Changes to the Academic Calendar

What’s different and how will it affect you?

Through a successful partnership with students, faculty, staff and administrators, The University of Texas at Austin’s academic calendar has been modified to better meet educational needs, support immediate and long-term innovation, and support our academic mission, while ensuring compliance with university guidelines and federal and state regulations. Some terminology, as well as specific dates, has been modified, and these changes will be implemented for the first time in the 2022-2023 academic year.

The updated academic calendar is based on a semester model that contains new subterms in fall and spring semesters:

  • Fall Semester has two designated subterms:
    • Fall Term (formerly known as the “Fall Long Semester”) is the primary subterm for Fall Semester classes.
    • Winter Term is an optional period to offer education abroad courses, internships, etc.
  • Spring Semester has two designated subterms:
    • Spring Term (formerly known as “Spring Long Semester”) is the primary subterm for Spring Semester classes.
    • May Term is an optional four-week period for education abroad courses, internships, etc.
  • Summer Semester has four designated subterms:
    • First Term
    • Second Term
    • Nine-Week Term
    • Summer Term

Other specific changes to the academic calendar include:

  • Starting fall term classes on the 3rd or 4th Monday in August.
  • Extending fall break to a full week (week of Thanksgiving – Monday-Saturday).
  • Starting the spring semester on the Monday prior to Martin Luther King, Jr., Day.
  • Reducing the number of class days in the spring to 70 days (from the current 74).
  • Reducing the final exam schedule to four days (from the current six days) with options for two (default) and three-hour (approved by department chair and dean) exams.

Additional requests from campus members that were included in the recommendations and approved by Faculty Council are:

  • Faculty designation of required final exams will occur on or before the first day of the semester. For Fall 2022 and Spring 2023, an exception has been made, and the designation may occur on or before the 21st day of the semester.
  • Grade submission due dates will increase from 48 hours to 72 hours after the final exam. For classes that have regularly scheduled meeting times, but no final examinations, grades will be due at the same time they would have been if final examinations had been scheduled.
  • Beginning grade processing on the Thursday after final exams (72 hours after last final) and conferral of degrees five business days after grades are due.
  • Publication of a four-year Academic Calendar.
  • Creation of Academic Calendar Modification Implementation Workgroups to address and implement necessary changes to campus operations consistent with the approved guidelines for changes to the calendar and exam schedule

See Updated Principles for the Development of the Academic Calendar

Frequently Asked Questions

Registration, Enrollment and Course Schedules

When will registration be held for each semester and sub-term?

Registration will follow a similar timeframe as our current process. However, because Spring Semester ends two weeks earlier, we will shift both Summer Semester and Fall Semester registration two weeks earlier, as well. Note: Registration dates and deadlines for Fall and Spring Semesters will be based on Fall and Spring Term start dates. Registration for sub-term classes will occur during the registration periods for the semester in which it resides (e.g., students will register for May Term when they register for Spring Semester). 

Will the Winter Term and May Term have their own processes and deadlines?

In general, classes occurring during the Winter Term will use the Fall Semester deadlines and processes and classes occurring during the May Term will use the Spring Semester deadlines and processes.

When can students add/drop courses during a May Term or Winter Term, or for a non-standard course?

Students can add or drop Winter Term courses during the open registration period for the Fall Semester, and they can add or drop May Term courses during the open registration period for the Spring Semester. Consult the course schedule for spring and fall registration dates and times. Adding or dropping a class outside of this window may require special approval or exception. Learn more on the Texas One Stop Add/Drop a Course webpage.

Will Winter and May Term courses be distinguished in the course schedule?

Students are able to view the note lines of the course schedule to determine if a course is a Winter or May Term course. There is not a specific designation or a way to search or filter for Winter or May Term courses in the course schedule.

What is the late add process for a Winter or May Term?

These instances should be limited, as students should utilize the semester registration periods to register for the Winter or May Term. Any exception will need to be reviewed with a student’s advisor, approved by the department offering the Winter or May Term course, and approved by the student’s Academic Dean. 

What are the maximum number of course hours that a student can take per semester, including the Winter or May Term?

Students should consult with their academic advisor if they wish to take more than 17 course hours across a semester. For example, course hours for Fall Term plus Winter Term should not exceed 17 hours without an exception, and course hours for Spring Term plus May Term should not exceed 17 hours without an exception.

