Grace Tate of Eau Claire works on homework Tuesday in McIntyre Library while taking a Winterim class at UW-Eau Claire. View more photos at

Grace Tate studied in a quiet McIntyre Library on Tuesday afternoon, reviewing lessons from that morning’s biology lecture. A few tables away, Conner Klein plugged away at his strategic global management homework.

Tate and Klein are two of the more than 1,800 students taking Winterim classes this month, and they took advantage of the peaceful setting to focus on coursework. Winterim began Monday and runs until Jan. 31. It offers a chance for students to work ahead or stay on track in their studies during a less busy time of year.

The two students are taking three-credit classes that meet for three hours in the morning Monday through Friday for four weeks, a typical Winterim schedule. While Tate and Klein said it felt strange and slightly unnerving to walk around a largely deserted campus, they appreciated the opportunity to channel their energies into one course and make the upcoming semester more manageable.

According to information provided by Stephanie Jamelske, a UW-Eau Claire budget officer in academic affairs, there are 1,806 students taking 5,043 credits this Winterim session, similar totals to recent years. Most of the classes are also available during spring and fall semesters, but Jamelske noted that some courses involve travel and are only an option during winter or summer.

About 80% of the courses are either offered solely online or as hybrid formats with some of the work done online and some in-person. With the majority of students not physically on campus, Tate appreciates how easy it is to find a quiet space to study after attending class in the morning.

Tate is from Eau Claire and is a senior majoring in neuroscience at Boston University. This year marks the first time Tate has enrolled in a Winterim class, but she also took an organic chemistry course through UW-Eau Claire last summer.

Tate is one of nine students in her class and appreciates the small setting because it offers her time to work through any questions with her professor. The course is lecture-based and has frequent quizzes, along with four tests and a final presentation. Tate said listening and taking notes for sustained periods of time fits her learning style.

Having less free time doesn’t bother Tate.

“I don’t really feel like I’m missing out on anything during the day when I’m at class or studying, and then it makes it feel like I earned down time,” Tate said.

Klein hails from Appleton and is a senior studying finance and business management with an emphasis in entrepreneurship. His Winterim class is a senior capstone that has around 30 students and involves lecture and discussion.

A portion of the course involves a group project where students work together as executives of a company focusing on action-capture cameras and action-capture drones. The project simulates eight years of decision-making, and Klein likes the practicality it offers.

The upper-level class is intense, but Klein said the rigor of the course keeps him focused. Winterim also makes it easier to set up group meetings, as students don’t have other courses interfering with their schedules.

Klein said some people felt sorry for him when they heard he was taking a class during the six-week break between fall and spring semesters, but he is fine with it.

“They kind of pity me, but honestly I don’t mind taking a Winterim class,” Klein said. “This really works out to my advantage because it gives me something to do (and) keep me occupied during the break.”