EPFL will finish semester online and hold exams in August

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Prisé pour les révisions, le Rolex Learning Center restera vide ce printemps. ©

Prisé pour les révisions, le Rolex Learning Center restera vide ce printemps. © EPFL / Alain Herzog 2020

EPFL has modified its academic calendar as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the updated calendar, which is being submitted today for internal consultation, students won’t be back in classrooms before the fall

All EPFL classes have been held online since 13 March in order to help stem the spread of the new coronavirus. This week EPFL decided to extend the ban on in-person classes until the end of the spring semester, which is set for 29 May. That means students won’t be back in classrooms before this fall. 

This decision will entail pushing back the exam session and extending it from three weeks to four. The exam session will now be held from 3 to 28 August.

This will apply to Bachelor’s students, Master’s students, students in the Special Mathematics Course (CMS) and students taking the MŕN review course. 
In order to give both students and teachers enough time to prepare for the exam session under this new schedule, the academic calendar has been modified as follows: 

  • Last day of spring semester: 29 May
  • Three-week break: 1 to 21 June
  • Exam-preparation and review sessions: 22 June to 31 July
  • Exams: 3 to 28 August.

The exam review sessions will be held online, unless the public-health recommendations change between now and then. Students will, however, have to take the exams in person. 

Given the exceptional circumstances, EPFL has also introduced certain measures to provide some flexibility. Students will have until 24 July to withdraw from one or more exams without that counting as a failing grade; students can choose to extend their degree programs by one year; and MŕN students who do not pass their final exams will be able to redo their first year.

To implement these measures, EPFL will have to adopt a new directive as part of the School’s legislation (Polylex). The measures are therefore being put up for internal consultation under a restricted, accelerated process that will run from today until 24 April.

"The unprecedented situation we are currently facing should not make us lose sight of our primary mission, which is to educate our students," says Pierre Vandergheynst, EPFL’s Vice President for Education. "The proposed measures will let us do just that without compromising on the quality of our diplomas or the health of our community. We thank everyone for their understanding and participation."