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Academic Calendar FAQs

What does “First Day of Classes (Monday class schedule on Wednesday)” mean?

This change means that on the first day of classes in the spring term (Wednesday), classes scheduled on Mondays will meet. The first day of classes (Wednesday) is the only day this happens. Thursday follows a regular Thursday schedule, and Friday follows a regular Friday schedule. 

 

What does “Thursday-Friday Class Schedule on Tuesday-Wednesday” mean?

This change means that on Tuesday, classes normally scheduled for Thursday will meet; and on Wednesday, classes normally scheduled for Friday will meet. 


Why is this happening?

This change equalizes the number of class meetings held on each day of the week in each term, so that there are the same number of class meetings on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. To see why this is the case, view this calendar showing class meetings by days of the week.


I have two classes and a recitation on Tuesdays, but no classes scheduled on Thursdays. What do I do on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving?

You follow a Thursday class schedule on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. When you wake up that morning, pretend it is a Thursday and go to the classes that you would normally attend on a Thursday. If you have no classes scheduled on Thursdays, then you don’t go to classes on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.


Does this apply to graduate classes?

Most graduate and professional courses at Penn follow the University’s calendar, and so are affected by this change. Some graduate and professional programs follow their own calendars, including the MBA and MD programs. If you are not sure whether your course follows the University’s calendar, contact your school or program office to confirm which calendar your course follows.


When will we make up the classes missed due to the changes?

There is no need to make up any days. These changes are intended to equalize the number of class meetings across the semester.


Who made this decision and why?

The Council of Undergraduate Deans recommends an academic calendar to the Provost three years in advance.  It studied the new Curricular Credit Policy of the Pennsylvania Department of Education and determined that Penn would need to add additional days of instruction to the fall semester, to ensure that class meetings met for the minimum required number of meetings in the shortest amount of time. These proposed changes were broadly discussed by the Faculty Senate, department chairs, and faculty members as part of the Council’s deliberations.


Who can I contact to ask a question or register a complaint?

Rob Nelson, Executive Director for Education and Academic Planning in the Office of the Provost, manages the Academic Calendar. He can be reached at erob@upenn or 215-898-7225.