Revision to #S20-242 Academic Calendar Policy

Reference Number: S21-242
Senate Approval Date: Tuesday, May 04, 2021
Presidential Approval Date: 
Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Policy #:                       S21-242

Supersedes:                 S20-242 

Senate Approval:       05/04/2021 

Presidential Approval:   05/11/2021

Effective:                       Fall, 2021

Last Review:                Spring 2021

Next Review:               Spring 2023


Academic Calendar Policy


This policy lays out principles through which the Academic Calendar is created and approved each year.

Key Words: calendar

Source Committee: Academic Policies Committee


Unit(s) Responsible for Implementation: Academic Senate, Vice-Provost for Academic Resources, Office of the Registrar


Consultations: Academic Resources, Office of the Registrar











Changes, adding an end date for Fall Finals of no later than December 20th, were proposed to provide clarity that the Fall Semester needs to be completed prior to New Year’s Eve. Proposal completed after verifying

Thanksgiving break not responsible for post- January 1 Fall semester end.





Removes provision restricting grades due day to day University offices are open for business. Provision ended up limiting flexibility in calendar development.





Changes to the final examination period, grades due day and the minimum number of faculty work days at the start of the semester. 2019- 2020 changes were made to provide additional flexibility in calendar by

allowing grades to be due even on non- business days.




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



S17-242 (5/2/2017)

Statement about final exam period



S11-242 (4/26/11)

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



S07-242 1/1/2007)





Table of Contents


1.      Procedures and Approval Process


2.      Requirements and Customs



a.      CSU and/or WASC Requirements


b.     Local University Customs






I.               Procedures and Approval Process


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.



II.              Requirements and Customs


1.                   CSU and/or WASC Requirements


a.   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 academiccalendar.


b.   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 takeplace.


c.   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


a.   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.


b.   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.



c.   It is the responsibility of the instructor to provide the equivalent of at least 15 weeks of instruction within the 17- week semester.


d.   The last day of the final exam week should be no later than December 20.


e.   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.


f.    Grades are due seven calendar days after the last scheduled final exam.


g.  This policy shall take effect Fall 2021.


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.

Signed Memo: