MIT Faculty Newsletter  
Vol. XXXII No. 2
November / December 2019
The Right to Vote; Prof. Woodie Flowers;
Undermining the Institute Professorships
A Bookstore Without Books
“A Peculiar MIT Concoction”:
Our System of Faculty Governance – Part I
The Schwarzman College of Computing: Giving Back
Woodie Flowers
Unintended Downsides to Recent Changes
to the P/NR Policy
What We and Our Students Value
A Peek Inside the Random Faculty Dinners
Comments at MIT Institute Faculty Meeting
September 18, 2019
An Open Letter to MIT Department Heads
Reflections on Epstein and MIT
Update on MIT’s Open Access Policy and
Continued Negotiations With Publishers
2019-2020 Academic Calendar Changes
Angered By Recent FNL Editorial
Back in 1949
Campus Research Expenditures FY 2019 (%)
Campus Research Expenditures FY 2019 ($)
Printable Version

2019-2020 Academic Calendar Changes

The Registrar's Office

Last spring, the Faculty voted to move MIT’s Commencement to late May in most years. This resulted in a number of adjustments to the 2019-2020 Academic Calendar. The Registrar’s Office has published a new webpage ( that outlines the ways that this year’s Academic Calendar differs from last year. Of special relevance to faculty are changes to the start of term, class days, the final exam schedule, and grade deadlines.

Start of Term

Registration opens on Friday, January 24 and Registration Day is the following Friday, January 31, which is also the last day of IAP. Advisors are encouraged to schedule advising appointments any time during that window. “We want to get the message out that registration is a weeklong process,” says Vice Chancellor Ian Waitz. Utilizing the whole week for advising appointments will ensure that students are prepared for classes to begin on Monday, February 3.

Class Days

Although the total number of spring class days remains the same as last year at 65, the adjustments to the Academic Calendar have changed both the distribution by day and the number of class days for half-term subjects. See graphic below.

incremental cost over budget
Spring Class Days
(click on image to enlarge)











Final Exam Schedule

The final exam period begins on Friday, May 15 and continues Monday through Wednesday of the following week. Exams will be scheduled in eight periods over four days, rather than 10 periods over five days as in years past. “Although it will be challenging,” explains Mary Callahan, Senior Associate Dean and Registrar, “I’m confident that our schedules team and algorithm will create a finals schedule that, first and foremost, benefits students.”

Grade Deadlines

The grading period is three weeks long and opens on Monday, May 4. As always, there are separate deadlines for classes with and without final exams, but the amount of time between these deadlines and the degree meetings has decreased. Submitting grades in a timely manner, therefore, is imperative. A failure to do so may result in students not being able to graduate in May. The grade deadline for subjects without finals is Friday, May 15, and the deadline for subjects with finals is noon on Friday, May 22.

For more information, please visit or email

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