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Oct. 7, 2020 – Our Plan for the Spring Semester (Faculty and Postdocs)

Posted by on Wednesday, October 7, 2020 in Community Messages.

Dear faculty colleagues,

We are writing today to share the university’s plans for the spring semester academic calendar. Based on the consultative process across the schools and colleges, we will continue to offer in-person, on-campus classes, as well as a remote study option through virtual/alternative platforms, as we have done this fall semester, governed by our current safety protocols.

The general academic spring calendar for undergraduate and graduate degree programs is detailed below. It is designed to sustain the momentum you have worked so hard to establish, while also taking into account the most recent data and guidance from our colleagues at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the School of Nursing and that of public health officials. As always, our plans will hinge entirely on the continued dedication and accountability of our faculty, students and staff members in the weeks and months to come. Moreover, we will be vigilant and nimble should the COVID-19 pandemic conditions bring unexpected changes.

  • The first day of classes will be Monday, January 25. Instruction will conclude on Friday, April 30.
  • There will be no spring break this year, in a continued effort to limit travel-associated disease transmission. In addition, we ask that students stay in the Nashville area and not travel away from campus for weekend trips through the end of in-person classes and finals.
  • Four reading days and six exam days will follow the last day of classes April 30. Exams will conclude May 10.
  • Commencement for the Class of 2021 is planned for May 14.
  • Some individual schools, colleges and programs will have their own calendars for graduate and professional students, whereas others will follow the above. Your dean will be in touch with further information regarding school/college-specific information.

Additional information, including responses to frequently asked questions, can be found on the Vanderbilt Return to Campus website. We will continue to share additional details there as soon as they are finalized.

While at no point has this semester been easy or familiar, the return to campus this fall has positioned Vanderbilt well for the future. Whether you have taught classes or conducted research on campus or remotely, your efforts have been instrumental to our success. We are most grateful for your commitment. Although more time might be desired, we are hoping that the later start to the spring academic calendar will give each of you additional time to have a break and to prepare.

We have been incredibly heartened by and proud of how our community has come together for one another and in support of our academic mission, a mission of education and discovery that is more important than ever to our world. Together, we can keep this progress going and further establish Vanderbilt as a place in which we can all take pride for many years to come.


Daniel Diermeier, Chancellor
Susan R. Wente, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

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