UM Will Return to Face-to-Face Instruction for Fall 2020

UM student studies on a laptop while sitting under a tree on campus

The University of Montana is excited to welcome students back to campus this fall for face-to-face instruction! We are working hard to provide the safest environment possible, and assure you that the health and well-being of our students, employees and community are top of mind for us as we prepare to be back on campus together.

UM will start the fall semester on Wednesday, Aug. 19.

For safety reasons, we are implementing a staggered approach to student residence hall move-in that will allow smaller groups of students to arrive between Wednesday, Aug. 12, and Sunday, Aug. 16. Stay tuned for more information and please do not make travel arrangements until you have selected your arrival time and date with UM Housing.

New Student Orientation will take place in person Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 17-18. All first-year students are expected to attend this program in addition to completing Online Bear Tracks.

It is our goal is to offer the Freshman Wilderness Experience this fall, and we are in the process of working with federal agencies to secure new permits. The Outdoor Program will reach out to all students who are registered for FWE. All other Big Sky Experience programs and events will be held during fall semester.

If you have concerns about arriving on time for residence hall move-in or New Student Orientation, please email Director of New Student Success Devin Carpenter at or call 406-243-2332. If you have concerns about arriving by the start of classes on Aug.19, please contact your academic adviser.

The last day of the semester and the conclusion of finals week will be Wednesday, Nov. 25, eliminating the need for students, faculty and staff to travel between the Thanksgiving holiday and the conclusion of the semester.

Winter break will last until Monday, Jan. 11, 2021, when spring semester begins. Consistent with past semesters, there will be a limited set of exceptions to meet clinical and other programmatic needs that are not directly tied to the traditional academic calendar.

We know these changes raise many questions, particularly around our exam schedule, fall Commencement, move-in and orientation, advising and financial aid. We are working through many of those areas and will have answers for you by mid-June. We will communicate with you directly — to your official University of Montana email account and will post all information on this webpage. Please check it often for more information.

Find information for law school students here

Current students: If you haven’t yet registered for fall classes, we encourage you to do so as soon as possible. Please contact your academic adviser for any help you might need completing your your registration.

Incoming students: Now is the time to sign up for and complete your Online Bear Tracks Registration Event.

We will look forward to seeing you on campus in August!


May 21, 2020: Fall Semester Schedule

While all the details are not quite finalized, UM will start the fall semester Wednesday, Aug. 19. Final exams — and the last day of the semester — will conclude Wednesday, Nov. 25, the day before Thanksgiving.

May 18, 2020: UM is Face-to-Face for the Fall

I am sure you have heard by now that we will be back on campus this fall for face-to-face instruction and we are busy getting ready for you!

May 15, 2020: Fall Semester Timing Message from the President

To help reduce the risk of infection by the COVID-19 virus, all MUS campuses are encouraged to plan an academic calendar that allows for the completion of the fall semester by Wednesday, Nov. 25.

May 14, 2020: Fall Academic Calendar Update from Commissioner Clay Christian

I write today with guidance for MUS campuses regarding the Fall 2020 academic calendar. Specifically, I am encouraging campuses to design a fall academic calendar that allows for the completion of the fall term, including any required on-campus final exams, by Wednesday, Nov. 25.

See more communications from UM regarding coronavirus.