Academic Policy  1405.20



The University of Arkansas has three intersession periods: August, January, and May. These are held between regular terms in order to offer students a concentrated experience, allowing them to focus on one subject area for the session. Students may enroll in a maximum of one lecture or lab course, with the exception of co-requisite courses, for a maximum of four credits. The intention of intersessions is to provide opportunities for students to move toward degree completion. These intersession classes can also address academic deficiencies for some students prior to enrollment in regular terms.

Not all classes and class content are appropriate to teach within the format of intersessions. Maintaining academic rigor and quality is essential and is the responsibility of the department and/or programs.

Number of Courses a Student May Take During an Intersession

Students may take up to 4 credit hours per intersession—if taking more than 1 course, they must be co-requisites.

Student Financial Aid for Intersessions

The May intersession attaches to the summer term for financial aid purposes, so the Academic Challenge Scholarship (lottery scholarship) would not be awarded (just like summer), but financial aid would disburse for the summer session once the student takes an appropriate summer load in the regular summer term.

Credit hours taken during the August intersession will count toward fall enrollment eligibility requirements for scholarships, federal financial aid, and Arkansas state aid (including the Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship), and credit hours taken during the January intersession will count toward spring enrollment eligibility requirements for scholarships, federal financial aid, and Arkansas state aid (including the Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship).

Student Residence Hall Options for Intersessions

Housing requires that students either have a spring or a summer contract to live in the residence hall during the May intersession, a current academic year contract during the August intersession, and either an academic year contract or a spring contract during the January intersession. 

Specific Intersession Dates

See the academic semester calendar -

Workload Form

“Workload forms” are spreadsheets distributed by the office of the provost each fiscal year before the August intersession begins. They should be completed according to the instructions provided and submitted by each deans office to the office of the vice provost for academic affairs no later than August 1 for August intersession, December 15 for January intersession, and May 1 for May intersession. Any adjustment to these dates will be provided with the workload directions. After the initial workload is approved, changes should be submitted as they occur and in the manner found on the workload direction sheet. Pay transactions will not be approved unless they match the active workload.

Any exceptions to policy or the workload directions must be requested in advance of the session via an email from the appropriate department chair/head to the appropriate dean/associate dean and submitted to the vice provost for academic affairs. Approval information should then be noted in the workload comments field when resubmitted.

View a sample workload form.


Intersession funding for instructional costs is based on tuition revenue. Following the summer school financial paradigm, enrollment in these classes should generate enough tuition dollars to cover all the costs associated with offering the class. It is important to be aware students do not generate tuition in an equal manner. For example, if a student is also a staff member, the tuition is significantly lower. However, it is clear that some classes should be offered regardless of the net gain/loss. We have a responsibility to offer and staff classes needed for degree progress and completion. To that end, we ask that departmental course averages remain no less than revenue neutral. We encourage colleges and departments to work with programmatic faculty to analyze class offerings to ensure they are both needed and reflective of fiscal responsibility.

Faculty Teaching in Intersession

Faculty are permitted to teach up to three credit hours per intersession (up to 4 hours when courses are co-requisite).

In general, faculty will be paid 2 1⁄2% per credit hour for intersession pay. For August intersession, this will be 2 ½% of the previous academic year’s FTE 9-month salary. However, the minimum faculty payment is $3,000 per course, as with summer teaching.

During the intersession periods, faculty payments will be processed through Workday as period activity pay transactions governed by the extra compensation policy. No changes in salary distribution should be made to the intersession cost center numbers. Faculty are permitted to earn a maximum of 20% of their salary in extra compensation during a fiscal year. If intersession pay is the only extra compensation received in the fiscal year, the 20% maximum is equivalent to 8 credit hours of intersession courses. The $3,000 base is an exception. An employee’s total compensation for a year or a month, including extra compensation, is subject to University policies governing the authority to exceed maximum legislated salary levels for exceptionally well-qualified academic and non-academic personnel.

Twelve-month faculty must claim vacation leave time to be eligible for intersession pay. They should be paid through the period activity pay process just as nine-month faculty are. Administrators, including department chairs, associate deans, deans, etc. are not eligible for extra compensation or period activity pay transactions.

Because January intersession falls within the faculty member’s contract period of mid-August to mid-May, a department may allow, subject to appropriate class size, the faculty member an opportunity to teach during the January intersession for no additional compensation and as part of the individual’s fall or spring course load.

Graduate Teaching Assistant Teaching in Intersession

January Intersession

Graduate teaching assistants may have the opportunity to teach during the January intersession for either additional pay or a reduced assignment during the spring or fall semester, as approved by both the student and the sponsor (person responsible for the funding and duty expectations for the graduate assistant) of the teaching assistantship, in consultation with the student’s major advisor. They may not be required to teach during the January intersession. Teaching assistants need not be enrolled during the January intersession if they are enrolled in the spring semester. Students on 9-month or 12-month graduate assistantships must have the approval of the sponsor of that assistantship. 

May and August Intersessions

Graduate teaching assistantships will be handled during the May and August intersessions consistent with summer teaching policies. Students must be enrolled for a minimum of three hours for a 9-month position or six hours for a 12-month position; they may be enrolled for these hours in any session of the summer or the May or August intersession. 

Reformatted for Web October 09, 2014