University of Delaware plans to ramp up testing, spring semester instruction


University of Delaware President Dennis Assanis announced plansto offer more face-to-face classes, residence hall accommodations, and campus activities for additional students in the spring semester.

In addition, coronavirus testing will also be ramped up.Assanis had earlier indicated that the university plans to do more in-person learning in the spring. Of late, the rate of positive tests for coronavirus among UD students and staff have declined.

“The vast majority of our students, faculty and staff have embraced the ‘Protect the Flock’mindset to keep themselves and each other safe,” Assanis said. “Soon, we will be ramping up our surveillance testing program from 1,000 tests per week now to about 4,000 tests per week so we can quickly identify COVID-positive individuals and support them appropriately.These successes — and the culture of caring that is always a hallmark of the UD community — give us confidence to move forward with our plans to continue phasing in a more robust on-campus experience.”

Assanis announced the following:

Most Winter Session courses will be delivered online, with 150 new sections available and nearly 1,500 additional “seats” this winter. Five-week courses begin January 4, and four-week courses begin January 11. Students will not be housedinresidence halls during Winter Session unless there are documented extenuating circumstances.

Spring Semester

  • The spring semester will start on February 15, one week later than originally scheduled. This will reduce campus activities during the flu season, provide more time for a longer move-in process and allow more campus activities to take place in warmer weather.
  • To help minimize off-campus travelas a precautionary health measure, there will be no spring break, though UD will provide wellbeing programming for students, faculty and staff.
  • The last day of classes will be May 18, and the final examination period will end May 27. Commencement is planned for May 29,subject to public health guidelines and requirements.


In the spring, UD will offer more face-to-face academic experiences than have been available in the fall semester. Because of physical distancing guidelines, spring classes with 50 or more students will be online, though smaller in-person breakout sessions will be offered where possible.

Residence and Dining Halls

In the fall, UDlimited the number of students living in residence halls to about 1,300, or about 20 percent of capacity. That will be increased to about4,000 students in the spring, or about 60 percent of capacity. Priority will be given to first-year students, helping them build bonds with their new classmates, and to seniors, so they can pursue internships, research projects and other hands-on experiences to prepare them to enter the workforce after graduation.


Tentatively, all sports postponed from this past fall, including football, will shift to spring, beginning January 23. Winter sports, including men’s and women’s basketball, will begin November 25. Spring sports are currently planned during their customary season. However, all regular competition schedules are likely to be shortened and modified to avoid air travel and overnight stays.

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