EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was updated on May 28 to further clarify the dates of winter session.
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University will welcome students back to its campuses for the fall semester with a mix of in-person and online courses, as well as an adjusted calendar through May 2021.
IU President Michael A. McRobbie announced the 2020-21 academic year plans in a letter to the IU community today, and the announcement follows the report from the IU Restart Committee that he released to IU faculty and staff last week. The committee recommended that the fall semester involve a blend of in-person and online instruction, provided extensive public health measures are taken.
Important changes have been made to the academic calendar that are designed to support the safety of all IU students, faculty and staff during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The revised academic calendar eliminates both the fall and spring breaks, minimizes travel to and from campuses, and adds additional course options for students as follows:
- Fall semester, Aug. 24 to Dec. 20: Classes may meet in-person or online until Nov. 20. Beginning Nov. 30, all classes will move to online only.
- Spring semester, Jan. 19 to May 9: Classes meet online through Feb. 7, then begin in-person or remain online -- depending on the class -- through the remainder of the semester.
- The revised academic calendar also provides additional options for innovative courses and flexibility in learning through a new, online winter session, Dec. 21 to Feb. 7. It provides an opportunity for additional credit hours.
- Undergraduate students who take advantage of IU's banded tuition rates can include courses from the fall semester, winter session or spring semester as part of the new calendar without any additional cost.
Within this structure, many individual courses that previously met entirely in person will be blended courses, with some portion of the instruction online. This allows for an alternative to large classes where social distancing would not be possible. The reduced holiday travel to and from campuses will also help limit the number of people on campus during the months when the flu season compounds coronavirus concerns and issues.
"As we have said repeatedly, the safety and well-being of all IU students, faculty and staff is our highest priority," McRobbie said in his message to IU students, faculty and staff. "We have followed a methodical and deliberate approach in developing our plans for the new academic year and are relying on the best health and safety guidance available."
Additionally, most residence hall rooms on IU campuses will be single occupancy. But following a rigorous exemption process, shared rooms will be available for students who may want to choose a roommate.
On all campuses, IU is continuing intensive cleaning protocols and will reinforce personal responsibilities to keep everyone in the campus community safe. Exact procedures and advice developed from CDC and state guidelines will be finalized closer to the start of the fall semester.
IU is also developing procedures to protect those at higher risk during this pandemic. Last week, IU announced a partnership with IU Health to provide COVID-19 screening, testing and management services for the 140,000 faculty, staff and students at all IU campuses and facilities across the state.
Today's announcement of the new academic calendar is the next step in preparing for the fall semester and beyond. Exact details on tuition, fees and registration, as well as residence hall information for each campus, will be provided in the coming days.
Additional information will continue to be posted on fall2020.iu.edu. Each IU campus will be represented on the site, with details added in the coming weeks. The changes to the academic calendar do not apply to IU Fort Wayne and to many professional programs, such as IU School of Medicine. Students should check with their campus or program for further information.