How will the Quantity of Work rule be calculated?

Quantity of Work (i.e., full-time, part-time status) will be based on the combined enrollment of each semester (e.g., Fall Term plus Winter Term courses for the Fall Semester, and Spring Term plus May Term courses for the Spring Semester). However, for those students receiving veteran education benefits, “Rate of Pursuit” or “Quantity of Work” rules are defined by the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs (VA) which has its own policies that define a student’s enrollment status and how that impacts their benefit eligibility. Students should contact Veteran Certification at gibill@austin.utexas.edu, (512) 475-7540, or visit us at Texas One Stop in MAI 1 to learn more. 

How does this impact probation and dismissal?

No changes. Scholastic status will be calculated based on each semester’s outcomes, with Winter Term grades being included in Fall Semester and May Term grades being included in Spring Semester.

Tuition

How does this impact tuition deadlines, financial aid and veteran education benefits? Are they still applicable to May and Winter Terms? 

Tuition deadlines follow the semester schedule. Since Winter Term is a sub-term to Fall Semester and May Term is a sub-term to Spring Semester, their tuition deadlines follow the semester deadlines. A student’s fall tuition will include the cost of Winter Term courses, and spring tuition will include the cost of May Term.

Financial aid is based on a student’s overall schedule for the semester’s work. Thus, Fall Term and Winter Term are combined, as are Spring Term and May Term. If a student drops or changes enrollment for a Winter or May Term course later in the semester, it may impact financial aid and veteran education benefits.

Veteran education benefits are defined by the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs (VA) which has its own policies that define a student’s enrollment status and how that impacts their benefit eligibility. Students should contact Veteran Certification at gibill@austin.utexas.edu, (512) 475-7540, or visit us at Texas One Stop in MAI 1 to learn more.

Will fall tuition cover Winter Term courses? And will spring tuition cover May Term courses?

Yes, tuition deadlines follow the semester schedule. Winter Term courses will be charged and due at the beginning of Fall Semester, and May Term courses will be due the beginning of Spring Semester.

Final Exams

Will there be separate final exam days for sub-terms or non-standard classes?

No, final exams will be based on the Fall Term and Spring Term. Winter Term, May Term and non-standard classes will use the last instruction day for exams.

What should students do if they have multiple final exams scheduled on the same day or if their exams overlap?

Students who have more than three exams on the same day should consult their final exam schedule to see if any of their courses offer a make-up exam option. Per academic policy, a student must receive accommodations if they have more than three finals on the same day. Students should contact their course instructor to schedule or confirm if a make-up option has already been scheduled. Please note that only uniform exams have a make-up option scheduled.

Diplomas

Will there be any changes to when students can expect their diploma?

No, there are no changes to the timing in which diplomas are mailed. Diplomas will still be mailed six to eight weeks after the student’s graduation. More information on diplomas can be found here.

Admissions and Internal Transfers

How will the internal transfer process be impacted by the new academic calendar?

At this time, we do not anticipate any changes to the open and close dates of the internal transfer application in relation to the new academic calendar.

Are you planning to change admit dates/timelines for fall admits?

At this time, we do not anticipate any changes to the open and close dates of current admissions applications.

Are you planning to change admit dates/timelines for spring admits?

At this time, we do not anticipate any changes to the open and close dates of current admissions applications.

Are there any changes to deadlines or processes related to transfer credit review?

Admissions staff is currently reviewing the timeline for transfer credit evaluations and will share more information as it becomes available.

Can students be admitted and matriculate directly into a Winter Term or May Term?

Not at this time. Students will continue to be admitted at the semester level. Alternative entry points could be considered in a future date, but those approaches would need to address any additional programming, staffing, technical and orientation needs before approval.

Will Winter Term and May Term have their own orientation sessions?

No. Orientation events provided by New Student Services will only be provided at the semester level. However, departments may hold orientations for their specific program. 

Holidays and Events

When will graduation occur?

College and school graduation events are generally held prior to university commencement. More information can be found on the commencement website or on your college or school website.

When will university commencement be held?

University commencement will be held the Saturday after finals of Spring Term.  

How does this impact holidays and campus closures?

