Spring Semester and Winter Session Course Planning

Barbara A. Bichelmeyer Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor
Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020, 3:26 p.m.
KU Lawrence Faculty and Staff,KU Graduate Teaching Assistants

Updated Sept. 22, 2020, to reflect the start date for some online courses in the spring semester.


Student advising for the spring 2021 semester is quickly approaching. To best serve our students and ourselves, it’s important that as soon as possible we complete our spring course offerings, as well as our offerings for winter session courses held during the academic break.

The spring course schedule is set to be released on Sept. 24. It is critical for students and advisors to work with schedules that are as complete and accurate as possible to facilitate advising and enrollment. Here are some important reminders to assist with efforts to plan courses.

  • The spring semester enrollment window for currently enrolled students begins Oct. 15 and extends to Nov. 10. For course planning and advising purposes, it is very important the schedule be complete and accurate at the time of its release.
  • If spring course offerings in your unit are not yet finalized, please make it a priority to work with scheduling officers and the Office of University Registrar (OUR) to finalize offerings as soon as possible. If you have any issues with finding classrooms or enrollments being too large for classrooms, please work with OUR as needed.
  • As an institution, our goal is to have a vast majority of students advised and enrolled prior to Thanksgiving, when many students will return home for the remainder of the calendar year.
  • The extended academic break runs from Dec. 12, 2020, through Jan. 31, 2021. Spring semester courses begin Feb. 1, 2021, with the exception of spring courses in the School of Law, and some 8-week online courses, which begin on Jan. 25.
  • Course offerings during winter session – anytime between Dec. 28, 2020, and Jan. 22, 2021 – can be in any format: in-person, hybrid, or online. Please be aware that in-person classes will be centrally assigned to a room and building to maximize campus-wide energy efficiency, support facility project plans, and facilitate enhanced cleaning.
  • Physical distancing principles and practices used to develop the fall course schedule will continue in the spring. Class periods will remain shorter. Maximum course capacities remain reduced for on-campus and hybrid classes. Classroom facilities are arranged to accommodate physical distancing guidelines.  
  • Classrooms used for spring semester courses will be the same ones currently used for fall. These spaces are already arranged to accommodate physical distancing. If you anticipate using a classroom not already in service this fall, please alert Operations, kuoperations@ku.edu, as soon as possible. CARES Act funding, which can support classroom configuration and technology modifications, expires by Dec. 31, and requests must be handled while funding is still available.

I appreciate the work that has been undertaken to address student needs during the fall semester as well as preparation for the semesters to come. I know so many of you are working hard to deliver an exceptional experience for our students through incredible challenges.



Barbara A. Bichelmeyer
Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor