Carnegie Mellon University

October 9, 2020

Dear Members of the CMU Community:

I am writing to follow up on my September 10 email announcing the Spring 2021 academic calendar, including the new February 1 start date, and to provide additional information about the calendars for the spring and summer semesters. I am grateful to the Calendar Innovation Committee chaired by professors Rebecca Nugent and Mark Stehlik, the Academic Matters Committee and the University Leadership Council for their recommendations and support.

First, in addition to a delayed start date, all undergraduate and graduate courses will now be required to start the spring semester remotely for the first week of classes. As previously shared, the spring semester will include two additional break days in addition to the mid-semester break. These days will be on Tuesday, February 23, and Monday, April 5. In addition, the mid-semester break will be on Friday, March 19, between mini 3 and mini 4. The HUB website hosts the full updated calendar. As a reminder, these breaks are in lieu of the traditional spring break.

In order to make sure that the campus community can fully benefit from these non-class days, the University Leadership Council and I are asking the faculty to ensure that major academic deadlines or assessments do not immediately follow these break days. Our hope is that these dates will be an opportunity for true rest and rejuvenation.

Registration week for spring 2021 classes has also been adjusted, and will now take place between November 30 - December 4, 2020.

We are also adjusting the Summer 2021 calendar so that the summer term will start on Friday, May 21. Summer 1 will run May 21 - July 2, and Summer 2 will run July 6 - August 13.  In recognition of this earlier start date, we are recommending that faculty plan for May 21 to be a day that leverages the strengths of the hybrid model, including asynchronous activity and flexible attendance.

I am pleased to announce that in observance of Juneteenth — an annual celebration that commemorates the end of slavery for African-Americans in the United States since 1865 — classes will not be held on Friday, June 18. Therefore, June 18 will be a day of community engagement and educational campus programming. Further details will be announced during the spring semester.

Important Spring 2021 Academic Calendar Updates

  • November 30 - December 4, 2020 – Registration Week
  • February 1 - Spring Semester Begins
  • February 1–5 - Classes are remote
  • February 23 – Break Day
  • March 19 – Mid-Semester Break
  • April 5 – Break Day

Important Summer 2021 Academic Calendar Updates

  • May 21 - July 2 – Summer Term 1
  • June 18 – Juneteenth Observance
  • July 6 - August 13 – Summer Term 2

I am thankful for the cooperation of the campus community as we navigate this time with flexibility.

Thank you,

Jim Garrett