From the provost: 2020-21 Academic Calendar update

Dear Marquette community,

As we announced in April, Marquette University intends to resume campus operations this fall if governmental and medical authorities say it is safe to do so, and we are carefully developing our recovery plan that will lead to a safe, phased approach to reopening the campus in accordance with medical and government guidelines. Important to that recovery plan is how we address the 2020–21 Academic Calendar.

I would like to share today some key changes to the general calendar, with hopes that this information helps you prepare for the year ahead. As you reflect on the changes and what they will mean for your classrooms, teaching, research and scholarship, and service, please know that we have based them on the best public health information available at this time.

We also have based these changes on Department of Education expectations for universities that distribute student financial aid. The calendar then was proposed to and received support from the University Academic Senate, Committee on Academic Procedures, COVID-19 Academic Steering Committee, COVID-19 Academic Planning Group, department chairs, deans and trustees, as well as members of the Provost’s Cabinet, Marquette University Student Government and Graduate Student Organization.

Please note that certain schools — specifically, the School of Dentistry, Health Sciences professional degrees and the Law School — will make separate decisions concerning their academic calendars and will communicate those decisions with their faculty, students and others in the near future.

Fall 2020 term
Experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Mayo Clinic are predicting a likely resurgence of the coronavirus in late fall 2020. As such, it is important that we are able to move students out of residence halls earlier than normal.

To that end, undergraduate courses will begin on Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020, and instruction will conclude on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. Students then will have the opportunity to move out for the semester prior to the Thanksgiving holiday. This calendar change prompts a necessary adjustment to final exams as well and requires that we administer them remotely from December 2 to 9, 2020. More information about best practices for delivering online exams will be forthcoming.

Graduate School and Graduate School of Management courses will follow a similar pattern; however, most begin a few days earlier on Monday, Aug. 24, 2020.

Online J-Session
An earlier end to the fall 2020 term will allow Marquette’s J-Session to be six weeks rather than the usual four. The session will begin Monday, Dec. 14, 2020, and continue through Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. All courses will be delivered online.

Spring 2021 term
To maximize the amount of time students are away from campus and out of residence halls, spring 2021 undergraduate courses will begin a week later than usual on Monday, Jan. 25, 2021, and conclude on Saturday, May 8, 2021. Final exams will be administered in person, May 10 to 15, 2021. Graduate School and Graduate School of Management courses will follow a similar schedule.

Of special note, spring break has been combined with Easter break and will take place from Saturday, March 27, through Monday, April 5, 2021, for undergraduate courses, while most Graduate School and Graduate School of Management courses will resume on April 5, 2021. In this way, we limit the number of times students travel home and back during the semester.

As we shared last month, any of our plans may need to change based on government and medical official guidelines, so we ask for your continued patience and flexibility. If future guidance requires a different action, be assured that the safety of our students, faculty and staff will be the most important factor in our decisions.

We will be hosting additional virtual town hall events to share information related to our recovery plan. The next one will be Tuesday, May 19, from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and will provide an update on Marquette’s recovery planning process, the university’s processes for a phased return to work, and facilities considerations related to de-densifying, physical distancing and sanitization. Register in advance. Also, watch Marquette Today for regular COVID-19 and recovery plan updates, including future town halls.

Lastly, please refer directly to the 2020–21 Academic Calendar for specific details and dates related to midterm exams, advising, registration and more.

Thank you for all you do for Marquette.


Dr. Kimo Ah Yun
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs