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Tufts Student Life
additional details for returning ba/bs students
June 23, 2020
Dear returning BA/BS students,
Earlier today you received a message from President Monaco about Tufts University’s plans for the Fall 2020 semester. We are following up with some important information regarding our undergraduate programs. 
As deans, we look forward to welcoming you back to our campuses in the Fall. While our commitment to academic excellence and creating transformative experiences for students remains steadfast, campus life this year will be, by necessity, significantly different.
Your health, safety, and well-being, as well as that of the Tufts community, are paramount. Nothing has been more important in our decision making about our plans for the Fall. In consultation with numerous health experts and our local boards of health, we are confident that we can safely reopen our campuses and resume teaching and learning. The measures to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19 will include requiring all students, faculty, and staff on our campuses to follow testing and safety protocols; to take required measures for personal health and safety (e.g. wearing face coverings, practicing hand hygiene, etc.); and to practice social distancing. 
We have detailed our extensive preparations in the Fall 2020 Campus Guide for Students which we strongly encourage you to review. The guide includes important information about campus health and safety protocols, housing and dining, academic life, and more. 

Academics for the Fall Semester
The campuses will re-open for the Fall semester as scheduled, with classes starting on September 8. We will follow the scheduled academic calendar, while being fully prepared to implement changes should circumstances require us to do so.
Our faculty have fine-tuned our rigorous curriculum to give you the flexibility to continue your studies at Tufts this Fall. Liberal arts and sciences and engineering courses will be offered in various formats: some will focus on in-person lectures and discussions, others will be offered fully virtually (and will be recorded and available online), and many will have a hybrid or multiple modality model, combining a mix of remote and in-person instruction. Virtual learning may be available either synchronously – live, with students all participating at the same time – or asynchronously, enabling students to participate at a time that works best for them. The studio arts curriculum offered by SMFA at Tufts has been completely redesigned by the faculty to mix in-depth virtual instruction with options for students to receive supplies and equipment at home or to access studios and facilities in person to complete coursework.
Academic departments are outlining their Fall course offerings on their websites, including each course’s delivery method (in-person, hybrid/dual modality, virtual). Regardless of delivery method, all courses will provide the instructional integrity and personal attention that students expect from Tufts.
Beyond the Classroom
Establishing lifelong friendships and learning leadership and other skills through participation in co-curricular activities are important aspects of the Tufts experience. Community volunteering and activism. Our Identity-based Centers. Student organizations. Theatre and the arts. You will be able to continue to participate in these and other activities and organizations in meaningful and enriching ways this Fall.
Athletics are also a central part of the Tufts experience for many of our students. During this semester, our Athletics Department and Office for Campus Life will provide low-risk, non-contact recreation activities and expanded e-sports opportunities for students in the Fall. Outdoor athletics facilities will be available for use subject to applicable safety guidelines.
However, competitive club sports and intramurals have been suspended for the Fall semester. The Athletics Department and Tufts medical staff are working together with the NESCAC, public health officials, and the NCAA to determine how and when it will be safe for varsity sport student-athletes, coaches, and staff to return to practice and competition. Coaches will communicate directly with varsity student-athletes as soon as final decisions are made.
Housing and Dining
Our residence halls will re-open for residential students. If you have a confirmed housing assignment and choose to return to campus in person, you are guaranteed on-campus housing. However, to de-densify some buildings, you will need to participate in a modified housing confirmation and reselection process that may change your original room assignment. For students living in on-campus housing, move-in dates will be assigned and staggered to allow for social distancing. Matriculated undergraduates who enroll at Tufts in Fall 2020 will be partially exempt from the 8-semester residency requirement going forward. This means that, effective Spring 2021, students may opt for early degree completion or to enroll on a part-time basis after at least 6 semesters of full-time enrollment. 
Dining facilities on both campuses will be open and students will receive guidance on maintaining social distancing in our dining areas. To learn more about the university’s plans for housing, dining, and other campus services, please refer to the Fall 2020 Campus Guide for Students.  
Return to Campus
We understand that some students may be unable to return to campus, and that international students in particular may find themselves facing many challenges. International students can contact our International Center for assistance with questions regarding visas and travel. 
We ask you to let us know whether you intend to return to campus this Fall. Alternatively, you could elect to take all of your courses remotely and not come to campus. As yet another option, you could decide to take a leave of absence. We encourage you to discuss your options with trusted voices, such as family members or your physician, before reaching your decision. 
To tell us your decision, you must complete our Fall 2020 Intent Form by June 30, 2020. If you choose to apply for a leave of absence, you must also submit a leave of absence application through SIS by July 1, 2020.
Complete the Fall 2020 Intent Form
For more information, visit to read answers to frequently asked questions, read the Fall 2020 Campus Guide for Students, or email
We very much hope that you will decide to return to campus this Fall. We are available to answer any questions you have about the coming semester and to assist you in your decision making.
Toward that goal, we invite you and your family to attend a virtual Town Hall this Wednesday, June 24 at 6 p.m. EDT. The event is for sophomores, juniors, and seniors enrolled in the School of Arts and Sciences (including SMFA at Tufts) and the School of Engineering. President Anthony Monaco will join the two of us and other members of our staff to share our plans and answer your questions. Please submit questions in advance online.
Although this is a deeply challenging moment in global history, we have faith in the collective strength of the Jumbo community. 

James M. Glaser
Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences
Jianmin Qu
Dean of the School of Engineering
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