Policy 2.3 - Policy on the Establishment of the Schedule of Dates

The official version of this policy is housed with the University Secretariat.  In the event of a discrepancy, the official version will prevail. Click here for a printable version of this policy. 


Approving Authority: Senate
Responsible Office: Office of Registrarial Services, Office of the Registrar Guelph-Humber, and Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
Responsible Officer: University Registrar, Campus Registrar Guelph-Humber, and Assistant Vice-President (Graduate Studies)
Original Approval Date: November 25, 2019
Effective Date: May 1, 2020
Most Recent Revision Date: October 3, 2022
Previous Revisions: February 10, 2020

1. Purpose

1.1. To guide the University in establishing an annual schedule of dates for communication and use by the university community. 

2. Jurisdiction/Scope

2.1. This policy applies to the University of Guelph, including the Ridgetown regional campus and Guelph-Humber, except where otherwise stated.

2.2. The establishment of the schedule of dates for the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M) program is described separately in section 5.

3. Definitions

3.1. Academic “Term”: An independent academic period of fifteen (15) weeks. Also referred to as a semester (see definition below).

3.2. “Confers”: Grants degrees.

3.3. “Convocation”: The ceremony at which degrees are granted. The conferral date of degrees coincides with convocation dates for semesters in which a convocation ceremony is observed.

3.4. "Reading Weeks and Study Breaks": are designated periods where normal class schedules and academic requirements are suspended for a period of time.

3.5. “Schedule of Dates”: A list of significant dates at the University, developed using policies approved by Senate.

3.6. “Semester”: An independent period of fifteen (15) weeks. Summer semester is from May to August. Fall semester is from September to December. Winter semester is from January to April.

3.7. “Session”: An independent academic period within the summer semester of seven (7) weeks.

3.8. “Weekdays”: Days of the week other than Saturday or Sunday.

4. Policy

4.1. The schedule of dates satisfies the following basic principles of scheduling:

4.1.1. The University must provide sufficient time for faculty and instructors to mark exams.

4.1.2. The University must provide final grades to students before the beginning of the next semester.

4.1.3. The University must allow for time to counsel students in academic difficulty. 

4.2. General (All Semesters):

4.2.1. The University shall not hold regularly scheduled classes on Saturdays or Sundays. Exceptions may be made for special programming, including field trips and hybrid courses.

4.2.2. The University shall not hold regularly scheduled exams on statutory holidays. Where possible, every effort will be made to avoid scheduling exams on Sundays.

4.2.3. There shall be two study days immediately prior to each exam period.

4.2.4. The co-op work term shall normally begin on the first business day of the month in which the semester begins and end on the last Friday of the month in which the semester ends.

4.2.5. The Fall, Winter, Summer terms shall be sixty (60) teaching days in length plus the length of the exam period.

4.3. Fall Semester:

4.3.1. The Fall semester shall begin after Labour Day.

4.3.2. A make-up day for Thanksgiving Monday shall be added at the end of the last week of classes.  A Monday schedule will be observed.

4.3.3. For all campuses, the Fall Study Break begins at the end of classes on the Friday before Thanksgiving Monday and ends withthe resumption of classes following the break. 

4.3.3.1. The University of Guelph and Ridgetown Campus shall observe a Fall Study Break Day, to be scheduled on the Tuesday immediately following Thanksgiving. A makeup day shall be added at the end of the last week of classes. A Tuesday schedule will be observed.

4.3.3.2. The University of Guelph-Humber shall observe a Fall Break (Reading Week) to be scheduled on the four days immediately following Thanksgiving.

4.3.4. Convocation at the University of Guelph shall normally take place on the day following Thanksgiving (Tuesday Fall Reading Break day). Ridgetown campus confers degrees on the University of Guelph convocation date. The University of Guelph-Humber confers degrees on the last Saturday of October.

4.3.5. The exam period shall be a minimum of eleven (11) exam days at the University of Guelph, a minimum of six (6) exam days at Ridgetown campus, and a minimum of nine (9) exam days at the University of Guelph-Humber. 

