How Yale will split the year between first-year students and sophomores

Students who return to campus must sign a community pledge to follow health guidelines
By: | July 1, 2020
To limit the spread of COVID-19, Yale University first-year students can live on campus during the fall semester while sophomore can return for the spring. (Michael Marsland/Yale University)To limit the spread of COVID-19, Yale University first-year students can live on campus during the fall semester while sophomore can return for the spring. (Michael Marsland/Yale University)

Yale University wants all students back for the 2020-21 academic year, first-year students can only attend the fall semester in-person while sophomores can return in the spring.

Juniors and seniors can spend for the full year on campus under the reopening plan, which aims to reduce campus density to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread, the president and provost announced Wednesday in a message to campus.

“All of us are sacrificing as part of a community dedicated to reducing the risk of spreading COVID-19,” President Peter Salovey and Provost Scott Strobel wrote. “The public health crisis continues to demand self-discipline, personal responsibility, prioritizing the common good over individual preferences, a spirit of cooperation, and resilience.”

Students who return to classrooms and residence halls will be required to sign a community pledge to follow health guidelines and protocols.


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When not on campus, all students will be able to take classes remotely.

Undergraduate courses will take place in a hybrid format, with professors largely teaching online. Certain discussion sections, lab and studio courses, and collections-based courses may be held in person.

First-year students and sophomores will be able to take two courses in Yale’s 2021 summer session under a special arrangement that waives tuition for two credits.

The university it will release more details on how activities will be restricted in efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19.


UB’s coronavirus page offers complete coverage of the impacts on higher ed.


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