national governments; thus, they retain the right to select their students and are funded in whole or in part by charging their students' tuition, rather than relying on mandatory...

. In Tasmania
Tasmania
Tasmania is an Australian island and state. It is south of the continent, separated by Bass Strait. The state includes the island of Tasmania—the 26th largest island in the world—and the surrounding islands. The state has a population of 507,626 , of whom almost half reside in the greater Hobart...

, the school year is split into three terms, the first one being the longest and including an extended Easter holiday. The terms are separated by a holiday lasting two weeks with the Christmas/Summer holidays between the end of a school year and the start of another lasting six to eight weeks. The following is a link with details on Australian.

Most Australian universities
University
A university is an institution of higher education and research, which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects. A university is an organisation that provides both undergraduate education and postgraduate education...

 have two semesters a year, but Bond University
Bond University
Bond University is a private university located in Robina, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. It is also the first private university established in Australia...

 has three. Many universities offer an optional short summer semester. One recent innovation in Australian higher education has been the establishment of the fully distance–online Open Universities Australia (formerly Open Learning Australia) that offers continuous study opportunities of individual units of study (what are called courses in North America) that can lead to full degree qualifications.

Open Universities Australia operates four 13-week study periods each year. Since students study only part-time and off campus these study periods mesh reasonably easily with existing university offerings based on semesters. In some cases, a "semester" is referred to as a "Study Period", for example by Centrelink.

Austria



The Austrian school year for primary and secondary schools is split into two terms, the first one starts on the first Monday in September in the states of Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

, Lower Austria
Lower Austria
Lower Austria is the northeasternmost state of the nine states in Austria. The capital of Lower Austria since 1986 is Sankt Pölten, the most recently designated capital town in Austria. The capital of Lower Austria had formerly been Vienna, even though Vienna is not officially part of Lower Austria...

 and Burgenland
Burgenland
Burgenland is the easternmost and least populous state or Land of Austria. It consists of two Statutarstädte and seven districts with in total 171 municipalities. It is 166 km long from north to south but much narrower from west to east...

 and on the second Monday of September in Upper Austria
Upper Austria
Upper Austria is one of the nine states or Bundesländer of Austria. Its capital is Linz. Upper Austria borders on Germany and the Czech Republic, as well as on the other Austrian states of Lower Austria, Styria, and Salzburg...

, Salzburg
Salzburg
-Population development:In 1935, the population significantly increased when Salzburg absorbed adjacent municipalities. After World War II, numerous refugees found a new home in the city. New residential space was created for American soldiers of the postwar Occupation, and could be used for...

, Styria, Carinthia
Carinthia (state)
Carinthia is the southernmost Austrian state or Land. Situated within the Eastern Alps it is chiefly noted for its mountains and lakes.The main language is German. Its regional dialects belong to the Southern Austro-Bavarian group...

, Tyrol and Vorarlberg
Vorarlberg
Vorarlberg is the westernmost federal-state of Austria. Although it is the second smallest in terms of area and population , it borders three countries: Germany , Switzerland and Liechtenstein...

. Most schools have holidays between the national holiday on October 26 and All Souls Day on November 2, but those are unofficial holidays not observed by all schools in Austria. Christmas holidays start on December 24 and end on the first weekday after January 6. The first term ends in Vienna and Lower Austria on the first Friday of February, in Burgenland, Carinthia, Salzburg, Tyrol and Vorarlberg on the second Friday of February and in Upper Austria and Styria on the third Friday of February.

There is a one-week break between the two terms. In the second term there are the Easter
Easter
Easter is the central feast in the Christian liturgical year. According to the Canonical gospels, Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion. His resurrection is celebrated on Easter Day or Easter Sunday...

 holidays, the Mayday Holiday on May 1 and the long weekend
Long weekend
Long weekend is a term used in Western countries to denote a weekend that is at least three days long , due to a holiday falling on either the Friday or Monday....

s of Pentecost
Pentecost
Pentecost is a prominent feast in the calendar of Ancient Israel celebrating the giving of the Law on Sinai, and also later in the Christian liturgical year commemorating the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples of Christ after the Resurrection of Jesus...

, Ascension and Corpus Christi
Corpus Christi (feast)
Corpus Christi is a Latin Rite solemnity, now designated the solemnity of The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ . It is also celebrated in some Anglican, Lutheran and Old Catholic Churches. Like Trinity Sunday and the Solemnity of Christ the King, it does not commemorate a particular event in...

. The school year ends in Vienna, Lower Austria and Burgenland on the last Friday of June, in Upper Austria, Styria, Carinthia, Salzburg, Tyrol and Vorarlberg on the first Friday in July.

Barbados



The Barbadian school year is fashioned after the British system, and as such, it follows a scheduling with three terms per school year.

The first term begins the second week of September and continues for 15 weeks, adjourning in mid-December, excluding one week for midterm break in mid-October. The second term begins on the first week of January and continues for 12 weeks, ending at the end of March. The third term begins mid-April and continues for 11 weeks until the end of June.

The School Holiday period is 9 to 10 weeks long from the end of June until the first week of September.

Brazil


In Brazil, due to the Law of Directives and Bases of Brazilian Education, the academic year must have 200 days, both at schools and at universities. The school year usually begins during the first week of February. There is a 3-week long winter break in July. The Brazilian school year ends in December, summer in Brazil.

In Brazilian universities academic terms are defined as periods or semesters (período, semestre). The majority of academic degrees courses are 8 semesters (four-year) long or 10 semesters (five-year) long.

Bangladesh


In Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

, the kindergarten, elementary and schools follow the semester system. Most of the public universities follow a yearly system except universities that teach Applied Sciences. Most engineering and agricultural universities follow a semester system with each semester being six months long. Engineering universities describe the academic year system as YEAR-X(1-4), TERM-X(1-4). Most of the private universities follow a trimester system though there are a few exceptions that follow a semester system.

Some of the universities using a two-semester system (using "Term 1" and "Term 2" designations) include: Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology
Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology
Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology is a private technical university located in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The university was founded by the Dhaka Ahsania Mission in 1995. Dhaka Ahsania Mission is a non-profit voluntary organization in Bangladesh...

, Bangladesh Agriculture University, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology
Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology
Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology or BUET as it is commonly known, is a Public Engineering University in Bangladesh. It is the oldest Engineering institution in the region, and is regarded as the best university for technological education in Bangladesh...

, Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology, International Islamic University Chittagong, Khulna University(KU), Khulna University of Engineering and Technology, Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology, and Shahjalal University of Science and Technology
Shahjalal University of Science and Technology
Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, commonly known by its initials SUST, is a state supported public research university located in Sylhet, Bangladesh. It is the first specialized Science & technology University of the country. The medium of instructions is English...

.

Some of the universities follow a trimester system (using "Spring", "Summer" and "Fall" designations) include: American International University - Bangladesh, BRAC University
BRAC University
BRAC University is a private university in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The university was established by BRAC in 2001 under the Private University Act 1992. BRAC University had its first convocation in January 2006...

, East West University
East West University
East West University is a private university located in Dhaka, Bangladesh. It was established in 1996 by the Private University Act, 1992 by Dr. Mohammed Farashuddin...

, North South University
North South University
North South University or NSU is the first government-approved private university of Bangladesh. The university, where the language of instruction is English, offers a number of undergraduate and masters degrees in the fields of Business Administration, Computer Science, Electrical and...

, Presidency University
Presidency University
Presidency University is a private university located in Gulshan and Banani , Dhaka, Bangladesh. Presidency University has three schools containing four departments with a strong emphasis on research-based education. It is a new university, established in 2003, and currently more than 1,500...

, and United International University
United International University
United International University or is a private university located in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The university established in 2003 under the Private University Act. It is established with the support of United Group...

.

Belgium


In Belgium, kindergarten, elementary and secondary schools begin on September 1 and end on June 30.

Schools also take breaks/holidays:
  • Autumn break: One week at the start of November
  • Christmas break Two weeks around Christmas
    Christmas
    Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual holiday generally celebrated on December 25 by billions of people around the world. It is a Christian feast that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, liturgically closing the Advent season and initiating the season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days...

     and New Year
    New Year
    The New Year is the day that marks the time of the beginning of a new calendar year, and is the day on which the year count of the specific calendar used is incremented. For many cultures, the event is celebrated in some manner....

  • Carnival break One week in February.
  • Easter break Two weeks around Easter
    Easter
    Easter is the central feast in the Christian liturgical year. According to the Canonical gospels, Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion. His resurrection is celebrated on Easter Day or Easter Sunday...

    .
  • Summer break is always the break from the 1st of July until the 31st of August
  • Ascension break Thursday and Friday in early May to mid June
  • Labor Day May 1
  • Whitsun Monday in mid May to late June
  • Armistice Day November 11


Universities and colleges in Belgium use the semester system, dividing the academic year in two equal parts of thirteen weeks of courses. Universities start the first semester in the third week of September, and no 'autumn break'. Colleges start one week earlier, in the second week of September, giving them right to the 'autumn break' of one week. After 13 weeks of courses the 'Christmas break' starts (around December 20), which is used to study for the 3–4 weeks of examinations in January.

After these examinations the universities have one week of vacation, the so-called 'semestrial vacation', while the colleges start the classes of the second semester at the end of January, immediately after the examinations, which week they reclaim with the 'spring break' at the end of February, which the universities do not have. The universities start the second semester in the beginning of February.

Both universities and colleges have the 'Easter break', which again is used to study for the examinations in June. After Easter, the classes start again until the end of May, followed by four weeks of examinations in June, after which three months of vacation is given. The students who failed in passing some of the courses in their curriculum in January and June, the so-called 'first session', have to do the examinations again in the second session at the end of August.

Canada


In Canada the school year for elementary and high school consists of 178 to 200 days, depending on jurisdiction, but several days may be deducted from this total for professional development and administrative duties, resulting in approximately 187 teaching days per year for most jurisdictions. Elementary students receive approximately 950 hours of instruction and secondary students receive approximately 1000 hours per year.

