Important Announcement: Change to Spring Semester Schedule

Tuesday, Nov 24, 2020
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Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

The 2020-21 academic calendar was designed last spring to allow for adjustments as necessary in response to the unpredictable nature of this pandemic. With the recent dramatic rise in COVID-19 cases around the country and, at the same time, hopeful news of a potential vaccine this spring, significant adjustments have been made to the academic calendar beginning after winter break.

These adjustments continue to prioritize the health and safety of the community while maximizing potential for in-person performance activities. The changes being made are summarized below:

  1. Block 3 of the fall semester will begin on Monday, January 11 (rather than January 6, as previously announced). This is to allow for more travel time and any associated testing and quarantining requirements after the winter holiday break. Block 3 performance opportunities will continue to be offered to the extent that health conditions allow, following the same safety protocols that are in place for Block 2. Details about how this change impacts quarantine and testing dates ahead of Block 3 are below.
  2. In an important change, many spring semester academic courses (for example, Liberal Arts, Music Theory and Analysis, Music History, Graduate Studies, and Ear Training) will begin early and run from Monday, January 11, to Friday, April 23. These courses will be delivered completely online. Dance and Drama academic courses will be coordinated directly through the divisions and they will be in touch with Block 3 and spring semester schedules as soon as possible. Although many academic classes will start in January, the official start date of the spring semester remains March 1 for transcript, tuition, and loan purposes.
  3. Spring break will be one week only, running from Saturday, February 20 to Sunday, February 28. There will be no break from March 27 to April 4; regularly scheduled classes will meet at that time.
  4. The spring semester will conclude with an intensive seven weeks of performance-only activities from Monday, April 26 to Friday, June 11. We remain optimistic that we will be able to offer robust in-person performance experiences at that time.

Moving the start of many spring semester academic courses to January 11 allows us to reserve a seven-week period focused on in-person performance work at the end of the spring semester, when experts have said we are more likely to have made progress containing the pandemic. And because these academic courses will be fully online, we ensure that work can continue immediately after the new year, even if the pandemic worsens in the coming months.

Full details on this adjusted plan are available on our website and in the message below, including:

  • Updated academic calendar for January 11 through June 18, 2021
  • Revised academic advisement and course registration schedule
  • Quarantine and travel reminders ahead of January 11
  • Information regarding student accounts
  • Information for International Students
  • Q&A

Finally, as a reminder, we urge you all to be safe and not travel over the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend. For more information about precautions you should be taking, please review the email sent from the Office of the President last Friday.

We are grateful for the commitment each of you has demonstrated to keeping each other safe during this time. It is in that spirit of shared responsibility that we remain determined to pursue the best educational and artistic experience possible, even as we continue to navigate this pandemic.

Adam Meyer

Updated Academic Calendar

Fall Semester Block 3 AND
Early start of spring semester academic classes
Monday, January 11—Friday, February 19


  • Fall Semester Block 3 work: including the second half of any performance or practicum classes that started in Block 2 and in-person performance activities. In-person performance work will follow the same safety protocols as currently in place for Block 2. Block 3 activities will conclude on February 19 and fall semester grades will be issued shortly after.
  • Many spring semester academic classes (for example, Liberal Arts, Music Theory and Analysis, Music History, Graduate Studies, and Ear Training) will begin early and run from Monday, January 11 to Friday, April 23. These courses will be delivered completely online. Dance and Drama academic courses will be coordinated directly through the divisions and they will be in touch with Block 3 and spring semester schedules as soon as possible. A complete list of courses that start on January 11 will be made available as part of the advisement and registration process.

Spring Break
Saturday, February 20—Sunday, February 28

  • No classes/rehearsals

Official start of Spring Semester
Monday, March 1—Friday, April 23

  • Academic classes that began on January 11 will continue through April 23
  • All other courses (largely performance-based and practicum courses) will begin on March 1 and will continue through June 11

Spring Term—Performance Work
​​​Monday, April 26—Friday, June 11

  • In-person performance period
  • Courses that began on March 1 continue through June 11
  • Commencement: Friday, June 18

Revised academic advisement and course registration schedule

For academic advisement and online registration for the spring term, please click here. If you have any further questions, please contact [email protected].

Quarantine/Travel reminders ahead of January 11
One advantage to starting spring semester academic courses online and in January is that it allows us to push the start of Block 3 back by a few days to January 11. This means that students can travel after New Year’s Day and still have adequate time to complete quarantine and testing requirements upon their return.

Students who leave New York State (with the exception of those traveling to New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, or Pennsylvania) between Blocks 2 and 3 or who are arriving in New York for the first time for Block 3 are advised to adhere to the following schedule:   

  • Obtain Pre-Travel Test: 72 hours prior to arrival time in New York State   
  • Arrive in New York State: Saturday, January 2  
  • Observe Three-Day Quarantine, measured from time of arrival 
  • Obtain Post-Travel Test: Wednesday, January 6
  • Post-Travel test results must be submitted before access to the Diamond Building will be granted
  • Block 3 starts: Monday, January 11

Residence Hall students who are required to quarantine must arrive on Saturday, January 2. Travel-related quarantines will only be supported by the Residence Hall staff starting Saturday, January 2. These students will be tested on Wednesday, January 6, and will be released from quarantine once results are received. Residence Hall students required to quarantine will not be allowed to arrive prior to January 2. The above schedule adheres to current governmental guidance, which is subject to change.

All students are required to submit a baseline test before the start of Block 3 (January 11). If you are required to test as part of the New York State travel restrictions, your travel-related testing will satisfy this requirement. If you are not traveling out of New York State, your test should be dated within 10 days of entering the building for the first time in Block 3.

Information regarding student accounts

As a reminder, the official start date for spring semester is March 1, 2021. As previously announced, outstanding spring semester account balances will be due on February 1, and account statements will be available to view on WebAdvisor on January 2. If you plan to sign up for the monthly payment plan, you can do so at Credit balances will be mailed to your preferred addresses after March 1. Please be sure to plan accordingly. If you anticipate having difficulty funding your living expenses for January and February, please contact the Office of Financial Aid ([email protected]) as soon as possible to discuss your options. Questions about billing, payment, or refunds should be directed to [email protected].

Information for International Students
The Office of International Advisement will be following up with you via email shortly with further information.

I signed up to be fully online for Block 3. What does the new calendar for January-June mean for me?

  • Your fall semester Block 3 work will still remain fully online, but you will also begin your spring semester academic courses (online) on January 11. At this time, the expectation is that all students will be able to return for in-person work on March 1, after the spring break week. Work after March 1 will continue to use a hybrid model, with classroom work done online, and as much performance work as possible done in-person. We are closely monitoring progress on testing and treatment options, scientific studies on the performing arts, government guidance, and vaccine development and will provide updated guidance for the rest of the spring semester after the new year.

​​​​My performance or practicum class started in Block 2 of the fall semester and is scheduled to continue in Block 3. How will that work?

  • Any fall semester classes that were scheduled for Block 2 and 3 in the fall will continue as planned. The spring counterpart to those courses will begin on March 1 and conclude on June 11.

I have questions about taking or returning from a leave of absence, what should I do?

  • Please contact [email protected] to set up an advisement appointment to discuss further.