Iowa State makes changes to spring academic calendar

AMES, Iowa – As part of the ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Iowa State University’s spring 2021 semester will begin two weeks late and eliminate spring break.

In a letter today to the campus community, President Wendy Wintersteen announced that spring classes will begin Jan. 25. The semester will end May 6, consistent with the current calendar. Classes will be held during spring break, originally scheduled for March 15-19. Courses will also continue to be offered in four delivery modes: face-to-face, online, hybrid, and arranged.

“Our objective is to provide in-person learning, particularly for experiential courses, labs, and studios, while also providing flexibility for students and instructors who are more comfortable with virtual classes,” said Wintersteen.

Planning for instruction during a new winter session

Academic leaders are planning a five-week, online winter session, beginning Dec. 14 and ending Jan. 21. Additional information, including class schedules and tuition rates, will be made available in the coming weeks.

According to Senior Vice President and Provost Jonathan Wickert, the addition of winter classes will offer students a way to work ahead in meeting their graduation requirements, helping them graduate on time, as well as keep their minds sharp over the longer winter break. Iowa State’s academic colleges are currently identifying the set of core, general education, and gateway courses that will be offered during the session.

Safety measures to remain in place

Iowa State will maintain safety measures currently in place during spring semester. These include:

  • Reducing the number of students in a classroom
  • Mandatory use of face coverings
  • Modifying time between classes to avoid congestion in campus buildings, walkways, buses, and other areas

Current protocols for isolation, quarantine and COVID-19 testing are also expected to remain in place through the end of the academic year.