JMU News

Spring Semester 2021 Update


Dear JMU Community,

As we approach the end of 2020 and look forward to brighter days ahead in 2021, we want to share some important updates for the spring semester.

As we refine our spring semester plans to bring students back on campus, we must proceed with vigilance and caution. There have been significant increases in the viral spread locally, throughout Virginia and nationally, and positive COVID cases are at an all-time high. We anticipate many people will gather to celebrate the holidays, which could lead to an even greater increase in positive cases.

Additionally, Gov. Ralph Northam recently announced a new Executive Order that will run through the end of January. This Executive Order, along with the increased numbers, are important factors in the decision-making process for our spring semester plans.

In light of these factors and current public health guidance and trends, we want to share several decisions and updates that are designed to set us up for the successful start and continuation of the spring semester. We are concerned that bringing everyone back to campus on Jan. 19 will heighten the risk and spread of the virus throughout the campus community, and we want to ensure that we can offer our planned mix of in-person, hybrid and online classes.

Classes will begin as scheduled on Jan. 19. Classes will begin virtually and be offered online through Jan. 29. On Feb. 1, all courses will be offered according to the delivery mode currently shown in MyMadison.

  • Students living on campus will move into their residence halls between Jan. 29 and Jan. 31.
  • As previously announced, students will be expected to complete COVID-19 entry testing before moving into their residence halls.
  • All on-campus students will receive a two-week credit for their spring housing and dining. The credit amount will depend on the 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.
  • The Stop the Spread Agreement will be updated for students to sign. It will be available through the MyMadison check-in process on Jan. 8.

The Stop the Spread HELPline (888-886-3131) will open Mon., Jan. 11 for phone calls. Questions can also be sent via email to

Additional information on each of these points will be distributed by Vice President for Student Affairs Tim Miller for students and parents, and by Provost Heather Coltman for instructional faculty.

Administrative offices at the university will open as scheduled on Jan 4. As previously communicated in the email from Human Resources on Dec. 11, JMU faculty and staff are encouraged to work remotely to fulfill their job duties without being physically present on campus.

If there are any other changes to our plans for the spring semester, we will announce those no later than Jan. 15.

We hope that you all have a safe, healthy and rejuvenating holiday break.

With warm regards for the holiday season,

Jonathan R. Alger, President
Heather Coltman, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
Donna Harper, Vice President for Access and Enrollment
Charlie King, Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration
Nick Langridge, Vice President for Advancement
Tim Miller, Vice President for Student Affairs

Back to Top

Published: Monday, December 21, 2020

Last Updated: Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Related Articles