Colleges and Universities
on the Quarter System or Block Plan

Last updated June 13, 2016

When my son was going through the college search process, he had some unusual constraints. He was involved in elite level athletic training during the winter. His training required him to miss classes during much of the months of November through March. This makes attending a typical college or university tricky, as he would need to miss the end of most schools' first semester, and much of the spring semester as well. So we tried to identify the dwindling number of schools that operate on the quarter system or on other alternate calendars. Surprisingly, I have not been able to find any online college search tool that lets one search on the type of academic calendar the school uses. As a result, I spent a lot of hours doing Google searches and looking at various schools' websites to see if they have a calendar that would work for my kid.

Given that I put a lot of time into this, I figured I'd share, since I suspect I'm not the only parent or student in the USA who might want this kind of information. Below you'll find the list of two year and four-year quarter- and block-system schools that I've accumulated. If you know of others that should be added, if you find broken links or out-dated information, or if you find this information useful and just want to say hi, please send me an email to   dlbauer (at)

Also, please take a look at the ads and offers from my sponsors! Their sponsorship helps pay the web hosting bills to keep this information online.



Under a block system, a student takes only one class at a time, typically for about 3.5 weeks. Blocks might be organized into semesters (for example, at Colorado College, there are 4 blocks in each of the fall and spring semesters, plus 3 optional blocks in the summer session). However, the admissions department in these schools might be willing to allow a student to attend only selected blocks during a term. Inquire with the school if this suits your needs. There are only a few four-year schools in North America that follow this type of schedule, including one in Canada.

Colorado College, Colorado Springs, Colorado
Cornell College, Mount Vernon, Iowa
Maharishi University of Management, Fairfield, Iowa (be sure to read the history of this school and of transcendental meditation before considering enrollment)
University of Montana-Western, Dillon, Montana
Tusculum College, Greeneville, Tennessee
Keiser University, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Spalding University, Louisville, Kentucky - seven 6-week sessions per year, with classes daily Monday-Thursday
Quest University, Squamish, British Columbia, Canada. Quest University also contacted me to point out that they have a flexible program specifically designed for professional and elite athletes. Details can be found here.

Prescott College in Tuscon, AZ offers a modified "block and semester" plan where, at the beginning of each traditional semester, a four-week intensive block class is offered. Students take only this one class during this time, often in the field. NEW!

Brown-Mackie College is a collection of for-profit, career-oriented schools offering both associate and bachelors degrees on a one-class-per-month schedule at most locations.

Also, you might want to look at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA, which has unique 7-week terms, different than both Blocks and Quarters.


Under a quarter system, also known as a trimester system, the academic year is divided into three terms (fall, winter and spring) called quarters or trimesters, instead of the typical two semesters. Most schools also offer a fourth summer quarter.

Troy University Troy, AL and other satellite locations. Five 9-week terms per calendar year.

Stanford University Stanford, CA
University of California - Irvine Irvine, CA
University of California - Davis Davis, CA
University of California - Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, CA
University of California - Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA
University of California - San Diego San Diego, CA
University of California - San Francisco San Francisco, CA (focuses exclusively on healthcare)
University of California - Riverside Riverside, CA
University of California - Santa Cruz Santa Cruz, CA
California Institute of Technology Pasadena, CA
California State University East Bay Hayward, CA
California State University Bakersfield Bakersfield, CA
California State University Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA
California State University San Bernardino San Bernardino, CA
California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) San Luis Obispo, CA
Cal Poly Pomona Pomona, CA
Columbia College Hollywood Tarzana, CA - focus on film and television.
Humphreys College Stockton, CA, with a branch location in Modesto, CA.
La Sierra University Riverside, CA (Seventh Day Adventist)
Loma Linda University Loma Linda, CA. Seventh Day Adventist; focus on health sciences.
Pacific Union College Angwin, CA (Seventh Day Adventist)
NewSchool of Architecture and Design San Diego, CA. For profit, career oriented.
Pacific States University Los Angeles, CA (business and computer science focus)
Santa Clara University Santa Clara, CA
John F. Kennedy University Costa Mesa, CA (except Law program)

University of Denver Denver, CO
Colorado Technical University Colorado Springs, CO - for profit, career orientation.
Johnson and Wales University - Denver Denver, CO - for profit, career orientation.

Johnson and Wales University - North Miami North Miami, FL - for profit, career orientation.
Miami International University of Art and Design Miami, FL - for profit, career orientation.

South University Savannah, GA
Life University Marietta, GA
Savannah College of Art and Design Savannah, GA
American InterContinental University Atlanta, GA - for profit, career-orientation. Note controversies.
Art Institute of Atlanta Atlanta, GA - for profit, career orientation.

Augustana College Rock Island, IL
DePaul University Chicago, IL
University of Chicago Chicago, IL
East-West University Chicago, IL
Kendall College Chicago, IL - for profit, career orientation.
Knox College Galesburg, IL - 3 classes per trimester with extended hours that equate to a semester's worth of classwork
National Louis University Chicago, IL - focuses on teacher training
Northwestern University Evanston, IL
North Central College Naperville, IL
Rush University Chicago, IL - focuses exclusively on healthcare.

