A Safe Return to Campus

Fall 2020 Academic Calendar

The MIT academic calendar for this fall has shifted, although we will maintain a two-semester model. 

  • The Fall 2020 semester will begin on August 31, which is designated as Registration Day. 
  • Classes will begin on Tuesday, September 1. 
  • In-person instruction will end on November 20, the day before the Thanksgiving break. Classes will only be offered online beginning on November 30. 
  • Regular MIT Sloan classes will end on December 2. 
  • Sloan Intensive Period, which is usually held mid-semester, will take place virtually from December 3 until December 9. 
  • Reading days are December 10 and 11.
  • Final exam period is December 14-18. All exams will be virtual.

In order to provide students with an on-campus experience in Cambridge, and in order to protect our international students’ ability to meet their visa requirements, our current plan (subject to change) is to expand our academic week as follows: 

  • Classes will be scheduled in 90-minute segments from 8 AM to 9:30 PM EST. 
  • Classes will take place Monday through Saturday.
  • Lunchtime will shift to 12:30 to 2:00 PM EST.  

Curriculum Design 

Faculty, students, and staff have been working together to design the MIT Sloan curriculum for the fall. Our approach has been adopted after careful consideration of student needs and expectations, pedagogical objectives, safety, and well-being risk principles, and with an awareness of peer school plans. 

The educational experience will vary both across courses and across sessions within courses. It will be a “hybrid” curriculum. Broadly speaking, there will be three main instructional modes: 

  • Fully remote: A fully remote session is one in which all participants are participating remotely over Zoom and students and faculty are both on Zoom. This was the teaching mode employed in H4 of the spring semester. 
  • In-person: A session that is conducted in person under social distancing protocols, the specifics of which are being refined through classroom experience pilots (see below).
  • Hyflex: A session in which some students are participating in person and some students are participating remotely. This teaching method has been implemented in the Executive MBA program in the past, and we are working to support it more widely this fall.

Variations on these main teaching modes may also be found, including sessions in which multiple adjacent classrooms will be used and sessions in which the faculty member is remote but the students and co-instructor or teaching assistants are in the classroom.

Courses will typically be taught in one or another mode and some courses may alternate regularly between modes and any course may need to revert to fully remote in response to changing conditions. The course information for the bidding process will provide some guidance as to the mix of teaching modes for a given course. Given the need to adapt to unforeseen contingencies, we will all have to be ready to shift our expectations at any time. In all cases, we are working hard to support you in your academic work and in adjusting to this new learning environment.

More information can be found at the Registrar's Office.