Semester Start Dates Fall 2018 – Spring 2023

On June 26, 2015 the following memo was sent to college and university presidents, the chancellor and Board of Trustees, CAOs, CSAOs, and union presidents:

This memo establishes official academic semester start dates for 2019-2023.

We are grateful for the feedback received from several sources (presidents, the Academic Affairs Council, and several statewide meet and confer discussions) and have used it to amend the dates first proposed in Sr. Vice Chancellor O’Brien’s memo of April 13, 2015.

In addition to meeting the criteria stated in system procedure, this schedule provides a predictable pattern of start dates and semester intervals. The fall semester will regularly start on the fourth Monday of August. In many years, the fourth Monday will be a week before Labor Day; in some, it will be two weeks before Labor Day. The spring start is on the second Monday of January, one week before Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

These dates are consistent with semester start dates since 2006, with fall start dates ranging between August 21 – 27 and spring starts ranging between January 8 – 14. The pattern allows for 17 calendar weeks in fall and 17 or more calendar weeks in spring.

Academic Year



2018-2019 Monday, August 27, 2018 Monday, January 14, 2019
2019-2020 Monday, August 26, 2019 Monday, January 13, 2020
2020-2021 Monday, August 24, 2020 Monday, January 11, 2021
2021-2022 Monday, August 23, 2021 Monday, January 10, 2022
2022-2023 Monday, August 22, 2022 Monday, January 09, 2023


Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board Policy 3.34 Academic Start Dates states: “The Chancellor shall establish, at least one year (12 months) in advance, the official system academic semester start dates which shall apply to all colleges and universities in the system.” Procedure 3.34.1, Part 2 also lists the following general provisions for establishing academic semester start dates.

“The following criteria shall be considered when establishing academic semester start dates:

  1. Fall semester start date will allow for the student contact time necessary to complete the semester, including exams, prior to December 24.
  2. A winter break (of approximately three weeks) will be established between the  official fall and spring academic semesters, and
  3. Spring semester start date will accommodate the winter break and attempt to avoid starting on a Thursday or Friday.”

Note: these dates are for the official start of the fall and winter semesters and allow for Saturday class starts to occur the Saturday before the Monday starts. The policy also permits special (or alternate) semester terms, designed to meet the needs of special student program or course cohorts as provided further in policy:

Special (or alternate) semester terms, designed to meet the needs of special student program or course cohorts, shall be exempted from the requirements of this policy as determined by the college or university presidents.

Colleges and universities can still schedule classes or other learning experiences, such as teacher education practice, cohort classes, and short courses before or after an official common start of the semester.

Dates for 2015-2018 can be found online at Academic Calendars.

Thank you for your cooperation.

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