Spring 2021 Semester - Reminder of Academic Resources & Accommodations

January 20, 2021

Dear Campus Community,

We are writing to share important academic resources and accommodation information for the Spring 2021 semester. We thank you for your continued dedication, creativity, and flexibility during the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. With the arrival of the first vaccines, the end is in sight but we have to pull together for a little while longer. 

Instruction and Academics

As outlined in yesterday’s Update on spring semester, we will begin the Spring 2021 semester with fully remote instruction. Beginning Monday, Feb. 1, we will be able to resume offering occasional outdoor instructional activities as part of an expansion of the successful fall outdoor instructional pilot. On Tuesday, Feb. 16, we will begin to pilot a small number of in-person classes indoors. If we can demonstrate that our mandatory testing program, color-coded badge system, and other protocols are successful in preventing an increase in infections compared to the community, we will then be able to explore offering additional classes indoors. As a reminder, all of our plans are contingent upon the terms of public health orders in effect on the dates of our planned implementation.

Resources for Spring Instruction

As you begin instruction this semester, please take advantage of the following resources:

All Campus:



Academic Accommodations

We call your attention to important campus policies and guidelines concerning academic accommodations for religious observance, illness, disability, hardship, and other matters. We have both legal and moral obligations to provide accommodation to our students. The Academic Accommodations Hub is the student and instructor portal for support resources and academic policies, including key information regarding academic accommodations and links to mental health resources, resources for survivors of sexual violence and sexual harasment, and more. When considering requests for accommodations, instructors should be mindful of APM 015 (Faculty Code of Conduct), which requires that faculty adhere to university policies, including those regarding class sessions and examinations.

This hub is located on the website of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost and also can be accessed through bCourses by clicking “Academic Policies” in the navigation bar. The hub is also accessible via CalCentral. We strongly encourage all instructors to provide a link to this webpage on their syllabi: https://evcp.berkeley.edu/programs-resources/academic-accommodations-hub. The Office for Faculty Equity & Welfare also has new suggestions for referring to accommodations in a supportive way on your course syllabus.

Students: Get new tech for spring semester and beyond

Students who do not have the latest technology needed to participate in remote instruction are strongly encouraged to apply for the Student Technology Equity Program (STEP). This program provides new loaner laptops, Wi-Fi hotspots with paid data plans, web cameras, noise-cancelling headphones, and other technology at no cost to students in need for up to four years. Devices are mailed directly to your home (US only) or available for curbside pickup on campus if you live locally. Applications will continue to be accepted through the academic year as long as inventory allows. Apply to get your equipment today!

Spring Semester Important Dates

See the Spring 2021 Academic Calendar and Instruction FAQ maintained by the Office of the Registrar for the latest calendar information (students in degree programs that do not align with the standard academic calendar should consult with their department). Please note that the dates for limited in-person instruction may change based on public health guidance.

  • Instruction begins: Tuesday, January 19 (fully remote)

  • Outdoor instructional pilot begins: Monday, February 1

  • Limited indoor instruction pilot begins: Monday, February 16

  • Spring recess begins: Monday, March 22

  • Academic/Administrative holiday: Friday, March 26

  • Instruction resumes: Monday, March 29 (fully remote)

  • Limited in-person instruction resumes: Monday, April 5 

  • Last day of formal instruction: Friday, April 30

  • Reading/Review/Recitation week: Monday, May 3 - Friday, May 7

  • Final examinations: Monday, May 10 - Friday, May 14

Thank you for your continued efforts, and best wishes for the spring semester. 


A. Paul Alivisatos
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

Catherine P. Koshland
Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Education 

Jennifer Johnson-Hanks
Chair, Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate 

This message was sent to all UC Berkeley faculty, staff, and students.