The academic calendar honors all university holidays and campus closures. Official holidays are reflected in each year’s academic calendar. It is important to note that some classes are currently scheduled to meet during the winter break closure.

Final Exams

What are the major changes to the final exam scheduling process?

The major changes include:

  • The final exam schedule is to be published by the first day of each semester. For Fall 2022 and Spring 2023 , an exception has been made, and the designation may occur on or before the 21st day of the semester.
  • The number of final exam days is reduced to four days instead of six days.
  • The final exam default period is two hours.

What should you do if you want to offer a three-hour exam?

If you wish to offer a 3-hour long exam instead of the default 2-hour exam, dean-level approval must be secured to offer a 3-hour exam during one of the official uniform exam periods and forwarded to scheduling@austin.utexas.edu. Final exam schedulers would need to provide the unique number, preferred uniform and make-up exam period, as well as room preferences with the dean-level user approval. Faculty members should work with their final exam scheduler to identify and confirm final exam plans within the guidance and deadline provided to their scheduler. If more time is needed outside the reporting window, inform the scheduler right away.

Where can I find the new final exam production calendar and final exam periods?

Final exam dates and periods can be found on the Office of the Registrar’s website.

Will there be separate final exam days for sub-terms or non-standard classes?

No, final exams will be based on the Fall Term and Spring Term. Winter Term, May Term and non-standard classes will use the last instruction day for exams. Faculty are expected to communicate final exam information directly to the students.

If a student contacts me about an exam conflict, what accommodations am I responsible for?

In accordance with the Final Exam Student Scheduling Conflict Policy, if a student contacts you about an exam conflict, you will need to provide another time for your final exam that works with the student’s schedule. The Campus Testing Center will be available to administer in-person final exams for scheduling conflicts beginning in Fall 2022.

Students who receive accommodations for testing must discuss arrangements for testing accommodations with their instructors. Instructors can choose to provide testing accommodations themselves, use departmental testing space (if applicable) or reserve tests with the Campus Testing Center.

Course Scheduling

Are there changes to the course scheduling timeline?

Yes, course scheduling will shift earlier in the academic year — from two weeks to a month, depending on the university academic calendar — to ensure adequate production time. We will update the Office of the Registrar’s Course Schedulers Canvas site with the 2022-2023 production calendar in alignment with the new academic calendar dates.

Is there an expectation that more courses will be offered in the Winter Term and May Term, or is this change being made to accommodate the classes we already offer?

These changes are to accommodate classes currently offered and the curricular needs of the academic units. However, colleges and schools may choose to offer new courses during these times if desired.

What is a non-standard course?

A course that is offered within the dates of the semester (including both terms) but with varying start/end dates.

Are there any changes to the event scheduling process?

No, the event scheduling timeline remains the same.

Grading and Degree Conferral

When will grades be due?

Grade submission due dates will increase from 48 hours to 72 hours after the final exam or after the last day of class for those without finals.

When will degrees be conferred?

Degree conferral will be one week after Fall Term or Spring Term grades are due. Degree candidates who are enrolled in Winter or May Term classes will be considered for conferral after final grades are submitted for those classes.

Will Winter Term and May Term have their own degree conferral dates?

No, since they are part of Fall Semester and Spring Semester, they will use the degree conferral dates associated with the semester they are assigned.

Can a student have their degree conferred for fall if the transfer coursework or credit-by-exam is attached/affiliated with spring?

No, the transfer coursework must be completed in the same semester the degree is to be conferred, especially if the transfer coursework is needed to complete degree requirements.

Other

Does the proposed model meet the contact hour requirements established by the THECB and other accreditation bodies?

Yes. All classes are required to deliver 15 contact hours per credit hour. A traditional 15-week, three-credit class is required to have 45 contact hours. Non-standard courses must have the same number of contact hours as a traditional length class. The principles in this model, as related to contact hours, are already being adhered to in our current calendar.

How does the sub-term model impact faculty appointments?

Classes taught during the Fall Term and Winter Term will count collectively toward faculty’s teaching load for the Fall Semester. Likewise, classes taught during the Spring Term and May Term will count collectively toward faculty’s teaching load for the Spring Semester.

How does this impact holidays and campus closures?

