UNM Plans for End of Fall 2020 Term and Start of Spring 2021

The UNM community has truly been amazing this fall, helping our students learn and grow and to pushing forward the frontiers of knowledge. While COVID remains a challenge, and UNM is certainly not free from infection, the dedicated work and caring discipline of our faculty, students, and staff has helped slow the spread within UNM. We have not seen evidence of spreading events in either classes or in dorms.

This document provides a brief outline of the plans for UNM as we approach the start of the fall break. It applies broadly across UNM, but there are local differences and instructions. This is especially important for the HSC academic units and for the Branch Campuses, and of course the UNM Health System continues to fully operate to serve the health care needs of the New Mexico community.

Please note that this information was updated on November 16th, 2020, in response to the state’s public health order from Friday, November 13th.

Coming to the end of Fall:

  • UNM students have been recently provided with a message on the supports that we ramped up for their success this semester and next on the supports that we ramped up for their success this semester and next, including discussion of our regular Credit / No-Credit options. This was distributed by email and social media.

    The "student guide" tab of my.unm, which instructors and staff can access, provides useful information about resources and services for students.

  • Further communication to faculty, students and staff are under preparation.
  • Fall in-person instruction will end on Nov 21. Starting Nov 23 thru Dec 12 we will be in a remote instruction and exam period.
  • After Thanksgiving most faculty, staff and students will be working remotely and offices and buildings will, for the most part, be physically locked.
  • Research operations will continue with both faculty and students working in research laboratories and continuing our mission of discovery, operating under Covid Safe Practices.
  • Some fabrication and studio spaces may remain accessible with special permission for completion of final projects under CSPs. Similarly, clinical students and students on internship experiences may be continuing those experiences, again under CSPs and in alignment with the public health orders in place at the time.
  • Students in clinical rotations will continue until the end of the semester as long as it is safe to do so in order to assure that they are able to meet program requirements.
  • Dane Smith Hall will be open with limited hours after Thanksgiving to provide access to study spaces, internet, and computer labs.
  • The Johnson Center will be closed.

Holiday Break:

  • Winter Break was approved by the President to start on Dec 23 this year.
  • UNM will be largely closed over break (Dec 23 – Jan 3). We will have several hundred students in the dorms.
  • UNM's Covid Call Center will continue operations, the Student Health and Counseling Center will maintain its normal holiday telephone access to a medical provider or counselor, and will have on-call capacity to arrange for COVID testing as indicated. The Covid Rapid Response Team will be operational.

Spring 2021:

  • The holiday ends Jan 4, and students living in the dorms move in Jan 11th.
  • UNM will conduct the first week of Spring term classes, Jan 18 – Jan 22, as remote instruction. This will allow students who are returning to UNM from out of state to return a week before the start of classes and continue a period of quarantine for two weeks through Jan 22, if required according to public health requirements at that time.
  • After the first week, UNM will begin a hybrid term much like Fall 2020 semester. The breakdown of instructional modes for Spring 2021 in ABQ looks like:

    Delivery Type# of Classes% of Classes

    100% FACE




    Remote Arranged


    Remote Scheduled


    Online MAX





  • The Spring term calendar is posted online, but in brief:
    • January 18 - Classes Start
    • March 14-21 - Break
    • May 10-14 - Final Exams
    • May 15 - Term Ends
  • For the spring 2021 term, we hope that the Johnson Center will have the weight room and Olympic pool open, at reduced capacity and by appointment, with the expected hours: 11am – 2pm & 4pm – 7pm. This will depend on the public health orders in place at the time.
  • The daily symptom attestation email will stop delivery on Dec 23 and resume on Jan 4th. Where ever you are, please be mindful of your health and if you develop any symptoms of COVID, please contact your health care provider.

We expect that spring break will occur as previously planned, and there is no remote instruction period planned at the end of the term. Of course, if the progression of COVID-19 dictates otherwise, we will adjust as needed. If students leave the state during spring break, it is likely they will have to quarantine for two weeks upon return, and this could impact their study plans.