Revison to S20-242 Academic Calendar Policy (CURRENT)

Reference Number: F20-242
Senate Approval Date: Tuesday, November 17, 2020
Presidential Approval Date: 
Thursday, November 19, 2020

Policy #:                     F20-242

Supersedes:              S20-242 

Senate Approval:          11/17/2020 

Presidential Approval: 11/19/2020 

Effective:  Fall 2021

Last Review:              Spring 2020

Next Review:              Spring 2022


Academic Calendar Policy


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







Adds that final examination week should begin on a Saturday. Clarifies workdays for University activities like the Convocation, retreat, and department/college meetings, and establishes that grades are due at least seven calendar

days after the last scheduled final exam.



Clarifies days for University Convocation and that Final Examination week begins with a




Removes provision restricting grades due day to day University offices are open for business



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 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)

Original (S07-242)


Table of Contents

1.    Procedures and Approval Process

2.    Requirements and Customs

a.    CSU and/or WASC Requirements

b.    Local University Customs




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.



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 academic calendar.

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 take place.

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. Final examination week should include all days of instruction to ensure every class is covered in the schedule, beginning with a Saturday to ensure Saturday examinations are scheduled. 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. Two of the academic work days before the start of fall and spring instruction are to be reserved for University activities (e.g., University Convocation, Faculty Retreat) and department, college, or program activities (e.g., 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.     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.

e.     Grades are due at least seven calendar days after the last scheduled final exam.

f.      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: