University of Delaware to keep a majority of its classes online in fall semester


In a message sent to the University of Delaware community President Dennis Assanis announced the majority of classes will be held online during the fall 2020 semester.

The number of students on campus will be limited, with dormitories converted to single occupancy.

The announcement had been widely expected after a decision to cancel fall sports at the university and as the Covid-19 pandemic accelerated in many parts of the country.



“This latest development certainly does not reflect how we would like to begin a new academic year, with all Blue Hens back on campus,” Assanis said. “I am very optimistic that we will emerge stronger than ever by taking decisive measures now to ensure that UD will thrive for years to come.”



  • Only select courses designated as requiring an in-person component will meet on campus.
  • Classes will begin on Tuesday, September 1, as previously announced.
  • All courses and final exams will be online following the Thanksgiving break.

Health screenings, testing and tracing

All employees, students and visitors will complete a daily electronic health-screening questionnaire. Any individual reporting symptoms or close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 will be advised not to come to campus.

The universitywill test those students, faculty, and staff who return to campus this fall upon arrival and thereafter as appropriate in accordance with public health guidance.We are planning on a variety of testing approaches including commercial testing as well as in-house testing.

Contact tracingwill be implemented in coordination with the Delaware Division of Public Health to identify people who may have come in close contact with COVID-19-positive individuals.

Campus life

The on-campus UD experience be different during fall 2020:

  • Face coverings outside personal living spaces,
  • Physical distancing,
  • No guests in residence halls,
  • Daily self-monitoring and reporting, and assisting with contact tracing.

On-campus housing spaces will belimited primarily to students enrolled inface-to-face instruction. In addition, students who meet pre-defined criteria, including international students, students in field placements or clinical rotations, and students who require housing due to hardship will also be considered.

Occupancy of the residence halls will be greatly decreased. All bedrooms will be converted to single occupancy.

Assanis concluded, “You have chosen to be part of the University of Delaware community because it is an institution like no other – one that is characterized by a dynamic balance of enriching academics along with a culture of inspiration and growth. I understand that not being together right now feels disruptive to that balance, displacing the connected experience we all share on campus. But, be assured, wewillget there.”

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