JMU announces spring 2021 operational plans

JMU News

Spring semester 2021 will look different from those in the past at James Madison University to maintain safety and academics during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

In announcing the plans to the campus community, President Jonathan R. Alger said, "Your safety is our top priority, followed closely by maintaining the high academic quality and engaged learning that JMU is known for as students advance in their progress toward graduation." 

The changes include replacing the traditional week-long spring break with three days of no classes throughout the semester. The traditional spring break had been scheduled for March 8-12. In place of that break, classes will not be held on Wednesday, Feb. 17; Friday, March 12; and Thursday, April 8. 

The changes to spring break will curb travel as recommended by medical professionals. 

The spring semester will begin one week later than originally planned, on Tuesday, Jan. 19, to reduce the amount of time the campus community spends together during peak flu season. The university strongly encourages students who have not already gotten their flu shot this year to do so before returning for the spring semester. The flu shot is an effective way to protect the entire community. 

The spring semester will end as planned, with April 29 as the last day of classes. Exams remain scheduled for April 30-May 6. 

Spring commencement remains scheduled for May 6-8. 

The full plan can be accessed on the JMU website. 

"It is disappointing that we cannot always gather in the ways we typically do, but we will continue to build community and relationships," Alger said. " While we are not physically together as often, the sense of belonging and cooperation shown by the members of our community has been extraordinary to witness and to be a part of. Your contributions to each other’s health and safety have been inspiring, and we thank you for the care you are taking." 


Media contact: Mary-Hope Vass, 



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Published: Friday, October 23, 2020

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 1, 2023

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