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March 25, 2021 – Graduate and professional students: our fall 2021 academic calendar

Posted by on Thursday, March 25, 2021 in Community Messages.

As Chancellor Diermeier shared earlier today, fall semester classes will be offered in person. We greatly look forward to returning to the full in-person learning experience that is integral to student life and to our educational mission at Vanderbilt.

While this decision signals a step toward the life we recognize, our excitement and optimism must, by necessity, be tempered by the dynamic reality of the pandemic. Our priority remains ensuring the health and safety of our students, postdocs, faculty and staff as much as possible. Current COVID-19 testing and safety protocols remain in place. Should the status of the pandemic change dramatically over the spring and summer, or should public health guidance advise against in-person instruction, an alternative option may be required.

I know you will have additional questions. We will continue to monitor the pandemic to inform our full fall semester plans and will provide additional information in the coming weeks.

Fall academic calendar

  • Academic calendars for graduate and professional programs will largely follow the undergraduate schedule, beginning Aug. 25 and concluding Dec. 10. Students will return to campus after the Thanksgiving holiday to complete the final two weeks of classes and take exams, if applicable, in person. The semester will conclude Dec. 18. 
  • Specific schools may have slight schedule variations. All students will receive additional information from their respective schools with full calendar details. See additional information>>
  • If you cannot engage in in-person instruction on campus and do not have an approved accommodation, you must request a Leave of Absence through the appropriate official in your school.
  • Programs that have been offered online before 2020 will continue to be offered online.
  • Undergraduate and graduate students will receive an additional reading day Dec. 8 to supplement regular readings days Dec. 11–12 during final exams.

I encourage you to regularly check the  Return to Campus website  for updates about the university’s pandemic response and protocols.

Students with questions can call our dedicated helpline 24 hours a day at 615-322-4357.


C. André Christie-Mizell, Ph.D.
Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Dean of the Graduate School