PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University is making changes systemwide to its Spring 2021 academic calendar while continuing to offer education primarily at a distance in response to the ongoing COVID‑19 pandemic.

The Spring 2021 semester will begin on Jan. 19, which is about one week later than previously scheduled. Rather than having a weeklong spring break in March, WSU will set aside three weekdays when classes will not be taught.

“Nonessential travel continues to represent a significant threat to the health of our students, staff, faculty and the communities that support our physical campuses,” Provost and Executive Vice President Elizabeth Chilton said. “We must make adjustments to the calendar to reduce this risk while maintaining opportunities for students to rest and refocus during the semester.”

The added weekday academic breaks will take place on Feb. 25, March 17 and April 13. A class holiday on President’s Day, Feb. 15, will also be observed.

Final examinations will take place from May 3 through May 7, as previously scheduled.

The delayed start of the semester allows WSU time to adjust to any decisions made by the U.S. Department of Education related to remote instruction requirements. The delay also allows for more robust testing and quarantine procedures that were implemented this fall and will continue into the spring semester. Spring 2021 housing decisions will be announced Nov. 2, 2020.

Across its physical campuses, WSU will offer a combination of remote and in‑person classes during the spring semester. Lecture classes with significant enrollment will continue to be offered at a distance. Each campus will continue to run an exception process for courses that require in-person access to specialized equipment or spaces (e.g., laboratory and studio-based classes). WSU will continue to implement appropriate health and safety protocols to protect its students, faculty and staff.

The decision to alter the spring semester calendar was made in coordination with Faculty Senate and included student feedback. A few of the health sciences programs will run on alternative calendars because of clinical placements or collaborations with other institutions. Academic schedules for the upcoming semester will be found online for each of WSU’s campuses.

Media Contact:

Phil Weiler, vice president of marketing and communications, 509‑595‑1708, phil.weiler@wsu.edu