Academic Calendar Policy

Reference Number: S19-242
Senate Approval Date: Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Academic Calendar Policy


After consultation with a large number of offices across campus, the revised Academic Calendar policy lays out guidelines and procedures for the development and approval of the Academic Calendar at San Francisco State. This policy supersedes #F06-111 University Calendar Deadlines and #F76-12 Policy on Formal Final Examination Period.


Academic Policies Committee

Responsible Unit

AVP for Academic Resources, Academic Senate









  • Changes to the final examination period, grades due day and the minimum number of faculty work days at the start of the semester.




  • Changes to timing of start of fall semester; introduces two faculty development days in fall




  • Statement about final exam period




  • Introduction of a faculty development day and convocation activities at start of semester (#S11-242)



  • Original (#S07-242)



Table of Contents



  1. CSU and WASC Requirements
  2. Local University Customs




  1. Each fall, Academic Resources shall present a draft of the academic calendar for the next three academic years to the Academic Senate, following the guidelines in this policy.
  2. If Academic Resources must propose a calendar for the subsequent academic year that deviates from this policy, the calendar must be approved by the Academic Senate before it is adopted.
  3. If the proposed calendar for the subsequent academic year adheres to the policy, it shall be presented to the Academic Senate as a consent item.
  4. No later than November 15, the Academic Senate shall forward the approved academic calendar to the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs for adoption.



1.        CSU and/or WASC Requirements

  1. The WASC Senior College and University Commission defines a semester as 17 full weeks with at least 15 full weeks of academic class work or its equivalent, and SF State uses these definitions in its construction of an academic calendar.
  2. There shall typically be 147 instructional days in an academic year, although there may be a variance of plus or minus two instructional days. During an academic year, a minimum of 170 and a maximum of 180 academic workdays shall be scheduled.  Academic workdays include those in which activities such as professional development, instruction, advising, orientation, registration, final examinations, evaluation, grade reporting, and commencement take place.
  3. Classes shall meet university requirements for class duration, and faculty shall adhere to scheduling parameters and class scheduling options when planning the schedule of classes and in delivering instruction.

2.        San Francisco State University Norms

  1. The fall and spring semesters are 17 weeks. This includes 15 weeks of direct instruction, one week of fall or spring recess, and an optional final examination week. It is at the discretion of the instructor to determine whether there will be a class meeting during the final examination week. The fall recess is the week that includes Thanksgiving. The spring recess is after the eighth week of the semester and shall not include Cesar Chavez Day.
  2. Fall and spring semesters shall each start on a Monday and be preceded by at least three academic workdays for professional development meetings, advising and orientations. The Thursday before the start of fall instruction shall be reserved for the University Convocation in the morning and College meetings in the afternoon. In the spring the Thursday before the start of instruction is reserved for a Faculty Retreat. The Friday before the start of instruction is normally dedicated for department, school, program or other academic meetings.
  3. It is the responsibility of the instructor to provide the equivalent of at least 15 weeks of instruction within the 17-week semester.
  4. Final exams for courses that have not met on weekends shall not be scheduled on a weekend day, unless there is unanimous consent by class members.
  5. Grades are due seven calendar days after the last scheduled final exam; if that is not a business day, then grades are due the following business day.
  6. This policy shall take effect Fall 2019.

The Academic Policies Committee and the Academic Senate retain their responsibility for the academic calendar, and they can entertain proposals to amend this policy as they deem appropriate.