Faculty & Staff

Academic Calendar

We offer one page printable PDF files of our academic calendar for your convenience.  However, if you just need to glance at the calendar, we also offer a webpage version here.

The Calendar Committee is a recommending body which meets every year to recommend calendars for a five-year block in the future. This committee reports to the provost. This committee shall also evaluate each year's calendar and assess other university and college calendars. The current calendar at Ithaca College is one that has evolved and has been followed over the past thirty years. We have listed below historical events or issues that have led to the creation of the calendar as it is currently.

  1. The New York State Education Department requires that all colleges and universities that use the semester system have a minimum of two fifteen-week semesters. Each semester may include one week of exams. We can choose to lengthen our semesters but we cannot choose to shorten them. We are at the absolute minimum with our current format. Study days do not count as part of the fifteen weeks; hence, if we choose to include them in our calendar they must be days added to our semester. Each semester is independent of the other; thus, we cannot offer a sixteen- and a fourteen-week semester.
  2. No classes on Martin Luther King Jr. Day: In 2006 the President's Council decided that classes could no longer be held on MLK Day. Because we were at the minimum number of days for our semester, we had to extend the semester one day. MLK Day does not come into play every year.
  3. No classes on Labor Day: In 1983 the staff was given the day off but classes were still held. The faculty found they could not teach when the support staff were not working, so beginning in 1985 classes were no longer held on Labor Day. Because we were at the minimum number of days for our semester, the semester had to begin one day earlier in 1985.
  4. Two-day fall break: In the early 1980's, at the request of faculty and students, a two-day fall break was instituted. Because we were at the minimum number of days for the semester, classes had to begin two days earlier. Both the faculty and students felt that a short break was needed in the middle of the semester to relieve the build-up of stress.
  5. One-week Thanksgiving break: In the early 1970's the faculty felt it was impossible to keep the students on campus on Monday and Tuesday when Thanksgiving Break began on Wednesday. The calendar was then changed to give the entire week off.
  6. Four-week break between semesters: The Deans stated they needed two weeks after they received fall semester grades to properly convene the necessary committees to make decisions concerning students' status. Since the College is closed between the end of the semester until after New Year's Day, it simply became a mathematical calculation.
  7. One-week spring break: Before 1980 Ithaca College had a two-week spring break. Many faculty and students felt two weeks was too long a break. Many students had trouble getting back to pre-break performance levels in their courses. In 1980 we went to a one-week spring break.
  8. Commencement weekend: Ithaca College has chosen not to have its Commencement on the same weekend as Cornell. The Ithaca area has trouble supporting Commencement at one school (accommodation-wise) on a weekend. If we hold our Commencement on the same weekend as Cornell, it would mean many parents would not be able to get housing within a reasonable distance of Ithaca.
  9. Confirmed diplomas on Commencement Day & Senior Week: The Registrar and the Deans need a week from the end of examinations to Commencement to receive grades, process grades, make final degree checks, and solve last-minute senior problems, so confirmed diplomas can be handed out on Commencement Day. Due to extending the semester one day and final grades being due 72 hours after the end of exams, it became impossible to hand out confirmed diplomas on Commencement Day. Seniors have always felt strongly about having one last week together before they graduate. This week also allows for the "turnaround" of residence hall rooms from regular year housing to commencement housing.