The spring semester is set to begin on Feb. 1. The decision was approved during a faculty senate meeting today. Faculty also voted to extend the transfer of credit policies they enacted for 2020, according to Dean of Undergraduate Studies Carmen Lowe.
Classes are expected to end on May 5, reading day will begin on May 6 and finals will start on May 7.
Final exams, as well as Review Boards for the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, will be held on the same dates as originally scheduled. The dates for Senior Week and Commencement also remain the same.
Lowe explained that the later start date will allow for a longer winter break.
“[Starting classes Feb. 1 will] allow more time for deep cleaning classrooms, residences, and dining spaces,” Lowe wrote in an email to the Daily. “[It] will facilitate extra time for students to move back to campus in a staggered fashion, similar to move-in this fall.”
Undergraduates who take a personal leave to study in another institution for spring 2021 will be able to transfer credits for courses taken online or in a hybrid format, as well as for courses taken at two-year colleges that grant associate degrees, according to Lowe.
She also acknowledged that Dining Services, Residential Life, Student Affairs and Student Services will appreciate the longer break, as they have worked intensely all spring, summer and fall to uphold COVID-19 policies and keep the campus safe.
Lowe recognized that the Educational Policy Committee and faculty from the School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering discussed the need for some breaks in the spring semester, but they decided not to institute them in an effort to prevent a compressed final exam period.
Lowe explained that spring break will be shortened to allow for an appropriate number of instructional days. She said that spring break will likely consist of a long weekend in March, and anticipates that travel during the break will be prohibited.
No decisions have been made about summer 2021 or fall 2021.