Fall semester to begin and end early, among changes made to 2020-21 academic calendar

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Students walking near the library.

The 2020-21 academic year fall semester will begin in-person on Wednesday, Aug. 26, and will continue through Tuesday, Nov. 24.

Finals will be administered remotely from Dec. 2 to Dec. 9.

The fall semester was originally scheduled for Aug. 31 through Dec. 9, 2020.

“Experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Mayo Clinic are predicting a likely resurgence of the coronavirus in late fall 2020,” the May 15 news release from the Office of the Provost said. “As such, it is important that we are able to move students out of residence halls earlier than normal.”

According to the release, these changes were based on Department of Education expectations for universities that distribute financial aid. The updated calendar was proposed to and received support from the University Academic Senate, Committee on Academic Procedures, COVID-19 Academic Steering Committee, COVID-19 Academic Planning Group, department chairs, deans and trustees, as well as members of the Provost’s Cabinet, Marquette University Student Government and Graduate Student Organization.

Additionally, the spring semester courses will begin a week later than usual, starting Monday, Jan. 25, and will go until May 8. Final exams will be administered in-person from May 10 to May 15.

Spring break and Easter Break will be combined. It will take place Saturday, March 27, through Monday, April 5.

“In this way, we limit the number of times students travel home and back during the semester,” the news release said.

J-Sessions will be six weeks rather than the usual four, as the earlier end to the fall 2020 semester will allow for this extension. The session will take place online from Dec. 14 to Jan. 23.

Graduate School and Graduate School of Management will follow a similar schedule. The School of Dentistry, Health Sciences professional degrees and the Law School will make separate decisions surrounding their academic calendars.

“Any of our plans may need to change based on government and medical official guidelines,” the news release said.

A virtual town hall forum will be held May 19 at 3:30 to share information about Marquette’s recovery plan. The forum will provide an update on the university’s processes for a phased return to work, according to the news release.

This story is developing. 

This story was written by Natallie St. Onge. She can be reached at natallie.stonge@marquette.edu.