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New Calendar and Curriculum

Preparing for the Guilford Edge, a new calendar and curriculum

Updated March 11, 2019


1. As part of the Edge, Guilford College will have a new academic calendar and new curriculum in 2019-20! We are committed to the great new experiences of the calendar and curriculum as well as you finishing on time. 

The new academic calendar will still have a fall and spring semester. Each semester will have a 3-week session and a 12-week session. You’ll be taking one course in the 3-week session and your other courses in the 12-week session. In this way, you will still end up with the same number of courses by the end of each semester as you’re taking now. 

2. You can learn more about the Edge, our new calendar, and the new curriculum from your academic adviser, Guilford Guide or any member of the Academic and Student Affairs staff.

3. While a new curriculum will start for students beginning in Fall 2019, all students may also see some changes in classes for your major or other classes you need to take.

As a current student at Guilford, you can decide to stay with your current academic plan for your major, minor (or second major), and general education requirements, and that’s great! Or you may decide that you really like what the new curriculum will offer, and you want to change your plans, and that’s great, too! New opportunities under the new curriculum will be available to all students, whether or not you stay with the current plan or switch to the new curriculum.

We hope you are excited about our new curriculum and calendar. These changes are being made to reflect five years of planning, discussion, reflection and research done by students, staff and faculty. Your experiences at Guilford will be easier to design just for you, will support better networking with a team of advisers and supporters, and promote greater success due to more experiential learning opportunities.

4. The MOST important thing for you is that you can still graduate by your projected deadline if you continue to remain in good academic standing. Guilford is committed to supporting all students through the transitions and changes ahead.

If you graduate by July 2019, you’ll finish before these changes take place. Everyone graduating later than this will have a different amount of time under the new calendar.


If you’re planning to graduate in Years you’ll have under the new calendar What we suggest you and your adviser should consider...
 Spring 2020 (rising seniors) 1 year Consider staying with your existing general education and major requirements. Changing to the new curriculum would likely be too disruptive to your plans. However, both are available for you to select.
 Spring 2021 (rising juniors) 2 years Consider whether you should adopt the new general education and major requirements or stick with the existing requirements. Both are available for you to select.
Spring 2022 (rising sophomores) 3 years Consider moving to the new general education and major requirements. While both the current and new curriculum are available, we believe you and your adviser should strongly consider the new curriculum.


If you are interested in learning more about perhaps moving from the current curriculum to the new curriculum, please let us know by completing this brief survey. Thank you!

5. As you begin planning with your adviser in the next few weeks, be sure to use the following tools we’ve made available to the community.

Please note, we don’t need you to choose between the current or new catalog requirements right now. Our first class able to graduate under the new requirements won’t be for over a year from now; even then, we actually think most people graduating in May 2020 will still graduate under the current requirements. A process for selecting the new requirements will be coming out in the months ahead and your Banner information will allow you to choose which set of requirements you wish to use.

6. Registration for Fall 2019 will begin on Monday, November 11, 2019. Please see the Registrar information about when you are scheduled to register.

7. You will benefit from experiences available with the new calendar and curriculum.  

What we have created will provide students with more opportunities to participate in engaging, unique and challenging courses. For example, the 3-week session, both in fall and spring semesters, gives you more opportunities to explore immersive experiences (such as study abroad or away, internships, individual research or creative endeavors, and others) that fit within their schedules. With the new calendar and curriculum, the College will be able to help you learn more, and better, both in the classroom and beyond the classroom. That’s a major theme of Learning Collaboratively and the Guilford Edge.

8. Many of your 3-week session courses and experiences will have no additional cost, but some might.

A course in the 3-week session can take place entirely on campus, or be a local internship, or have one-day field trips, or spend a weekend or more away from campus, or take place entirely away from Guilford; there are many different options for students! The cost of an experience in the 3-week session will vary. 

Throughout your time at Guilford, we ensure there will be a range of 3-week courses and opportunities available to and accessible for you. An internship with a local company or organization may be an example of an opportunity that is covered with your regular tuition, while courses with a travel component may have appropriate surcharges. Because each 3-week session is contained within a semester, many surcharges will be covered by financial aid packages. 

9. Be sure to consider how you can use the 3-week session to your advantage. Is there a course you’d like to focus on exclusively for three weeks? Is there a difficult subject that might benefit from a singular focus? Is there a research project you’d like to accomplish? Is there an internship or job shadowing or community-based project you’d like to accomplish? There are plenty of options to consider!

10. You can see the Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 academic calendars from the Registrar and Student Accounts web page. As a reminder, our new calendars use 3-week and 12-week sessions that allow you to focus on a single course in the 3-week session as well as multiple courses in a 12-week session. The table below gives you the outline of what a typical semester will look like in the years ahead.


Fall semester Spring semester
3-week session followed by 12-week session 12-week session followed by 3-week session
Fall semester will start with the 3-week session that will run from mid-August to early September. Three week sessions start and end on Wednesdays with 16 available class days. You will be able to review these schedules, in many cases, early in the semester with a faculty member.  Spring semester will begin with the 12-week session in early January that will go until mid-April. There will be a full week of spring break in the 12-week session. 
The term break between the 3-week session and the 12-week session will be the Thursday and Friday after the 3-week session ends. The term break between the 12-week session and the 3-week session will be the Monday and Tuesday after the 12-week session, with classes in the three-week term beginning on a Wednesday. 
The 12-week session will then start on a Monday in mid-September and run through the middle of December. There will be a shorter fall break and a full week Thanksgiving holiday break.  The spring 3-week session will run from the middle of April through into early May and begin and end on a Wednesday with 16 available class days. Commencement in May will be the Saturday immediately following the Wednesday end of the spring 3-week session.


If you have a question or concern that isn’t answered here, talk with the transition coordinators,, or stop by the Guided Discovery space in Hege Academic Commons.