About the Academic Calendar

Fall Semester 2020

  • Classes started remotely on Aug. 17, with in-person instruction beginning Aug. 24. The semester will end on Nov. 25. We have suspended some traditional breaks to compress the fall schedule, reducing travel that can result in increased spread of COVID-19.
  • With the regular fall semester completed before Thanksgiving, we are offering a new, remote Three-Week Session from Nov. 30 to Dec. 18. This session provides an opportunity to get ahead in your studies.

Spring Semester 2021

  • The academic calendar for spring 2021 will start with a Spring Three-Week Session from Jan. 4 to Jan 22, conducted remotely. This session provides additional flexibility in meeting your academic goals.
  • Spring Semester will begin on Jan. 25, and will eliminate spring break to reduce travel that can result in increased spread of COVID-19. The semester ends with commencement on May 7 and 8.

Review the academic calendar.

Protect yourself from the virus by following local health guidance. In general, wash your hands often, avoid close contact ("social distance") and wear a cloth face covering when you're around others, especially indoors.

Observe social distancing guidelines and wear cloth facial coverings (primarily when indoors). Read UNL's Face Covering Policy.

Cornhusker Commitment logo Make Your Cornhusker Commitment. UNL is committed to preserving the high-quality educational experience that our students expect, even as we also work to ensure campus safety in the interest of protecting both the campus and the larger communities of which we are all a part.

Academics & Deadlines

Study Spaces on Campus Expanded

Additional study spaces on campus have been identified for students to attend Zoom classes, access remote course materials, and collaborate on small group projects while staying safe and physically distant. Please let your students know that they can reserve spaces in advance at unlscheduling.nebraska.edu or drop into areas listed at go.unl.edu/study on a first-come-first-served basis. In addition, the University Libraries has study spaces listed on its website and the university has a WiFi outdoor map for students who want to study outside.

In-person Learning for Fall

UNL is working closely with local health authorities and collaborating with colleges, facilities, and instructors to make sure different class sizes and formats can safely meet. Social distancing is enforced, and that students and faculty are required to wear face coverings in the classroom. We have mapped the capacity of all of our classrooms based on the guidance of six-foot social distancing to determine the maximum capacity for each classroom and are in the process of determining the classroom availability for each course.

If you are a student with health concerns, there is a process to seek accommodation to allow for remote participation in courses. If you’re an international student with uncertainty in your travel situation, there are additional options you can pursue to help ensure you can participate. If a faculty member has concerns with being able to safely teach in the classroom, flexible arrangements for the course will also be made based on university guidelines.

Guidance Regarding Course Attendance and Engagement Expectations for Fall 2020

Read the Faculty Senate endorsed guidance for course attendance and engagement expectations.

Study Abroad

  • University-sponsored international travel will continue to be prohibited through December 2020. Domestic travel is highly discouraged. For information regarding potential domestic travel please guidance on student travel.
  • Anyone coming to campus from international locations should self-quarantine for 14 days per current Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services guidelines.
  • An International Travel Risk Committee is being developed and led by UNL's director of global safety and security to review waiver requests when international travel begins to reopen. This review process will ensure appropriate, comprehensive vigilance while addressing the specific needs and risks of each educational, research or creative activity proposed.

University Libraries

The Libraries will reopen with limited hours during the first week of remote classes and expanded hours at the start of in-person classes on August 24. Students, faculty and staff will need their NCard to access most facilities. The Library Depository Retrieval Facility and Archives & Special Collections access will be by appointment only.

The HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access Service will continue for the fall semester, which means no in-library use or stacks browsing will be allowed, although the stacks will be open for use as study space. Digital requests for library materials, research support, teaching partnerships and collaborations, and ASKus services are all available online. Visit the Libraries blog for more information.


Academic advisors continue to be available remotely for assistance with student advising needs. Details about the college advising process can be found on the academic advising website. Students can also reach out directly to their advisors for information about scheduling a remote video, phone or e-mail appointment.

Support resources for advising continue to be available online in MyRED, MyDegreeAudit, Undergraduate Catalog and MyPLAN. The Enrollment Scheduler and Degree Planner are both available within MyRED.

Campus Transportation

Campus transportation options — from city buses to Zipcar rentals — remain available. University Operations is negotiating an additional contract for buses to transport students across UNL campuses in addition to the current STARTRAN provider. To meet increased ridership demand while protecting health, plastic covers have been installed on the backs of each seat.

Graduate Studies Guidelines and Updates

Masters and Doctoral student guidelines, exam information, and event cancellations and postponements are being updated on the Graduate Studies COVID-19 page.

