Academics Move Quickly & Finals are Soon Upon Us

“Finals are next week.”
“Wait, didn’t we just have finals?”

One important thing for incoming students to know about Fuqua is that finals are different than they are in undergrad. Much different.

Most undergraduate universities (like mine) are on the semester system. That means finals twice a year, in December and May. At the University of Arizona (my undergrad), I typically took 5 classes a semester and finals were spread out over a week, starting on one Friday and ending the following Friday. There was also an off day before finals, called “Dead Day.” Typically, I only had two or three finals (many of my classes didn’t have finals), and there was plenty of time to prepare for them. At Fuqua, things are much different.

Next week, we have two finals, one on Monday and one on Tuesday, and then we have winter break. Last term, we had finals in all three of our classes, which is typical here, and finals are always on back-to-back days. The workload doesn’t die out before finals. There are usually tests and major projects due the week before finals. This week, we have a major Business Communications presentation and a team project in Strategy class, so there is little time to prepare for finals until the weekend.

But back to the quotes at the top of the post … unlike undergrad institutions, Fuqua does not operate on the semester system. Instead, there are 6-week terms, in which you take three classes per term. Next week, we’ll have finals for the third time since starting the MMS program. We also had finals in late August and mid-October, so it does feel like we just had finals, because they were only a month and a half ago. For a better understanding of how this works, check out the academic calendar for the program.

Fuqua will tell you that things here move very quickly, and they certainly aren’t lying. I feel like I just took Marketing and Corporate Finance classes, and yet, there’s only one more week of Business Communication and Capital Markets. Before I know it, I’ll be in Managerial Accounting, but that’s a good thing: more classes mean we are getting broader experience and learning more. (Learn more about the classes we take.) When you come to Fuqua, you definitely need to be prepared to work, as things move much faster than they do in a typical undergraduate setting. However, don’t look at that as a negative. The fast pace is deliberate, and is meant to help you adjust more to the real world, where things rarely move slowly.