Reading the Academic Calendar

The YDS Academic Calendar

by Jordan Rebholz

It is now officially August!  Can you believe it!? That means that in less than one month you will be all finished with BTFO and starting your first day of class!  While we know this can be a very exciting time, we are also pretty sure that many of you are wondering about how to read the YDS Academic Calendar.  We wanted to take this time to highlight a few things on the calendar so that you all have a better understanding of what to expect.  Please know that we will be giving more detailed explanations of everything at BTFO, so this is not an exhaustive list.  P.S. If you haven’t found the 2016-2017 Academic Calendar, you can find it here:



25 - 26, 29                      Before The Fall Orientation

This is where will finally get to meet all of you and officially welcome you to the YDS community.  We are so excited about this event and we hope you are too!

30          Tuesday          On-line Registration Begins at 9 AM

Finally! Right!? You will finally be able to register for courses! What you should know: there will be a “registration party” where students can bring their laptop, register when registration officially opens at 9 am, and have questions answered in person by Lisa Huck and other amazing YDS administrators. We will give you more information about the “party” during BTFO.

30         Tuesday          Opening Convocation at 4pm

This event marks the official opening of the YDS academic year. Students, both incoming and returning, and faculty, donned in their regalia, gather in Marquand Chapel for a service that celebrates the gathering of the YDS community and beginning of another year.  While not a requirement to attend, most students dress nicely for this event. You will see a range of business casual to business professional.

31        Wednesday      Fall Classes Begin

Folks, we are just as ready as you are for this! It’s an exciting day!


14           Friday              Reading Period Begins at 9 PM

Let’s talk about reading periods for a bit. A reading period, at its most basic, is a stretch of time in which no regular classes at the div school meet. If you take a class downtown it will almost certainly still meet throughout reading periods. Reading periods are, at the risk of stating the obvious, a good chance to catch up on work, reading, papers, etc.

Reading periods can also be used as a mental health/ self-care time. A reading period can be a good chance to get out of town, go camping, relax, and do whatever it is you do to decompress. Believe me when I say that when classes are in and work is due you will, at some point(s), hit a wall in which you are not able to juggle class, papers, reading, your job, relationships, and whatever else is going on in your life as well as you want to. Reading periods are a great chance to take a day or two (or three or five) and let your brain cool off and let the sanity flow. (Inasmuch as this is possible for you)

Just remember, how you use reading periods is up to your personal management, goals, and desires.

18        Tuesday          Convocation Begins

Convocation is a series of events that happen at the div school each October. This is when classes of div school alumni return for reunions, events, meetings, dinners, and various lecture series. Many of these lectures and events are open to current students, and many alumni would be thrilled to meet you. 

24          Monday          Reading Period Ends, 8:20 AM      

                                                Classes Resume, 8:30 AM


November looks pretty self-explanatory. Just as a side note though, this is probably when the snow will start.


6          Tuesday           Regular Classes end at 9 PM

7          Wednesday      Reading Period Begins at 6 PM

This reading period is designed specifically for studying for final exams and writing final papers.  Ideally, you will have already begun studying… but this time ensures you won’t have to be going to classes at the same as studying.  This is a very hectic time of the semester, so make sure you are taking care of yourself (ie. drinking plenty of water, sleeping, etc.).

7          Wednesday                Advent Service, 7PM

Coming in about an hour into the pre-final exam reading period is YDS’ annual Advent Service. If at all possible, you should go to the Advent Service. It is a pretty big deal in YDS culture, and there is always a great service in Marquand Chapel and a party afterwards. This is a great way to celebrate the end of classes and be in community with everyone before finals begin. 

14       Wednesday             Reading Period Ends, 8:20 AM      

                                                     Final exams begin, 8:30 AM

Sometime during the fall semester, the Registrar’s office will post the official exam schedule on their website.  Last year, the fall semester exam schedule was posted sometime in late October.  P.s. don’t make holiday travel plans before you see the official exam schedule.  The dates, times, and locations for each exam are not negotiable. 

20       Tuesday                 Exams end/ Semester ends, 6 PM

Exhale! You made it through your first semester at YDS! Regardless of grades, just making it through the semester is a huge accomplishment.  Be proud of yourself!  Go relax and catch up on your favorite shows! Spend time with your family!  Don’t second guess exam answers or papers… Enjoy this time, because you earned it!



2          Monday                      Grades Due for Fall 2016

Many of you will spend this day refreshing your browser looking for grades… It’s totally normal.

17        Tuesday                   Spring Classes Begin, 8:30 AM

                                               Online Registration Begins, 9:00 AM

Yes, you read that correctly. You will register for classes on the day they begin. Some of you will leave for your 8:30 class and then register for it afterwards. It’s a bit unorthodox, but then again so is going to YDS.


14        Tuesday                      Last Day for Faculty to Accept Late     

Work from Fall Semester

Some of you will gloss over this date now, but it may loom large in February.  Most of you will not have to deal with this deadline, but for those of you who will, it will be an important one. 


10        Friday                      Spring Recess Begins, 9 AM

27       Monday                    Spring Recess Ends, 8:20 AM

                                                     Classes Resume, 8:30 AM

Yes, “Spring Break” is two weeks long here at YDS.  Isn’t that awesome!?  Many of you will use this time to go home to see family, while many will stay in New Haven.  Some people choose to use this extra-long time as a good excuse to catch up on readings or get a jump-start on finals, while some use it as their “mental health” vacation.  Last year, I used the first week as a much-needed “rest” period and the second week studying.  It worked out very well for me.  But, it’s totally up to you!


28        Friday                  Regular Classes End at 9 PM

                                           Reading Period begins at 9 PM

You’re almost there! You just have to get through final exams and you can officially say that you made it through your first year at YDS!


4          Thursday          Reading Period Ends at 8:20 AM

                                             Final Exams Begin at 8:30 AM

Some people may find the spring semester final exams are “easier” to handle than the fall semester exams because you will kind of know what to expect.  Some of you may find that they are a little “harder” because you are running out of steam.  Some of you may not even notice a difference.  Whatever it is you are feeling, it’s perfectly fine!  It’s your experience, no one else’s… Just remember to take care of yourself!

9          Tuesday            Exams End/ Semester Ends at 6 PM

Guess what!? You did it! You made it through your first year! I promise you, it’s going to feel amazing.  You will probably be exhausted.  You will probably wonder how you did.  But, you know what?  You should make sure you take the time to feel proud of everything you did.  You belong at YDS and everyone will be so excited to share in your joy! 

21        Sunday           YDS Commencement Service at 4PM

Show up! Support your friends! It’s a really special day and you will want to be a part of it. 

23        Tuesday          All Grades Due for Spring Semester

Many of you may find that once these final grades are in, you will be finally be able to take a deep breath.  Well, today is the day! Embrace it!

Hopefully this gives you a better idea of what is going on beneath the calendar. Also keep in mind that these are only the main events and instances that are planned out far in advance. Watch for more information throughout BTFO and the entire school year such as special events, presentations, and lectures.  YDS is an incredible place