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Spring 2021 Calendar Announcement

Provost Peggy Agouris sent the following message to the campus community Oct. 22, 2020. - Ed.

Dear W&M Community,

First, I send my sincere thanks to students, faculty and staff who have worked tirelessly and honored our Healthy Together Community Commitment in order to make the fall semester a success in the face of considerable challenges.

As we plan for our spring semester, our overarching goals remain steadfast:  to prioritize the health and well-being of the community; to keep teaching, learning and pursuing research; and to continue adapting our living, learning and working environments so as to mitigate the spread of the virus.  I am enormously grateful for the W&M community’s commitment to these three goals over the past eight months – and we must remain vigilant.

Knowing how rapidly public health conditions can change, William & Mary will continue to move forward in a phased way, using the best information we have and consistent with public health guidelines.  We will continue to communicate regularly, to provide as much clarity as feasible, as soon as possible.

With the above in mind, I am writing today with updates about the Spring 2021 academic calendar.  The spring course schedule will include in-person, blended and fully-remote sections, as the fall semester did.  We have heard the concerns expressed by many students and faculty about this fall’s compressed semester.  In response, W&M will not shorten the spring academic calendar.  Start and end dates will remain as published on the University Registrar’s website.

  • Undergraduate, graduate Arts & Sciences, and Marine Science classes will begin January 27 and end May 7.
  • Start and end dates for the Mason School of Business, the School of Education and the Law School vary by program and can be found on the University Registrar's website

It is clear, given the continuing trajectory of the pandemic, that spring break will have to be different this academic year.  We continue to place first priority on the health of our community.  That includes mental health and wellness, and we acknowledge the need for the entire university to have downtime.  In order to provide restorative breaks while remaining vigilant about the spread of COVID-19, we will offer individual spring break days in 2021, rather than a consecutive, five-day break.  For undergraduates, there will be six spring break days:

  • Friday, February 12
  • Thursday, March 4
  • Wednesday, March 17
  • Tuesday, April 6
  • Wednesday, April 7
  • Monday, April 26

On these spring break days, classes will not meet and no due dates for assignments or exams will be scheduled.  Some students and faculty may elect simply to unplug and rest on these days; others will want to participate in a variety of recreational, social, wellness and service opportunities that will be announced later.

Graduate schools will be in direct contact with students by the end of October regarding spring break days and other academic calendar considerations.  Student Affairs will provide details about the winter break transition and spring semester arrival by the week of November 2.  Specifics on operations for all employees will be announced by the week of November 16.  And pre-arrival testing requirements will be announced by the week of November 16.

I would like to thank you again for your incredible commitment to our healthy community and wish you the best as we continue through the second half of the fall semester together.

Peggy