Academic Calendar

This is an archived copy of the 2019-20 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit

Academic Year

NDSU operates on a semester system consisting of two standard 15-week fall and spring semesters, plus a final examination week each semester. A 12-week summer session also is offered. Variable-length, short-session courses are available, and meet the same total contact (class) hours as in standard semesters. See definition of an academic credit.


The mid-term point of a standard semester is approximately 40 class days after the standard semester start. See Examinations and Grading for mid-term grade information.

Dead Week

Only one exam or quiz per course may be given during the last two weeks of the semester (prorated accordingly for variable length courses), which includes finals week. Exceptions include summer classes, self-paced/correspondence courses, make-up exams, courses in which laboratory is incorporated with a lecture, one-credit courses, and quizzes that account for less than 5% of the students' overall grade. If a professor chooses to give an exam during the last week of classes, he/she is expected to make some instructional use of the final examination time.

Final Examinations

The schedule for final examinations is determined and published by the Office of Registration and Records.

Final examinations in one-credit or variable length short courses are usually given during the last regular class period. Final examinations for all other courses may not be rescheduled during the final examination period. According to State Board of Higher Education policy, the final examination period is instructional time and, if an examination is not given, some instructional use of this period is expected. Final examinations for summer school and distance and continuing education classes are arranged by the instructors.

No student shall be obligated to take more than three final examinations scheduled for the same calendar day. In the event that a student has four or more final examinations on the same calendar day, the student shall notify the instructor(s) from the highest numbered course(s) no later than two weeks before the last day of class to schedule a make-up examination to be administered at a mutually acceptable time.

Summer Session

The 12-week summer session is designed to provide coursework within various time intervals. Classes typically are offered in either the full 12-week session, the standard four-week session that begins in May, or the standard eight-week session that begins in June. There are many other short or variable length courses throughout the summer. While the time interval of the individual sessions is different than that of the standard semester, each course carries full credit because classes meet the same number of contact hours as in the standard semester.

Each college or department determines its summer offerings, based upon previous enrollments, programmatic needs, and special requests. Special effort is made to offer courses approved for fulfilling general education requirements. For information on summer school, please refer to the summer session website. Information concerning summer housing may be secured by contacting the Department of Residence Life, Dept. 3430, P.O. Box 6050, Fargo, ND 58108, or 231-7557 (toll-free 1-800-572-8840).