Generally in Canada, high school
High school
High school is a term used in parts of the English speaking world to describe institutions which provide all or part of secondary education. The term is often incorporated into the name of such institutions....

s run on a two-semester arrangement, also known as fall and spring semester, the first semester starting from September to mid-January and the second running from early February until June. The semesters are often divided into two terms each. Some schools in Canada run on a trimester system, the first running from September to January, the second from January to March, and the third from March until June. The trimester is more common in elementary and middle schools (Kindergarten - Grade 8) than in high schools (Grade 9 - Grade 12).
Most universities
Universities in Canada
Universities in Canada are established and operate under provincial government charters. Most schools are members of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada...

 and colleges usually run from early September until the end of April or early May. Often, this winter session is split into two terms running September to December and January to April. Various forms of summer studies may be offered May to August. Some, such as Simon Fraser University
Simon Fraser University
Simon Fraser University is a Canadian public research university in British Columbia with its main campus on Burnaby Mountain in Burnaby, and satellite campuses in Vancouver and Surrey. The main campus in Burnaby, located from downtown Vancouver, was established in 1965 and has more than 34,000...

, run a full tri-semester system, providing full courses during summer. There are a few school boards in Canada experimenting with year-round schooling. http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/general/list/calendar/holidaye.html
http://www.aucc.ca/index_e.html

Chile


In elementary school, high school, as well as in universities, Chilean education is divided into two semesters. The first one starts late February or early March and lasts until late June and the second starts in early August and finishes in mid-December; also, some universities offer a summer period from early January to mid-February but just for exceptional courses.
These semesters have breaks for public festivities, such as Easter (approx. one week in April), independence commemoration (one or two weeks in September) and some public holidays like labour day, amongst others.

China


In People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

, all schools including elementary, middle and high schools, colleges and universities have two semesters, the first from September to January, and the other from February or March, depending on the date of Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year – often called Chinese Lunar New Year although it actually is lunisolar – is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. It is an all East and South-East-Asia celebration...

 of that year, to July.

Czech Republic


In the elementary and high schools in the Czech Republic
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

, the school year usually runs from September 1 to June 30 of the following year.

It is divided into two semesters with breaks on public holidays such as Independence day (October 28, two days break), Christmas (7 – 10 days break), Spring break (1 week break), Easter (3 days break on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Monday) and finally Labour day (May 1) and Liberation day (May 8). After the end of school year on June 30, the Summer holidays follow till September 1 when a new school year starts. Sole exception to this is the final year at high schools, which ends with Graduation of students at the end of May.
The start and end for every day is usually around 8:00 am to 4:00 pm in most schools.

More is to be found in article Education in the Czech Republic
Education in the Czech Republic
Education in the Czech Republic is free and compulsory from ages 6 to 15. In 1996, the gross primary enrollment rate was 104 percent, and in 1995, the net primary enrollment rate was 86.9 percent. Primary school attendance rates were unavailable for the Czech Republic as of 2001...

.

Denmark


In schools in Denmark
Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

, the school year runs from August to June. In universities, the academic year runs from around September 1 to July 1, and is often divided into an autumn semester (with January set aside for exams) and a spring semester (with June set aside for exams). Since 2004, some Danish universities and faculties divide the academic year into four quarters, each of which may consist of eight weeks and an exam week, and being separated from the next quarter by a one-week break.

Estonia


In Estonia
Estonia
Estonia , officially the Republic of Estonia , is a state in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia , and to the east by Lake Peipsi and the Russian Federation . Across the Baltic Sea lies...

, elementary and high schools begin on 1 September and end in the beginning of June. Universities start on the first Monday of September and usually end in the middle of May or in the beginning of June; though in reality, exam periods may continue until the end of June (e.g. University of Tartu).

Estonian Ministry of Education and Research

Ethiopia


In Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

, almost all elementary, secondary, and college classes are conducted on a two-semester timetable. The first semester of the year is from mid September to late January or mid February. The second semester usually begins some two weeks after the end of the first and ends in late May or mid June.

Finland


In the elementary and secondary schools and college, the academic year is divided in semesters. The autumn semester begins in mid August and is suspended a few days before Christmas. The classes continue after the Epiphany with the spring semester which finishes at the beginning of June.

France


In primary and secondary schools, the school year begins the first Monday or Tuesday of September. The school year is divided into trimesters. The first from September to January, the second from January to April, and the third is from Apirl to July. There are the Autumn Holidays beginning on the week of All Saint's Day. They last about a week-and-a-half from midday Saturday before All Saint's Day to the Second Wednesday of holidays. The Christmas Holidays are from the Saturday before Christmas to the first Monday or Tuesday after the New Year. The second term begins and the Winter Holidays are two weeks in February depending on region. Easter Holidays are two weeks in April depending on region. The thrid term begins and end in early July. There is only a half week of school in July.

The school day begins around 8:30 am and ends around 11:30 am and begin again at 1:00 pm or 1:30 pm and end at 4:30 pm. On Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, they have a full day. On Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday, they don't go to school. On Wednesday, they normally go to Catholic School. Normally, French Kids went to school on Saturday, but since September 2008, it changed to the four-day week. They also have holidays for Veteran's Day on November 11th, Europe Day on May 8th, Whit Monday, Ascension Day, May Day on May 1st, and or Good Friday and Easter Monday.

Schools


The school year in Germany begins on the first of August and ends on the 31st of July, just as in the majority of European countries, but this fact is more noticeable because the summer break is much shorter (only 6 weeks) than in most other countries (with up to 3 months) and because the summer vacation starts in a different week by state (there are 16 federal states (including Berlin
Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

, Hamburg
Hamburg
-History:The first historic name for the city was, according to Claudius Ptolemy's reports, Treva.But the city takes its modern name, Hamburg, from the first permanent building on the site, a castle whose construction was ordered by the Emperor Charlemagne in AD 808...

 and Bremen
Bremen
The City Municipality of Bremen is a Hanseatic city in northwestern Germany. A commercial and industrial city with a major port on the river Weser, Bremen is part of the Bremen-Oldenburg metropolitan area . Bremen is the second most populous city in North Germany and tenth in Germany.Bremen is...

)). The school year includes four to six breaks/holidays:
  • Christmas Break: Two weeks around Christmas
    Christmas
    Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual holiday generally celebrated on December 25 by billions of people around the world. It is a Christian feast that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, liturgically closing the Advent season and initiating the season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days...

     and New Year
    New Year
    The New Year is the day that marks the time of the beginning of a new calendar year, and is the day on which the year count of the specific calendar used is incremented. For many cultures, the event is celebrated in some manner....

  • Carnival Break: One week or two weeks (only in a few states) of February or the beginning of March.
  • Easter Break: Two weeks of March / April
  • Whitsun Break: About one week around Whitsun
  • Summer Break: Six weeks, may start as early as mid June (then school starts again in early August in this state) or as late as in the very end of July (then school starts again only in mid September in that state). On the hallig
    Hallig
    The Halligen are ten small German islands without protective dikes in the North Frisian Islands on Schleswig-Holstein's Wadden Sea-North Sea coast in the district of Nordfriesland....

    s (North Sea islands that are only islands for part of each day, when there is flood) the summer vacations are five weeks.
  • Autumn Break: One week or two weeks in October/November


Due to Germany's federal structure, all breaks may differ depending on the state. The exact dates for the beginning and the end of school breaks are kept different state by state and changed every year. This is meant to keep holiday traffic as low as possible.

The school year is divided into two parts (September - February & February - July). There is not necessarily any break between those two parts, but pupils get a semi-year school report (it only displays their current level and is not relevant for promotion).

Universities


German universities run two semesters. The Wintersemester, during which most students start university, goes from the 1st of October till the 31st of March, with lectures starting around the 15th of October and lasting 14 weeks. There is a two-week break around Christmas and New Year (which is not counted in the 14 weeks). The Sommersemester consequently goes from the 1st of April till the 30th of September with lectures starting some time after Easter and lasting 12 weeks. The two lecture-free periods of 12 to 14 weeks between the semesters are for taking exams, doing internships, lab courses and employment.

The University of Mannheim
University of Mannheim
The University of Mannheim is one of the younger German universities. It offers Bachelor, Master, and PhD degrees.The University is mainly located in Mannheim’s palace the largest baroque palace in Germany. The whole city center of Mannheim is aligned symmetrically to the palace.About 800 scholars...

 changed their schedule to conform with US standards in Fall of 2006. The semesters there are now from August 1 to January 31 (Herbst-/Wintersemester) and from February 1 to July 31 (Frühjahrs-/Sommersemester).

Universities for Applied Sciences


"Fachhochschulen" start both semester one month earlier than the universities.

Vocational-cooperative universities


"Berufsakademien" have four quarters, January to March and so on. In alternating quarters the students attend the university and intern at the employer (the latter being the "Praxisphase"). The number of lessons per week is significantly higher than at normal universities (equivalent to a full-time job) and the exams cannot be during the "free time" of the year, as that time is spent in the company. Vacation is given according to labor laws, i.e. half of 20–30 days (because only half of the year is worked).

Guyana


The school year in Guyana usually begins in September and ends in July of the following year. It has three terms: Christmas (First), Easter (Second) and August (Third), with two to three weeks break for Christmas and Easter and six-seven weeks during the August term.

Hong Kong


In Hong Kong, the academic year runs from September to July for most primary and secondary schools. Some secondary schools have three terms, but most have two terms. For universities and other tertiary institutions the academic year usually runs from September or October to April or May, sometimes with an extra summer term roughly from May to July.

Hungary


In the elementary and high schools in Hungary, the school year usually runs from 1 September to 15 June of the next year. These dates may vary if the ones mentioned previously are either Saturday or Sunday. The school year (tanév) is usually split into two semesters (félév). These semesters are also divided, but this division doesn't normally mean exams. However, some schools hold exams this time as well. The first semester runs from September 1 till the middle of January and is divided by the fall vacation, which is around All Saints' Day and lasts for a week. The second semester is closed at the end of the school year. Its division is the Easter holidays, which is just a long weekend. Apart from these vacations and national celebrations, schools often make 'skiing holidays' (síszünet), the date of which varies from the middle of January till February, though some schools hold it in December. Its length also varies from one school to another. The workdays of this vacation are usually held on Saturdays. It is made so that the students of the school who partake in the skiing camp of the school need no verification of absence. In the last school year of secondary education, the examinations of abitur
Abitur
Abitur is a designation used in Germany, Finland and Estonia for final exams that pupils take at the end of their secondary education, usually after 12 or 13 years of schooling, see also for Germany Abitur after twelve years.The Zeugnis der Allgemeinen Hochschulreife, often referred to as...

