College Admissions NEWSFLASH: The New ‘Abnormal’ for Fall 2020

The fall 2020 semester will look vastly different than in years past for students at many colleges and universities due to the impacts of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Late starts? No breaks? Ending in-person classes by Thanksgiving? Online only? Limited number of students on campus?

As colleges begin to roll out their decisions on the fall 2020 semester, is your school of choice affected? Check back here for the latest updates on fall semesters as they become available.


*NOTE: This is only a sampling of schools.
  • BABSON COLLEGE: Babson intends to begin on-campus classes for fall 2020.
  • BARNARD COLLEGE: Barnard classes will be offered in both in-person and online delivery formats. More information for fall 2020 will be released by early July.
  • BATES COLLEGE: Bates is planning to have students return to campus in September for in-person and/or remote instruction.  After Thanksgiving break all classes will be taught remotely. Fall and winter semesters will be in a 2+2 format, each semester will last 7.5-weeks, where students will take two classes at a time.
  • BENTLEY UNIVERSITY: Bentley is planning to offer on-campus instruction this fall. They will announce their final plans by the end of June.
  • BOSTON COLLEGE: Boston College is planning to re-open with students on-campus beginning Aug. 31.
  • BOSTON UNIVERSITY: Boston University is planning to resume its on-campus, residential program in the fall of 2020.
  • BOWDOIN: Bowdoin will have only freshmen and transfer students, plus select others on campus for the fall semester. Most classes will be remote and students will not return to campus after Thanksgiving break. There will be no fall sports.
  • BRANDEIS UNIVERSITY: Brandeis is hoping to resume classes in-person and on-campus for fall 2020. They are deciding on whether classes will be in-person, by remote learning, or a combination of both.
  • BROWN UNIVERSITY: Brown plans to decide about the upcoming year no later than July 15.
  • BRYANT UNIVERSITY: Bryant University intends to have on-campus life return for the 2020 fall semester.
  • BUCKNELL UNIVERSITY: Bucknell will resume classes August 17 end on Friday, November 20. Final exams will be conducted remotely.
  • CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY SYSTEM: California State Schools will offer nearly all instruction online for the fall 2020 term.
  • CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY: The University of Cambridge is planning to have all lectures be online for the entire 2020-2021 academic year.
  • CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY: CMU is planning for instruction to be both in-person and remotely in fall 2020.
  • COLGATE UNIVERSITY: Colgate plans to have students choose whether to return to campus in the fall or continue remote learning. All students that choose to return will need to receive COVID-19 testing before coming to campus.
  • COLLEGE OF WILLIAM AND MARY: William and Mary will resume in-person classes a week early and end at Thanksgiving break. Classes will be both in-person and a combination of in-person/remote and may be scheduled in the evening or on weekends.
  • COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY: Columbia will announce more information about the fall 2020 plans in July.
  • CREIGHTON UNIVERSITY: Creighton will start the fall 2020 semester on Aug. 17. They will have a break for Labor Day but not have a fall break. They will finish in-person instruction at the Thanksgiving break.
  • DARTMOUTH COLLEGE: Dartmouth plans to have a combination of in-person and remote classes in the fall.
  • DAVIDSON COLLEGE: Davidson will have a floating start date and no classes after Thanksgiving. Fall classes may be in-person or remote.
  • DICKINSON COLLEGE: Dickinson plans to bring all students back to campus. The fall semester will begin August 17 and end on Nov. 20 with final exams being remote.
  • DUKE UNIVERSITY: Duke will announce their fall 2020 plans by the end of June. Classes will be in-person on the Duke campus, fully online, and hybrid.
  • FORDHAM UNIVERSITY: Fordham will be in session throughout the academic year 2020-2021 and seeks to teach students in-person and on campus.
  • GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY: GW will be open in fall 2020 with the goal of in-person instruction.
  • HAMILTON COLLEGE: Hamilton’s goal is to have all students on campus in the fall.
  • HARVARD UNIVERSITY: Harvard will have freshmen on campus this fall along with other students up to 40 percent of capacity. All classes will be taught virtually.
  • HAVERFORD COLLEGE: Haverford expects that classes will be on-campus for the fall semester and they will announce their final plans no later than Aug. 1.
  • ITHACA COLLEGE: Ithaca College will start the fall 2020 semester in-person on Oct. 5.
  • KENYON COLLEGE: Kenyon is planning on Aug. 27 for classes to resume, on-campus and in-person. They will announce an updated plan by June 15.
  • MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY (MIT): MIT will have only seniors on campus and may start a week early. Most classes will be remote and in-person instruction will conclude before Thanksgiving. Housing will be single rooms only. There will be no fall sports.
  • MCGILL UNIVERSITY: McGill is planning for fall 2020 courses to be offered remotely.
