JMU News

Important dates for spring semester 2021


Students and Families,

I want to express my appreciation to our students for their resiliency, adaptability and commitment through a challenging fall semester. This entire community came together to keep each other safe and make the most of our time together.

The university recently announced that we will be shifting the first two weeks of the spring semester to virtual learning. This decision was not made lightly and is in the best interest of our community’s safety. Our priority is to bring you back to campus when there is the greatest chance that we will be able to stay through the end of the semester.

This decision will impact each of you differently. Please take time to read this entire message and be in touch if we can answer any questions.

Impact on Classes
Classes will begin virtually on Jan. 19. They will remain in this modality through Jan. 29. On Feb. 1, all courses will be offered according to the delivery mode currently shown in MyMadison. Any changes to this modality will be made only in extenuating circumstances.

All on-campus students will receive a two-week credit for their spring housing and dining. The credit amount will depend on which housing and meal plan the student has selected. The refund for the meal plan is for the meal portion only. It does not include Dining Dollars. Refunds will be processed as a credit to the student’s account or applied toward any outstanding balance owed. For example, students living in a “standard room,” who also have a 14-meal plan, will receive $522 in housing and dining credits.

Stop the Spread Agreement

All students are required to sign an updated Stop the Spread Agreement. Students will sign the agreement through the MyMadison check-in process, which will open on Jan. 8. They will log in with their e-ID and password to Students are asked to read the agreement carefully and complete it before returning to campus or by Jan. 15, whichever comes first. Please note that the agreement requires all students to quarantine eight days before their arrival to campus.

Students Living On Campus
Students living on campus will move into their residence halls between Jan. 29 and Jan. 31. Students with concerns about moving in that weekend should contact the Office of Residence Life at Students who were previously approved to return to campus early will be contacted by Residence Life to confirm possible new dates and arrival times. Please note: All JMU offices will be closed from Dec. 22 through Jan. 3, as previously scheduled.

Students will be expected to complete entry testing before moving into their residence halls. Entry testing dates have shifted to Jan. 29-31, and students will receive additional information the week of Jan. 4. This update will include dates, hours and sign-up information. In the meantime, please refer to the FAQs.

Students Living Off Campus
We know that many off-campus students will return to the community prior to Feb. 1. We will be prepared to operate campus facilities, services and dining starting Jan. 19. We ask our off-campus students to be thoughtful and careful upon their return, as our contact tracing showed that the initial spread of the virus in our campus community was centered largely around off-campus fall social events. We cannot repeat these behaviors in January, as there will be too much at risk. Please limit your interaction to less than 10 people within your social bubbles, and maintain social distancing and proper mask-wearing.

Overview of Important Dates

  • Jan. 4: Campus administrative offices open
  • Jan. 8: MyMadison is available for students to check in and sign the Stop the Spread Agreement
  • Jan. 15: Deadline for all students to sign the Stop the Spread Agreement
  • Jan. 18: Commuter meal plans begin
  • Jan 19: Classes begin online
  • Jan. 19: Students living on campus should schedule entry testing/move-in appointment
  • Jan. 19: University Services open, including dining and UREC
  • Jan. 19: Spring semester payment due
  • Jan. 29: Add/Drop deadline for semester and first block classes
  • Jan. 29-31: Residence Life move-in and entry testing
  • Feb. 1: Classes originally scheduled as in person or hybrid move to this form of delivery

The Provost and I will host a town hall early in the new year to hear your questions and comments. In the meantime, any questions can be sent to We will work to respond to you as quickly as possible.

As you begin your break, please be mindful of how your actions may impact others upon your return. We wish you all the best in the coming weeks and hope you enjoy a healthy, happy, and safe winter break.

Dr. Tim Miller, Vice President for Student Affairs

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Published: Monday, December 21, 2020

Last Updated: Tuesday, January 12, 2021

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