Spring Academic Calendar and Housing Update

November 13, 2020

To the George Washington University Community:

As we continue to plan for the spring, protecting the health and safety of our community and ensuring a high-quality academic experience remain our top priorities. Recently, we have made decisions that support these priorities as we finalized the spring academic calendar and moved forward with the limited expansion of residential housing. While we need to continue to monitor public health conditions and local requirements that may affect our spring plans, we want to share details about where we are today.

Spring Academic Calendar

We have listened closely to the GW community regarding the spring academic calendar and as a result made a few minor adjustments. The calendar is now updated online and includes:

  • A spring semester start date of Jan. 11, as previously planned. The traditional weeklong spring break, based on feedback from the community regarding the need for this time to support student success and faculty planning.
  • No classes on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20. (University offices remain open.)
  • Adjustments to make-up/reading days in late April.
  • Final examinations May 3-11, as previously planned.

We believe this calendar reflects the feedback we heard from the community and will allow us to continue to fulfill our core academic mission, despite the continued uncertainty of the pandemic. Schools and colleges with their own academic calendars will update their students directly.

Spring Housing

Additionally, as we shared last month, we are able to welcome back more residential students thanks to the expertise and testing capacity we have developed and the community’s adherence to health and safety measures, which have worked well to limit the spread of the virus on campus.

We are pleased to share the following update on spring housing and move-in:

  • We have approved all spring housing applications and notified students. We will welcome an additional 1,100 students to campus in January, and they will join the 500 returning students who are currently living on campus.
  • New residential students will receive information about their residence hall and suitemate assignment (if applicable) before Thanksgiving.
  • Move-in for any students currently living in residence halls who do not remain on campus during winter break will occur Jan. 9. Move-in for the additional 1,100 students approved for spring housing will occur over two weekends, Jan. 23-24 and Jan. 30-31.  
  • Designating these weekends for move-in, which we recognize are after the start of classes for undergraduate students, will help GW do our part in preventing a potential superspreader event around the inauguration, when we anticipate a large influx of travelers to the region.
  • Residential students will receive more information on move-in soon.

Health and Safety, Academic Considerations

In finalizing the academic calendar and our plans for move-in, we worked to balance the many needs of our community while supporting health, safety, and academic success. 

Scheduling additional residential student move-in over two weekends in late January allows necessary time for planning, a safe and socially distanced process on campus, and adherence to District and university public health guidance. It also supports our commitment to limiting the spread of the virus among the D.C. community.

We have asked the faculty for their flexibility in the initial weeks of the spring semester to accommodate students who are moving onto campus. Additionally, the university’s suspension of non-essential travel remains in place, and we will continue to discourage travel during spring break among the on-campus community and implement additional public health requirements as necessary.

Over the coming weeks, we will continue to provide you with updates about the spring and share more information through the COVID-19 website. Recordings of recent virtual forums are now available.  

Thank You

Once again, we remain grateful for your continued patience, understanding, and flexibility as we finish the fall semester and plan for the spring. We thank you for your support for one another and for your commitment to our university, whether it is through your teaching, learning, research, or work.

We look forward to more of these positive steps forward as we gradually and safely return to more “normal” campus operations.

Stay safe and stay well.


Thomas J. LeBlanc, President
M. Brian Blake, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
Lynn Goldman, Dean, Milken Institute School of Public Health
Mark Diaz, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
M.L. “Cissy” Petty, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Scott Burnotes, Vice President for Safety and Facilities