Spring 2021 Planning

Semester Schedule

The spring semester will start on January 18 and will end on April 30. However, in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, there will be no classes January 18. Classes will begin January 19. There will be no spring break. Final exams will be held May 3 through May 7.

Instructional Modes

Instructors can expect to deliver their courses in the mode they indicated to their unit leadership, using the same flexible instructional modes that were developed for the fall 2020 semester. There are no current plans to start or end the semester remotely.

The University is prepared to adjust its approach for spring given a multitude of factors, including a severe flu season, and will be ready to make changes and shift to remote learning if necessary.

Factors that might lead to additional distancing measures, or adjustments to campus-based course delivery, include virus caseloads of a campus or region, quarantine and isolation capacity, a county’s status as tracked by the state Department of Health, the capacity of the local health care system, and community compliance with health and safety protocols among others. Possible adjustments include suspending use of certain buildings or spaces; quarantining a program, cohort, or residence hall; pausing in-person classes temporarily for specific campus programs and operations; or transitioning all campus programs and classes to remote delivery. We are prepared to quickly take action and change course.

Classroom Capacity

At this time and in order to meet the physical distancing protocols, all classrooms are planned to be at the same capacity that was established for the fall 2020 semester.

All courses at University Park with enrollment over 250 will be delivered remotely. At other Penn State campuses, the maximum number of students in an in-person setting is lower, and any class of 100 or more students must be offered remotely. Additionally, smaller classes may need to be offered remotely due to health and safety considerations for faculty and students and the restrictions that physical distancing places on class size and room availability.