Fall 2020–Spring 2021 Archive

With safety as our foundational priority, we have made refinements to our modes of teaching, courses, schedules and classrooms.

Classroom spaces have been modified to meet health guidelines. Different modes of teaching have been developed to provide options and flexibility for how courses are being delivered. The daily class schedule has been expanded to allow for more time between classes, and a temporary change in course loads has been instituted. 

Modes of Teaching for Spring 2021

Faculty members are designing courses with three goals in mind:

  • Equity—we want to serve all students;
  • A strong sense of community—we focus on safeguarding the health of others as well as ourselves; and
  • Effective learning—we choose the mode of instruction that, in these unprecedented circumstances, will be most effective given the nature of the course and the number of students enrolled.

The instructional design of these classes is meant to deliver the most effective learning experience possible under our current circumstances. Tuition will not be adjusted based on the form in which courses are delivered. 

Courses may be offered in one of the following ways:


Instructor and all students participate in the class online. Students who are physically on campus can take these courses using their personal computer.

Online with Synchronous and Asynchronous Components

This type of online course is designed fully online. It has synchronous components and may have asynchronous components. Students can identify the course on the class schedule because it has the note O and has course times listed. Synchronous components are recorded for students who are studying remotely and cannot attend the synchronous meetings.

Online, Fully Asynchronous

This type of online course is designed as asynchronous, which means that all class materials are available to students online with no required synchronous components. Students can identify this type of course on the class schedule because it has the note O and TBA* listed for course times.


Hybrid courses generally have synchronous meetings. The professor will designate some meetings as in-person and some meetings as online. A course may also have asynchronous components. Students studying remotely can attend all meetings online and/or have access to recordings of in-person class sessions. Students can identify hybrid courses on the class schedule with a note of H.


In this mode, the instructor and students in the class meet in-person on campus. If a student is studying remotely and needs a particular in-person course for graduation, they should notify the department chair.

In-person With Synchronous Remote Option

This type of course is designed to be in-person, but a synchronous option exists for students studying remotely. Students can identify in-person courses with a synchronous remote option on the class schedule with a note of F.

Fully In-person

This type of class is designed to be fully in-person. Students can identify Fully In-person courses on the class schedule with a note of I.

Regardless of teaching mode, accommodations will be made for students who are ill, in isolation, or in quarantine.

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Daily Class Schedule

The time between classes has been expanded to 20 minutes in order to provide sufficient time to safely change classes. This means that most of the class times have changed a bit and the MWF 12:30-1:20 p.m. time slot was removed. Those classes are in the process of being moved to different time slots. To best accommodate these new times, the Common Hour, TR 11:05 a.m. – 12:05 p.m., was eliminated.

In addition, a few late evening time slots were added to the daily schedule (MW 7:30-8:45 p.m., TR 7-8:15 p.m., TR 8:35-9:50 p.m., TR 7-9:50 p.m.). The daily schedule grid (PDF) may be helpful in order to visualize these updates.

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  • We have created indoor and outdoor spaces needed to accommodate classes, including utilizing a variety of other campus spaces as additional classrooms. 
  • Classrooms will be configured so that students sit six-feet apart.
  • We will encourage and support teaching outside when practical.
  • Regardless of teaching mode, accommodations will be made for students who are ill, in isolation, or in quarantine.

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Course Loads for the 2020-2021 Academic Year

Due to the additional challenges brought about by the pandemic, there will be a temporary change in the academic regulations regarding course loads. 

  • During the 2020-2021 academic year, a full course load will be defined as at least three courses per semester. 
  • The number of courses required for graduation – currently 32 – will be reduced for members of the Classes of 2021 through 2024. The requirement will be 31 courses for students enrolled for one semester of the coming academic year and 30 courses for those enrolled during both semesters.
  • This change may reduce enrollments in some courses, so the minimum class size for the 2020-2021 academic year will be reduced from four to two.

We strongly encourage you to seek guidance from your advisers in making any decisions about course loads, including considerations related to completing your major requirements.

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Academic Calendar

The detailed 2020-2021 Academic Calendar has been posted.

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