 (similar to A-level exams in the UK or high school diploma
High school diploma
A high school diploma is a diploma awarded for the completion of high school. In the United States and Canada, it is considered the minimum education required for government jobs and higher education. An equivalent is the GED.-Past diploma styles:...

s in the US) end in July.

Hungarian universities run two semesters. They are typically from the second week of September to the middle of December (őszi félév) and from February to middle of June (tavaszi félév). Both semesters are followed by an examination period. In addition to the break between the semesters in summer, there is typically a break between Christmas and New Year as well. Some universities also have a fall and an Easter vacation.

India


In elementary and high schools, the school year is usually from June to March, while in Universities it is from August to April. There is a mid–year break during summer, usually from the end of May to the start of July in Universities and in elementary and high schools, the vacations range from the beginning of April and lasts up to the end of May. There is also a winter vacation of 2 weeks at the end of the year. However, in the southern states like Karnataka
Karnataka
Karnataka , the land of the Kannadigas, is a state in South West India. It was created on 1 November 1956, with the passing of the States Reorganisation Act and this day is annually celebrated as Karnataka Rajyotsava...

 there will be two breaks, one for Dasara in September/October for 15 days and another for Christmas
Christmas
Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual holiday generally celebrated on December 25 by billions of people around the world. It is a Christian feast that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, liturgically closing the Advent season and initiating the season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days...

 in December which ranges from 7–15 days. A semester system is being implemented in most of the Universities in India as directed by the University Grants Commission.

Kerala University, MG University and Sri Sankara University have reached into a consensus and the other universities are also likely to introduce credit based semester system in Kerala. Delhi University also introduced this system.
Credit based trimester system is chosen by Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge Technologies(RGUKT), Andhrapradesh.'RGUKT also known as APIIIT.

Iran


In Iran, the academic year runs from September to June. Some universities, however, offer a limited number of courses in summer. Students have a three month summer vacation. All schools are closed during Nowruz
Nowruz
Nowrūz is the name of the Iranian New Year in Iranian calendars and the corresponding traditional celebrations. Nowruz is also widely referred to as the Persian New Year....

 from the middle of March till the beginning of April to celebrate the Iranian new year. The first (fall) semester begins on the first day of the Persian Calendar month of Mehr equivalent to the first day of autumn
Autumn
Autumn is one of the four temperate seasons. Autumn marks the transition from summer into winter usually in September or March when the arrival of night becomes noticeably earlier....

 in the Northern Hemisphere
Northern Hemisphere
The Northern Hemisphere is the half of a planet that is north of its equator—the word hemisphere literally means “half sphere”. It is also that half of the celestial sphere north of the celestial equator...

 and ends in January. The second (spring) semester begins in the winter and ends in June. No mid-term break exists in the academic calendar.

Ireland


The primary school year generally runs from the beginning of September till the end of June. There are breaks for Christmas and Easter and two mid-term breaks usually in late October and mid-February. Secondary schools run a similar schedule but break at the end of May for summer holidays (the Junior Certificate
Junior Certificate
The Junior Certificate is an educational qualification awarded in Ireland by the Department of Education to students who have successfully completed the junior cycle of secondary education, and achieved a minimum standard in their Junior Cert. examinations...

 and Leaving Certificate
Leaving Certificate
The Leaving Certificate Examinations , commonly referred to as the Leaving Cert is the final examination in the Irish secondary school system. It takes a minimum of two years preparation, but an optional Transition Year means that for those students it takes place three years after the Junior...

 examinations take place in June). Third–level institutions run a much shorter calendar, generally from mid to late September, sometimes early October, to December for their first semester. The second semester usually runs from January to mid to late May with a break for Easter of up to a month.

The academic term usually lasts for a minimum of 183 days in primary schools and about 168 days in secondary schools.

Public Education


The school year in Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 starts in elementary and high schools on September 1, and ends on June 20 (middle and high schools) or June 30 (elementary schools). There are no fixed holidays of equal length, with breaks occurring on national holidays, usually lasting two or three days. For Jews, there is a nine day break for Sukkot (autumn); a seven day break for Hannukah (in December); and for Passover (spring) the break is 2–3 weeks long. For the Muslim population, breaks are taken for Eid al Adha, Eid al Fitr and end of semester breaks.

The university academic year typically divides into two semesters which start after Sukkot
Sukkot
Sukkot is a Biblical holiday celebrated on the 15th day of the month of Tishrei . It is one of the three biblically mandated festivals Shalosh regalim on which Hebrews were commanded to make a pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem.The holiday lasts seven days...

 (typically mid to late October) and end in June or July. Some academic institutions also enable a third semester in the summer.

The short breaks:
  • Eid al Fitr: the end of Ramadan, three to five day break, according to the lunar calendar (only in islamic schools).
  • Eid al Adha: the end of Hajj, four day break, according to the lunar calendar (only in islamic schools).
  • Rosh Hashanah: three day break, the break in mid-September or late September.
  • Yom Kippur: two days break, the break in late September or early October.
  • Sukkot: 9 day break in October/ November
  • Purim: three day break, the break in late February or early March.
  • Yom Ha'atzmaut: one day break, the break in late April or early May. before day, in Yom Hazikaron
    Yom Hazikaron
    Yom Hazikaron is Israel's official Memorial Day. In 2011, Israel honored the memory of soldiers killed in the line of duty and the civilian casualties too.-Observance:...

     studying only half day.
  • Lag BaOmer: one day break, the break in early May or mid-May.
  • Shavuot: three day break, the break in late May or early June.


The school year in Israel is divided into two semesters:
  • Semester 1: From 1 September to late January or early February.
  • Semester 2: From late January or early February to late June.


The summer break in Israel begins on June 21 (for middle and high schools) or July 1 (for elementary schools). until 2010 this break ends on August 31, but in 2011 decide Israeli ministry of education
Ministry of Education (Israel)
The Israeli Ministry of Education is the branch of government charged with overseeing public education institutions in Israel. The political head of the department is the Minster of Education, currently Gideon Sa'ar....

 to shorten the summer break in one week and the break ends on August 25, but other breaks in the academic term are longer.

Yeshivas


In most Yeshiva
Yeshiva
Yeshiva is a Jewish educational institution that focuses on the study of traditional religious texts, primarily the Talmud and Torah study. Study is usually done through daily shiurim and in study pairs called chavrutas...

s, the year is divided into three periods (terms) called zmanim. Elul
Elul
Elul is the twelfth month of the Jewish civil year and the sixth month of the ecclesiastical year on the Hebrew calendar. It is a summer month of 29 days...

 zman starts from the beginning of the Hebrew month of Elul
Elul
Elul is the twelfth month of the Jewish civil year and the sixth month of the ecclesiastical year on the Hebrew calendar. It is a summer month of 29 days...

 and extends until the end of Yom Kippur
Yom Kippur
Yom Kippur , also known as Day of Atonement, is the holiest and most solemn day of the year for the Jews. Its central themes are atonement and repentance. Jews traditionally observe this holy day with a 25-hour period of fasting and intensive prayer, often spending most of the day in synagogue...

. This is the shortest (approx. six weeks), but most intense semester as it comes before the High Holidays of Rosh Hashanah
Rosh Hashanah
Rosh Hashanah , , is the Jewish New Year. It is the first of the High Holy Days or Yamim Nora'im which occur in the autumn...

 and Yom Kippur
Yom Kippur
Yom Kippur , also known as Day of Atonement, is the holiest and most solemn day of the year for the Jews. Its central themes are atonement and repentance. Jews traditionally observe this holy day with a 25-hour period of fasting and intensive prayer, often spending most of the day in synagogue...

. Winter zman starts after Sukkot
Sukkot
Sukkot is a Biblical holiday celebrated on the 15th day of the month of Tishrei . It is one of the three biblically mandated festivals Shalosh regalim on which Hebrews were commanded to make a pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem.The holiday lasts seven days...

 and lasts until just before Passover
Passover
Passover is a Jewish holiday and festival. It commemorates the story of the Exodus, in which the ancient Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt...

, a duration of five months (six in a Jewish leap year). Summer semester starts after Passover
Passover
Passover is a Jewish holiday and festival. It commemorates the story of the Exodus, in which the ancient Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt...

 and lasts until either the middle of the month of Tammuz or Tisha B'Av
Tisha B'Av
|Av]],") is an annual fast day in Judaism, named for the ninth day of the month of Av in the Hebrew calendar. The fast commemorates the destruction of both the First Temple and Second Temple in Jerusalem, which occurred about 655 years apart, but on the same Hebrew calendar date...

, a duration of about three months. During the interim periods, which are called bein hazmanim (between the terms), students are on vacation.

Japan


In Japan, almost all schools run a three-term school year (trimester system), and most universities and colleges have a semester system. Most schools with a trimester system have a first term from April 1 to mid-July. The exact date of the beginning of the summer break and its duration vary across regions, but commonly the break lasts for about one or two months. The break originated to avoid the heat in summer, so elementary, middle, and high schools in Hokkaidō
Hokkaido
, formerly known as Ezo, Yezo, Yeso, or Yesso, is Japan's second largest island; it is also the largest and northernmost of Japan's 47 prefectural-level subdivisions. The Tsugaru Strait separates Hokkaido from Honshu, although the two islands are connected by the underwater railway Seikan Tunnel...

 and Nagano Prefecture
Nagano Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region of the island of Honshū. The capital is the city of Nagano.- History :Nagano was formerly known as the province of Shinano...

 tend to have a shorter summer break than the rest of schools in Japan.

A second term lasts from early September to late December with a winter break at the end of the year. The term is followed by a third term from early January to early March and a brief spring break lasting several weeks. The graduation ceremony occurs in March, and the enrollment ceremony in early April.

Some universities and colleges accept students in September or October in order to let those students from other semester systems enroll. In recent years a few colleges have begun experimenting with having two semesters instead of the traditional three with the break between two semesters in summer.

Korea, South


In South Korea
South Korea
The Republic of Korea , , is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea and Republic of China to the south...

