A college quarter lasts 10 weeks with an additional week designated for final exams. Most college quarters are divided into fall, winter and spring, although some universities add additional quarters for early summer and late summer.

During a college quarter, most three-credit courses are defined as accelerated in terms of length. This is primarily because most colleges and universities operate on a semester system that allocates 16 weeks for each fall and spring semester. Regardless of whether a college uses a quarter or semester system, breaks are incorporated into the schedule for holidays and a week-long spring break near March of each year.