Key updates and quick-reference

Spring 2021 Academic Calendar

As we plan for the spring 2021 semester, we continue make operational adjustments in response to the ongoing pandemic.

To decrease the risk of viral transmission associated with travel, the revised spring semester academic calendar splits up the days a spring break would traditionally provide. The plan extends the winter break by three days, allowing faculty more time to prepare for the start of the semester, and includes two days without classes mid-semester. The 2021 spring academic calendar is below, with the changes highlighted:

New Date(s) Previous Schedule
Faculty report back Thursday, Jan. 14 Thursday, Jan. 14
Instruction begins Monday, Jan. 25 Wednesday, Jan. 20
Presidents Day (No classes) Monday, Feb. 15 N/A
Spring Break (No classes) Tuesday, March 23, only March 22-26
Spring Holiday
(No classes, faculty and staff holiday)
Friday, April 2 Friday, April 2
Last Day of Classes Friday, May 14 Friday, May 14

View the Complete Academic Calendar


Vaccine availability: What we know now

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the COVID-19 vaccines have been evaluated in tens of thousands of individuals who volunteered to be vaccinated and to participate in clinical trials. The information from these clinical trials allowed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to determine the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines. These clinical trials were conducted according to rigorous standards set forth by the FDA, and that agency determined that the newly authorized COVID-19 vaccines meet its safety and effectiveness standards. Therefore, the FDA has made these vaccines available for use in the United States under what is known as an Emergency Use Authorization.

Not everyone will be able to be vaccinated right away, and the vaccine may not be available to most of NMSU or the general public until mid-2021. Regardless, we are encouraging all students, faculty, and staff – especially those who work in healthcare settings and clinical rotations – to preregister for the vaccine via the COVID-19 Vaccine Registration System if you haven’t done so already. If you have questions or concerns about the vaccine, visit the New Mexico Department of Health Vaccine web page.

Getting the COVID-19 vaccine adds one more layer of protection for our students and employees as well as our communities and our state, but masks, social distancing, and other protective measures will still be required.

The New Mexico Department of Health is leading New Mexico’s COVID-19 Vaccination Preparedness Planning in collaboration with other state agencies, as well as public, private and tribal partners. NMSU campuses are working with NMDOH to serve as vaccine distribution sites. 

Based on the state’s guidance, vaccines will go first to frontline health care workers in hospital settings. As additional doses become available, the state will provide vaccine doses to other frontline healthcare workers and first responders, as well as staff and residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. This is in line with federal recommendations but could change. 

At this time, NMSU is continuing with telework wherever possible for non-essential employees, and the COVID-19 vaccination is not a requirement for return to work or class for the spring 2021 semester. NMSU encourages everyone to receive the vaccine as soon as they are eligible, and expects all employees and students to continue using COVID-safe practices like mask-wearing while on campus, at home, and in the community. Students will reaffirm their personal accountability by signing the Crimson Commitment, while employees must re-take the Return to Campus training. More information on both of these accountability commitments can be found under Personal Responsibility.