# How to estimate cost of a course when price is quoted per semester but program has three semesters?

I'm looking to get an MBA at University of Texas at Austin. I'm planning on working full-time while going to school, so I'm interested in their Evening MBA program.

I'm trying to understand costs. According to their website, the program takes 2.5 years to complete, that's equivalent to 5 semesters. The program costs \$15,320 per semester, which should mean that the total program costs \$76,600.

However, on this page they have 3 semesters per year, which doesn't make any sense to me. Add up all those numbers together, and you end up with a total cost of \$107,240.

So which one is it? Is a semester not really a 6-month period in academic lingo?

• UT Austin and TAMU are roughly in the same schedule. The "third" semester you see is the summer session, with five, eight, or ten week sessions. Nov 24, 2016 at 1:51
• They mean: 2.5 years, assuming you attend 2 semesters per year. Most students (and faculty) take the summer semester off. Nov 24, 2016 at 2:16
• @GEdgar So you mean, if I take the summer semester, I can be done in 2 years instead of 2.5?
– user34906
Nov 24, 2016 at 2:52
• You could, yes, but be careful: summer course selections are usually very limited. Nov 24, 2016 at 4:10
• That depends on whether the courses for your program are offered in the summer. It could be that MBA courses are not offered in the summer. Nov 25, 2016 at 2:25

The program is designed to include two summers. Spring, summer, fall, spring, summer, fall, spring. That's two full years (spring, summer, fall constitutes one year) plus an extra spring semester. Here's the tuition cost for the 2019 cohort.

Here's the actual schedule in PDF format for the 2019 cohort.

What @SeanRoberson said is true in general but is irrelevant in this case.

\$107,240 is correct.

(May I suggest you talk to their advising people to find out how feasible it is to work full time while enrolled in their program?)

• If they actually have three terms per year, then why do they call them semesters and not trimesters?
– user34906
Nov 24, 2016 at 6:27
• @AxiomaticNexus - Tradition? I don't know, all I did was read their web page. Nov 24, 2016 at 6:31
• I sent them an e-mail asking for clarification because this still doesn't make any sense.
– user34906
Nov 24, 2016 at 6:32
• @AxiomaticNexus - I hope you can understand their response better than mine. Their materials make sense to me, and I'm sorry I was not able to clarify them sufficiently for you. By the way, I don't think you will receive a response until Monday. Nov 24, 2016 at 6:34
• @aparente001 When they say an Evening program, they generally mean it. Most classes are Mon/Tues evenings or Tues/Weds if there's a Monday holiday. Throw in some weekend seminars to help make up the time and there's maybe two weeks over the two years that you might have to take leave from work. Nov 25, 2016 at 4:13

Each institution defines the length of a semester differently. Even within a university different programs may use different calendars. A semester is usually shorter than six months, but often there are two a year.