Retaining Current MWF Class Times

Beginning in Fall 2020 as a temporary response to the pandemic, and in-place since then for the past five semesters, Iowa State University altered the standard MWF class schedule to accommodate 15 minutes of passing time between classes, rather than the prior 10 minutes.  (Tuesday-Thursday courses already have 15 minutes between class times.) This change was made to support students and instructors transitioning in and out of classes and transiting campus, as well as to reduce congestion in academic buildings during the height of the pandemic.

Over the past several months, we engaged the leadership of Student Government, Graduate and Professional Student Senate, Faculty Senate, and Professional and Scientific Council, as well as the Undergraduate Programs Council, CyRide, and other stakeholders to explore multiple factors related to the MWF schedule.  As the outcome of that process, we will keep the current schedule and make this change permanent as summarized in the following tables:


Fall and Spring Weekly Schedule

M/W/F = 50 minutes with a 15-minute transition timeT/R = 75 minutes with a 15-minute transition time
7:45 - 8:35 AM8 - 9:15 AM
8:50 - 9:40 AM9:30 - 10:45 AM
9:55 - 10:45 AM11 AM - 12:15 PM
11 - 11:50 AM12:40 - 1:55 PM
12:05 - 12:55 PM2:10 - 3:25 PM
1:10 - 2 PM3:40 - 4:55 PM
2:15 - 3:05 PM5:10 - 6:25 PM
3:20 - 4:10 PMEvening Classes
4:25 - 5:15 PM 
5:30 - 6:20 PM 
Evening Classes 

Summer Weekly Schedule

M/T/W/R/F = 60 minutes with a 10-minute transition time
7:30 - 8:30 AM
8:40 - 9:40 AM
9:50 - 10:50 AM
11 AM - 12 PM
12:10 - 1:10 PM
1:20 - 2:20 PM
2:30 - 3:30 PM
3:40 - 4:40 PM


Since this schedule has been in place for five semesters already, students and instructors are familiar with it.  Additionally, permanently retaining the 15 minute passing time provides several benefits for students, instructors, and staff:


  • Enables students, especially those with back-to-back classes in large lecture classrooms, to navigate campus more easily, and with reduced rush and stress.
  • Provides more time before and after class for questions and discussion with instructors, which enhances student learning.
  • Facilitates a smooth transition from one instructor to the next, including connecting to and disconnecting from classroom technology.
  • Enables an additional CyRide Orange Route bus, which shuttles students, instructors and staff between central campus and the Iowa State Center.

I ask that department chairs share this communication with graduate student instructors, teaching assistants, academic advisors, and others as appropriate.