Winter Session Planning Update

Posted on October 22, 2020. Note that some information or advice may have changed since then.

Dear Colleagues,

We write with an update on plans for the upcoming Winter Session, an experimental offering of engaging opportunities and programs bridging the long gap between semesters. As a reminder, the major offerings planned are:

  • Career development programs, including workshops, virtual networking, career counseling, and skill-building sessions
  • Community engagement and non-credit enrichment and volunteer opportunities
  • Supervised on-campus and virtual research opportunities for undergraduates
  • For-credit online courses taught by Notre Dame faculty members, emphasizing discovery  

The website will serve as the hub for information about the Winter Session. We will add to it frequently as new information becomes available. Some key updates follow.

For-Credit Online Course Proposals

The request for course proposals is now closed. We received 148 proposals across the disciplines, illustrating the generosity, creativity, and intellectual ambition of our community. Thank you! A selection panel will now work with the deans of each college/school to identify that slate of courses most likely to fulfill the aims of the Winter Session as outlined on the RFP. Instructors should expect notification no later than November 2

To ensure as many teaching opportunities as possible, instructors are only eligible to teach one Winter Session course, regardless of credits offered.

Supervised Research 

We recognize how hard all of you have been working since the spring. At the same time, we have received many messages from faculty regarding how much they enjoy working with our undergraduates, and from undergraduates about how much they would appreciate research experiences over the Winter Session. Thus, we invite faculty to offer virtual or in-person undergraduate research experiences during this time. We emphasize that participation on your part is voluntary; we do not intend to imply an expectation that faculty members will offer research experiences over the Winter Session. Guidance and an FAQ about participating is posted here

If you wish to announce supervised research opportunities during Winter Session, please complete this form by Tuesday, November 3

Registration Details

Winter Session courses are Spring 2021 courses that begin and end early; credits and grades will be applied to student transcripts at the end of the spring semester. There is no additional fee for any full-time student who registers for a Winter Session course. Students are only eligible to take one Winter Session course, regardless of credits pursued. Registration will be open in December using the regular spring procedures; we have implemented steps to ensure broad and equitable access to these special offerings. Winter Session online courses will begin no earlier than Monday, January 4, and will end Wednesday, January 27, with final grades due on Monday, February 1. Registration information for Winter Session and the spring semester will be posted regularly on and shared by the registrar with students, faculty, and staff.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us by emailing

Yours sincerely,

The Winter Session Team