Welcome

Returning to Yale: The Academic Year Ahead

Updated July 8, 2020

President Peter Salovey and Provost Scott Strobel announced on July 1 that Yale will welcome graduate and professional school students and a portion of the undergraduate population back to campus for the fall semester. The reactivation of campus-based research is under way already.

Health and safety are, and must be, Yale’s paramount and continuous concerns as it pursues its educational and scholarly missions in the 2020-21 academic year. The university’s plans adhere to the advice of public health experts and reflect the input of Yale’s own COVID-19 Contingency Planning Committees, and are in accord with Governor Ned Lamont’s roadmap for reopening Connecticut.

This website addresses many important aspects of life at Yale in the months ahead, including health guidelines — but also who may study on campus and when, residential life, the nature of instruction, the workplace, and more. We hope it will serve all members of the Yale community as they envision and prepare for the academic year before us.

Undergraduate Study and Living

Although in-residence education for Yale College students will not look like typical college life in the next academic year, we will create the best possible learning environment in the context of the public health crisis.

A portion of undergraduates will have the option to return to campus
For each semester in 2020-2021, three classes of students will be in residence. Students who cannot return to campus are encouraged to continue their Yale education remotely.

For fall 2020, first-year students, juniors, and seniors will have the option to live on campus.

For spring 2021, sophomores, juniors, and seniors may choose to live on campus.

This arrangement allows the university to decrease the density of students in residential colleges and lower the risk of COVID-19 spread.

Courses will mostly be conducted remotely
For most lectures and seminars — as well as other small-format courses such as writing classes and introductory language classes — the bulk of instruction will be conducted remotely. There will be both synchronous and asynchronous components. Wherever feasible, such courses will have associated in-person supplements.

For a small number of classes, such as those involving laboratory or studio work that cannot be conducted remotely, instruction will take place in person, in socially distanced settings.

Graduate and Professional Study and Living

Most of Yale’s graduate and professional students live off campus, making it possible to welcome back all who can study and conduct research on campus.

Some students cannot return to campus due to travel or health restrictions, so most courses will be taught remotely. Some will be conducted in person with social distancing requirements in place. Using a mix of online and in-person courses maximizes our options for students to return to campus and for adhering to public health guidelines.

The deans of each school will send additional details.

To lower the risk of spreading COVID-19, Yale housing for graduate and professional students will operate with extensive health precautions in place, including reduced occupancy and social distancing measures in common areas.

Fall Calendar

We will follow a modified academic calendar that allows in-person educational programs to be completed by Thanksgiving break. For links to individual school calendars, please visit the Yale Calendars webpage.

Date Event
In August Schools of Architecture, Law, Management, and Medicine begin.
August 24-28 Students in Yale College begin returning to campus in phases.
August 31

Yale College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences begin classes.

Schools of Art, Divinity, Drama, Engineering, the Environment, Music, Nursing, and Public Health also begin the week of August 31.

November 20

November recess begins at night.

Yale College in-person classes end; the last week of instruction, reading period, and final exams would take place online.

In December A “quiet period” with in-person activity on campus kept to a minimum.
December 4 Classes end in Yale College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
December 18 Fall 2020 semester ends for Yale College, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and select professional schools.

Resuming Research and Other Campus Operations for Faculty, Staff, and Trainees

In May, Yale announced three phases of research reactivation, the first of which brought back to campus a limited number of faculty, staff, and trainees starting June 1. Phase two begins on July 20, provided the current public health conditions do not deteriorate significantly. Yale expects to enter phase three on August 24. Many research activities will resume, while observing strict health and safety precautions.

We encourage anyone who can do their work from home to continue to do so. In particular, consistent with the guidance from the State of Connecticut, individuals over the age of 65 or who are at higher risk for severe illness should continue to work from home when possible.

In the coming weeks, managers will reach out to their staff members to inform them when they are needed on campus. We are committed to supporting our community during this unprecedented public health crisis. Read more specific guidance to staff and managers from Provost Scott Strobel and Senior Vice President for Operations Jack Callahan Jr.

Health and Safety Guidelines

Each member of the community plays a critical role in preventing the spread of COVID-19. All students, faculty, and staff must commit to following the university’s health guidelines and setting an example for their peers. All students will be required to abide by and acknowledge their commitment to adhere to a detailed community compact that obliges them to do their part in reducing the spread of infection by following certain rules.

Visit the Health & Safety Guidelines page to read about mandatory training for everyone returning to campus; COVID-19 viral testing and contact tracing; face coverings, social distancing, and other required preventive measures; health-monitoring obligations; what to do if you become ill; use of space and facilities; enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols; and the health and safety conditions met for Yale’s fall 2020 decisions.

Events and Group Gatherings

Group gatherings will be limited
If possible, Yale events should be hosted remotely. In-person classes, meetings, and social gatherings in the fall will be limited.

Performances will not be held, and meal service will be substantially modified to eliminate crowded dining rooms. The Ivy League announced that there will be no intercollegiate athletics competition in the fall semester.

The university will carefully track state and public health guidance on events and group gatherings, and will keep you informed through this website.

Visits to Campus Will Be Limited

To reduce the risk of bringing cases of COVID-19 to campus, short-term visitors (anyone staying on campus for less than a full semester) will not be allowed in the fall term. The Visitor Center will remain closed. Deans will be providing instructions on how parents and guardians may bring students to campus.

Scholars and students who plan to visit campus for the full semester are allowed and will be required to follow all university policies and public health guidelines. Visiting scholars and students must be tested for COVID-19 upon arriving on campus. Those coming from abroad or a state with high COVID-19 prevalence will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days; all others will self-quarantine until they obtain their viral test results.

We will review these limits in mid-November if prevailing state rules or public health guidance changes.

Travel Guidance

Travel outside of Connecticut will be discouraged
To do our part in limiting the spread of COVID-19, travel outside of Connecticut is discouraged for faculty and staff for the duration of this public health crisis.

Undergraduates may travel only for emergencies or with approval from their residential college deans’ offices for travel that is essential for educational or personal reasons. The university strongly urges graduate and professional students to limit their travel.

Everyone should wear masks or other face coverings and practice social distancing to the greatest extent possible while traveling.

Travelers returning from abroad or any state with a high prevalence of COVID-19 must be tested for COVID-19 and self-quarantine for 14 days. Other domestic travelers are encouraged to be tested through the Yale COVID-19 Screening Program upon return.

Maintaining an Inclusive Environment

Yale is committed to maintaining an environment of respect and freedom from discrimination and to supporting all members of our community affected by this global health threat. Bias, discrimination, and harassment are inimical to our values and violate Yale policies. For more information, please visit https://yalehealth.yale.edu/nondiscrimination-notice.

Yale Research and Clinical Responses

Scientists, scholars, and physicians across Yale are actively engaged in research, innovation, and clinical efforts to combat coronavirus. To learn more about these efforts and ways to get involved, visit the university’s Research, Clinical, and Data Driven Responses to COVID-19.