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University Quarter Calendar Principles

The following principles apply to the academic calendar each year. For specific dates, see the individual academic calendars.

  1. Fall quarter will be 11 weeks including Thanksgiving week, and not including the examination period.
  2. When Thanksgiving occurs in the last week of November, Fall quarter examinations will end on the second Saturday after the holiday. When Thanksgiving occurs during the third week in November, examinations will end on the third Saturday after the holiday.
  3. All final examination periods begin on a Monday and end on the following Saturday.
  4. Winter quarter will begin no earlier than January 3, and always on the first Monday or Tuesday following January 1.
  5. Winter quarter will generally be 10 weeks less Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (a Monday), and not including the examination period.
  6. When winter classes must begin on a Tuesday, Monday classes will meet on that day. This is referred to as a “Northwestern Monday.”*
  7. At least five business days (Monday-Friday) separate the winter and spring terms.
  8. Spring Quarter will begin on a Tuesday, and Monday classes will be held, a “Northwestern Monday.”*
  9. Spring quarter will be 10 weeks less Memorial Day (a Monday), and not including the examination period.
  10. Commencement takes place the Monday following the end of exams.

Approved by the University Calendar Committee Winter 2012, Revised August 2019

*Northwestern Monday: In the fall of 2019, President Schapiro and Provost Holloway announced changes to commencement, spring break and the start of the spring quarter:  spring quarters will now routinely start on Tuesday, rather than Monday, to afford two full weekends of break. 

 Though spring quarters will begin on a Tuesday, the Monday class schedule will be in effect, a practice referred to as “Northwestern Monday.”  Classes that usually meet only on Tuesdays will not meet during the first week of the term.  This calendar applies to all quarter classes except those offered in the evening programs in the Kellogg School of Management and the School of Professional Studies (SPS).