My friend has been playing on a crappy, cheap acoustic guitar for around three years and wants to buy a better one. At the same time, he also wants to get into the electric scene. So naturally my thoughts went to semi-acoustics.

Since this is the acoustic guitar forum, how good is a semi-acoustic for classical music? Should he get one? If yes, what is your suggestion?

Am posting a similar thread on the electric forum to see how the semi-acoustic does in that musical aspect.

We've run into problems before trying to define what you mean by "semi-acoustic". Usually, this term is applied to electric gutars, specifically semi-hollow bodied instruments.
Across the pond, this seems to mean what we would call an "Acoustic electric" guitar, essentially an acoustic instrument with a built-in pickup and usually some form of tone and volume controls.

This as opposed to an acoustic guitar with a built-in pickup, but usually no controls.

Confusing enough?

Acoustic/electric instruments are available in nylon-string models as well.

The advantage of the typical acoustic/electric is that the pickup system is "active", having a battery and all, and thus can be plugged directly into one's mixing board without the necessity of having a "direct box" or similar device. They are generally amenable to using various effects pedals.
And of course, you can adjust volume and such at the guitar.
If you're interested in such an instrument, it's best to find one that sounds good acoustically first, then make sure that the electrics are up to snuff.
I guess both the threads are closed. Thanks to all for their valuable feedback. Truth is, the budget isn't too high and like said before buying a low-end one will be comprising on both fields.

Thanks once again for the info on what a semi-a truly is.
Hmmm, quite confusing. There's nothing acoustic about a semi-hollow body. It's an electric guitar commonly known as a jazz guitar although it can be used with any type of music(Ted Nugent plays one as did John Lennon on many later Beatles tracks). An acoustic/electric guitar is an acoustic guitar with a pickup, that can be amplified.
This is considered a "semi-acoustic"because of the sound chambers on each of its center block. Also because of its thin body, usually about 2". It's an electric guitar.

An, "acoustic-electric", is just a damn old common flat top guitar shaped guitar, like this:
This has an onboard preamp and the tone and volume are located on the upper front bout.

In Europe, (for whatever reason), this type of guitar is most often referred to as, "electric-acoustic", instead of, "acoustic-electric", as it it is here in the US.