Spring 2021 Information

NC State University has announced plans and updates for the spring 2021 semester, which are available on the Protect the Pack website.

Our offices are committed to doing everything we can to do right by our students, faculty, staff, and visitors, in being able to provide both safe face-to-face classroom instruction as well as maintaining the high-quality NC State education with distance and hybrid learning this semester.

We have provided detailed information below, as well as answers to the questions we know you have, about what the spring term might look like at NC State. We will continue to update this page and add resources as additional decisions are made and information becomes available. We appreciate your patience during these unprecedented circumstances.

Spring 2021 Begins Tuesday, January 19

The spring semester begins on January 19 and will end on April 30 with final exams ending on May 10.

View the full academic calendar

This information is subject to change.

The complete Spring 2021 Academic Calendar is available at go.ncsu.edu/academiccalendar. NC State announced on October 22, 2020 that the spring 2021 semester will begin on Tuesday, January 19, 2021–one week later than originally scheduled–and will conclude on April 30.

  • Why was the calendar moved up?
    Starting the semester one week later will give us more time to implement a robust COVID-19 testing strategy for returning students.
  • Why won’t there be a Spring Break?
    Instead of a full week for Spring Break, we will have four wellness days spread throughout the semester. These days are meant to provide a respite for our community, and faculty will be instructed to avoid any deadlines or tests on days following these breaks.
  • Why are final exams shorter? Where can I find the exam calendar?
    Final exams have been shortened from 3 hours to 2.5 hours to accommodate for the reduced exam schedule to 5 days. There will be 4 exam periods per day rather than 3. The exam schedule is available at go.ncsu.edu/examcalendar.
  • What are the add/drop and schedule revision deadlines for the spring semester?
    Full details are available on the spring 2021 academic calendar at go.ncsu.edu/academiccalendar.
  • How was the decision made to change the academic calendar?
    The University listened to feedback; talked with student, faculty and staff leaders; and continued to consult with health experts. Based on those conversations and guidance, the university decided to make adjustments to the original spring schedule, including eliminating the weeklong break.

NC State will offer a mix of in-person, hybrid and online classes for undergraduate and graduate students for the spring semester. We will also work to ensure that any students who want to take courses remotely will have the opportunity to do so. More details are available on the Protect the Pack website.

  • What is a hybrid class?
    Hybrid classes have both in-person and online components. Students may be split and meet in-person on alternating days; on the days in which students are not meeting in-person, they may be required to watch live lectures, pre-recorded lectures, or otherwise complete coursework online. Individual class details will be communicated to students by the instructor. 
  • What does synchronous vs. asynchronous mean? How do I know if a class meets synchronously or asynchronously?
    Synchronous: Distance-education (online) courses that meet on a set day(s) at a set time; will have a meeting day and time designated on your class schedule.
    Asynchronous: Classes that do not meet on set days at a set time; instead, students may be required to watch pre-recorded lectures or otherwise complete coursework on their own time. If a class meets asynchronously, it will simply be designated as online with no meeting time on your class schedule.
  • I don’t want to pay tuition and fees to go to school online. Why should I still stay enrolled for this semester?
    Our teams are actively working to ensure that students will have the ability to select from a range of course delivery offerings this spring, including online, hybrid, and face-to-face classes. Furthermore, the university will remain open and operational. All university staff and faculty are dedicated to providing an exceptional semester, and though it may look different, NC State will continue to provide essential services, unique programming, student support, and more.
  • Why should I live on campus if I don’t have any in-person classes?
    NC State is planning to provide the option of on-campus living in the spring at reduced capacity. All rooms will be single occupancy. Students with questions about on-campus housing for the spring semester should contact University Housing. There will still be immeasurable advantages to living on campus this spring and being with the Wolfpack community, and University Housing has resources and information available regarding health and safety of residents as well as housing options for students who want to live on campus.
  • None, or few, of my classes are available online and I am not comfortable with going to classes in-person. What am I supposed to do?
    Our teams are working to provide a mix of in-person, hybrid and online classes, and are also working to ensure any students who want to take courses remotely will have the opportunity to do so. Consider reaching out to your academic advisor or coordinator of advising to discuss other options regarding your registration, and whether there may be other courses available this semester being delivered online for you to enroll in. If you have a disability that prevents you from being able to go to class, contact the Disability Resources Office. NDS students should contact nondegreestudies@ncsu.edu.

The Department of Registration and Records continues to work with the university’s reactivation task forces along with other university departments to ensure that we can safely accommodate face-to-face instruction this spring. Guidelines, strategies, and protocols are being put in place to ensure appropriate physical distancing, sanitation, and overall health of students and faculty.

The university has increased community standards adherence and enforcement. More information is available on the Protect the Pack website.

At this time, all eligible students should be able to enroll for the spring 2021 semester, barring any course/class restrictions or holds on the student’s account. 

