What to Expect From a Fall Semester in the USA


Oct 7, 2022

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Preparing for your upcoming fall semester is so exciting. You’re about to start your first year in college and discover more about yourself than you ever thought possible. The only problem is the semester seems hazy. This guide explains what you can expect from a fall semester in the USA, no matter which university you decide to call home. Keep an eye out for these events on your calendar so you always feel prepared in your academic and social life.

When Does the Fall Semester Begin and End?

The exact starting and ending dates for universities may differ by a day or two, but they’re generally in the same two-week period. You’ll start the school year toward the end of August and finish the fall semester in early December.

You’ll know your move-in date after selecting your on-campus housing or signing a lease for an off-campus apartment. Move-in times will stagger each building on campus to avoid clogged roads and full parking lots while everyone’s unloading their belongings. Afterward, everyone’s classes will start on the same date as indicated by your university’s current academic calendar.

What College Events Happen During Fall?

Many fun things happen during the fall for college students. You can look forward to these recurring events each year you enroll in your school.

Welcome Week Events

Universities host welcome week events so new and returning students can start making memories immediately. You’ll feel more at home by attending them with your roommates or whoever you meet while you’re there. Your new friends will share an instant history with you while everyone learns about the many opportunities that await you on campus.

Club Introduction Day

University clubs often host a special day on campus where they set up tables or tents with informational flyers. You can stroll through these displays to find generic and niche clubs that align with your greatest interests. It’s another way to make friends and feel like you belong in a new place.

Some clubs require membership fees and equipment purchases, but there’s no need to worry. Reflect on your budget and cut some creative corners to find the necessary money without stressing about getting a second job.

Fall Break

After you’ve had a chance to adjust to your roommate or switch living on-campus living arrangements, everyone gets to go home for fall break. This is often a three or four-day weekend that gives each student a chance to relax. You could go home for the holiday or stay at school since most on-campus housing will remain open.

Thanksgiving Break

Universities and colleges always provide a Thanksgiving break for students at the end of November. There will likely be a big Thanksgiving-themed dinner in the campus cafeteria before break begins and other seasonal events like food drives or pumpkin carving.

What Exams Happen During Fall Semesters?

While enjoying the fun things that happen during your upcoming fall semester, don’t forget about these crucial exams that occur in addition to routine tests and quizzes.


Midterms are like miniature final exams. They ensure you know the material well enough to handle the last half of the fall semester. Depending on your professor, they typically occur right before fall break and may be your first graded assignment. Check each course rubric to see how your midterms could affect your final grades.

Fall Finals

Finals happen after everyone gets back from Thanksgiving break. It’s always wise to take study materials home or wherever you plan on going during the Thanksgiving holiday. With enough time and practice, you’ll study enough to feel prepared for any exams your classes require before you finish for the semester.

Learn What You Can Expect

Now that you know what to expect from a fall semester in the US, you can look forward to your upcoming school year. Many fun experiences await you and a few exams along the way.

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