Spring semester classes will begin on Monday, Feb. 1, two weeks later than originally scheduled, in response to the rapid increase in COVID-19 positivity rates in the region. President Barry M. Maloney made the announcement to campus on Friday, Dec. 11, following the approval of the University’s governance committees.
In addition to the late start, spring break was eliminated and finals week will be condensed from seven to five days. Reading Day on Tuesday, May 4, and Professional Development Day on Wednesday, May 5, have been cancelled and classes will be held as usual on both days. All learning activities will end on Friday, May 14.
“As we have borne witness to the increase in positivity rates throughout Massachusetts prior to and following the Thanksgiving holiday, it is anticipated that a similar increase will follow the forthcoming winter break,” wrote Maloney, adding that delaying the start of the semester is a proactive move to help mitigate risk.
In addition, all residential and commuter students with an in-person class, studio, or lab, will be tested prior to the start of the spring semester. The expansion of the weekly testing protocol to include commuter students with at least one in-person class, a change that began after the Thanksgiving break, will continue throughout the spring semester.
Other deadlines for the spring semester, such as the last day to add and drop courses, have been adjusted due to the delayed start. Visit the academic calendar page for more details: https://www.worcester.edu/Catalogs-and-Calendars/ 
“We look forward to a day when we can put the coronavirus pandemic and the disruption to our lives behind us. The vaccines that are currently in the approval phase are great news. However, we know that the rollout of mass inoculations will take time. Until we have other directives, I continue to ask that we all exercise health and safety protocols outlined by the CDC, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and our local Departments of Public Health. This will certainly help us all to slow the spread of the virus on our campus and in our community,” wrote Maloney.
A decision on whether the semester will start in a remote format will be forthcoming.