Spring vs Winter vs Fall vs Summer Intakes

7 minute read
Spring vs Winter vs Fall vs Summer Intakes

While planning to study abroad, there are many things you need to tick off your list from qualifying standardised tests to applying for scholarships and gearing up your application as well as the student visa essentials. But before beginning with all these, the first thing you should be aware of is the admission intakes of your chosen university and country. There are four major intakes throughout the year, i.e. Spring, Winter, Fall and Summer intakes when universities around the world accept applications for their courses. Opting for the right intake can be an important parameter in your selection as some intakes are easy to get in while others are high in terms of the competition. Read this blog to know all about the major advantages and disadvantages of Spring vs Winter vs Fall vs Summer Intakes.

All About Spring vs Winter vs Fall vs Summer Intakes

Intakes Application Period 
Fall IntakeStarts somewhere around late August or early September
Spring Intake Starts in the month of January 
Winter Intake Starts somewhere around the end of December or early January 
Summer Intake Starts in the month of May 

While the Spring and Fall intakes are the most popular ones amongst major universities abroad, winter and summer intakes are mainly for short-term or select courses at some universities and colleges across the world. To understand the difference between Spring vs Winter vs Fall vs Summer intakes, let’s first take a look at them individually:

Fall Intake 

Fall Intake generally begins around late August or late September and receives the highest number of applicants especially in top destinations like the US. This intake also has the highest number of courses offered when it comes to comparing Fall intake vs Spring vs Winter vs Summer and the universities also enrol the maximum number of international students during this intake.

Spring Intake 

Beginning in January and concluding around May, the spring intake is another intake when the major universities accept applications from quite an expansive number of students when compared with winter or summer intake. If anyhow you have missed the fall intake and you wish to start with your studies as soon as possible then the spring intake is the right time to apply for a university abroad. Comparing Spring Intake vs Fall vs Winter vs Summer intakes, it is the major admission intake for universities in Canada, the US, Germany, amongst others. This intake is also known as the winter intake in Canada while referred to as spring intake in USA. In other countries like the USA, it is known as spring intake only. 

Winter Intake 

Finding the right timeline for winter intake can be quite confusing since, in some universities, winter is a separate semester altogether that is squeezed between the fall and the spring semester. It is quite a short semester as compared to the other semesters. When it comes to Spring vs Winter vs Fall vs Summer intakes, the winter intake kickstarts at the end of the year by December or either in January. It is slightly closer to the Spring intake timeline in Canada. On the other hand, Winter intake is the primary admission intake at universities in Germany where it begins in September or October and closes by February or March. You can explore the highest number of courses at German universities during this intake and deadline for the same is by mid-July.

Summer Intake 

Apart from the above mentioned most popular and common university intakes, some handful of universities also offer summer intake. The summer intake is a special case scenario for universities because it is offered to limited students and for limited and select courses mainly short-term programs, diplomas, summer courses, to name a few.

Hence, it totally depends on the College or University how many intakes they want to conduct and how many students they want to enrol in their university under a program or course available. Take a look at the tentative months for the Spring vs Winter vs Fall vs Summer intakes. 

Explore Intakes in Australia!

Advantages of Spring vs Winter vs Fall vs Summer Intakes

Now that you know what these admission intakes are about, let’s take a look at the advantages of Spring vs Winter vs Fall vs Summer Intakes:

Fall Intake

  • Almost all the universities abroad offer the fall intake.
  • Almost all the courses and UG and PG programs are on offer for the fall intake.
  • As the academic year starts during this time of the year around the world, there are more opportunities available for students in terms of scholarships and other grants.
  • The fall students have an advantage over the summer internships offered by the universities as they easily meet the 9 months criteria before applying for these internships.
  • More on-campus opportunities are available for the fall students.

