A semester is the basic academic calendar division for Washington University. The semester is a critical part of the Course Key, and so is referenced anytime a Course or Section is. The timing of many production tasks is governed by the flow of the semester. There are five officially defined semesters in SIS system:
- JI – January Intersession
- SP – Spring
- SU – Summer
- YR – Year (runs June 1 – May 31)
- FL – Fall
Semesters are actually defined in by tables in both Student_Info and Course List. This reflects the early development history of SIS, where WUCRSL was originally written as a pilot application. New semesters need to be added to both databases. Both have a start and end date, which define the official beginning and end of the semester, not necessarily the start and end of classes. The semester start and end dates are defined in advance in Academic Calendar maintained by the OUR.