  • MIDDLEBURY COLLEGE: Middlebury’s fall semester will begin September 8 and end on Nov. 20 with final exams being remote. Possibly a third of the classes will be online with others a hybrid. Students must complete a 14-day quarantine at home before returning to campus. Virus testing will be done after arrival on campus (24 hour quarantine) and again after 7 days.
  • NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY: Northeastern will offer onsite instruction for students for fall 2020. Students will have the choice to attend classes in-person or virtually.
  • NYU: NYU is considering having classes both in-person and/or remotely. More information should be released in late June or early July.
  • OBERLIN COLLEGE: The College is planning an on-campus, in-person fall 2020 opening.
  • PRINCETON UNIVERSITY: Princeton will decide in early July their plans for fall 2020.
  • PURDUE UNIVERSITY: Purdue will start the fall 2020 semester on Aug. 24. They will not have a Labor Day or October break, will finish in-person instruction (but not the semester) before the Thanksgiving holiday.
  • RICE UNIVERSITY: Rice is planning to begin the fall semester on campus in August.
  • STANFORD UNIVERSITY: Stanford is moving to a 4 quarter calendar and will start the fall quarter on September 14, and end Friday, November 20 with final exams being remote. Students will be housed in single occupancy rooms. Only about half of the undergraduates will be allowed back on campus.
  • STEVENS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY: SIT plans to open in the fall for in-person classes.
  • SWARTHMORE COLLEGE: Swarthmore will start classes September 7, and end Friday, November 20 with the remainder of instruction being remote. They plan for 900 students, in single occupancy rooms, to return to campus this fall. These will be mostly freshmen, sophomores, transfers and RAs. Most classes will be held remotely.
  • TUFTS UNIVERSITY: Tufts goal is to have on-campus classes in the fall.
  • UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA: University of California will have every campus open this fall. Instruction most likely will be a combination of in-person and remote.
  • UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO: UChicago will start classes September 29 with in-person instruction ending before Thanksgiving after that all instruction will be online. Undergraduate housing will be reduced to 40 percent capacity and be single occupancy.
  • UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT: UConn plans to begin classes Aug. 31 and students will not return after Thanksgiving break. The classes will be online, in-person or a combination of both. Housing and classrooms will have reduced density.
  • UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS: UMass will being classes Aug. 24 continuing until Nov. 20, after that all instruction will be online. Students will choose to live at home or return to campus and the majority of classes will be remote.
  • UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN ANN ARBOR: UMichigan is beginning the steps to have in-person classes in fall 2020.
  • UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME: Notre Dame will start the in-person 2020 fall semester the week of Aug. 10, two weeks earlier than originally scheduled, and end the semester before Thanksgiving.
  • UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA: The University will start the fall 2020 semester on Aug. 20. They will not have an October break, and they will finish in-person instruction at the Thanksgiving break.
  • UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: UVA is planning for the fall semester to be in-person and classes will end by Thanksgiving.
  • VILLANOVA UNIVERSITY: Villanova is planning for the fall semester to be in-person with classes beginning on Monday, August 17. Classes will be online, in-person or a combination of both.
  • WAKE FOREST UNIVERSITY: Wake Forest will run classes from Aug. 26 to Nov. 24 with no fall break. Classes will be online, in-person or a combination of both.
  • WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY IN ST. LOUIS: WashU will resume in-person but not until September 14th (one month late). They will administer final exams after January 1st remotely.
  • WELLESLEY COLLEGE: Wellesley will have students who are first-years and sophomores on campus this fall and be remote in the spring; juniors and seniors will be remote in the fall and then on campus in the spring.
  • WILLIAMS COLLEGE: Williams will begin classes on September 10, and ending on Friday, December 11 after that all instruction will be online. Students will be expected to stay on campus through Thanksgiving break. They are reducing the number of required classes per semester from 4 to 3 and eliminating the winter break for the 2020-21 academic year. Masks must be worn and meals will be carry-out.
  • YALE UNIVERSITY: Yale’s fall semester will begin at the end of August. All academic activity will be online after Nov. 30.


Have any updates that you’d like to see included? Simply comment below with the linked information and we’ll gladly include.


  1. Tania Alexander

    Posted on May 29, 2020 at 11:41 am

    Please include the University of California system. Thank you

    • Deanna

      Posted on June 1, 2020 at 9:59 am

      Sure thing! The UC system has been added.

  2. Beth

    Posted on June 4, 2020 at 12:01 am

    WashU will resume in person but not until September 14th (one month late). They will administer final exams after January 1st remotely.

    • Deanna

      Posted on June 5, 2020 at 1:25 pm


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