Academic Calendar 2020–21

The Academic Calendar for AY 2020–21 has been adjusted to bolster RISD’s prioritization of public health.

Fall 2020

Aug 29–Sept 2: Move-in

Sept 3: Quarantine Week I

Sept 10: Classes start online only

Sept 10–16: Quarantine Week II

Sept 17: Classes continue de-densified campus

Nov 26/27: Thanksgiving Break on campus

Dec 15: Semester ends

Wintersession 2021

Jan 11: WS starts, online only

Jan 11: WS starts, on campus and in-person for make-up coursework only

Feb 12: WS ends

Spring 2021

Feb 15: Quarantine Week I

Feb 22: Classes start online only

Feb 22–28: Quarantine Week II

Mar 1: Classes continue de-densified campus

Mar 29/30: Spring Break on campus

April 23: Deadline for students on Leave of Absence (LOA) to declare AY21–22 reinstatement intentions

May 17: Deadline for students to be notified of a decision on their reinstatement application 

May 27: Semester ends

June 5: Commencement

June 7: All Fall 2021 course modalities posted

June 14-17: Web registration for Fall 2021 open to students

Quarantine Periods

For the spring 2021 semester, a required 14-day quarantine period is split into two consecutive parts: one week prior to the formal start of coursework, and one week during formal coursework. Formal coursework during the second quarantine week will be offered online. To learn more about the Quarantine Period Policy for On Campus Students, please visit the Housing site.

Delayed Arrivals

Students who are significantly delayed from arriving on campus for spring coursework due to circumstances beyond their control may have an opportunity to continue their program of study with online coursework. This opportunity applies to EFS and other select programs of study. Students anticipating such a delay should contact their department/program to determine what online options exist for spring semester. Graduate students should contact their Graduate Program Director (GPD)


Spring break will comprise Monday, March 29 and Tuesday, March 30. All travel during spring break is strongly discouraged and will result in testing and quarantine upon return to campus. Alternative academic and co-curricular programming will be offered on campus during spring break.

Brown Cross-Registration

The opportunity to cross-register with Brown University is not available in spring (due to anticipated deviation in the Brown/RISD academic calendars). An exception will be made only for Brown University/RISD Dual Degree students in order to maintain progress in the program.