Remote Learning

Guidelines for Success with Remote Access Learning

Moving to remote access learning requires changes to some habits, and some entirely new ones. Here are steps you can take to be prepared and confident as a remote access student.

  • Check Canvas and your @huskers.unl.edu email regularly for messages about your courses. Turn on Canvas notifications.
  • Make sure you have access to the internet and have sufficient bandwidth both on and off campus. If you don't, think about other locations where you can access your course materials on the internet and download them to a thumb drive. Local libraries may also offer internet access. Several commercial providers are offering limited free internet services; NU ITS is maintaining a Remote Work FAQ; see the heading "What if I don't have Internet at home?" for more info. View a map of campus outdoor WiFi availability.
  • Make sure you have access to programs you need to do your work, including email, Office 365, and Canvas. If you are using a phone or tablet to access course materials, download the Canvas app.
  • Check the Student Remote Access Quickstart Guide for more information.
  • Resources for students to be successful with remote learning can be found here.
  • Accommodations may need to be adjusted or adapted for a remote access environment. Please contact Services for Students with Disabilities to discuss any adjustments that may need to be made.

Please know that we will work tirelessly to ensure that this switch to remote learning does not disadvantage any student.

Health and Support Services

Emergency Funding Available

Students who are in need of financial assistance because of campus disruption due to COVID-19 can request emergency funds, including UNL's distribution of CARES Act funding, through the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid. Students can find the application to request assistance in MyRED under the Financial Aid tab. Funds are limited and are reviewed as requests come in and are prioritized based on socioeconomic circumstances.

University Health Services

Students concerned about possible exposure should immediately limit interactions with others and contact — by phone or email — the University Health Center or a local health care provider.

Keep Engaging

Whether you’re away or practicing social distancing, there are still ways to keep engaging with each other and the campus community. No matter where you are, you can check out upcoming virtual events, join a digital community, and attend workshops and training sessions. Find out more on Student Affairs' Keep Engaging page.

Mental Health and Well-being

For those seeking support, Counseling and Psychological Services is offering remote (i.e. Zoom, phone) appointments and crisis support. Crisis services are available 24/7 at 402-472-7450.

Additional tips, apps and resources to help take care of yourself are available online. Students can find assistance through Big Red Resilience and Well-being, and academic success coaches.

Managing Financial Stress

This crisis brings with it many concerns beyond the COVID-19 disease itself. One way to stay healthy is to manage stressors, like finances. Many healthcare and other service providers have created supportive plans to assist through this national challenge. We suggest you check the websites of your healthcare provider, pharmacy, cell provider and other major service providers to gain a better understanding of your financial situation going forward and explore any available savings opportunities.

The Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid (OSFA) is available to support students and families and will make every effort to mitigate financial burdens created by this extraordinary situation. If you have incurred—or will incur—additional expenses or severe financial hardship, please contact Husker Hub at 402-472-2030 or huskerhub@unl.edu to request a financial aid review.

For more information, visit COVID-19 Resources on the website of the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid.

Importance of Self-quarantine and Social Distancing

Your health and safety continue to be our top priorities. As the spread escalates, it is extremely important that all students — whether living on campus or off campus — strictly adhere to university and local health directives to avoid virus transmission.

These directions must be followed by everyone for the health and safety of our community. Students who do not comply may face disciplinary action from the university. It is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct to engage in behavior that “unreasonably endangers the mental or physical health” of others. It also is a violation to fail to comply with the direction of university officials.

Student Housing & Facilities

In consultation with the University Health Center, university leadership, and the Lincoln/Lancaster County Department of Health, University Housing has established procedures to provide students an on-campus experience while abiding by local, state and federal health protocols. View University Housing's Health and Safety page.


Internships & Experiential Learning

The university encourages students to work directly with any non-university organizations, through which they are completing in-person experiential learning activities, to explore methods of completing those activities through remote or other non-in-person means.

The university also encourages all students to know, understand, and follow the guidance from local governments and local health departments in the area where students may be participating in in-person activities, particularly since that guidance can change rapidly.

Following CDC guidelines and recommendations on returning to an in-person office/business environment, we recommend UNL students do the following:

  • Bring their own face covering (mask or face shield) that covers the mouth and nose when around others in an office environment.
  • Practice social distancing (within 6 feet) between themselves and others in the office environment.
  • Regularly and routinely wash their hands after in-person contact to slow the spread.
  • Regularly and routinely clean and disinfect their office spaces.

Emails to Students

This is a list of all messages sent specifically to students. Please see the latest updates page of this site for university-wide messages.

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Since the beginning of this public health crisis, we’ve been answering your questions about how UNL is responding and planning. We’ve compiled a list of answers to frequently asked questions on the FAQ / Contact Us page.