My Winter Session experience

by | Oct 13, 2023

By Brigid McCall, CITL Marketing Intern

I started my freshman year as an agribusiness marketing major, but I decided it wasn’t the right fit for me. I wanted to explore more creative opportunities in the marketing field, which led me to advertising.

During my sophomore year, I began my application to join the College of Media to become an advertising major. While I was excited about the transition to advertising, I had one statistics credit missing, and that was holding me back from completing my application. Fortunately for me, Illinois offers a winter term where current undergraduates and non-degree students can take an online course over winter break.

I enrolled in ECON 202, which would fulfill the requirement for a statistics course. I was nervous about taking this course because math is not my strongest subject. Also, I knew I would have to balance my schedule of work and school over the break.

However, I found it was easy to manage having a job and taking a Winter Session course because the class was asynchronous apart from the pre-scheduled midterm and final. My instructor also understood that the holidays are a time for family and friends, so I didn’t need to worry about class getting in the way of my holiday plans.

Looking back, I’m glad I took a winter course, I was able to catch up on the credits I needed, learn something new, and transition into a major that I love.

There are many other reasons and benefits for taking an online winter course at Illinois. Let’s talk about them!

Get Ahead of Schedule

Keeping up with schoolwork in the fall and spring semesters can be tough. Taking a winter course can turn your 18 credit-hour semester schedule into a 15 credit-hour semester. This leaves more time for RSOs, internships, and UIUC sporting events. Lighten your load with a UIUC Winter Session course!

Boost your GPA    

Enrolling in a Winter Session course can be an easy way to boost your GPA. Whether you are taking a required course, elective, or a class that piques your interest, focusing on one class is much easier than focusing on five. Take the time in the winter to excel in one class and raise your GPA.

Catch Up        

Whether you’re a transfer student, switching majors, or just need some extra time to manage your workload, Winter Session courses are a great way to help. Maybe you need a credit that you didn’t receive at your last school. Maybe you need one more class to officially switch your major. Maybe you underestimated how difficult your fall semester would be. No matter the reason, Winter Session courses will help you get to where you need to be.    

Explore Interests Outside of your Major           

There is a limited amount of time in your fall and spring schedules to take every class you want to take. Winter is a great time to take a class that does not fit within your major.

Read more about Winter Session 2023-2024, check out the numerous online courses that are available in the Course Explorer, and then register for one that’s right for you. You’ll be glad you did!

This year, the winter term runs from December 18, 2023 through January 12, 2023. Priority registration opens on October 30, 2023. Learn more at