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Policy Guidelines for Developing Academic Calendars

As amended through March 8, 2021
Downloadable version of the Policy Guidelines for Developing Academic Calendars


  1. General Policies for Fall and Spring Semesters
  2. Fall Semester
  3. Spring Semester
  4. Winter Session
  5. General Policies for Summer Sessions
  6. Summer Session 1
  7. Summer Session 2

The following Policy Guidelines shall be followed when developing Academic Calendars. However, there may be some academic years when not all guidelines can practicably be followed. In such years, the Academic Calendar proposed to the Senate shall include a brief description of any guidelines that are not satisfied and why the guideline/s are unable to be satisfied.

1. General Policies for Fall and Spring Semesters

1.1 There must be no fewer than thirty (30) weeks of instruction during the combined fall and spring semesters. Neither the designated one-week break during each semester nor the final exam period count towards this thirty-week minimum. (Department of Education requirement for Title IV funding eligibility)

1.2 Classes and other mandatory instructional activities shall not be held during the designated one-week break during each semester.

1.3 There should be as many unbroken weeks of instruction as possible to ensure a roughly equal number of Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesday, Thursdays, and Fridays in each semester.

1.4 A Reading Day shall immediately precede the first day of Final Examinations as defined in the Student Code.

1.5 There shall be eighteen (18) three-hour Final Examination periods scheduled, with three periods each day Monday through Friday, and none on Saturday or Sunday.

2. Fall Semester

2.1 Classes shall begin after August 16 (start of the contract year). The Academic Calendar must allow for graduate and teaching assistant training prior to the first day of the fall semester.

2.2 Classes and other mandatory instructional activities shall not be held on Labor Day.

2.3 Fall break week shall be the week in which the Thanksgiving holiday occurs.

3. Spring Semester

3.1 Classes and other mandatory instructional activities shall not be held on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

3.2 Spring break week shall be scheduled by taking into consideration partial term courses and associated deadlines.

4. Winter Session

4.1 Winter Session shall be offered between the fall and spring semesters.

4.2 Winter Session shall consist of a minimum of twenty-one (21) calendar days.

4.3 Classes and other mandatory instructional activities shall not be held on Christmas Day or New Year’s Day.

4.4 Instruction, including Final Examinations, shall end no later than the day prior to the first day of spring instruction.

5. General Policies for Summer Sessions

5.1 Summer Session shall begin after Commencement.

5.2 Summer Sessions 1 and 2 combined shall not be less than twelve (12) weeks.

6. Summer Session 1

6.1 Classes and other mandatory instructional activities shall not be held on Memorial Day.

6.2 Final Examinations shall be held during the final meeting of the class or on the day immediately following the final class meeting at the scheduled class meeting time.

7. Summer Session 2

7.1 Summer Session 2 shall begin no earlier than the Monday after completion of Summer Session 1.

7.2 Classes and other mandatory instructional activities shall not be held on Independence Day or the day designated by the University to be observed as Independence Day.

7.3 A Reading Day shall immediately precede the first day of Final Examinations.

7.4 There shall be nine (9) 2-hour Final Examination periods with four periods on the last day.