The academic calendar honors all university holidays and campus closures. Official holidays will be reflected in each year’s academic calendar.

How should we handle time conflict overrides? And/or does the registration system even differentiate between a fall and winter course? 

Time conflict will be handled the same way a time conflict is handled now via the time conflict override form/email. The registration system will not differentiate between a fall and winter course. 

How many hours can a student take over the winter term?  

There is no limit on the number of hours a student can take in the winter term. However, students should consult with their academic advisor if they wish to take more than 17 course hours across a semester. For example, course hours for Fall Term plus Winter Term should not exceed 17 hours without an exception, and course hours for Spring Term plus May Term should not exceed 17 hours without an exception.

Is it possible for the Registrar to provide a full list of winter term courses being offered? 

The immediate plan is for the class meets dates to be listed in the notelines of the course schedule.  We’re still looking into long-term solutions/options for how to display winter term courses. 

What is the naming convention of the term/sub-term model?

As we adopt a term/sub-term model, fall, spring and summer are defined as umbrella “terms” (that we will refer to as “semesters”) and contain “sub-terms.” Sub-terms within a semester will end with the word “term” in its title. For example, “Winter Term” is a sub-term within “Fall Semester,” “May Term” is a sub-term within “Spring Semester,” and “Summer Term,” “First Term,” “Second Term” and “Nine-Week Term” are sub-terms within “Summer Semester.”

Likewise, the 70-day standard Fall Term and Spring Term are technically sub-terms within the umbrella terms of Fall Semester and Spring Semester. Please note that what the institution currently knows as the Fall Long Semester will now be called Fall Term, and Spring Long Semester will now be called Spring Term.

Will these changes require additional course schedules for sub-terms?

No, we will continue to publish three course schedules a year, one for each semester. All Winter Term classes will be included in the Fall Semester schedule and all May Term classes will be included in the Spring Semester schedule.

What were the considerations when addressing final exam changes?

Discussions over the last two years have included requests by faculty to have more time to submit final grades after final exams. Students and faculty requested that we adjust exam periods to limit late evening exams, students have asked for shorter final exam lengths, students and faculty have asked for a full Fall Break and staff have asked for the grade due date to be on a Thursday. We also spent significant time discussing the minimum lengths of sub-terms to ensure our existing course offerings are compliant with regulations while also protecting faculty’s need to deliver effective learning experiences. All of these considerations resulted in requests that could not be met with a six-day exam period. The recommendation to add two days to Fall Break and the need to create Winter and May sub-terms guided our four-day exam solution.

Did the steering committee review accommodation requirements when considering the proposed final exam model?

Yes, we held several discussions with leadership from the Services for Students with Disabilities Office (SSD). The Campus Testing Center is available for in-person accommodated tests during final exams and throughout the academic year.

How will the proposed academic calendar impact faculty and student appointments?

Members from Human Resources and the Provost’s office have reviewed current policies and procedures as they relate to the modifications of the academic calendar and found they do not require changes to faculty and student appointments. We encourage hiring managers to consult with their Human Resources liaisons with questions related to appointments. 

Has feedback been requested from other institutions who have similar calendars?

Absolutely. We have consulted multiple peer institutions and compared our existing and proposed models with over more than 30 institutions, including: University of Oklahoma, Texas A&M, The Ohio State University, UCLA, University of Florida, University of Michigan and many others.

Have trimesters been considered?

Yes, we have reviewed multiple calendar models including semesters, trimesters, standard, non-standard, etc., as defined by the Department of Education and considered guidance by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. The semester model remains as the best fit for our institution.

2022-2023 Academic Calendar

You can find the 2022-2023 Academic Calendar at the link below.

Learn More
Changes at a Glance

Here's a one page overview of the changes to the academic calendar.

Download
History

In January 2021, an Academic Calendar Modification Steering Committee was charged by Faculty Council and the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost to create a sustainable academic calendar framework. Learn more about the history, charge and considerations for this initiative.   

More Information
Co-Chairs

Mark Simpson
Assistant Vice Provost for Enrollment Services and University Registrar mark.simpson@austin.utexas.edu
512-475-7310

Tim Shanahan
C2 Committee Chair
Associate Professor, Department of Geological Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences
tshanahan@jsg.utexas.edu
512-232-7051