University makes changes to the academic calendar


After a thorough and collaborative process led by the Office of the University Registrar and the Faculty Senate, George Mason University has modified its four-year academic calendar, delaying the start of the fall 2024 semester by one week, among other changes.   

Adjustments were made to accommodate Election Day as an ongoing student holiday, give the university greater flexibility regarding fall start dates, realign the calendar to mirror other schools in the region, and maintain the two-week winter break. 

“The academic calendar is a complicated document because it governs almost all aspects of the university,” said University Registrar Doug McKenna. “The new calendar presents several changes, but most academic functions remain the same.”  

Set to take effect in fall 2024, changes to the four-year academic calendar include:  

  • The start of the fall 2024 semester is delayed by one week to August 26, 2024. 

  • Fall break will occur on October 14, with the university open but no classes held. 

  • Election Day is designated as a university holiday in 2024.  

  • To integrate Election Day as a student holiday, one reading day before final exams has been removed, eliminating the need to teach Monday classes on the Tuesday of fall break week. Classes will not be held on fall break or Election Day in the future, regardless of the university's operational status. 

  • The last day of classes for fall 2024 will be December 9, with final exams from December 11 to 18. 

  • Winter commencement is scheduled for December 19, 2024. 

  • The winter break will span from December 23, 2024, to January 3, 2025. 

The revised calendar, which includes these changes as well as the schedule for 2025 and beyond, has been posted to the Registrar’s website