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Fall semester overview: What students can expect on campus

This overview provides an outline of how fall semester will work with social distancing and preventative measures in place.

Updated: July 07, 2020

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Social distancing, monitoring your health, and use of face coverings will be part of daily routines.
  • Changes to the academic calendar and course schedule will encourage social distancing.
  • Everyone is asked to read the Volunteer Commitment and do their part to protect the health and well-being of the campus community.

Planning is moving quickly toward a healthy and safe campus experience this fall.

Updates will be provided to the campus community throughout the summer through email and other channels.

The Volunteer Commitment

The Volunteer Commitment is our community’s promise to protect ourselves and one another, prevent the spread of illness, and help maintain an on-campus experience.

Students, faculty, and staff all commit to the following actions:

  • Wearing a mask on campus as instructed, including in classrooms.
  • Washing hands frequently with soap and water, and using hand sanitizer.
  • Practicing social distancing and following protective guidelines when social distancing is not possible.
  • Acting quickly to follow instructions for testing and contact tracing.
  • Monitoring personal health and following medical instructions.
  • Following instructions for cleaning and hygiene on campus.

Read the Volunteer Commitment.

Review the requirement to wear face coverings.

Academic calendar

Changes to the academic calendar will reduce student travel and encourage social distancing. Classes will start August 19. Courses will be held on Labor Day, and there will be no fall break. Students will not return after Thanksgiving.

Learn more about the academic calendar.

Course schedules and formats

Changes to class times and locations will encourage social distancing. The time between classes has been extended to 25 minutes. Course formats will include face-to-face, hybrid (a combination of face-to-face and online), and online.

Learn more about course schedules and formats.

Possibility of remote learning

As we work to bring students back to campus in the fall, we continue to prioritize the well-being of the Volunteer community. Health and safety remain at the core of all decisions, which are guided by data and the expertise of local, state, and federal health officials. Remote learning remains a possibility, but our plan is to be on campus in a way that prioritizes health and safety.

Faculty & instruction

Instructors can access resources to adjust to new ways of teaching. Workshops and training are available.

Learn more about teaching resources.

Study & community spaces

We are developing additional socially distanced community spaces with Wi-Fi access in the Student Union and Hodges Library to ensure that students have a variety of places to study and access courses remotely.

Student experience

We are committed to ensuring that each UT student has a well-rounded experience.

  • Student Success initiatives such as individual and group academic coaching, academic advising, tutoring, academic and career workshops, study groups, etc. will be delivered in person when possible and virtually when necessary.
  • The Division of Student Life and the Office of the Dean of Students will continue providing robust out-of-classroom opportunities through the Jones Center for Leadership and Service. Students will still be able to get involved in more than 400 registered student organizations, sorority and fraternity life, health and wellness events, residence hall activities, and other experiences.
  • The Student Government Association and the Graduate Student Senate are hard at work planning for student engagement.

Learn more about hosting campus events and visitors.

New students

Incoming first-year and transfer students will be supported through new initiatives. Orientation incorporates online and in-person experiences, and welcoming events are being planned in accordance with CDC guidelines.

Learn more about new student experiences.

Residence halls

University Housing will communicate directly with students about room sign-up, move-in, logistical information, and expectations.

Learn more about living in residence halls.

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
865-974-1000


The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.