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Students stroll together on Bentley campus

Bentley Transitions to Trimesters to Give Students More Flexibility

Helen Henrichs

Beginning this fall, Bentley will adopt a new trimester schedule to offer students more flexibility to personalize their education and choose the way they study and learn. 

“This has been a challenging semester for universities across the country,” says Bentley President Alison Davis-Blake. “If we are nimble, challenge our assumptions and think innovatively, this is an opportunity to help our students and Bentley thrive in the years to come.”

In the upcoming 2020-21 academic year, the university will offer three trimesters (fall, spring and summer) for undergraduate and graduate students. The fall 2020 academic calendar will continue as previously announced, allowing students and faculty to follow the schedule for which they have already registered. Graduate student class registration is upcoming. The spring and summer trimesters will be reworked as 14-week sessions. Academic year 2021-22, and moving forward, will contain three 14-week trimesters. The university’s Board of Trustees voted to approve the change on April 24. 

To help alleviate the uncertainty and financial strain caused by this public health crisis, for next year only, all undergraduate students will be able to take full or partial course loads in the fall, spring and summer trimesters of 2020-2021, while only paying tuition for the fall and spring. 

For many students, the offer will allow them to eventually graduate early if they choose or get a jump start on their graduate degree or career. For others, it will provide added opportunities to pursue internships in the fall, spring or summer, all with the support of the Pulsifer Career Development Center

The university anticipates offering on-campus instruction this fall, with on-campus teaching and learning and a full suite of on-campus activities. But preparations are also being made for a broad range of scenarios that include in-person, hybrid and online classes. The trimester system will offer flexibility for students in how they would like to pursue the academic year ahead. 

“Bentley University has been reinventing business education for over 100 years,” says President Davis-Blake. “The decision to move to trimesters continues that tradition of adapting quickly to a changing world and preparing our graduates for successful, rewarding careers and lives.”

President, Provost and Dean of Students Answer Questions about Trimesters

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