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Academic Calendar Committee

The Academic Calendar Committee has these members, this charge, this timeline, and this outreach plan. We  post informal minutes after each of our meetings  and are happy to share these resources. You can email us any  time.

The Committee is now in the process of optimizing across the multiple and sometimes diverging views that have been expressed through the  1000+ posted comments and the numerous emails that have been received.

We have  formulated  two possible Fall calendars (F1, F2)  and four possible Spring calendars (S1, S2, S3,S4) . Please take a look and post comments below.

  Quick Overview  shows all the options for the busy reader.
  Fall Calendar F1  2-day Fall break, 3-day Thanksgiving break followed by 9 class days
  Fall Calendar F2  2-day Fall break, a 5-day Thanksgiving break followed by 9 class days
  Spring Calendar S1  February break delayed by one week.
  Spring Calendar S2  The February and Spring break are reversed in order and repositioned
  Spring Calendar S3  Commencement is two weeks earlier. February and spring break remain
  Spring Calendar S4  Commencement is two weeks earlier. February break is cancelled.

Remember that the most valuable comments at this stage are those that address tradeoffs and take into account the broad community. Changes to the calendar are not likely to take effect before the 2018-19 school year.


  1. I am presently setting up a course with help from the International Affairs and Cornell Abroad. Part of the course will involve a two-week trip over the Winter Break which would be affected by the S3 proposal. Winter and Spring breaks allow for field trips to be incorporated into standard courses as part of the scholastic year (no extra tuition fees).

    1. What about S4?

  2. I believe that F1 and S4 are the most equitable options. They both give 6 days of break throughout both semesters. The balance this creates does not confuse the students to make one semester “longer” than another. Since I was a transfer student, during my freshman year I operated on this type of schedule. I prefer this calendar option to the one that Cornell currently uses. The length of Winter break is too long and could be shortened. This shortening of the break helps in May when we are looking for internships. Many other schools have an advantage when they get out earlier because their students can begin working before ours. This schedule keeps us synchronized with peer institutions and allows students from the same family to visit with each other during break. I believe that the February serves a place in the current calendar. However, if the calendar were to switch to S4 with a shorter winter break, and earlier end to the spring semester it will render itself useless. In my opinion the balance of breaks across these two options are the best academic planning options for the university.

  3. F2 and S4 are definitely the best choices. F2 allows those who live in the South, Midwest, and the West to return home for a meaningful period of time and reduce travel costs because there is more time to get home and return. It also allows students a few more days to relax with family after summer internships. S4 gives Cornell a relevant spring break that is shared with other schools, opens up additional internship opportunities (Southwest Airlines for example), and shortens the long and boring winter break. The only downside of S4 is that we have MLK day off. While a very meaningful and important day, it is not necessary to have it off because it is right after classes begin. It would be better to have President’s Day off instead. This will also align with ICSD. These calendars will greatly benefit the university and improve the quality of life of nearly all students.

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