Academic Calendar 2020–21

We believe in the residential liberal arts experience

We have developed a 2020–2021 academic calendar that allows us to maintain a robust residential learning environment, while keeping the health and safety of our community front and center.

Changes to the calendar

To do this, we will modify our typical calendar. For the fall semester, we will start classes on August 17, eliminate fall Reading Days, finish on-campus instruction by November 20, and hold finals remotely. These changes enable us to have a full 14 weeks of instruction with one week of finals (15 weeks total), to ensure we maintain a rigorous academic experience. By adapting the calendar in this way, we eliminate the need for students to leave and return to campus after Reading Days and Thanksgiving Break. Back-and-forth travel of this kind would unnecessarily create an opportunity of spreading the coronavirus on our campus.

View full Academic Calendar for 2020–21

Open enrollment for courses

First-year courses will be announced for fall 2020 via the Registrar’s website on Tuesday, July 7. The initial First-year Announcement of Courses is subject to change as academic departments and programs continue to review the course offerings for the fall; changes may include time changes or moving courses from in-person to online/remote courses. First-year course registration will begin on Wednesday, July 15, at 9 a.m. EDT. First-year students will be enrolled in a First-Year Seminar prior to the week of First-Year Advising, which will take place July 8-14.

Note: We recognize that not every student may want to return physically to campus, so having some online courses helps give students authentic choice. More than 80% of the fall courses are currently scheduled to be taught in person. The Registrar has been in touch with students individually if their schedules will now include online courses.

For returning students: As the College prepares for a return to residence for fall 2020, the Office of the Registrar is preparing for the maximum amount of courses that can be offered in person in the classroom. As part of this preparation, and to follow guidelines for physical distancing, some courses will need to be moved to a different time slot. Therefore, some returning students may need to make schedule adjustments in the coming weeks.

The Office of the Registrar is contacting students individually if the time of their courses has been adjusted. Students who have been contacted should review their fall 2020 course schedule via the Student Center prior to July 30.

Beginning on Thursday, July 30 through Sunday, August 16 students can make course adjustments for the Fall 2020 Semester. Students can make changes through the Student Center, found on the current students page. If your course schedule has changed and you need assistance with revising your course schedule, please contact your academic advisor.

Move-In and early arrivals

To reduce the number of people on campus during Move-In and to provide additional flexibility for our students and families, the College will open the residence halls Tuesday, August 4 through Thursday, August 6 for a scheduled drop-and-go appointment. For those who are eligible for and choose this option, you will be able to drop your belongings in your fall housing assignment and then travel home. Students who utilize this option will then return back to campus on their assigned Move-In date and time. The Move-In process will be phased over the course of a week, beginning on August 10. Students will have three hours to complete the move in process and will be allowed one family member/support person to help them move into their room. While moving into your room, everyone is required to wear a mask/face covering and to maintain a distance of six feet from others who are moving in as well.

Learn about Fall 2020 Move-In


Planning for Orientation is being updated on the Campus Events page.

Fall semester

Date Event
August 4–6 Drop-and-go appointments
August 10–14 Student Move-In
August 15-16 First-Year Orientation
August 17 First day of classes
November 20 Last day of classes
November 30–December 6 Online final exams

View full Academic Calendar for 2020–21

Spring semester

The Spring Semester will start one week early on January 11, 2021. We will eliminate Spring Break and have classes end on April 16. Finals will be held in person beginning April 18 through April 24.

Our approach

A successful return to campus for the fall semester relies on our commitment to the health and safety practices and guidelines we have put into place.

Learning remotely

We understand that some students may need to remain home for a variety of reasons, particularly international students whose visas are delayed. We are working to ensure that students who want to learn remotely will be able to take a full course load and make progress toward the completion of their degree requirements. Students wishing to learn remotely at Gettysburg College for Fall 2020 are not limited to the fully online courses. The College is currently working with faculty and preparing classroom spaces with technology that will allow courses to be taken remotely. We cannot guarantee all classes will be available remotely. You can view a list of online courses by visiting the Registrar’s page—please note that the document is subject to change as new online courses are added to the list.

If you are interested in or are planning to learn remotely for Fall 2020, and have not yet contacted the Office of the Registrar, please email as soon as possible.

Gettysburg gap options

Some students may not be able to—or will prefer not to—return to a residential environment because of health concerns, travel issues, or family obligations, but still want to stay engaged with the College and pursue their Gettysburg education.

Global study

We are committed to supporting our global study students.

Tuition and finance

There will be changes to the comprehensive fee for 2020-2021 academic year. Learn more about how to request emergency relief funds through the CARES Act.

Sunderman Conservatory of Music

The Sunderman Conservatory of Music has announced details about how auditions, performances, classes, and other activities will be conducted to help ensure a safe and meaningful learning environment on campus this fall.