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For the first time in modern history, Montana State University will offer an interim winter semester in between the fall and spring semesters. This year’s “Snowmester” will run Monday, Nov. 30, through Friday, Jan. 8.

Snowmester is an opportunity for students to catch up, stay on track or get ahead of their coursework while taking advantage of the long winter break, said Robert Mokwa, MSU executive vice president for academic affairs and provost.  

“We are very excited to offer Snowmester as an option for our students,” Mokwa said. “This interim winter semester, which is happening this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, illustrates MSU’s agility and strength in adapting to meet the needs of our students during these times.”

More than 90 courses will be offered during the Snowmester. Mokwa said classes will be offered mostly online, although some hands-on courses, such as welding courses and workforce development courses, may be held face-to-face. Many of the offerings during Snowmester will be core courses that are foundational for student success or crucial prerequisites, Mokwa noted.

“We are delighted by the breadth of courses available during Snowmester and appreciate the efforts of Montana State’s faculty and staff in making these courses possible,” Mokwa said.

The program fee for Snowmester courses is $250 per credit hour and will be considered part of students’ spring semester bill. That means that students registered for 12 or more credit hours during the spring semester will not incur tuition charges for Snowmester courses.

MSU’s academic calendar is altered this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The university’s fall semester began two weeks early and will end before Thanksgiving. MSU’s winter break this year will start on Thanksgiving, Nov. 26, and go until the first day of the spring semester on Jan. 11, 2021.

University officials previously noted that starting the fall semester two weeks earlier enabled MSU to take advantage of a period of expected lower case rates as well as excellent weather. The adjusted dates also eliminated the need for students, faculty and staff to travel between the Thanksgiving holiday and the conclusion of the fall semester.

The calendar of Snowmester courses will be available Friday, Oct. 16. Registration for Snowmester and for the spring 2021 semester begins on Oct. 26.

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