Revised UMass Amherst Winter Term 2020-21 Calendar Released; Credit Cap Increased

Earlier this week, UMass Amherst students were emailed with updated information on the winter 2020-21 term, including a revised calendar and an increase in the credit cap from four credits to eight.

That message is as follows:

Dear Student,

Today we are pleased to announce a revised academic calendar for the Winter 2020-21 term. 

The fact that the fall semester starts and ends two weeks early this year has permitted us to expand the winter term to a full six weeks, making it equivalent in length to a summer session. Along with the adoption of the new dates below, the credit cap for Winter 2020/21 has also been increased from the usual 4 to 8 credits.

The revised winter calendar will allow you more time to engage with and absorb the material in your classes and also opens the door for you to select more courses from a wider array of offerings. Whether you want to take classes during winter to get ahead, or to catch up, this greater variety of options will give you more flexibility and enhance your ability to make steady progress toward graduation. 

Please note that the pass/fail rules that normally apply in winter term (under which you may opt to take one course pass/fail) will apply to the Winter 2020-21 Term.

Key dates in the Winter Academic Calendar are as follows:


Newly Adopted Winter Key Dates

Previous Winter Key Dates

Classes Start  

Monday, Dec. 7

Monday, Dec. 28        

Add/Drop Ends

Friday, Dec. 11

Wednesday, Dec. 30  

Holiday Breaks

Friday, Dec. 25 and Friday, Jan. 1

Friday, Jan. 1

W/DR ends     

Thursday, Dec. 31


Friday, Jan. 8

Classes end    

Saturday, Jan. 16       

Saturday, Jan. 16

Final grades due

Wednesday, Jan. 20

Wednesday, Jan. 20

The winter listings on SPIRE, which already contain more than 130 courses, will reflect the new semester dates by Sept. 21, 2020. Academic departments will continue to update the winter schedule by adding more courses to it during the next two weeks.  You may begin registering for Winter 2020-21 classes on Oct. 14, 2020. Reach out to your academic advisor if you have any questions.