Academics & Student Life
Our commitment to academic excellence is as important as ever. As you prepare for the spring 2021 semester, please review the information below to learn more about important semester dates and milestones, student life details and more.
Important Spring Semester Dates
As you review the important semester milestones below, please note the following details and review the Academic Calendar for additional dates:
January 11 Start Date
The January 11 semester start date will mark the beginning of most online classes; no in-person courses will begin on this date. As such, some online programs and certain Session A courses will begin on this date. Students in those classes will receive follow up communication the week of November 2. Students from the approved on-campus programs this fall (e.g. clinical nursing) will also receive further information the week of November 2 about their start date.
January 25 Start Date
This is the official start to the semester. Any in-person courses available for the spring 2021 semester will begin on January 25. As a result, most undergraduate and graduate students will begin on January 25. This will provide a two-week window during the flu season, and it will afford faculty and staff the additional weeks to prepare for their spring semester classes. It will also allow time for a staged move-in process.
Five wellness days will replace spring break
There will be no spring break in order to minimize the risk of the virus spreading due to extended travel. However, we know it’s important for our students to have time off for mental health and wellness during the semester so we have created five wellness days to replace spring break. All students (except for online students) will observe February 8, March 2-3, April 22-23 as the five wellness days in which no class assignment will be due and classes will be cancelled. In addition, Biola will be closed for Good Friday on April 2.
|Date Type||Dates||Student Group(s)|
|Semester Start Date 1||January 11, 2021||Students in some online programs and certain Session A courses. Students in those classes will receive follow up communication the week of November 2. See above points for additional clarification.|
|Semester Start Date 2||January 25, 2021||Most undergraduate and graduate students|
|Wellness Day||February 8, 2021||All students (except online students) will observe this wellness day. No class assignment will be due and classes will be cancelled.|
|Wellness Days||March 2–3, 2021||All students (except online students) will observe this wellness day. No class assignment will be due and classes will be cancelled.|
|Missions Conference||March 17–19, 2021
(Classroom instruction continues)
|Good Friday||April 2, 2021
(University is closed)
|Spring Break||No spring break for spring 2021 semester||All students|
|Wellness Days||April 22–23, 2021||All students (except online students) will observe this wellness day. No class assignment will be due and classes will be cancelled.|
|Final Exams Week||May 3–7, 2021||All students|
|Spring 2021 Commencement||May 7–8, 2021
(Subject to change, pending health regulations)
|Semester End Date||May 8, 2021||All students|
Hyflex Instructional Model
The spring 2021 semester will be taught through a modified “hyflex” instructional model. Here’s what that means for your classes:
Option to stay remote
We will work to accommodate students who prefer to take their Spring Semester courses remotely. More details will be shared on the classes that will be offered remotely for the Spring Semester by mid-November.
Limited on-campus student groups
Though “hyflex” allows students to do a combination of in-person and online classes, we are only able to invite a limited number of students back to campus for the spring semester. Even if you are on campus, some courses will be taught in person, and some will be virtually.
Real-time vs. on-demand classes
Students who enroll in synchronous — or “real-time” — classes must remain on the regular class schedule to support classroom participation.
More information to come
As we experienced in the summer, it is difficult to say with certainty what will happen in the weeks and months ahead, so our plans must be flexible to meet the unpredictability of the pandemic. If you come back to campus, you might have some in-person classes and some classes may continue to be delivered virtually. We do not know the specifics on which classes will be in which format until we receive clarity from the county in November.
Housing and Student Life
All Student Development services and programming will continue online, and in-person programming will be subject to current health regulations.
Spring housing will remain unavailable until further guidance from the county is provided. Please note the following additional details:
Students already approved and those who qualify (athletes, nursing clinical students, communications sciences and disorders students, all students in the master’s in speech pathology program, students who are homeless or have unsafe home environments) can stay in housing for the spring semester, or choose to move into housing if not currently housed.
For those eligible for housing: Housing will send instructions with details on applying for housing, if the student is not currently housed.
If you are homeless or living in an unsafe environment, please email firstname.lastname@example.org directly for details on applying for spring housing.
Housing eligibility: If we open housing to a higher concentration of students in the spring, we will not be able to guarantee any specific housing placement, and we do not yet know who would be eligible.
There will be ways, regardless of housing, for students to connect to the Biola community through Resident Advisors and floors, or through groups like Huddles.
We expect to be open for in-person classes in the fall 2021, and will expect to house all students who are required to live in campus housing (any student under the age of 20 at the start of fall semester).