The University announced plans for the summer 2021 academic terms in a spring email update Thursday. All summer session courses will be taught online as was the case last summer, with Session I taking place May 24 to June 17, Session II taking place June 21 to July 17 and Session III taking place July 19 to Aug. 13. Students will also continue to have the option of taking courses for credit/general credit/no credit.
“This approach is due in part to uncertainty associated with predicting the virus several months away, but it will also offer students greater flexibility and permit instructors to increase capacity for many classes, including Signature courses,” the email read.
Undergraduate students who paid full-time tuition during the spring can take a course during Summer Session I at no additional cost, provided that they have not accumulated more than 33 credits total over fall, J-term and spring semester.
Summer orientation for incoming first-year and transfer students will also be conducted virtually starting in July, along with additional virtual events and activities to connect new students with their peers and orientation leaders. Residential programs this summer will be limited to programs sponsored by the University whose participants are University students, faculty and staff. The University is continuing to assess whether some day camps may be safely offered, and further information will be provided by April 15.
The email added that the University is still continuing to plan for Final Exercises for the Class of 2021 while it also works with Class of 2020 representatives to honor last year’s graduating class as well. Final Exercises were previously canceled as planned, but following Governor Ralph Northam’s revised guidelines for graduation ceremonies — which caps outdoor ceremonies at 5,000 people or 30 percent of the venue capacity — University President Jim Ryan announced that the University is continuing to evaluate its plans. A final decision will be made by April 2.
Following a continued decline in COVID-19 cases in the community, the University increased its outdoor gathering limit from 10 to 25 Tuesday, while the indoor gathering limit remains at six individuals. Despite relaxing restrictions, the email emphasized the continued importance of complying with all public health guidelines.
“We want to commend members of this community for continuing to keep cases of COVID-19 low,” the email read. “What you’re doing is working — please keep it up.”
According to the email, the University is looking forward to an “in-person residential and educational experience next fall,” but more details about what to expect will be released next week.