4.4. Winter Semester:

4.4.1. Depending on when the Fall semester ends, the Winter semester shall begin on the Monday of the first or second full week of January.

4.4.2. When Good Friday falls during classes a make-up day will be added to the last week of classes. A Friday schedule will be observed. When Good Friday falls during the exam period, exams shall not be scheduled on the Friday, Saturday or Sunday of the Easter weekend.

4.4.3. Guelph Campus confers degrees on the Tuesday following the Family Day holiday. 

4.4.4. The Winter Break (Reading Week) begins at the end of classes on the Friday prior to the third Monday in February (Ontario Family Day) and ends with the resumption of classes on the Monday following the break.

4.4.5. The exam period shall be a minimum of eleven (11) exam days at the University of Guelph, a minimum of six (6) exam days at the Ridgetown campus, and a minimum of nine (9) exam days at the University of Guelph-Humber; and exams shall not be scheduled on the Friday, Saturday or Sunday of the Easter weekend.

4.5. Summer Semester:

4.5.1. Depending on when the Winter semester ends, the Summer semester shall begin on the Thursday of the first or second full week in May, with the exception of the University of Guelph-Humber campus and the Associate Diploma in Veterinary Technology Alternative Delivery (DVTA) program at Ridgetown which begin on the Monday.

4.5.2. Convocation at the University of Guelph shall normally take place during the second full week of June. Convocation at the University of Guelph-Humber shall normally take place during the third full week of June. Convocation at the Ridgetown Campus normally takes place on the first Friday of June.

4.5.3. All Sessions shall be thirty (30) teaching days in length plus the length of the exam period. The number of hours of instruction will be equivalent to that of a regular semester.

4.5.4. The exam period shall be a minimum of eight (8) exam days.

4.5.5. There shall be a minimum of five (5) exam days for summer session exam periods.

5. Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.)

5.1. Fall Semester:

5.1.1. The Fall semester shall begin after Labour Day.

5.1.2. Phases 1,2 and 3 shall have fifteen (15) weeks of classes.

5.1.3. Phase 4 shall have fifteen (15) or sixteen (16) weeks of rotations, depending on the December holiday break.

5.2. Winter Semester:

5.2.1. Phases 1, 2 and 3 shall begin on the Monday of the first or second full week of January, aligned with the rest of the undergraduate population. Phase 4 shall begin on the first Tuesday of January.

5.2.2. Phases 1, 2 and 3 shall have thirteen weeks of classes (including Winter Break (Reading Week)).

5.2.3. Phases 1, 2 and 3 shall have one (1) week of laboratory evaluations.

5.2.4. Phases 1, 2 and 3 shall have two (2) weeks of final examinations.

5.2.5. Phase 4 shall have fourteen (14) or fifteen (15) weeks of rotations for a total of thirty (30) weeks of rotations in total over the Fall and Winter semesters.

5.2.6. Phase 4 shall have one (1) week of final examinations.

6. Reporting

6.1. The schedules of dates established in accordance with this policy shall be reported annually to Senate in the preceding Fall semester.

6.2. Any changes to an established schedule of dates shall be presented to Senate at the next available meeting.

7. Related Policies, Procedures & Documents

7.1. Policy 2.2: Policy on Academic Continuity

7.2. Undergraduate Academic Calendar

7.3. Guelph-Humber Academic Calendar

7.4. Diploma Program Calendar

7.5. Graduate Academic Calendar

8. Repeal

Upon the commencement of this policy, the following documents are repealed:

8.1.  Principles and Goals for Establishing the Academic Schedule of Dates (approved by Senate April 10, 2001)

8.2. Changes to the formula to allow the make-up of Thanksgiving Day Monday (approved by Senate October 2, 2007, effective Fall 2008)

8.3. Changes to the formula to allow an annual Fall Study Break Day following Thanksgiving Monday (approved by Senate February 10, 2014, effective Fall 2014)