This year’s Winter Session will be split into two sessions: Winter Short Session and Winter Long Session, after the faculty approved the calendar change on Sept. 29. Winter Short Session will run from Jan. 4 to Jan. 20 and Winter Long Session will run from Jan. 4 to Feb. 2. All classes will be offered online, with a mix of synchronous and asynchronous options. 

According to Director of Continuing Studies Jennifer Curran, the calendar change was the result of conversations between the Office of Academic Affairs, the University Registrar, and Curran herself. 

“We looked at that longer break and thought there might be a way to offer more options for students who were interested in taking courses over winter break,” Curran wrote in an email to The Argus. “We brought the proposal to EPC, who approved it.”

The biggest change to Winter Session, aside from the fully online teaching mode, is that two different sessions will be offered. 

“Winter Session 2021 will have an added option to take advantage of the longer winter break,” Curran wrote. “Some classes will be offered in the standard 2-week schedule, and others will run in a 4-week schedule, which is more like a Summer Session schedule. During the longer schedule, students will be able to take 2 courses if they wish.”

There are 16 courses being offered over the winter session, nearly twice the amount offered in prior years. These courses are Digital Art; Law, Politics, and Order in the Ancient World; Introduction to Programming; Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship; Introduction to Financial Accounting; Decolonizing Education; Reading and Writing Memoir; Jane Austen and Her World; Sexual Politics; International Politics; US Foreign Policy; Enlightenment and Science; Moral Life in a Secular World; Survey of Jazz Styles; Cinematic Encounters: Muslims and/in/of the West; and Applied Data Analysis. 

However, Curran noted that students should continue to check the Winter Session website for updated course info and syllabi. This information will be finalized before course registration, which opens on Nov. 3 on students’ WesPortal. 

“You fill out a simple online form, ask your advisor to email our office ( with approval for you to take the course, and make a ‘one-time payment’ of tuition on your student account,” Curran wrote. “As soon as these steps are complete, our office will enroll you. Winter Session registration is not open for long—the enrollment deadline is Wednesday, Dec. 16 at noon.”

Financial aid applications for Winter Session are due a week earlier, on Tuesday, Oct. 27. The application is also accessible through WesPortal. Curran emphasized the importance of applying early for Winter Session financial aid.

“Even if you’re not sure yet about taking a course, apply for the aid now, just in case,” Curran wrote. “It doesn’t obligate you to enroll in a course. We feel terrible when students write to us that they miss the deadline because we can’t help them. Please apply now.”
Hannah Docter-Loeb can be reached at

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