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TigerTerms - Office of Intersession and Summer Terms :: FAQ

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If I did not do well in a 15-week course, why would I risk taking another course, possibly on the same subject, in three weeks?

There are at least three reasons to consider an intensive three-week course. Frist, the typical student course load during the January Intersession will be of one 3 or 4-semester-credit-hour (SCH) course, or up to a maximum of 3 SCHs in 1 and 2 SCH courses combined.  Studies show that undivided attention on a single subject, over a short period of time, helps some learners gain a better understanding of the subject matter.  Second, a student who chooses to repeat a course in its intensive format, if available, is already familiar with the course's contents.  This may help some students focus on aspects of the course with which they may have had trouble the first time around. And finally, smaller section sizes may encourage both in-class and out-of-class team learning.

Are TigerTerm courses taught by the same faculty who teach in Fall and Spring semesters?

Yes. RIT's colleges and other units empowered to offer learning opportunities at RIT are responsible for the selection, organization delivery and staffing of TigerTerm courses they offer.

How are intensive TigerTerm courses organized?

During a semester, a typical 3 semester-credit-hour (SCH) course holds three contact hours each week for 15 weeks, or 45 contact hours throughout the semester plus a final exam during finals week.  A typical 3-SCH course offered over the 3-week January Intersession (15 days of instruction) will meet three hours daily to achieve the same number (45) of contact hours plus a final exam during the intersession's finals day.  Five and ten-week courses, which are popular in the summer term must also deliver the same number of contact hours as their semester counterparts.

However, because of the intensive nature of three and five-week courses, learning may be organized differently from semester courses. In addition to lecturing, intensive courses may include class discussions, scaffolding, short presentations, frequent in-class and out-of-class team activities, team-writing, and other strategies designed to take advantage of the focused and intense learning environment allowed by this type of course.

Note that, according to Federal and State law as well as Middle State guidelines, each hour of faculty instruction requires a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work. Therefore, a 3-SCH course delivered over 15 days of class, may results in at least nine hours (3 hours of class + 6 out-of-class hours) of student work each day. Students should keep in mind these guidelines before enrolling in an intensive course.

Are TigerTerm courses offered in the distance format?

At the discretion of the offering unit, distance and blended courses (those that combine in-class contact time with distance learning) may be offered in the intensive format. However, since intensive courses require constant engagement in the subject matter, the distance or blended formats may not be for everyone.

Can credits earned through TigerTerm courses count towards my degree?

It depends.  Each credit-bearing course offered through TigerTerms is designed to meet certain instructional needs.  Some courses may fit a student's academic plan as General Education while others may be used as elective or core courses within specific programs of study. In general, students are strongly encouraged to consult with their academic advisor before enrolling in a TigerTerm course and discuss whether or not the credits earned may count towards their degree.

Can I register for more than one intensive learning TigerTerm course during the January Intersesion term?

Due to the intensive learning nature of a  three-week January TigerTerm course, students are allowed to register for up to one 3 or 4 semester credit course.

However, students who wish to enroll in 1 or 2 semester-credit courses only may do so up to a combined maximum of 3 semester credits total during one January intersession term.

Please be advised that, due to the limited number of offerings during the Intersession and Summer terms, enrolling in multiple courses during the Intersesson and summer terms may be challenging.

Can I include TigerTerm courses in my Fall or Spring tuition statement?

No.  All TigerTerm courses are priced separately from Fall and Spring semesters.  Special arrangements have been made by few programs that require their students to attend a summer term as part of their normal academic plan.

Can I use financial aid to pay for a January Intersession or Summer TigerTerm course?

Financial aid eligibility for the three-week January Intersession term will be very different from eligibility for the summer term.  Students should contact their financial aid counselor to discuss whether they qualify for financial aid when enrolled in January Intersession or Summer term courses.

Every student has a financial aid counselor who can be reached by phone at 585-475-2186 or by email.  Financial aid counselor email addresses can be found at the Financial Aid Contact Information page.

Is there any way I can take an intersession course at no extra cost?

No. Though credit and non-credit bearing TigerTerm Intersession courses are competitively priced, they are not free.

Are all TigerTerm courses credit-bearing?

No.  Each year, in colaboration with our colleges and other RIT units, the Office of Intersession and Summer works to develop a balanced offering of TigerTerm courses that includes both credit-bearing and non-credit-bearing courses.  Non-credit-bearing courses are billed on a per-course fee basis. Each course listed under the Office of Intersession and Summer's page clearly indicates whether the course is credit-bearing or not.

Please note that even though a course may be listed as credit-bearing, it may not count towards a specific degree.  Students are encouraged to always consult with their academic advisor before enrolling in any course.

Are TigerTerm study abroad courses offered in the Summer Term or January intersession?

These courses are programmed about a year ahead of time and are offered through the Office of International Education and Global Programs.

Do Travel Study TigerTerm courses cost more than on-campus TigerTerm courses?

Yes.  In addition to tuition, travel study courses, whether abroad or within the United States, incur expenses that must be paid by the student.  Depending on the type of course, duration of travel and location, these expenses may include room and board, transportation and travel insurance.

All travel study courses are organized and offered through the Office of International Education and Global Programs.

Why pay extra for a TigerTerm course I can take in Fall or Spring?

Various reasons.  First, some TigerTerm courses may have been specifically designed for January Intersession or summer terms, and they may not be offered in either the Fall or Spring semesters. Second, TigerTerm courses may provide students with an opportunity to reaffirm knowledge learned from a course taken in a prior term. Third, repeating a course, especially during the January Intersession, provides an opportunity to stay on track and continue with the degree program in the Spring semester. And finally, because of their 3-week duration, study abroad TigerTerm courses, when available, may offer a cost-effective alternative to experience living and learning abroad.

When can I register for January TigerTerm courses?

Registration for January TigerTerm courses, other than study abroad, starts with registration for the following Spring semester, typically during the third week of November each year.

When can I withdraw from a January TigerTerm course?

By the end of the 12th day of class.

If I fail a credit-bearing TigerTerm course, will that impact my GPA?


Can I be put on academic probation for failing a January TigerTerm course?


Can I live on-campus while I take a January TigerTerm course?

Yes. If you live on campus in an RIT apartment, your contract allows you access to your apartment through the entire academic year, including the January Intersession. 

If you live in an dorm, plan to enroll in a January TigerTerm course, and wish to live at RIT during that time, you can do so at the RIT Inn and Conference Center at no extra cost. Questions about RIT housing should be directed to Housing Operations.

However, note that regardless of your living arrangements during the January Intersession, you are still responsible for your meals.  Meal plans may be available, please contact Dining Services for details.

Are offices and student services open during the January and Summer terms?

Yes.  All administrative offices are open.

Can I use the Fitness Center (Student Life Center) during the January and Summer terms?

Yes.  However, hours of operation of the Fitness Center during January and summer terms may be different from those of the regular terms.  Please check the Center for Recreation and Intramurals for facility availability and operation schedules.

Are student activities and events planned for January and summer terms?

Yes.  A number of program offerings such as movies and similar activities are planned by the Center for Campus Life.

Will there be dining services available during January and summer terms?

Yes. Please visit RIT's Dining Services page for details.