University Holidays

University Holiday Calendar for Texas A&M University and Texas A&M Health Science Center

Fiscal Year 2020–2021

Thanksgiving November 26–27, 2020
Winter Break December 23, 2020 – January 1, 2021**
Martin Luther King Jr. Day January 18, 2021
Spring Break March 19, 2021**
Memorial Day May 28 and 31, 2021**

**(Updated 10-09-2020)

Note: Adjustments to the University Holiday Calendar

Changes to Texas A&M University's spring 2021 academic calendar (for students in College Station and Galveston) were announced October 8, 2020 as summarized below:

  • The spring semester will start on Tuesday, January 19, 2021, as scheduled.
  • The semester will end earlier, with the last day of classes on Thursday, April 29, 2021.
  • The last day of finals will be Friday, May 7, 2021.
  • Spring break for students has been reduced from one full week to one day, Friday, March 19, 2021, to minimize extensive travel and allow the semester to conclude earlier for additional commencements.

As a result, previously scheduled spring break staff holidays on March 17–18, 2021 have been changed to Wednesday, December 23, 2020 and Friday, May 28, 2021, with March 19, 2021 remaining a staff holiday. Updates have been made to the calendar listed above.

Who determines the University Holiday Schedule?

University holidays are established by the Texas A&M System Board of Regents. The State of Texas authorizes certain legal, state and national holidays for state employees, but provides that educational institutions may adjust the actual observance of some of these holidays to permit the most efficient operation. Texas A&M observes the number of holidays as allowed by the state legislature; generally 12 to 15 holidays each fiscal year.

Once the state has determined the number of holiday dates, the Texas A&M Registrar makes initial holiday schedule recommendations based on the established academic calendar, with feedback from a number of campus groups, before being routed to the Office of the Provost for approval. The approved recommendations are then forwarded to the University President, the Chancellor, and ultimately, holidays are established by the Texas A&M System Board of Regents.

Factors that are considered when holidays are set are: the academic schedule (when classes start and end each semester and the minimum number of class days), what day of the week some traditional, moving holidays fall (such as July 4th, which is not a campus holiday when it falls on a weekend), and National holidays (e.g. Martin Luther King Jr. Day).

The holiday schedule for the upcoming fiscal year is generally finalized and posted in July. The fiscal year begins September 1.

Holiday Pay Eligibility

A leave-eligible employee in a position of 50% (excluding employees in a position requiring student status) effort or above must work or be in a paid leave status any portion of the last scheduled working day before a holiday and be in a paid leave status (or work) for any portion of the next scheduled day after a holiday to be eligible for holiday pay. Exception: an employee will be paid for the designated December holidays if they are in a paid status or working for any portion of the last scheduled workday before the holiday period begins. The employee will be paid for a designated January 1 holiday if they return to work (or are in a paid leave status) for a portion of the next scheduled work day following the holiday. A portion of a scheduled work day, for holiday pay eligibility purposes, is defined to be at least 15 minutes.

Rate of Holiday Compensation

A full-time employee will receive eight hours of holiday compensation for each recognized holiday; part-time employee will receive a proportionate amount of compensation. Example: a 75%-effort employee will receive six hours of compensation; a 50%-effort employee will receive four hours.

Holiday Compensation and a Varied Work Schedule

Full-time employees who normally work varied hours (e.g. four 10-hour days) will receive eight holiday hours of compensation, even though they normally work a 10-hour day. Example: a full-time employee who normally works four ten-hour days from Thursday through Sunday is scheduled to be off on Thursday and Friday, two recognized state holidays. He takes off as allowed on Thursday and Friday, then works two ten-hour days on Saturday and Sunday, for a total of 20 hours worked that week. Sixteen holiday hours are allowed to be coded on Thursday and Friday (eight holiday hours for each day), for a total of 36 coded hours. The employee will have to use four hours of vacation leave (or other appropriate leave) to account for 40 hours that week; or, with his supervisors permission, work a different schedule so that he will not have to use his personal leave.

Work On a Scheduled Holiday

Employees who work on a recognized holiday will be compensated for working on that day with state comp time or a straight payment. Employees may make a request through their supervisor to receive either method of compensation; however, the final decision on the method of compensation to be paid will rest with the department. General information regarding holiday compensation is as follows:

State Comp Time

  • May be used by exempt (monthly) and non-exempt (bi-weekly) employees;
  • Will be provided to the employee (with supervisor approval) by allowing equivalent time off at a later date with pay for hours worked;
  • Must be used within 12 months of the date it was earned; unused comp time after that date will expire; and
  • May not be used in instances where an employee is scheduled to work on a recognized holiday and calls in sick. Example: eight holiday hours will be coded on Thanksgiving Day where an employee scheduled to work eight hours on that day calls in sick.

Straight Payment for Time Worked

  • May be used by non-exempt (bi-weekly) employees only; and
  • Must be paid at a straight-time rate. Example: an employee who works 40 hours from Thursday through Wednesday and works on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day will be paid for 40 hours of work, plus eight hours for working on a holiday, for a total of 48 hours at a straight-time rate. Any hours actually worked over 40 will be compensated at a rate of time and one-half according to Fair Labor Standards Act overtime procedures.

Time Off For Religious Holy Days

Employees may use appropriate leave (vacation, compensatory time, leave without pay, etc.) to observe Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Good Friday, or any other holy day not recognized as a University holiday. Time off for religious observances should be requested in advance.


*The Qatar campus, College of Dentistry, and School of Law along with other campuses, agencies, and universities within The Texas A&M University System have different holiday schedules listed on the A&M System Holidays webpage. View student campus holidays here.