Fall Calendar Announcement

Thursday, May 28, 2020
  • Yale College and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences will begin classes August 31 and end December 4.  The semester will end December 18.
  • Regardless of whether Yale College is in residence from August 31 to November 20, all post-Thanksgiving activities, including the last week of instruction, reading period, and final exam period will be online. 
  • This is being done to maximize the possibility of having students in residence this fall. 
Dear Members of the Yale Community,
Two weeks ago, I wrote to inform you that Yale would begin fall semester on time and that we are reactivating some research on campus this summer. Since then, we have continued to monitor current public health information and reviewed guidance issued by the State of Connecticut.  Fortunately, the incidence of COVID-19 hospitalizations in our area has continued to fall for several weeks.  The state began Phase 1 of business reopening on May 20 and Phase 2 is currently scheduled to begin on June 20.  In accordance with the state’s Reopen Connecticut initiative and the guidelines recommended by Yale’s Public Health Committee, Yale will begin Phase 1 of research reactivation on June 1.  
With the help of the dedicated members of the Yale community who serve on the university’s COVID-19 Contingency Planning Committees, we are developing scenarios for how the university will provide an exceptional education to our students this fall.  The scenarios under consideration include online, residential, and hybrid models of instruction.  The Academic Continuity Committee and the University Calendar Committee recommended that the fall semester 2020 should begin at the end of August, regardless of whether students are in residence or taking classes remotely.  To maximize the possibility that we can hold classes in person this fall, today we are announcing revisions to the fall semester academic calendar for Yale College, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and several of the professional schools.  
Classes in Yale College and the Graduate School will begin on Monday, August 31, two days earlier than originally scheduled, and end on December 4.  In order to complete as much of the semester before Thanksgiving as possible, we will not hold an October break.  If students are in residence, they will be required to limit their travel to and from the New Haven area and to observe social distancing and other public health measures.  Whether or not Yale College is in residence from August 31 to November 20, the last week of instruction, reading period, and final exam period will be held online.  December will be a “quiet period” on campus, with limited in-person activity. 
The new calendar for Yale College is available here
Key dates are:
August 24-28  Move-in, if in residence; Graduate School orientation
August 31 Classes Start
November 21-29 November break
November 30-December 4 Last week of classes online
December 7-10 Online reading period
December 11-18 Online final exam period
Most professional school programs will also start in late August.  The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences will follow the Yale College calendar, and its own deadlines and dates will be published shortly.  The Schools of Art, Divinity, Drama, the Environment, Music, Nursing, and Public Health will also begin the week of August 31, while the Schools of Law, Management, and Medicine will begin earlier in August.
President Salovey will announce the mode of instruction (residential, on-line only, or hybrid) for the fall semester in early July.  In the meantime, we continue to institute policies and procedures that will help us move forward once his decision is announced.  For instance, last week we initiated a voluntary and free COVID-19 virus screening program that is currently available for faculty, staff, and trainees who are returning to campus as part of Phase 1 of the research reactivation process.  This will serve as a pilot for the more extensive viral screening that we will be doing if students return to campus.   We are also developing procedures for contact-tracing, revised dining and classroom-use patterns, and policies for social distancing and mask-wearing.  Revising the fall academic calendar is one of many steps we are taking to prepare for an eventual return to in-person instruction.  
Your resilience, creativity, and grit during this challenging time have been exemplary.  As our community makes plans for the fall, we will be counting on each other to limit the spread of COVID-19. I thank all the members of the Contingency Planning Committees for their dedicated work and recommendations.
Scott Strobel, Ph.D.
Henry Ford II Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry