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Academic Calendar Changes to Begin in 2016-2017

For the past few years the Administrative Council has had many conversations with faculty, staff and students regarding the academic calendar.

A new academic calendar will take effect with the 2016-2017 academic year. Some changes you will notice include a shorter winter break (reduced from four weeks to three weeks), no traditional classroom winter term courses, an additional day off at Easter, and ending the spring semester one week early.

This change brings many benefits including the ability to align the academic calendars for both the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for our traditional undergraduate students and University College for our adult and graduate students. This alignment is essential for our faculty who teach in both systems. The shortened winter break helps student-athletes who return early for competitions; it also benefits the university’s recruitment efforts so more campus visits can be scheduled in January when the university was typically on a four-week break. The new calendar also provides more time for summer research, classes, faculty-led trips and employment with the spring semester concluding one week earlier in May.

Another reason for the change is low enrollment during the winter term. The Registrar’s Office is now working on a schedule for hybrid, online and independent study that will be offered during the winter break to allow students with opportunities for continued studies and academic credit. We are also working closely with faculty to accommodate the off-campus immersive experiences with some of these events beginning sooner in the winter term and some possibly moving to spring break or summer months.

Looking ahead to next year, here are some important dates to note with the new calendar structure:

  • August 22 — Fall semester begins
  • September 5 — Labor Day (no school)
  • October 14-18 — Fall break
  • November 23-25 — Thanksgiving break
  • December 12-15 — Final exams
  • December 12-January 14 — Hybrid and online courses and independent study offered
  • January 9 — Spring semester begins
  • January 16 — Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (no school)
  • March 6-10 — Spring break
  • April 14-17 — Easter break
  • May 1-4 — Final exams
  • May 6 — Commencement