To: Members of the University Community
From: Ka Yee C. Lee, Provost
Subject: Academic Calendar Changes
Date: February 26, 2020
As part of the University of Chicago’s commitment to support the academic experience and well-being of our students and the work of our faculty, we will implement several adjustments to the academic calendar beginning in Autumn 2021.
These adjustments result from a comprehensive review of the academic calendar by a committee composed of faculty, academic staff, and undergraduate and graduate students, who worked at the charge of Dean John W. Boyer with support from the Office of the Provost. The committee’s recommendations were reviewed and discussed by the Council of the Faculty Senate, the College Council, and the Committees of both Councils. They also were reviewed by and received wide support from the deans of the University.
The committee’s report, which is available here, reaffirmed the importance of the quarter system and suggested that minor adjustments to the current calendar would provide numerous advantages to students and to faculty. Such benefits include increased flexibility for students to schedule coursework, a better coordinated conclusion to the spring term across all units of the University, and better alignment of the calendar with a range of summer opportunities including research, internships, and summer study.
The key recommendations are:
  • Conclude all coursework and exams by June 1
  • Institute a week-long break for Thanksgiving
  • Reduce each quarter’s instructional period from 9 ½ to 9 weeks
  • Establish a three-day Reading Period, extending from Saturday of the final instructional week through Monday of Exam Week
  • Administer exams Tuesday through Friday of Exam Week
  • Introduce a three-week September term with limited on-campus course offerings, modeled after study abroad programs and Summer Session
I would like to thank the members of the committee, chaired by Martha T. Roth, the Chauncey S. Boucher Distinguished Service Professor of Assyriology in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, for their work in developing these recommendations. The Office of the Provost will work with an implementation group to put these changes into effect and address any related issues.
Graduate Education
Policy and Administration
Undergraduate Education