, the school year is divided into two terms. The first term runs from March 2 usually unless it is the weekend. Until 2011, students go to school on the 1st, 3rd and 5th Saturday, but from 2012, students don't go to school on Saturdays. To mid July with the summer vacation from mid-July to late-August (elementary and secondary schools) and from mid-June to late August (higher education institutions). The second term usually resumes in late August and runs until mid February. The winter break is from late December to early February. There is two weeks of school (elementary and secondary schools) in February. Then there is a two-week-break before the new academic year starts in March. The school hours are (approximately) from: (Grades 1-3) 8:40 am - 12:50pm, (Grades 4-6) 9:00 am - 2:50 pm, (Middle School) 8:30 am - 3:00 pm and (High School) 8:00 am - 3:00 pm. In high school, the older students are sometimes required to stay until 9:00pm or later studying on their own. For the most part, teachers rotate and the students stay in their classroom except for certain classes such as Physical Education, English, and Science labs. School on Saturday ends at noon. They call Saturdays they do not attend school 놀토 (nol-toe), short for 노는 토요일 (no-nun toe-yo-il). It means resting Saturday.

Lithuania


In Lithuania
Lithuania
Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

, elementary and high school begin at 1 September and end in the middle of June.

Schools also take breaks/holidays:
  • Autumn break: One week at start of November
  • Christmas break: Two weeks around Christmas
    Christmas
    Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual holiday generally celebrated on December 25 by billions of people around the world. It is a Christian feast that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, liturgically closing the Advent season and initiating the season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days...

     and New Year
    New Year
    The New Year is the day that marks the time of the beginning of a new calendar year, and is the day on which the year count of the specific calendar used is incremented. For many cultures, the event is celebrated in some manner....

  • Additional break: One week of end of February. Only in primary school and primary classes in elementary schools
  • Easter break: One week around Easter
    Easter
    Easter is the central feast in the Christian liturgical year. According to the Canonical gospels, Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion. His resurrection is celebrated on Easter Day or Easter Sunday...

    .
  • Summer break: From June to September 1

Malaysia


There are two semesters in each primary and secondary school year in Malaysia. The first semester begins in the first week of January and ends in late May the same year. After the mid-term holidays, which lasts for two weeks, the final semester will commence in June and ends in early November. The following school year will start after a two-month long school holiday in November to early January.

The last day of school is generally Friday, with the first day of a long school holiday being Saturday. School holidays normally begin one day earlier in Kelantan
Kelantan
Kelantan is a state of Malaysia. The capital and royal seat is Kota Bharu. The Arabic honorific of the state is Darul Naim, ....

, Kedah
Kedah
Kedah is a state of Malaysia, located in the northwestern part of Peninsular Malaysia. The state covers a total area of over 9,000 km², and it consists of the mainland and Langkawi. The mainland has a relatively flat terrain, which is used to grow rice...

 and Terengganu
Terengganu
Terengganu is a sultanate and constitutive state of federal Malaysia. The state is also known by its Arabic honorific, Darul Iman...

 compared to the rest of the country. This is due to these states observing a Friday-Saturday weekend, instead of the usual Saturday-Sunday weekend.

Schools in Malaysia also take breaks during most national and certain respective state holidays. Government and special schools can apply for additional holidays during Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year – often called Chinese Lunar New Year although it actually is lunisolar – is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. It is an all East and South-East-Asia celebration...

 or Deepavali
Diwali
Diwali or DeepavaliThe name of the festival in various regional languages include:, , , , , , , , , , , , , popularly known as the "festival of lights," is a festival celebrated between mid-October and mid-December for different reasons...

, but they have to replace every school day which is missed, and normally this is done prior to the additional holidays taken.

Malta


The school year is split in two parts. It starts at the end of September and ends at the end of June the following year.

Mexico


The school year in Mexico has a duration of nine months: it starts in September and finishes in the last weeks of June. The calendar is designed by the Secretariat of Public Education (Spanish: Secretaría de Educación Pública, SEP), the government department overseeing public education in Mexico with arrangement of the leaders of the National Educational Workers Union
Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación
The Mexican National Educational Workers Union is the largest trade union in Latin America, with over 1.4 million members. Formed in 1949, the SNTE is composed of local sections in each of Mexico's states...

 (Spanish: Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación, SNTE). All public and private elementary schools under the guidance of the dependence observe this year. In the case of universities, normally the school year starts in the last week of July and is divided in semesters, trimesters or semesters. Christmas Break is usually 3 weeks.

Official web page of SEP

New Zealand


The New Zealand school year runs from the beginning of February to mid-December, and since 1996, has been divided into four terms. By law, all state and state-integrated schools are required to be open for instruction for 380 half-days in a year (390 half-days for schools with only Year 8 students or below), meaning that the start and end of the school year is not nationally fixed to a particular date. The breaks between terms have fixed start and end dates, and the break length is fixed at two weeks.

In general, terms run as follows if Easter falls in early-to-mid-April:
  • Term 1: Beginning of February to Maundy Thursday
    Maundy Thursday
    Maundy Thursday, also known as Holy Thursday, Covenant Thursday, Great & Holy Thursday, and Thursday of Mysteries, is the Christian feast or holy day falling on the Thursday before Easter that commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles as described in the Canonical gospels...

     (day before Good Friday)
  • Term 2: Second Monday following Easter Monday to beginning of July
  • Term 3: Mid-July to mid-September
  • Term 4: Early October to mid-December


If Easter falls in March or late in April, Term 1 usually ends in mid-April and Term 2 begins at the beginning of May. If Easter is in March, a 5-day half-term break then exists, with school ending on Maundy Thursday and resuming on the Wednesday. The start of term two may be delayed if Anzac Day (25 April) falls on the Monday or Tuesday directly following the Easter break.

Private schools are not required to adhere to the Ministry's term structure, but by law they may not be open for instruction on Saturday or Sunday, the ten national public holidays, the school locations's relevant anniversary day, and the Tuesday immediately following Easter Monday.

For senior secondary students (Years 11, 12, and 13) in many state schools, Term 4 ends in mid-November, on the Thursday or Friday before the first NCEA
National Certificate of Educational Achievement
The National Certificate of Educational Achievement is, since 2004, the official secondary school qualification in New Zealand.It has three levels, corresponding to the levels within the National Qualifications Framework, and these are generally studied in each of the three final years of...

 external examinations begin. Officially, however, the term still does not end until mid-December.

Oman


The school year in Oman
Oman
Oman , officially called the Sultanate of Oman , is an Arab state in southwest Asia on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the...

 is divided into two semesters. The first starts in early September and runs to early/mid January depending on the level. The second semester runs from early February to late May Usually there are exams at the end of each semester. Students get a number of breaks throughout the year: National Day on 18 November, New Higri year break, Prophet Mohammed birthday break, Eid Al-Fitr break and Eid Al-Adha break. As most of these breaks depend on the Higri year which is 10 days shorter than the Solar year, there is a gradual change on the date of these events in relation to the school year.

Pakistan


In Pakistan, the school year runs from August to May. Students have a two month summer vacation and a two-week winter vacation. In the northern areas, Kashmir
Pakistan-administered Kashmir
Azad Kashmir borders the Pakistani provinces of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to the west, the Wakhan Corridor of Afghanistan to the north west, the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of People's Republic of China to the north and the Indian-administered state of Jammu and Kashmir, to the east.A...

 and some areas of Balochistan
Balochistan (Pakistan)
Balochistan is one of the four provinces or federating units of Pakistan. With an area of 134,051 mi2 or , it is the largest province of Pakistan, constituting approximately 44% of the total land mass of Pakistan. According to the 1998 population census, Balochistan had a population of...

, where heavy snow paralyzes life in the winter, the schools close for two months and there are two weeks of summer vacation.

Schools and universities are off on national holidays: Pakistan Day (March 23), Independence Day (August 14), Defence of Pakistan Day (September 6), Pakistan Air Force
Pakistan Air Force
The Pakistan Air Force is the leading air arm of the Pakistan Armed Forces and is primarily tasked with the aerial defence of Pakistan with a secondary role of providing air support to the Pakistan Army and the Pakistan Navy. The PAF also has a tertiary role of providing strategic air transport...

 Day (September 7), the anniversaries of the birth (December 25) and death (September 11) of Quaid-e-Azam, Allama Iqbal (November 9) and the birth (July 30) and death (July 8) of Madar-e-Millat.

Labour Day
Labour Day
Labour Day or Labor Day is an annual holiday to celebrate the economic and social achievements of workers. Labour Day has its origins in the labour union movement, specifically the eight-hour day movement, which advocated eight hours for work, eight hours for recreation, and eight hours for...

 (also known as May Day
May Day
May Day on May 1 is an ancient northern hemisphere spring festival and usually a public holiday; it is also a traditional spring holiday in many cultures....

) is also observed in Pakistan on May 1. Both Eid festivals are also public holidays.

In the University of Engineering and Technology Lahore, the holidays are for two and half months during summer.

For the government universities, the students of bachelors are given 1-1.5 month of summer vacation and 1-1.5 weeks of winter vacations.

Philippines


The Philippine school year runs for 10 months, and a school year must be at least 200 days as prescribed by law. The school year begins between the first, second or third weeks of June and lasts until the last week of March.

For primary and secondary schools, an academic year is divided in quarters. Each quarter consists of two and a half months, and there is a one-week break between the second and third quarters. The one-week break commonly coincides with All Saints Day.

For universities and colleges, an academic year is divided into two semesters. The first semester is followed by a break consisting of two to four weeks before the second semester. The semester break for all universities and colleges usually happens between the second week of October to the first week of November. Also private schools use the semester system which has one-week semestral break to coincide with All Saints Day. Other schools such as the De La Salle University
De La Salle University
De La Salle University is a private Lasallian university in Malate, Manila, Philippines. It was founded in 1911 by De La Salle Brothers as the De La Salle College in Paco, Manila with Blimond Pierre serving as its first director...

 and Far Eastern University - East Asia College
Far Eastern University - East Asia College
FEU - East Asia College, formerly known as East Asia College of Information Technology and East Asia Institute of Computer Technology was established in 1992...

 operates under a trimestral system. Classes start in the 4th week of May and ends in the 3rd week of April. Under this system, students are able to finish their academic studies typically a year earlier than students from other universities with a semestral program due to an evenly paced schedule of taught and research subjects for the completion of the degree.
Moreover, Mapua Institute of Technology
Mapúa Institute of Technology
Mapúa Institute of Technology is a private, non-sectarian, Filipino tertiary institute located in Intramuros, Manila and in Makati....

