8-Week Terms

8-Week Terms

Traditional 16-week semesters aren’t going anywhere, but Del Mar College is committed in offering you flex scheduling options. 8-week terms let you focus on fewer things at once and finish them faster. Because these classes start over every 8 weeks, there are more opportunities to jump in or out when your family, career or life needs your attention.

Defining the 8-week term

An official DMC course schedule over an eight-week period, offering the same amount of course content delivered in a standard 16-week course.

Frequently asked questions

  • Why would you consider a course in an 8-week format?​

    If you plan on taking two courses during the semester, then the eight-week course schedule may work well for you as you can focus on taking one course at a time, instead of two simultaneously. Research reveals that students who dive into one condensed course at a time have a higher likelihood of absorbing and retaining what is presented to them in class.

  • Will this help me graduate earlier?​

    It depends….the purpose of 8-week terms isn’t necessarily to graduate faster, it’s to focus on fewer items at once.

    In theory, a traditional “full load” over 16 weeks would just be cut in half; you’d take two classes every 8 weeks, rather than four classes for 16 weeks. It’s all about how you slice the pizza – the size of the pie hasn’t changed.

  • Will 8-week courses be easier or more difficult?​

    People learn differently. We think, generally, 8-week terms will offer a better experience for most students. But we still offer traditional 16-week semesters for many courses, especially those where learning material more slowly, over time, is valuable.

    Eight-week classes have the same course expectations as their 16-week course equivalent. In an 8-week course, you will be expected to learn the same amount of content and complete the same number of activities assigned in a 16-week course.

  • Will I still be receiving the same amount of coursework?

    Course content, objectives, and rigor will remain the same just as courses currently offered in a variety of lengths (Maymester, 5-week, summer 6-week and 16-week) meet the same course objectives.

  • Will there be advising to help with this transition?​

    We recommend speaking with your academic advisor to develop an academic plan to finish your degree at DMC. Schedules will be published March and October each academic year. Students are encouraged to meet with your advisor who can help determine what courses you should be considering.

  • Will credits still transfer to 4-year institutions?

    Yes, institutions throughout the country offer courses in various flex scheduling options, including institutions in Texas. The length of the terms is not notated on the transcript. Public colleges and universities in Texas have transfer agreement in place to make sure courses transfer between institutions. Check out this resource for helpful transfer guides.

  • Can we take more than two classes per 8 weeks?​

    Yes, just as enrollment is currently dependent on multiple factors, the number of classes per 8-week term will be dependent on a variety of factors, for example, academic success and/or the number of credits successfully completed.

    DMC Academic Advisors will continue helping students look at options that work best for them.

    Please reach out to your Advisor for your specific considerations.

  • Can a part-time student handle this shorter schedule?

    As a part-time adult student, I fear that 16 weeks worth of work in 8-weeks is going to be too much for me to handle. I have to balance work and my family with my education too.

    We acknowledge and understand your legitimate concerns. During a 16-week term, more opportunity for life to interfere with academic progress can occur. An 8-week term offers increased flexibility for course completion and attention to personal issues. For example, if a student has an emergency halfway through an 8-week course versus halfway through a 16-week course, the 8-week offers a better chance for completion.

  • How will this impact students with disabilities?

    Students with disabilities enrolled in 8-week courses request accommodations via an identical process for those students with disabilities enrolled in 15- or 16-week courses. Connect with our Disability Services for specifics.

  • Can dual credit students enroll in an 8-week course?

    All high school students must meet with their high school counselors to determine if they are eligible for 8-week courses. For more information, please contact our Dual Credit Office for details.

  • How does this affect Federal Veterans Education Benefits such as the GI Bill?​

    Students utilizing Federal Veterans Education Benefits such as the GI Bill would need to enroll in a minimum of 6 credit hours for the 8-week term to maintain full-time status per VA rules and regulations. Students enrolled in two 8-week terms within a 16-week semester may see a slight reduction of benefits if there is a break between the end of the first 8-week term and beginning of the second. The reduction is due to the prorating of benefits which is based on the number of days in which the student is enrolled in classes for the month. Overall, the reduction is typically minimal in comparison to a full-time 16-week enrollment.

  • How does this affect international students?​

    The change to 8-week will not affect the eligibility status of international students who must take 12 credits. The College will use both early-8-week and mid-8-week to determine eligibility. Please connect with our international liaison located in the Registrar's Office.

  • Will my financial aid be affected?

    No, your aid will not be affected. Financial aid is awarded based on the amount of credit hours a student is enrolled in a semester.

  • What number of 8-week courses is considered full-time enrollment?​

    A standard course is a minimum of 3 semester hours. To be eligible for full-time status, a student will need to enroll in 6 semester hours per 8-week sessions.

  • Am I eligible to receive financial aid if I enroll in one 8-week course?​

    Yes, a student may receive Pell Grant which will be divided as follows:


    Pell Amount: $2,000

    3 to 5 credit hours = $500

    6 to 8 credit hours = $500

    9 to 11 credit hours = $500

    12 plus credit hours = $500

  • Is the disbursement schedule different from 8-week courses and 16-week courses?

    Yes, the disbursement dates are accessible on the web for students to view.

  • How will dropping an 8-week course affect my financial aid?

    Financial aid can be impacted when you drop a course. Depending on when the drop occurs, there can be a return of Title IV funds. Students are encouraged to speak to a financial aid representative prior to dropping a course.

Page last updated August 11, 2022.