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology Terre Haute, IN

AIB College of Business Des Moines, IA

Sullivan University Louisville, KY with branches in Lexington KY and Fort Knox KY - for profit, career orientation.

Louisiana Tech University Ruston, LA

College of the Atlantic, Bar Harbor, ME - focuses exclusively on ecology/environment.

Suffolk University, Boston, MA
Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA. Unique 7-week terms, different than both Blocks and Quarters.

Baker College Thirteen different locations in Michigan
Cleary University Business-focused university in Howell, MI with a satellite site in Ann Arbor, MI.
Kalamazoo College Kalamazoo, MI
Kettering University Flint, MI
Walsh College Business-focused college with three campus locations in the Detroit area. NEW!

Capella University Online-only university headquartered in Minneapolis, MN. For profit, career oriented.
Carleton College Northfield, MN

William Carey University Hattiesburg, MS

City Vision College Online university headquartered in Kansas City, MO. Focuses on urban ministry and addiction counseling. Five 8-week terms per year.

Morrison University Reno, NV - for profit, career oriented

Dartmouth College Hanover, NH

Union College Schenectady, NY
Elmira College Elmira, NY
Berkeley College New York, NY - for profit, career oriented

Johnson and Wales University - Charlotte Charlotte, NC - for profit, career orientation.

Antioch College Yellow Springs,OH
Franklin University Columbus, OH
University of Northwestern Ohio Lima, OH

University of Oregon Eugene, OR
Oregon State University Corvallis, OR
Portland State University Portland, OR
Southern Oregon University Ashland, OR
Western Oregon University Monmouth, OR
Eastern Oregon University La Grande, OR
Marylhurst University Marylhurst, OR
Oregon Health and Science University Portland, OR - focuses exclusively on healthcare.
Oregon Institute of Technology Klamath Falls, OR

Drexel University Philadelphia, PA
Mercyhurst College Erie, PA

Johnson and Wales University - Providence Providence, RI - for profit, career orientation.

South College Knoxville, TN - for profit, career orientation.

American InterContinental University of Houston Houston, TX - for profit, career-orientation. Note controversies.
Art Institute of Houston Houston, TX - for profit, career-orientation.

Stratford University Falls Church, VA - for profit, career oriented. Five 10-week terms per year.
Strayer University online and multi-location school headquartered in Herndon, VA. For-profit, career oriented.

Bastyr University Kenmore, WA - focuses on naturopathic medicine.
City University Bellevue, WA and 10 other locations in Washington state.
Evergreen State College Olympia, WA
University of Washington Seattle, WA
University of Washington - Bothell Bothell, WA
Seattle University Seattle, WA
Western Washington University Bellingham, WA
Central Washington University Ellensburg, WA
Eastern Washington University Cheney, WA
Lake Washington Institute of Technology Kirkland, WA
Seattle Pacific University Seattle, WA - big focus on religion.
Walla Walla University College Place, WA - Seventh Day Adventist.

National Intelligence University Washington, DC

Milwaukee School of Engineering Milwaukee, WI
Lawrence University Appleton, WI

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One of my readers, Belin, provided a lengthy list of two-year colleges on the quarter system which formed the starting point for the list below. Thanks, Belin!

De Anza College Cupertino, CA
Foothill College Los Altos Hills, CA
Lake Tahoe Community College South Lake Tahoe, CA

Southwest Florida College Fort Myers, FL

Ashworth College Narcoss, GA - for profit, career-oriented. Note accreditation concerns.
Georgia Military College Milledgeville, GA

Harrison College Indianapolis, IN - for profit, career-oriented.

Indian Hills Community College Ottumwa, IA

Metropolitan community College Omaha, NE
Southeast community College Lincoln, NE

Hocking College Nelsonville, OH
University of Cincinnati Clermont College Batavia, OH.

Central Oregon Community College Bend, OR
Lane Community College Eugene, OR
Linn-Benton Community College Albany, OR
Portland Community College Portland, OR
Mount Hood Community College Gresham, OR
Rogue Community College Grants Pass, OR
Treasure Valley Community College Ontario, OR
Umpqua Community College Roseburg, OR

Bates Technical College Tacoma, WA
Bellingham Technical College Bellingham, WA
Clark College Vancouver, WA
Columbia Basin College Pasco, WA
Everett Community College Everett, WA
Green River Community College Auburn, WA
Highline Community College Des Moines, WA
North Seattle Community College Seattle, WA
Olympic College Bremerton, WA
Pierce College Lakewood, WA
Shoreline Community College Shoreline, WA
South Puget Sound Community College Olympia, WA
South Seattle Community College Seattle, WA
Walla Walla Community College Walla Walla, WA - interesting winemaking and enology program
Wenatchee Valley College Wenatchee, WA
Whatcom Community College Bellingham, WA
Yakima Valley Community College Yakima, WA

Did you find this information helpful? Do you have a college or university to add to this list? Contact me at dlbauer(at) .