Spring 2021 academic calendar; online option announced

Purdue University released today a modified academic calendar for the Spring 2021 semester and announced that a fully online option will again be offered for students who cannot or choose not to come to campus for the Spring 2021 semester. 

Instruction will begin Tuesday, Jan. 19, after the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. To allow for this later start and to minimize mass travel to and from campus during the semester, the customary spring break period has been eliminated. 

In its place, and at the suggestion of the University Senate Educational Policy Committee, three reading days have been added throughout the semester to give faculty and students a brief respite from instruction to permit them to focus on their preparation and check their understanding of materials. These are not University holidays. Campus will remain open and students are expected to remain on campus. However, no classes (undergraduate, graduate, professional) will be in session.

The spring semester is planned as a residential semester similar to the current fall semester, with a focus on campus de-densification and offering hybrid/HyFlex courses. However, to accommodate any student who cannot come to campus because of travel restrictions or who chooses not to out of personal health and safety concerns, a fully online option will again be offered. Details on when and how students can opt into the Spring 2021 online option will be shared soon.  

There are no changes currently planned to the Summer 2021 academic calendar. An alternative academic calendar is in place for the Fall 2020 semester, ending residential instruction Nov. 24 and completing the remainder of the term remotely. 

Spring 2021 Alternative Academic Calendar

  • January 11 – Academic Year Faculty/Staff First Day
  • January 18 – Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday
  • January 19 (Tuesday) – Classes Begin
  • February 17 (Wednesday) – Reading Day
  • March 18 (Thursday) – Reading Day
  • April 13 (Tuesday) – Reading Day
  • May 1 – Classes End
  • May 3-8 – Final Exams
  • May 11 – Grades Due
  • May 14-16 – Commencement
  • May 16 – Academic Year Faculty/Staff Last Day

Summer 2021 Academic Calendar

  • May 17 – First Summer Modules Begin
  • May 31 – Memorial Day (No Classes)
  • June 14 – Second Summer Modules Begin
  • July 5 – Independence Day Observed (no classes)
  • July 12 – Third Summer Module Begins

There will be no change to fiscal-year or academic-year employee pay. Faculty and staff who wish to take complete leave of their work on reading days must use available vacation, personal or sick leave.

If health and safety guidance necessitate a shift to fully remote delivery for all or part of the Spring 2021 semester, the academic calendar will remain the same. 

Other Spring 2021 plans

By Nov. 2, decisions will be announced on the following Spring 2021 topics: University travel; study abroad; campus visitors; and events, convocations and conferences. 

If possible, a decision on the delivery of Spring 2021 commencement ceremonies will be shared by the end of the Fall 2020 semester (Dec. 5). 

As with previous guidance on these topics, the most current CDC and Indiana State Department of Health guidelines, as well as counsel from our Medical Advisory Team, will be used to make decisions related to the Spring 2021 semester. Any decisions related to pre-arrival testing for students, faculty and staff before they return to campus for the spring semester will be made later in the fall.