, after being acquired from the Mapua family by the Yuchengco Administration, began using the Quarterm system, spanning eleven weeks a term, which allows their engineering programs to be completed by more than a year ahead of other schools with a semestral program.

In most schools, summer break usually lasts for two months, from the first week of April to the last week of May. Christmas break usually begins in the third week of December, and class resumes the Monday after New Year's Day
New Year's Day
New Year's Day is observed on January 1, the first day of the year on the modern Gregorian calendar as well as the Julian calendar used in ancient Rome...

. Most schools end their school year before the Holy Week
Holy Week
Holy Week in Christianity is the last week of Lent and the week before Easter...

. Commencement ceremonies are often held in late March or early April.

Poland


In Poland, the academic year begins on September 1 and ends on the first Friday after June 18. There is a Christmas
Christmas
Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual holiday generally celebrated on December 25 by billions of people around the world. It is a Christian feast that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, liturgically closing the Advent season and initiating the season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days...

 break in December which lasts until after New Year's Day
New Year's Day
New Year's Day is observed on January 1, the first day of the year on the modern Gregorian calendar as well as the Julian calendar used in ancient Rome...

. There is also a winter holiday break lasting two weeks in January or February but the exact date is different for each province and the dates usually change each year. Winter break is also the dividing line between the two semesters of the school year.

Most universities start their courses on October 1 (at some institutions late September), and ending in January. The first semester of the academic year is commonly referred to as the "winter term". In February or March, the second term (the "summer term") starts. It finishes in June. Each semester is usually 15 or 16 weeks long. After each of them there is an "examination session", when no courses are taught, which lasts up to one month. Summer break starts after the exams and lasts until the start of the next academic year. In September there is an extra examination session during which students can retake failed exams.

Portugal


The school year in Portugal runs from September to June and is divided in three Terms (Períodos, in Portuguese
Portuguese language
Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

):
  • 1st Term: From mid-September until mid-December.
  • 2nd Term: From the beginning of January until Easter
    Easter
    Easter is the central feast in the Christian liturgical year. According to the Canonical gospels, Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion. His resurrection is celebrated on Easter Day or Easter Sunday...

     (March–April).
  • 3rd Term: From the week after Easter
    Easter
    Easter is the central feast in the Christian liturgical year. According to the Canonical gospels, Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion. His resurrection is celebrated on Easter Day or Easter Sunday...

     (April) until the end of June (except for 9th, 11th and 12th grades, which finish early due to exams).


During the school year there are several breaks or holidays (interrupções or férias, in Portuguese
Portuguese language
Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

):
  • Christmas Break: Usually beginning in the 3rd week of December and lasts for two weeks including Christmas
    Christmas
    Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual holiday generally celebrated on December 25 by billions of people around the world. It is a Christian feast that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, liturgically closing the Advent season and initiating the season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days...

     and New Year
    New Year
    The New Year is the day that marks the time of the beginning of a new calendar year, and is the day on which the year count of the specific calendar used is incremented. For many cultures, the event is celebrated in some manner....

     holidays. The 2nd term then begins, often in the first Monday of January.
  • Carnival Break: Three days (Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday) during Carnival
    Carnival
    Carnaval is a festive season which occurs immediately before Lent; the main events are usually during February. Carnaval typically involves a public celebration or parade combining some elements of a circus, mask and public street party...

    . This break used to be one week long but in recent years it has been reduced.
  • Easter Break: Two weeks including Easter
    Easter
    Easter is the central feast in the Christian liturgical year. According to the Canonical gospels, Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion. His resurrection is celebrated on Easter Day or Easter Sunday...

    . It varies form year to year, but it is usually around late March or middle April.
  • Summer Break: Usually known as "Férias Grandes" (Big Holidays) it lasts during the summer from late June to middle September and it separates one school year from another.


Universities and colleges follow a different academic year, which consists of two semesters.

Russia


The school year in Russia traditionally starts on 1 September (The Knowledge Day
Knowledge Day
Knowledge Day , often simply called 1st of September, is the day when the school year traditionally starts in Russia and many other former Soviet republics. This day also marks the end of summer and the beginning of autumn. It has special significance for the incoming class of first graders who...

) and lasts until 25 May, which is also known as The Last School-Bell day for the graduates. The school year is divided into four terms, or 'quarters', separated by one- or two-week holidays (the first week in November, the first two weeks in January, and the last week of March). The school summer holiday lasts three months: June, July, and August.

The academic year at universities also starts on 1 September and usually consists of 42 educational weeks and 10 weeks of holidays. It is divided into two terms. The first term runs from 1 September to 24/25 January (21 weeks, including 3-5-week exams session at the end) followed by a two-week holiday. (25 January, Tatiana Day
Tatiana Day
Tatiana Day is a Russian religious holiday observed on January 25 according to the Gregorian calendar, January 12 according to the Julian. It is named after Saint Tatiana, a Christian martyr in 3rd century Rome during the reign of Emperor Alexander Severus....

is traditionally celebrated as Russian Students Day). The second term runs from 8/9 February - 15/30 June (21 weeks, including 3-5-week exams session) followed by an eight-week summer holiday. Some Russian universities do not use a traditional scheme: they exclude exams sessions, and the academic year is divided in a 2:3 proportion - 17 educational weeks (followed by a two-week holiday) and 25 educational weeks (followed by an eight-week summer holiday).

Schools


The school year coincides with the calendar year, and the first term begins on 2 January (unless it is a public holiday or the weekend). The school year comprises four terms of approximately 10 weeks each.
  • Term 1: January to March (Term 1 holidays: one week)
  • Term 2: March to May (Term 2 holidays: four weeks)
  • Term 3: July to September (Term 3 holidays: one week)
  • Term 4: September to November (Long holidays: seven weeks)


Terms 1 and 2 are known as Semester 1, and terms 3 and 4 as Semester 2. The first year of Junior College begins in February to accommodate the release of the O level results.

International schools in Singapore operate on a different system, often similar to the system in their home countries.

Polytechnics


Polytechnics and universities operate on a different calendar from schools. There are two semesters in a year in polytechnics.
  • Semester 1: April to August (with a break period in June)
  • Semester 2: October to February (with a break period around Christmas)

Universities


The university calendar was influenced by the academic year in India. It has since evolved to match the northern hemisphere calendar more closely.
  • Semester 1: August to December
  • Semester 2: January to May

Slovakia


The school year for elementary, grammar and high schools begins on 2nd of September (1st of September is Constitution Day
Constitution Day
Constitution Day is a holiday to honor the constitution of a country. Constitution Day is often celebrated on the anniversary of the signing, promulgation or adoption of the constitution, or in some cases, to commemorate the change to constitutional monarchy:...

) and ends 30th of June of the following year. The start and end for every day is usually 8:00 am to 3:00 pm in most schools. It is split into two halves, with the first half ending on the last day of January.

Universities starts in second half of September or 1st of October. Academic year consist of 2 semesters (winter /until December/ and summer /until May/).

Slovenia


The school year in Slovenia
Slovenia
Slovenia , officially the Republic of Slovenia , is a country in Central and Southeastern Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north, and also has a small portion of...

 for elementary and grammar schools begins on 1 September and formally ends on 31 August, although classes and exams are finished by 25 June. July and August thus constitute summer holidays. There are also four one-week breaks during the school year, occurring around All Saints Day, between Christmas
Christmas
Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual holiday generally celebrated on December 25 by billions of people around the world. It is a Christian feast that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, liturgically closing the Advent season and initiating the season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days...

 and New Year
New Year
The New Year is the day that marks the time of the beginning of a new calendar year, and is the day on which the year count of the specific calendar used is incremented. For many cultures, the event is celebrated in some manner....

, at the end of February, and around the May Day
May Day
May Day on May 1 is an ancient northern hemisphere spring festival and usually a public holiday; it is also a traditional spring holiday in many cultures....

.

Universities and colleges follow a different academic year. It consists of two semesters—the winter semester starting on 1 October, which ends around 15 January. It is followed by a one-month break, during which students take the exams for subjects they have read in the semester. The summer semester begins on 15 February and lasts until 31 May, followed by the exam period, which ends on 30 June. Students who have not passed the necessary exams have a chance to do so during the autumn exam period in September. Students and faculty are free during in July and August. New classes are held again in October.

South Africa


All South African public schools have a four-term school year as determined by the national Department of Education. Each term is between 10 and 11 weeks long. The terms are roughly structured as follows:

First Term
  • Begins mid-January and ends before Good Friday
    Good Friday
    Good Friday , is a religious holiday observed primarily by Christians commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary. The holiday is observed during Holy Week as part of the Paschal Triduum on the Friday preceding Easter Sunday, and may coincide with the Jewish observance of...

     (Usually in March or April).
  • Followed by the Easter
    Easter
    Easter is the central feast in the Christian liturgical year. According to the Canonical gospels, Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion. His resurrection is celebrated on Easter Day or Easter Sunday...

     Holidays, which usually lasts 10 days.


Second Term
  • Begins mid-April and ends June
  • Followed by the Winter
    Winter
    Winter is the coldest season of the year in temperate climates, between autumn and spring. At the winter solstice, the days are shortest and the nights are longest, with days lengthening as the season progresses after the solstice.-Meteorology:...

     Holidays, which usually lasts 21 days.


Third Term
  • Begins mid-July and ends September
  • Followed by the September Holidays, also sometimes called the Spring Holidays, and usually lasts 10 days.


Fourth Term
  • Begins early October and ends early December
  • Followed by the Christmas
    Christmas
    Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual holiday generally celebrated on December 25 by billions of people around the world. It is a Christian feast that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, liturgically closing the Advent season and initiating the season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days...

     Holidays, also sometimes called the December or Summer Holidays, and usually lasts approximately 40 days.


The academic year is approximately 200 school days in duration and runs from January to December. Private schools follow a similar calendar, but slightly alter it according to their academic and religious needs. The dates of the school year for coastal schools is slightly different to that for inland schools.

The National Education Department proposed a five-week long school break in June–July 2010 for the 2010 Soccer World Cup-hosted in South Africa-to avoid pupil and teacher absenteeism and a chaotic transport system.

South African universities have a year consisting of two semesters, with the first semester running from early February to early June, and the second semester from late July to late November. Each semester consists of twelve or thirteen teaching weeks, interrupted by a one-week short vacation, and followed by three or four weeks of examinations. In the first semester the short vacation often falls around the Easter weekend, while in the second semester it occurs in early September.

Thailand


There are two semesters in the Thai academic year with an optional summer semester. From kindergarten to high school, the first semester opens in mid May and continues until the end of September. The second semester lasts from November until the end of February (or early March). The university academic year is slightly different, lasting from June to October and mid November to mid March.

United Kingdom


The school year in the United Kingdom is generally divided into three terms running from autumn to summer. For state schools, the school year consists of 195 days of which there are 190 teaching days and 5 INSET teacher training days
Inset day
An inset day, originally an acronym for IN-SErvice Training day, and sometimes known as a Baker day, is one of a series of five days in most English, Welsh and Northern Irish schools during term time but on which school sessions are not required to be run, and the pupils do not attend school...

. For independent schools, the school year can be as short as 175 days. The structure of the school year varies between the constituent countries of the United Kingdom with school holiday dates varying between local education authorities.

England and Wales


In England and Wales
Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

, the school year generally runs from early September to mid July of the following year. Most schools operate a three-term school year, each term divided in half by a week-long break known as ‘half term’, and are structured as follows:
  • Autumn term: Early September to mid December (half term: late October)
  • Spring Term: Early January to Easter (half term: mid February)
  • Summer Term
    Summer term
    Summer term is the name of the summer academic term at many British schools and universities and elsewhere in the world.In the UK, 'Summer term' runs from the Easter holiday until the end of the academic year in June or July, and thus corresponds to the Easter term at Cambridge University, and...

    : Easter to mid July (half term: late May/early June)


The terms are separated by two holidays each consisting of approximately two weeks: the Christmas holidays separating the autumn term and spring term and the Easter holidays separating the spring term and the summer term. The period between the end of one school year and the start of the next is known as the summer holidays consisting of six weeks.

Northern Ireland


The school year in Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

 generally runs from early September to late June of the following year. Most schools operate a three-term school year similar to England and Wales; however, there is no half term during summer term due to the province's longer summer holidays. The terms are structured as follows:
  • Autumn Term: September to December (half term: late October)
  • Spring Term: January to Easter (half term: mid-February)
  • Summer Term
    Summer term
    Summer term is the name of the summer academic term at many British schools and universities and elsewhere in the world.In the UK, 'Summer term' runs from the Easter holiday until the end of the academic year in June or July, and thus corresponds to the Easter term at Cambridge University, and...

    : Easter to June


The terms are separated by two holidays each consisting of approximately two weeks: the Christmas Holidays separating the autumn and spring terms, and the Easter holidays separating the spring and summer terms. The summer holidays in Northern Ireland last nine weeks, from the start of July until the end of August, due to the Twelfth of July bank holiday.

Scotland


The school year in Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

 generally runs from middle or late August to late June or early July of the following year (usually in eastern council areas from the third Monday in August to the first Friday in July and in western council areas from the second Monday in August to the last Friday in June). Most schools operate a three-term school year, each term divided in half by a break known as ‘mid-term’, lasting a week or two in October, a few days to a week in February, and a few days in May. The terms are structured as follows:
  • Autumn Term: August to December (mid-term: middle to late October)
  • Spring Term: January to Easter (mid-term: mid-February)
  • Summer Term
    Summer term
    Summer term is the name of the summer academic term at many British schools and universities and elsewhere in the world.In the UK, 'Summer term' runs from the Easter holiday until the end of the academic year in June or July, and thus corresponds to the Easter term at Cambridge University, and...

    : Easter to June or July (mid-term: late May)


The terms are separated by two holidays each consisting of approximately two weeks: the Christmas Holidays separating the autumn and spring terms, and the Easter holidays separating the spring and summer terms. The period between the end of one school year and the start of the next is known as the summer holidays and consists of six or seven weeks.

Alternative arrangements for English and Welsh schools


The academic year was originally designed for the pre-industrial era when all able-bodied young people were needed to help with harvesting over the summer. It is thus designed around a long holiday in July and August, placing the rest of the year into three terms arranged around Christmas and Easter, which constrain things still further. The long terms then require a half-term break to give pupils and teachers time to recharge.

The long summer holiday has often been criticised by educationalists who say that the long breaks delay academic progress. Even a House of Commons Education Select Committee recommended in 1999 that schools switch to a five-term academic year, abolishing the long summer holidays. Each term would be eight weeks long with a two-week break in between terms, and a minimum four-week summer holiday, with no half terms—the idea being that children can keep up momentum for eight weeks without a break. The proposals were introduced at a small number of schools nationally.

In 1999, the Local Government Association
Local Government Association
The Local Government Association is a voluntary lobbying organisation acting as the voice of the local government sector in England and Wales, which seeks to be an authoritative and effective advocate on its behalf....

 set up a commission to look at alternative proposals for a more balanced school year. In partnership with Local Authorities and teachers unions, they were unable to agree to a suitable alternative arrangement for terms, but by 2004 came to an agreement with the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers
National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers
The NASUWT is a trade union representing teachers, including headteachers, throughout the United Kingdom....

 for a standardised arrangement of school terms. Since 2004, around one third of English local authorities have signed up to the proposals which see a standard academic year agreed between the authorities, including slight variations on the traditional schemes, based on the following principles:
  • start the school year on a September date as near as possible to 1 September;
  • equalise teaching and learning blocks (roughly 2×7 and 4×6 weeks);
  • establish a two-week spring break in early April irrespective of the incidence of the Easter bank holiday. (Where the break does not coincide with the bank holiday the date should be, as far as practicable, nationally agreed and as consistent as possible across all local authorities);
  • allow for the possibility of a summer holiday of at least six weeks for those schools which want this length of break.
  • identify and agree annually designated periods of holiday, including the summer holiday, where head teachers are recommended not to arrange teacher days.

Universities


As with many aspects of UK universities, there are a lot of differing practices that use confusingly similar terminology. Many universities run ten-week autumn, spring and summer terms, though some use different names or a semester system, with the new semester beginning halfway through the second term. Many other universities run unevenly lengthened terms, with the autumn term usually the longest. Even within individual institutions practice can vary from year to year to accommodate factors such as the changing date of Easter
Easter
Easter is the central feast in the Christian liturgical year. According to the Canonical gospels, Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion. His resurrection is celebrated on Easter Day or Easter Sunday...

. Some universities also have a "reading week" in which no teaching takes place at all, the equivalent of a school half term. At other universities "reading weeks" are not uniform and may be in different weeks in different faculties, departments, modules or even seminar groups. Some reading weeks cover only seminars whilst lectures continue; others suspend both for the week.
  • Bath
    University of Bath
    The University of Bath is a campus university located in Bath, United Kingdom. It received its Royal Charter in 1966....

    : Semester 1 (October - December with exams in January), Semester 2 (February - April with 3 week Easter break followed by exams until the end of May)
  • University of Birmingham
    University of Birmingham
    The University of Birmingham is a British Redbrick university located in the city of Birmingham, England. It received its royal charter in 1900 as a successor to Birmingham Medical School and Mason Science College . Birmingham was the first Redbrick university to gain a charter and thus...

    : Autumn, Spring and Summer Terms (each eleven weeks)
  • Cambridge
    University of Cambridge
    The University of Cambridge is a public research university located in Cambridge, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest university in both the United Kingdom and the English-speaking world , and the seventh-oldest globally...

    : Michaelmas, Lent, Easter (eight-week terms)
  • Durham
    Durham University
    The University of Durham, commonly known as Durham University, is a university in Durham, England. It was founded by Act of Parliament in 1832 and granted a Royal Charter in 1837...

    : Michaelmas, Epiphany, Easter (ten, nine and nine weeks respectively)
  • King's College London
    King's College London
    King's College London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom and a constituent college of the federal University of London. King's has a claim to being the third oldest university in England, having been founded by King George IV and the Duke of Wellington in 1829, and...

    : Michaelmas, Lent, Summer
  • University of Wales, Lampeter
    University of Wales, Lampeter
    University of Wales, Lampeter is a university in Lampeter, Wales. Founded in 1822 by royal charter, it is the oldest degree awarding institution in Wales and may be the third oldest in England and Wales after Oxford and Cambridge...

    : Michaelmas, Lent, Easter (twelve, ten and eight weeks respectively)
  • Lancaster
    Lancaster University
    Lancaster University, officially The University of Lancaster, is a leading research-intensive British university in Lancaster, Lancashire, England. The university was established by Royal Charter in 1964 and initially based in St Leonard's Gate until moving to a purpose-built 300 acre campus at...

    : Michaelmas Term
    Michaelmas term
    Michaelmas term is the first academic term of the academic years of the following British and Irish universities:*University of Cambridge*University of Oxford*University of St...

    , Lent Term
    Lent term
    Lent term is the name of the spring academic term at the following British universities:*University of Cambridge*Kings College London*London School of Economics and Political Science*Exeter University*University of Lancaster...

    , Summer Term (ten-week terms)
  • London School of Economics
    London School of Economics
    The London School of Economics and Political Science is a public research university specialised in the social sciences located in London, United Kingdom, and a constituent college of the federal University of London...

     (LSE): Michaelmas, Lent, Summer
  • Queen Mary, University of London
    Queen Mary, University of London
    Queen Mary, University of London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom and a constituent college of the federal University of London...

    : Term 1, Term 2, Exam term (twelve-week terms)
  • School of Oriental and African Studies
    School of Oriental and African Studies
    The School of Oriental and African Studies is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom and a constituent college of the University of London...

     (SOAS): Term 1, Term 2, Term 3
  • University of Nottingham
    University of Nottingham
    The University of Nottingham is a public research university based in Nottingham, United Kingdom, with further campuses in Ningbo, China and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia...

