US Academic Calendar

The USA Academic Calendar of fall and spring terms; Image Courtesy:

The Academic Calendar in the United States of America is divided into two semesters, viz. Fall and Spring. Each semester lasts for about 15 weeks with additional summer classes as well. Normally, the academic year runs from early September to the end of May (fall intake). Midway through the course, many teachers post mid-term examinations so the students can gauge their progress. Appear for the TOEFL test and explore the enriching study abroad experience.

In addition to this, universities have six- to eight-week summer terms, which are optional. These terms help students get through their course faster, or reduce the workload during the term or help complete courses that they could not complete during the regular term.


Also read: List of top US universities

Some of the activities that keep the students occupied in US academic year are

  • Selecting courses
  • Securing and settling into housing
  • Joining fraternities

Term Breaks/Holidays during the academic year includes

  • Fall Break (October 1st Week )
  • Thanksgiving (November 3rd Week)
  • Christmas Break (Mid December – Jan 1st Week)
  • Spring Break (March 2nd Week)
  • Summer Break (Mid May – July End)

“International Nights” and “mixers,” where both, foreign and U.S. students are invited, can be a great way to meet new people and learn more about your surroundings.

Students should apply early enough to give themselves ample time to complete the formalities.  Students should note that the Embassies and Consulates are able to issue your student visa 120 days or less, in advance of the course of study registration date.

The Department of Homeland Security regulation requires that all initial or beginning students (students just joining a course) enter the U.S. 30 days or less in advance of the course of study start/report date as shown on the Form I-20.

In case a student wishes for an early entry into the US, he must obtain a visitor visa. A prospective student notation will be shown on his/her visitor visa and the traveler will need to make the intent to study clear to the U.S. immigration inspector at port of entry. Before beginning any studies, he or she must obtain approval for a change to Exchange Visitor status, filing Form I-539.

All universities and their programs usually follow the fall and spring intake approach for setting academic calendar!

Related Links