SU Students Will Attend In-Person Classes in August, End Classes Before Thanksgiving

Thursday, May 21, 2020 at 1:51 am by Erin Lyons

By Erin Lyons – Syracuse University students will return to campus for residential instruction one week earlier in August for the fall 2020 semester, but students will have to leave campus after Thanksgiving break in November. The university released the accelerated academic schedule on May 20th.


SU said this schedule “reduces the risks and exposures associated with travel to and from campus, and prepares us for the possibility of a second wave of COVID-19 cases.” 


Residential instruction will start on August 24th, as opposed to the original September 1st start date. Classes will end on November 24th. According to the new accelerated schedule, students will campus on November 25th and will not return to campus for finals week. Instead, from November 30th to December 9th, Syracuse University will conduct finals, review sessions, and reading days virtually while students remain off-campus.


Class times are changing as well; Syracuse University said some classes will be meeting on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The university says this additional schedule change is intended tofulfill academic requirements and comply with public health guidance.”


Syracuse University is implementing social distancing practices and plans to limit “physical density” in order to lower the risk of COVID-19 infection on campus during the Fall 2020 semester. In a media briefing via Zoom on May 20th, Interim Deputy Senior Vice President Amanda Nicholson said Syracuse University will test each student at the beginning of the fall semester and will continue to test and monitor students throughout the semester. 


Nicholson said Syracuse University is still developing plans on how they will test each student in fall. The university is still figuring out the most “efficient and effective way” to conduct widespread social distancing and coronavirus testing among a large student population.

All classes will also be offered online and in-person. Syracuse University is asking their teaching staff torevise teaching plans accordingly, as well as to be prepared to transition to online teaching for anyone whose learning might be disrupted.” 


Nicholson shared that more sections for most classes will be added in order to reduce the number of students gathered in one classroom. 


The Fall 2020 Open Working Group – composed of deans, associate deans, faculty, and staff members – formulated the accelerated schedule for the fall semester. The group has been working on the schedule for the past 3-4 weeks, according to Nicholson.


Syracuse University originally transitioned from residential to online classes on March 13th, 2020. Students left campus for spring break around March 13th while the university was initially planning to conduct online classes for only one week until March 30th. However, residential instruction was suspended for the remainder of the 2020 spring semester on March 16th in response to the global coronavirus pandemic and the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Onondaga County. 


According to the press release, Syracuse University will release additional details on what the fall 2020 semester will look like sometime next week.