1st Ohio State Fall Semester In 90 Years Starts August 22nd

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The Ohio State University campus(Photo: Flickr)
The Ohio State University campus(Photo: Flickr)

For the first time in 90 years, Ohio State University will start the academic year under the semester system. OSU officials say they anticipate smooth sailing as the new fall semester gets underway.

Students returning to Ohio State University for the start of classes next week might notice an unusual sound on campus; the cicadas will still be singing in the trees around Mirror Lake.

Classes are starting in late August, not in September, because Ohio State has converted from three quarters per academic year to the two-semester system. The conversion, which took three years to accomplish, was a tremendous undertaking, according to Wayne Carlson, the dean of undergraduate studies.

“We started the process about 3 years ago and the conversion from a quarter system to a semester system has been a monumental task,” Carlson says. “It has been a really hard process.”

The task included revising and redesigning 12,500 courses Carlson says. But, he says, the University is ready…

“We’re prepared,” Carlson says. “We’ve been working at it for three years. We’d better be prepared, it’s here in a few days. We are. We’re very confident that things are going to go very smoothly.”

Students will begin moving into dorms this Sunday. But about 1500 students, known as Official Welcome Leaders, or OWLs, have already moved in.

Student Mary Guido lives in 90-year-old Mack Hall which is un-air-conditioned. She’s been lending a helping hand.

“This morning it was a little toasty on my third floor here so I was handing out popsicles to some of the families, asking them how their day was, helping them unpack and things like that,” Guido says.

Zac Coates is a chemical and bio-molecular engineering major and an OWL. He acknowledges that his summer vacation was shortened because of the quarter to semester conversion.

“I mean really I knew this was coming,” Coates says. “So it wasn’t a big surprise, I was anticipating the short summer. I mean I do feel that I didn’t get much time to relax because I work over the summer back home but I’m glad to be back, obviously.”

The fall semester at Ohio State begins next Wednesday.