Dear Students and Parents:
We are so pleased that you will be attending the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities campus this fall. We also know that you may have many questions and perhaps some concerns about what to expect, given the uncertainty all of us are experiencing in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. I hope this brief summary of our fall plans answers some of your questions, and know that we will continue to provide updates to you as they are available.
All of our planning is designed to deliver a great learning and living experience to you in a way that enhances safety, while respecting the limits we all will face from the pandemic. Because of the pandemic, this semester will be different than previous semesters in many ways. We are nonetheless committed to delivering high-quality curriculum, robust student life experiences, and a wide variety of academic support services to help you succeed. The backbone of our plan is flexibility and being responsive to your needs, and we are prepared to pivot if changes in the public health landscape require it.
Our fall semester will begin as scheduled on Tuesday, September 8th. After Thanksgiving (November 26th), the delivery of some courses may be altered to limit exposure to COVID-19 that may result from traveling during the holiday break and then returning to campus. More information about post-Thanksgiving plans will be available during the first week of class. The last day of instruction will be December 16th, with online final exams scheduled from December 17th-23rd.
We will be offering a portfolio of courses in multiple formats this fall including in-person, remote (distanced synchronous), online (distanced asynchronous) and blended. Our goal is to ensure flexibility — to accommodate student needs, to provide an excellent learning experience, and to adapt to the demands of public health conditions so we can limit our campus community’s exposure to COVID-19.
Classrooms will be assigned for in-person and blended classes from July 6th-17th and will comply with six-foot physical distancing. Seating will be spaced six feet apart, and face coverings will be provided and required for all faculty, staff, and students inside buildings. Classrooms will be cleaned daily, and wipes will be available for instructors and students to use in between classes. Our goal is to offer as many in-person and blended courses as our physical space will allow.
You will receive an update by the end of July describing the courses in which you are currently enrolled and their modalities, and offering next steps for students wishing to adjust their schedules. Academic advisors and One Stop Counselors will be available to assist students with any adjustments to their class schedules. We understand how frustrating this uncertainty is, and are working as quickly as we can to ensure that each student is able to make progress toward their degree this fall.
Beyond the Classroom
We know that an important part of the college experience is the campus experience. We are also committed to providing that experience in a safe and flexible way. Dining and residence halls will be open and many student services (such as One Stop Student Services and many advising units) will be offering face-to-face, as well as online, support for students. The Recreation and Wellness Center will be open consistent with guidelines for physical distancing, face covering and sanitation that have been outlined by the Minnesota Department of Health. COVID-19 testing will be available for students who become ill or believe they have been exposed to COVID-19 via Boynton Health on our campus.
Finally, we expect a vibrant student life on campus, with a variety of activities and services held in both physically-distanced venues and online. More information on campus activities will be coming soon, including ways to get involved with some of the 900+ student groups on campus and programs on campus that will be sponsored by the student program council and held outdoors, and in other locations that permit physical distancing.
The links below provide more information on how to get involved with student groups, the Recreation and Wellness Center and Fraternity and Sorority Life.
Additional information, along with other frequently asked questions and answers can be found at:
- Twin Cities General FAQs
- Campus Safety FAQs
- Housing and Dining FAQs
- Undergrad Updates
- Office for Student Affairs
- Orientation and Weeks of Welcome
- International Student Information
If you have questions that aren’t answered above, please feel free to contact [email protected].
I look forward to welcoming you (back) to our community this Fall.
Rachel T.A. Croson
Executive Vice President and Provost
email sent to University of Minnesota Twin Cities undergraduate students and their parents on July 9-10, 2020