Academic calendar to change

Photo courtesy of FIU Flickr

By: Anna Radinsky/Assistant News Director


Changes to the University academic calendars will affect how students schedule their upcoming classes.

Starting in Fall 2019, some colleges will begin scheduling fall and spring classes that will last over one month, similar in length to Summer A and B sessions.

Winter Break in between the ending of Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 will be three weeks long, instead of four weeks.

Starting in Fall 2020, a yearly Fall Break will occur in the middle of the full Fall semesters or Fall C.

Sessions A, B and C

Beginning in Fall 2019, classes will be split into three sessions: A, B and C.

The sessions within terms project began with the Steven J. Green School of International & Public Affairs (SIPA) asking the University’s Enrollment Management & Services office to create dynamic sessions within October 2017.

The dynamic sessions resulted in the creation of the Fall Mini Terms, according to Kevin Coughlin, the Vice President of Enrollment Management & Services.

As other colleges showed interest in creating short-term classes for their students, the project of Fall Mini Terms grew to accommodate more classes outside of SIPA, which grew to A and B sessions.

Creating mini terms allowed colleges to make it easier for students to finish classes for a shorter amount of time.

“For example, we had a whole set of freshmen from 2018 that were here for Fall but had difficulty rejoining us in Spring in January. However, by having the B part of the term available for them in the Spring, they were able to take care of their family obligations or financial obligations and join us in March to continue making progress towards their degree,” said Coughlin.

The Fall Mini Term will be replaced by Fall B sessions, which will create more flexibility for students to schedule their classes.

“[The change] is better because you can be term activated for Summer and Fall and automatically you can have access to B session courses, some of which will be scheduled as if they’re Fall Mini Term,” said Coughlin.

The two new mini terms that will begin in Fall 2019 not only support students that have non-academic obligations to fill, but it also allows students to fix their academic performance.

“Students who have a tough time in the beginning of a term have an opportunity to recover the second half so their entire term isn’t trashed by one or two poor performances in classes,” said Coughlin.

The A and B sessions also allow colleges to create new learning experiences for students that are currently in the planning stages in the Academic Affairs office.

Winter Break 2019-2020

The University’s next winter break between 2019 and 2020 will be 23 days long, instead of 30.

Every six to seven years, the winter break period between the fall and spring semesters is brought down to 23 days instead of the usual 30 days.

The last time the shortened period occurred was in between 2013-2014 and the next time it will occur after 2019-2020 will be in 2025-2026, and so on, according to Coughlin.

“This is an interaction effect between the Florida Board of Governors Regulation 8001, which tells us when we can start a term, and the Faculty Senate insisted that we begin each term on a Monday,” Coughlin said.

Fall Break Will Begin in 2020

Starting in 2020, a Fall Break will occur from Monday, Oct. 12 to Saturday, Oct. 17.

“It’s not necessarily a break. It’s just going to be a time for non-traditional academic activity,” said Coughlin.

The University’s Academic Affairs office is planning for the break to include learning experiences that are not subject to the usual in-class activities.


The University’s Faculty Senate will be updating the academic calendar as more decisions finalize.

For more details about the academic calendar, visit

A timeline of upcoming dates within the University’s academic calendar that will affect student’s class choices. Timeline created by Anna Radinsky/PantherNOW.

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