Spring 2021 academic calendar

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

While we are less than a month into autumn semester, I am writing to provide clarity about spring semester 2021 so that you can begin to make plans.

Ohio State campuses will continue to be open in the new year, and classes will take place through a mix of in-person, online and blended teaching that supports our Safe and Healthy Buckeyes plan. Classes will begin on our published start date (Jan. 11), but we have made several other adjustments to the academic calendar: 

  • The first week of classes (Jan. 11-15) will be online so that members of the university community have ample time to quarantine prior to any in-person sessions.
  • There will be no spring break. Instead, there will be two instructional breaks — on Tuesday, Feb. 9, and Wednesday, March 31 — where there will be no classes. This approach will keep our community together throughout the semester and reduce travel-related exposures.
  • Classes will end April 21 with a reading day on April 22, and final exams will take place April 23-29. Commencement will take place May 9 in a format to be determined based on safety guidelines in place in the spring. By moving these dates forward, we will allow more time to plan for summer term classes, which will begin May 12.

Academic leaders throughout the colleges will submit courses to the University Registrar by Sept. 20 so that students can begin to enroll in spring courses by Oct. 19.

While there were many adjustments to our plans over the summer, we hope that our experience this semester will allow for a smoother and more predictable plan heading into spring semester. To students, faculty and staff alike, thank you for your continued flexibility as we respond to an ever-changing situation.

We will continue to explore ways to expand and enhance opportunities for in-person experiences this spring. Ultimately, these decisions will depend both on the evolution of COVID-19 science and our continued commitment to the measures listed on the Safe and Healthy Buckeyes website. As a default, all students, faculty and staff should expect the same sort of comprehensive approach that is in place this fall — including testing, contact tracing and personal behaviors such as face masks, physical distancing and hand-washing.

Thanks again for working Together As Buckeyes to protect and support one another.

Bruce A. McPheron, PhD
Executive Vice President and Provost