    : Autumn, Spring and Summer Terms
  • Oxford
    University of Oxford
    The University of Oxford is a university located in Oxford, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest surviving university in the world and the oldest in the English-speaking world. Although its exact date of foundation is unclear, there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096...

    : Michaelmas, Hilary, Trinity (eight-week terms)
  • St Andrews
    University of St Andrews
    The University of St Andrews, informally referred to as "St Andrews", is the oldest university in Scotland and the third oldest in the English-speaking world after Oxford and Cambridge. The university is situated in the town of St Andrews, Fife, on the east coast of Scotland. It was founded between...

    : Martinmas, Candlemas (Traditionally Martinmas, Candlemas and Whitsunday)
  • University College London
    University College London
    University College London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom and the oldest and largest constituent college of the federal University of London...

     (UCL): First, Second, Third
  • University of Warwick
    University of Warwick
    The University of Warwick is a public research university located in Coventry, United Kingdom...

    : First,Second,Third (each ten weeks,the sixth week of the first and second term is 'Reading Week' for Arts and Social Science students.)
  • University of Kent
    University of Kent
    The University of Kent, previously the University of Kent at Canterbury, is a public research university based in Kent, United Kingdom...

    : Autumn Term, Spring Term, Summer Term (Autumn and Spring are both twelve weeks, whereas the Summer Term is six weeks long and is the exam period.)


Exceptions include the Open University
Open University
The Open University is a distance learning and research university founded by Royal Charter in the United Kingdom...

 and the University of Buckingham
University of Buckingham
The University of Buckingham is an independent, non-sectarian, research and teaching university located in Buckingham, Buckinghamshire, England, on the banks of the River Great Ouse. It was originally founded as Buckingham University College in the 1970s and received its Royal Charter from the...

 where undergraduate courses do not coincide with the academic year used by universities in Britain and elsewhere. Instead, they largely coincide with the calendar year—they typically start in January or February, with examinations in autumn.

In England, academic and judicial institutions traditionally organised their year approximately as follows into four terms:
  • Hilary
    Hilary of Poitiers
    Hilary of Poitiers was Bishop of Poitiers and is a Doctor of the Church. He was sometimes referred to as the "Hammer of the Arians" and the "Athanasius of the West." His name comes from the Latin word for happy or cheerful. His optional memorial in the Roman Catholic calendar of saints is 13...

    : January–April
  • Easter
    Easter
    Easter is the central feast in the Christian liturgical year. According to the Canonical gospels, Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion. His resurrection is celebrated on Easter Day or Easter Sunday...

    : April–May
  • Trinity
    Trinity Sunday
    Trinity Sunday is the first Sunday after Pentecost in the Western Christian liturgical calendar, and the Sunday of Pentecost in Eastern Christianity...

    : June–July
  • Michaelmas
    Michaelmas
    Michaelmas, the feast of Saint Michael the Archangel is a day in the Western Christian calendar which occurs on 29 September...

    : October–December


In Scotland, academic and judicial institutions traditionally organised their year into four terms:
  • Candlemas: 2 February, Candlemas, which fell forty days after Christmas, marked the presentation of the infant Jesus in the temple and the purification of the Virgin Mary.
  • Whitsunday: originally a moveable term day, coming the seventh Sunday after Easter, was fixed in Scotland at 15 May in 1693. Whitsunday was originally the feast of Pentecost, around which a great many christenings would occur, so it became associated with the color white.
  • Lammas Day: 1 August, feast of St. Peter ad Vincula was a corruption of loaf-mass, the Sunday on which the first fruits of harvest were offered, first corn ground, and first loaf made. In Scotland it was associated with hand-fasting and some fairs on this day were called handfasting fairs. (Originally synonymous with betrothal, handfasting became a contract binding a man and woman to live together for a year and a day before they decided on permanent marriage.)
  • Martinmas: 11 November, was known as St. Martin in Winter or St. Martin of Tours to distinguish this from another feast of St. Martin in July.


(Specific dates varied between institutions, and all except Michaelmas were determined by the date of Easter.)

Over time, Cambridge
University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge is a public research university located in Cambridge, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest university in both the United Kingdom and the English-speaking world , and the seventh-oldest globally...

 dropped Trinity term and renamed Hilary to Lent, Oxford
University of Oxford
The University of Oxford is a university located in Oxford, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest surviving university in the world and the oldest in the English-speaking world. Although its exact date of foundation is unclear, there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096...

 also dropped Trinity term and renamed Easter term as 'Trinity' thus establishing the three-term academic year.

Primary and secondary schools


In the United States, the academic year for most K–12 institutions typically consists of two 18-week semesters, each divided into two nine-week marking periods (or quarters) or three six-week marking periods, and typically constituting 180 instructional days. An instructional week is five instructional days, measured Monday–Friday at most public and private schools; Sunday–Thursday at some Jewish private schools; Saturday–Wednesday or Sunday–Thursday at Muslim private schools; and so on. Grades are usually reported per marking period, but major examinations are given per semester or per year.

The traditional start date for the school year has been the first Tuesday in September (the day after Labor Day
Labor Day
Labor Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the first Monday in September that celebrates the economic and social contributions of workers.-History:...

). Though some schools still keep this tradition, many schools now start in the last two weeks of August and some schools (especially private ones) may start as late as the end of September or the first week in October. There are also some schools, especially in the southern tier of the United States, that begin at the end of July and early August. The school year ends 42 instructional weeks after it begins. Also, some schools are now moving to the first Wednesday in September (usually two days after Labor Day, unless it falls on September 1 or 2) to allow a short week as students adjust to being in school again.

School holidays, which are not counted as instructional days, typically include Labor Day, Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving (United States)
Thanksgiving, or Thanksgiving Day, is a holiday celebrated in the United States on the fourth Thursday in November. It has officially been an annual tradition since 1863, when, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of thanksgiving to be celebrated on Thursday,...

 and Thanksgiving Friday (two days although many systems take the Wednesday and/or the following Monday off as well), a winter break beginning on or before Christmas Eve
Christmas Eve
Christmas Eve refers to the evening or entire day preceding Christmas Day, a widely celebrated festival commemorating the birth of Jesus of Nazareth that takes place on December 25...

 through the day after New Year's Day
New Year's Day
New Year's Day is observed on January 1, the first day of the year on the modern Gregorian calendar as well as the Julian calendar used in ancient Rome...

 (about 10 days), Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Presidents' Day
Presidents' Day
Presidents Day may refer to:* Presidents' Day , a holiday in Botswana on July 19* Presidents Day , a federal holiday in the United States on the third Monday of February...

, spring break during the Western Christian
Western Christianity
Western Christianity is a term used to include the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church and groups historically derivative thereof, including the churches of the Anglican and Protestant traditions, which share common attributes that can be traced back to their medieval heritage...

 Holy Week
Holy Week
Holy Week in Christianity is the last week of Lent and the week before Easter...

 and sometimes the day after Easter
Easter
Easter is the central feast in the Christian liturgical year. According to the Canonical gospels, Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion. His resurrection is celebrated on Easter Day or Easter Sunday...

 (five or six days), and Memorial Day. Some schools also observe one or more of Columbus Day
Columbus Day
Many countries in the New World and elsewhere celebrate the anniversary of Christopher Columbus's arrival in the Americas, which occurred on October 12, 1492, as an official holiday...

, Veteran's Day, Lincoln's Birthday
Lincoln's Birthday
Lincoln's Birthday is a legal holiday in some U.S. states including California, Connecticut, Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, and Indiana. It is observed on the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth on February 12, 1809....

, and other state or local holidays. Some schools have additional holidays for students that are workdays for the staff, such as parent–teacher conference days. The aggregate of school holidays typically amounts to 20 days, so an academic year that starts the last week of August or first week of September will typically finish the second or third week of June. Schools that start in July or early August end in middle to late May.

Community colleges


Many community colleges originated as extensions of the primary and secondary school system. These colleges often continue to follow the K-12 schedule.

Collegiate calendars


Three calendar systems are used by most American colleges and universities: quarter system
Academic quarter (year division)
An academic quarter refers to the division of an academic year into four parts, found in a minority of universities in the United States and in some European and Asian countries.-Background and trends:...

, semester system, and trimester system. These are ways the calendar year, measured September–August or August–August, is organized into a formal academic year. Some schools, particularly some business schools and community colleges, use the minimester or mini-semester system.

The quarter system divides the calendar year into four quarters, three of which constitute a complete academic year. Quarters are typically 10 weeks long so that three quarters amount to 30 weeks of instruction. Approximately 20% of universities are on the quarter system. Most colleges that use the quarter system have a fall quarter from late September to mid-December, a winter quarter from early January to mid-March, a spring quarter from late March or early April to mid-June, and an optional summer session.

The semester system divides the calendar year into two semesters of 15 weeks each, plus summer sessions of varying lengths. The two semesters together constitute 30 weeks of instruction, so that three academic quarters equal two academic semesters. Thus, academic credit earned in quarter hours converts to semester hours at 2/3 of its value, while credit earned in semester hours converts to quarter hours at 3/2 of its value. Put another way, 3 quarter hours is 2 semester hours. Most universities on the semester system have a fall semester from late August to mid-December, a spring/winter semester from early or mid-January to early or mid-May, and an optional summer session.

In practice, the average quarter course is four or five units and the average semester course is three units, so a full-time student graduating in four years would take five courses per semester and three or four courses per quarter.

Some colleges and universities have a 4-1-4 system, which divides the year into two four-month terms (September to December and February to May) as well as a single one-month term in January in which students can do independent study, study abroad, internships, activities or focus on one or two classes. The one-month term is sometimes called a mini-mester, winter session, interterm/interim or J-term. Examples of schools using this system include Whittier College
Whittier College
Whittier College is a private liberal arts college in Whittier, California. As of January 2009, the college has approximately 1540 enrolled students.-Overview:...

, Williams College
Williams College
Williams College is a private liberal arts college located in Williamstown, Massachusetts, United States. It was established in 1793 with funds from the estate of Ephraim Williams. Originally a men's college, Williams became co-educational in 1970. Fraternities were also phased out during this...

, Bethany College in West Virginia, Berea College
Berea College
Berea College is a liberal arts work college in Berea, Kentucky , founded in 1855. Current full-time enrollment is 1,514 students...

, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a private research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. MIT has five schools and one college, containing a total of 32 academic departments, with a strong emphasis on scientific and technological education and research.Founded in 1861 in...

, New College of Florida
New College of Florida
New College of Florida is a public liberal arts college located in Sarasota, Florida. It was founded originally as a private institution and is now an autonomous honors college of the State University System of Florida.-History:...

, Calvin College
Calvin College
Calvin College is a comprehensive liberal arts college located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Founded in 1876, Calvin College is an educational institution of the Christian Reformed Church and stands in the Reformed tradition of Protestantism...

, Augustana College (Illinois)
Augustana College (Illinois)
Augustana College is a private liberal arts college located in Rock Island, Illinois, United States. The college enrolls approximately 2,500 students. Covering of hilly, wooded land, Augustana is adjacent to the Mississippi River...

 Gustavus Adolphus College
Gustavus Adolphus College
Gustavus Adolphus College is a private liberal arts college affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America located in St. Peter, Minnesota, United States. A coeducational, four-year, residential institution, it was founded in 1862 by Swedish Americans. To this day the school is firmly...

, Linfield College
Linfield College
Linfield College is an American private institution of higher learning located in McMinnville, Oregon, United States. As a four-year, undergraduate, liberal arts and sciences college with a campus in Portland, Oregon, it also has an adult degree program located in eight communities throughout the...

, Luther College
Luther College (Iowa)
Luther College is a four-year, residential liberal arts institution of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, located in Decorah, Iowa, USA...

, Oberlin College
Oberlin College
Oberlin College is a private liberal arts college in Oberlin, Ohio, noteworthy for having been the first American institution of higher learning to regularly admit female and black students. Connected to the college is the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, the oldest continuously operating...

, Middlebury College
Middlebury College
Middlebury College is a private liberal arts college located in Middlebury, Vermont, USA. Founded in 1800, it is one of the oldest liberal arts colleges in the United States. Drawing 2,400 undergraduates from all 50 United States and over 70 countries, Middlebury offers 44 majors in the arts,...

, Erskine College
Erskine College
Erskine College is a four year, Christian liberal arts college located in Due West, South Carolina.-Early history:Established in 1839 by the Associate Reformed Synod of the South as an academy for men, Erskine College became the first four year, church-related college in South Carolina...

, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Eckerd College
Eckerd College
Eckerd College is a private 4-year coeducational liberal arts college at the southernmost tip of St. Petersburg, Florida, in the Tampa Bay metropolitan area. The college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.- Campus :...

, Wofford College
Wofford College
Established in 1854 and related to the United Methodist Church, Wofford College is an independent, Phi Beta Kappa liberal arts college of 1,525 students located in downtown Spartanburg, South Carolina, United States. The historic campus is recognized as a national arboretum and features “The...

, Austin College
Austin College
Austin College is a private liberal arts college affiliated by covenant relationship with the Presbyterian Church and located in Sherman, Texas, about 60 miles North of Dallas....

, Saint Olaf College, Samford University
Samford University
Samford University, founded as Howard College is a private, coeducational, Alabama Baptist Convention-affiliated university located in Homewood, a suburb of Birmingham, Alabama, United States. It includes the , Cumberland School of Law, McWhorter School of Pharmacy, Brock School of Business, Ida V....

, Hofstra University
Hofstra University
Hofstra University is a private, nonsectarian institution of higher learning located in the Village of Hempstead, New York, United States, about east of New York City: less than an hour away by train or car...

, University of Delaware
University of Delaware
The university is organized into seven colleges:* College of Agriculture and Natural Resources* College of Arts and Sciences* Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics* College of Earth, Ocean and Environment* College of Education and Human Development...

, Saint Mary's College of California
Saint Mary's College of California
Saint Mary's College of California is a private, coeducational college located in Moraga, California, United States, a small suburban community about east of Oakland and 20 miles east of San Francisco. It has a 420-acre campus in the Moraga hills. It is affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church...

, Colby College
Colby College
Colby College is a private liberal arts college located on Mayflower Hill in Waterville, Maine. Founded in 1813, it is the 12th-oldest independent liberal arts college in the United States...

, Chapman University
Chapman University
Chapman University is a private, non-profit university located in Orange, California affiliated with the Christian Church . Known for its blend of liberal arts and professional programs, Chapman University encompasses seven schools and colleges: Lawrence and Kristina Dodge College of Film and Media...

, Pacific University
Pacific University
Pacific University is a private university located in Oregon, United States. The first campus began more than 160 years ago and is located about 38 km west of Portland in Forest Grove...

, and Pacific Lutheran University
Pacific Lutheran University
Pacific Lutheran University is located in Parkland, a suburb of Tacoma, Washington. In September 2009, PLU had a student population of 3,582 and approximately 280 full-time faculty...

.

Some schools have a similar format but ordered as 4-4-1, with the short term in May after the conclusion of the spring semester. The term is sometimes called either "Maymester", a portmanteau of "May" and "semester", or "May term". Examples of schools using this system include Bates College
Bates College
Bates College is a highly selective, private liberal arts college located in Lewiston, Maine, in the United States. and was most recently ranked 21st in the nation in the 2011 US News Best Liberal Arts Colleges rankings. The college was founded in 1855 by abolitionists...

, Chatham University, Clemson University
Clemson University
Clemson University is an American public, coeducational, land-grant, sea-grant, research university located in Clemson, South Carolina, United States....

, Elmira College
Elmira College
Elmira College is a coeducational private liberal arts college located in Elmira, in New York State's Southern Tier region.The college is noted as the oldest college still in existence which granted degrees to women that were the equivalent of those given to men...

, Purdue University
Purdue University
Purdue University, located in West Lafayette, Indiana, U.S., is the flagship university of the six-campus Purdue University system. Purdue was founded on May 6, 1869, as a land-grant university when the Indiana General Assembly, taking advantage of the Morrill Act, accepted a donation of land and...

, Transylvania University
Transylvania University
Transylvania University is a private, undergraduate liberal arts college in Lexington, Kentucky, United States, affiliated with the Christian Church . The school was founded in 1780. It offers 38 majors, and pre-professional degrees in engineering and accounting...

, the University of Redlands
University of Redlands
The University of Redlands is a private liberal arts and sciences university located in Redlands, California. The university's campus sits on near downtown Redlands. The university was founded in 1907 and was associated with the American Baptist Church. The land for the university was donated by...

, and Washington and Lee University
Washington and Lee University
Washington and Lee University is a private liberal arts college in Lexington, Virginia, United States.The classical school from which Washington and Lee descended was established in 1749 as Augusta Academy, about north of its present location. In 1776 it was renamed Liberty Hall in a burst of...

's 12-12-4 undergraduate calendar.

The trimester system evolved out of the semester system. It divides the academic year into three equal portions of 10–11 weeks each. Institutions that use the trimester system include California Institute of Technology
California Institute of Technology
The California Institute of Technology is a private research university located in Pasadena, California, United States. Caltech has six academic divisions with strong emphases on science and engineering...

, Carleton College
Carleton College
Carleton College is an independent non-sectarian, coeducational, liberal arts college in Northfield, Minnesota, USA. The college enrolls 1,958 undergraduate students, and employs 198 full-time faculty members. In 2012 U.S...

, Knox College (Illinois), Augustana College (Illinois)
Augustana College (Illinois)
Augustana College is a private liberal arts college located in Rock Island, Illinois, United States. The college enrolls approximately 2,500 students. Covering of hilly, wooded land, Augustana is adjacent to the Mississippi River...

, Lawrence University
Lawrence University
Lawrence University is a selective, private liberal arts college with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, in Appleton, Wisconsin. Lawrence University is known for its rigorous academic environment. Founded in 1847, the first classes were held on November 12, 1849...

, and the United States Merchant Marine Academy
United States Merchant Marine Academy
The United States Merchant Marine Academy is one of the five United States Service academies...

. The fall and winter and spring trimesters constitute an academic year of 30–32 weeks. The reduced maximum course load that accompanies the shortening from the traditional semester makes the trimester system compatible with the semester system. Academic credit is thus measured on the trimester system in semester hours; there is no such thing as a "trimester hour" of credit.

A number of colleges have adopted the "one course at a time" or "block schedule" calendar. Academic years consist of a number of terms lasting roughly four weeks each, during which a full semester's worth of work is completed in one and only one class. Colorado College
Colorado College
The Colorado College is a private liberal arts college in Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States, in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. It was founded in 1874 by Thomas Nelson Haskell...

 first began their "Block Plan" in 1970, followed by Cornell College
Cornell College
Cornell College is a private liberal arts college in Mount Vernon, Iowa. Originally called the Iowa Conference Seminary, the school was founded in 1853 by Reverend Samuel M. Fellows...

 in 1978. Quest University
Quest University
Quest University Canada is a private non-profit liberal arts and sciences university in Squamish, British Columbia, Canada. The university opened in September 2007 with an enrolment of 74 students; its current enrolment is 300. Quest University is located on a mountain-top campus on the edge of...

 in Squamish, British Columbia; Tusculum College
Tusculum College
Tusculum College is a coeducational private college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church , with its main campus in Tusculum, Tennessee, United States, a suburb of Greeneville...

 in Tusculum, Tennessee
Tusculum, Tennessee
Tusculum is a city in Greene County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 2,004 at the 2000 census. It is the home of Tusculum College, the oldest university in Tennessee and the 28th oldest in the United States...

; and The University of Montana - Western are the only other colleges operating under this academic calendar.

See also

  • Year-round school
    Year-round school
    A year-round school is a school that runs for 10 months with a cumulative 2 months of break distributed throughout the year, without the usual multiple-month summer vacation. They are most often found in the United States...

  • Academic Analytics
    Academic Analytics
    Academic analytics is the term for business intelligence used in an academic setting. There is an increasing distinction made between academic analytics and traditional BI because of the unique type of information that university administrators require for decision making.-External links:* in the...

  • Financial year
  • School holiday
    School holiday
    School holidays are the periods during which schools are closed for study. The dates and periods of school holidays vary considerably throughout the world, and there is usually some variation even within the same jurisdiction.- Christmas holiday :In countries with a predominantly Judeo-Christian...