Syracuse University Prepares to Re-Open: Residential Instruction Scheduled to Begin August 24th

Syracuse University has begun planning for reopening.  As the University continues to actively monitor the latest developments related to the fall semester, below see the latest message distributed to students a short time ago from Chancellor Kent Syverud, Interim Vice Chancellor and Provost John Liu and Interim Deputy Senior Vice President Amanda Nicholson.

Dear Members of the Syracuse University Community:

Syracuse University is eager and excited to welcome students, faculty and staff back to campus in just a few short months for the start of the Fall 2020 semester. Subject to continuing and further guidance from New York State and public health officials, we are planning for residential instruction this fall. Although unorthodox, we plan to follow an accelerated academic calendar. Doing so allows the University to provide in-person instruction in a way that safeguards the health and safety of all members of our campus and the Central New York community.

The Fall 2020 semester is expected to follow this schedule:

Monday, Aug. 24: Residential instruction will begin (students living in on-campus housing will receive notification of their move-in date).

Tuesday, Nov. 24: Residential instruction will conclude.

Wednesday, Nov. 25: The in-person instructional semester will conclude, and students depart for Thanksgiving break (students will not return to campus after Thanksgiving break).

Monday, Nov. 30-Wednesday, Dec. 9: Review sessions, reading days and final exams will be administered virtually.

Syracuse University Campus

In order to fulfill academic requirements and comply with public health guidance, this schedule will likely necessitate some additional Friday classes and some classes being held on weekends. We will be asking faculty to revise teaching plans accordingly, as well as to be prepared to transition to online teaching for anyone whose learning might be disrupted. We also plan to offer most of our in-person classes simultaneously in an online format to accommodate the individual health circumstances of our students and faculty.

This schedule, coupled with changes to our facilities to meet social distancing and physical density best practices, 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. The Fall 2020 Open Working Group—consisting of deans, associate deans, faculty and staff—has been working to ensure every aspect of the University is prepared when students return to campus in August. This schedule has been strongly recommended by the Public Health and Emergency Management Subcommittee of the Working Group. As details of plans are finalized, we will regularly engage with and update our community with new information. The first update will come next week. As we have done from the beginning, all decisions will be informed by guidance from state and public health officials and will prioritize the safety and well-being of our campus community.

This fall, Syracuse University will continue to deliver on its mission to provide a distinctive and rigorous academic experience to all our students. We appreciate your continued patience, flexibility and understanding as we work to provide a safe and productive fall semester for everyone.


Chancellor Kent Syverud
Interim Vice Chancellor and Provost John Liu
Interim Deputy Senior Vice President Amanda Nicholson