Spring/Winter Intake

  • The spring/winter intake is another ideal one to opt for as it has also the most number of universities open for admission amongst the Spring vs Winter vs Fall vs Summer intakes. 
  • Indian students complete their undergraduate or graduate degree by the month of May or June thus have the golden chances to crack the fall intake that starts around August and they also don’t have to wait until spring or winter intake which starts around January.
  • Those who have an internship or a job right after their graduation, they will be needing extra time to settle things down, and hence spring/winter intake is a smooth transition for them.
  • Spring students have the advantage of mentorship programs or special orientation programs, unlike the fall intake.

Summer Intake 

  • It is an optional semester intake for the universities abroad.
  • Generally, the universities offer short duration courses and certified programs during the summer semester. 
  • The subjects are quite liberal.
  • It is not mandatory to take classes in the summer semester in some universities and countries.
  • The option to opt for online classes is also available.
  • You can avail the advantage of applying for internships in the spring term. 
  • Many universities in the US and Europe offer extensive summer internship programs to the students.

Disadvantages of Spring vs Winter vs Fall vs Summer Intakes

Once you have understood the pros of each intake, take a look at the disadvantages which will help you understand the comparison between Spring vs Winter vs Fall vs Summer intakes:

Fall Intake

  • The university seats are rapidly filled during the fall intake since it entertains applications for the majority of courses.
  • For universities who only offer the fall intake throughout the year, actually open their admission window a year before, so students need to stay updated with the same to not miss any critical deadline. 
  • It gives less time to Indian students for the preparations and also to have the knack to get an admission into the university of their choice.

Spring or Winter Intake

  • A limited number of courses and programs are offered by universities during the spring intake as generally most of them get filled in the fall intake.
  • Fewer scholarship opportunities and financial aid might be available.
  • As the students will be beginning with their studies in the middle of the academic year, less on-campus opportunities are available for the spring/winter students.
  • Students don’t qualify for the minimum 9 months enrollment condition for the summer internship programs of the universities.

Here are the February Intake Universities in UK!

Summer Intake

  • Not many universities abroad offer summer intake. They mostly have two major intakes i.e. the fall and the spring intakes and sometimes only the fall intake. 
  • Even if they have summer intake, there is as such little to no awareness of the same among the students.
  • One of the biggest drawbacks of the summer intake is that not many courses are available to offer with the universities.  
  • No financial aid or scholarships are available or provided for the summer intake.
  • Limited job opportunities are available as most of the companies give preference to fall and spring applicants first.

Latest: April/May Intakes in UK 2021

Universities for Spring vs Winter vs Fall vs Summer Intakes

After analyzing various advantages and disadvantages of the fall vs spring vs winter vs summer intake, let’s now quickly glance through the list of different universities that are offering different intake throughout the academic year. 

Fall IntakeMichigan State University
The University of Manchester
Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology
Boston University
University of Oxford
University of Pennsylvania
University of Southern California
University of Glasgow
Australian National University
Carnegie Mellon University
Spring intake Deakin University
University of Ontario Institute of Technology
Illinois Institute of Technology
University of Dayton
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
State University of New York at Binghamton
North Carolina State University, Raleigh
Penn State Great Valley
Winter intake Drexel University
University of California, Riverside
University of Detroit
The University of Western Ontario
University of Melbourne
Technical University of Munich
Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Technical University of Berlin
Heidelberg University
Summer Intake Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology
Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin)
University of Minnesota Duluth
Florida Institute of Technology
University of Michigan 

Note: This is only a short list of universities for the different intakes around the year and the actual admission intakes of each university might vary as per the course and other factors.

Hence, we hope that this blog has answered all your doubts and queries related to Spring vs Winter vs Fall vs Summer intakes. Confused about choosing the right intake to apply for your chosen course abroad? Get in touch with our Leverage Edu experts and we will guide you in selecting the university as well as help you at every step of the admission process to ensure that you get successfully shortlisted!

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  1. Thank you for this! Very helpful. I just need to know if my fee will be reduced if I take up Summer intake. Thank you

  1. Thank you for this! Very helpful. I just need to know if my fee will be reduced if I take up Summer intake. Thank you