  • I’m a Non-Degree Studies (NDS) student. Will NDS students be allowed to enroll in on-campus classes this fall?
    NDS students will be permitted to enroll in in-person, hybrid and online courses, space permitting. NDS students should contact the department delivering the course with any questions regarding enrollment.
  • Will the Enhanced S/U and Late Drop options be available for the spring semester?
    Yes, the Enhanced Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Grading Option and the Enhanced Late Drop Option will be available for the spring semester.
  • Should I just request a term withdrawal for this semester and re-enroll when things go back to “normal?”
    We understand that students and families may have many concerns about continuing enrollment for this semester, be that because of perceived limited in-person enrollment options or because of health and safety concerns. However, we along with university leadership and the ten reactivation task forces remain committed to safely bringing the NC State community back to campus while also continuing to provide the highest quality NC State education via our online and hybrid courses this semester. While ultimately it is the student’s decision, along with your families, whether to withdraw from the university or continue enrollment, we strongly encourage students to speak with your academic advisor(s) about the best course of action for your individual circumstances.
  • Is there going to be a commencement ceremony for spring 2021 graduates?
    Spring commencement exercises are currently set for Saturday, May 15, 2021. However, details regarding the format of a ceremony have not been finalized yet. We will continue to abide by state and local guidance regarding large gatherings and events. We will update this page and notify all spring graduates and families once decisions have been made regarding a spring 2021 commencement ceremony and graduation activities.

At this time, there are no plans to change the tuition and fee structure for the 2020-2021 academic year. Please see additional information below regarding tuition and fees for the spring 2021 semester.

  • Is tuition going to be reduced if all of my classes are online this semester?
    At this time, there are no plans to change the tuition and fee structure for the 2020-2021 academic year. As has always been the case, tuition and fees are charged at the beginning of the semester and will remain in place regardless of any changes in instructional format. Tuition and fees will not be refunded in the event that instructional format changes for any part of the 2020-2021 academic year.
  • I’m an out-of-state student and all of my classes will be online and/or hybrid delivery. Is my tuition going to be changed to the distance education rate?
    At this time, there are no plans to change the tuition and fee structure for the 2020-2021 academic year. As has always been the case, tuition and fees are charged at the beginning of the semester and will remain in place regardless of any changes in instructional format. Tuition and fees will not be refunded in the event that instructional format changes for any part of the 2020-2021 academic year.
  • Will I have to pay fees for campus services if I won’t be on campus? Are any of these fees going to be eliminated or reduced this semester, such as transportation, libraries, recreation, etc.?
    At this time, there are no plans to reduce, eliminate or refund student fees for the spring semester.
  • Will you waive the registration pre-pay hold for the spring semester?
    We will not be waiving registration pre-pay for the spring. You can still add classes to your shopping cart to plan your schedule if the prepay hold is on.

Spring charges began posting to student accounts on November 12 with a December 8 due date. The full detailed Billing Calendar is available here. Students who had not enrolled in a tuition payment plan, accepted financial aid, or otherwise disclosed an alternative payment method/timeframe with our office may have had their spring 2021 class schedules cancelled if payments were not received by the billing due date(s). Please refer to the detailed Billing Calendar or contact our office if you have any questions or concerns.

  • Can you offer a different payment plan option for students and families experiencing hardships due to COVID-19?
    We are approved for one monthly payment plan. This is to ensure that 3 payments are successfully made prior to the first day of classes. Please visit go.ncsu.edu/mpp for details.
  • Can you extend the tuition payment deadline due to COVID-19?
    If you have an extenuating circumstance, please email studentaccounts@ncsu.edu with your issue and your plan for payment and we will review it. Note that you may incur penalties and interest on balances that are 90 days past due, and you will not be able to register for a future semester if payment is not made.
  • If I won’t be on campus for any classes, will I have my fees refunded?
    At this time, there are no plans to change the tuition and fee structure for the 2020-2021 academic year.  As has always been the case, tuition and fees are charged at the beginning of the semester and will remain in place regardless of any changes in instructional format. Tuition and fees will not be refunded in the event that instructional format changes for any part of the 2020-21 academic year.

Students receiving financial aid for the spring semester should view the following information. Any additional updates will be thoroughly communicated to students receiving financial aid awards.

  • I’m worried about how to pay for the spring semester because of financial hardships due to COVID-19. What can I do?
    Please contact your financial aid counselor to discuss your circumstances. Students experiencing food, housing or financial insecurity can submit a Pack Essentials application for assistance.
  • Will my financial aid award be reduced for the spring because of the adjusted calendar?
    No. The adjusted calendar will not have any effect on the amount of your financial aid award offer.
  • When will my financial aid be disbursed for the spring? When will I receive my refund?
    Financial aid for the spring semester is scheduled to disburse to students meeting disbursement requirements on January 14. Refunds for excess financial aid should be available by the first day of spring classes.
  • What will happen to my financial aid if all of my classes are online and/or hybrid?
    Nothing will happen to your financial aid if all of your classes are online and/or hybrid. Your financial aid offer is currently based on what we expect your tuition and fees charges to be.
  • My classes are online. I want to live at home with my family rather than live on campus or in an off-campus apartment. Will that have any impact on my financial aid?
    If your financial aid was determined with the expectation that you would live on campus or in an apartment/home other than your family home and you decide to live at home with family, your cost of attendance will need to be adjusted and there may be an impact to your financial aid. If you are in this situation, please contact your financial aid counselor so that they can review your individual case.
  • What will happen to my veterans education benefits if all of my classes are online and/or hybrid?
    S.503 allows schools to certify courses transitioned to online learning as residential through December 2021. This change protects on-campus Post-9/11 and Vocational Readiness students’ housing rates through fall 2021.Courses that are listed as “Online Delivery” will be counted as residential, which will allow Post-9/11 GI Bill students to receive on-campus housing stipends. Courses that are listed as Distance Learning (DE) will be counted as online only; if a student is enrolled in all DE courses, they will not receive the full housing rate (Chapter 33). Please contact the Veterans Education Benefits team for more help.