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Classes and Academics

The latest impacts to classes, academic policies, and more

Academic schedules and classes

August 25, 2020 | 08:47 am

Spring 2021 semester schedule

The dates for the start of the spring semester across the University have been set.

For undergraduates and graduate students in Arts, Sciences & Engineering, the Eastman School of Music, and for students in the Warner School of Education, spring semester classes will begin Monday, February 1, and end on May 7. Final exams will be completed by May 14. There will be no spring break.

Students in other units will follow the academic calendars as originally scheduled for the semester:

Commencement ceremonies for all units are scheduled to take place May 21 to 23.

The graduate programs in the medical school will work to accommodate students in AS&E if they have classes in the School of Medicine and Dentistry this spring.

The spring semester start and end dates across the University have been set. See the schedule for your unit.

topics: Academics, All Students, August 2020, Spring 2021,
September 21, 2020 | 09:32 am

New study space options on campus

Additional space on River Campus is now available to all students for group or individual study in the evening. These rooms don’t need to be reserved and are first-come, first-served. Students just need to swipe their ID cards individually to enter and abide by the occupancy rules for each room.

Each of the following spaces is available from 6–11 p.m., every day:

  • Genesee Hall: 308 and 321
  • Douglass Commons: 404 and 407
  • Computer Labs:
    • Gavett 208 and 244
    • Goergen Hall 102
    • Harkness 114
    • Hylan 303
    • Meliora 210
    • Rettner 201 and 307
  • LeChase Hall: 103, 104, 121, 122, 124, 141, 143, 148, 160, 161, 163, 181, 182, and 184.

Food is not allowed, and students need to wear masks at all times and maintain six feet of physical distancing. Wipes will be available to keep the rooms clean, and the furniture cannot be moved. Based on demand and adherence to room guidelines, additional spaces may be added this semester.

Additional space on River Campus is now available to all students for group or individual study in the evening. Students must follow safety guidelines in these spaces.

topics: Academics, All Students, September 2020, Student Services,
September 16, 2020 | 09:58 am

Virtual writing support for graduate students and postdocs

The Graduate Writing Project is offering virtual writing support this semester for AS&E graduate students and postdocs:

  • One-on-one tutoring sessions: Writing Consultants are holding virtual tutoring sessions via Zoom by appointment only. New this semester: grad students and postdocs can schedule any available appointment, but there are also designated grad student hours.
  • Virtual writing groups: Join faculty and grad students for weekly writing sessions via Zoom. Email Liz Tinelli for more information.
  • Virtual workshops: Designed to help support your process of writing and revision.
  • Virtual boot camps: Join grad students for virtual writing retreats based on your own goals and projects. These are offered throughout the academic year and summer.

Want to keep informed about upcoming writing events, like workshops or boot camps? Graduate Writing Project events are included in the GEPA e-newsletter. You can also subscribe to the listserv or follow them on Facebook. Email with questions.

The Graduate Writing Project is offering virtual writing support this semester for AS&E graduate students and postdocs with one-on-one sessions, workshops, and more.

topics: Academics, Graduate Students, Postdocs, September 2020, Student Services,
Health and Safety
September 14, 2020 | 02:28 pm

What would happen during a ‘pause’?

As directed by New York State, the University has developed a plan for the Temporary Cessation of On-Campus Activities—a “pause” that would go into effect on River Campus or the Eastman School of Music if 100 or more positive COVID-19 cases emerge among students, faculty and staff within a two-week period.  A pause is intended to be temporary—only a few weeks within the semester—with all in-person classes shifting to an online format. It offers University and public health officials, including the Monroe County Health Department, time to assess the infection spread and craft a remediation plan, while also reducing exposure pathways to COVID-19.

At the onset, University leadership will determine and clearly communicate the initial duration of a pause—two weeks, three weeks, or some other set amount of time. At the conclusion of the pause, further communication will outline the process and timeline to resume classes and activities. In the event that a pause comes near the end of a semester or academic year, the decision may be made to keep the pause in effect for the remainder of the semester or year and send students home. Implementing a pause on the Medical Center campus will likely look different because of the essential nature of much of URMC’s health care work and activity.

So, what would a pause look like?

Instruction and research

All in-person classes and educational activities will go online during the pause. In-person research activity, such as clinical, laboratory, or other essential projects can continue if public health and safety can be maintained. University leaders will consult with the Monroe County Health Department under these circumstances.

It’s expected that most instructors will teach remotely from their home, with exceptions handled on a case-by-case basis to allow for classroom access (e.g. the need for special A/V equipment, teaching tools, etc.)

University Libraries will be closed but may offer some services that can be delivered in a safe or remote manner.

Health and Safety Modifications

Outside access to campus and internal movements will be strictly restricted. All non-essential staff would return to a remote working status during the pause.

Masks will be required to be worn on campus at all times and in all places (both outside and inside), except by students in their assigned residence hall rooms and by faculty and staff when alone in a private office.

An enhanced COVID-19 testing program would begin and potentially include assistance from a New York State team of contact tracers, case investigators and testers who would come to campus to augment the University’s virus mitigation efforts. In addition, randomly selected individuals may be selected for greater surveillance testing to maintain vigilance across the campus community, beyond the identified cluster(s). Testing during a pause would continue to be available at UHS to any student who has symptoms suggestive of COVID-19.

A plan would also be developed in conjunction with the Monroe County Health Department to ensure access to testing for faculty and staff.

Residence halls and living spaces

On-campus residential facilities will remain open and must remain open during a pause according to New York State mandates.  All on-campus students will generally be required to stay in their residential building for the duration of the pause—similar to the terms of quarantining at the University.  Aggressive disinfection protocols would be implemented for essential common areas (e.g. bathrooms, hallways).

All off-campus students will remain in their residences and cannot visit campus. If a student has the ability to depart campus during the pause (e.g. go home), they will need to consult with UHS in order to not potentially spread the virus outside of campus. Special circumstances may allow students to go home with the understanding that they quarantine there and remain off campus until notified to return.

If a decision is made to end the residential experience for all students for the rest of a semester/academic year, then the residence halls will be closed in a process similar to that carried out in spring 2020. In such circumstances, the University plans to again provide limited on-campus housing for students who may otherwise lack access to secure housing; cannot travel home; or who have other extenuating circumstances.

Dining and operations

All campus dining and food services will be converted to takeout and Dining Services will implement a new menu of dining options. Cohorts of residential life students will be scheduled specific times when they can report to an assigned dining facility to pick up a “to-go” meal option and return to their rooms to consume it.

The Goergen Athletic Center would close to everyone during the pause.

Because students, in particular, should not be moving around, the University shuttle service will likely implement a reduced schedule during a pause.

Student activities and services

In-person athletics, extracurricular programs, and non-essential student activities must be suspended or moved to an online format. However, in-person essential student services (e.g., medical care, counseling) may continue through a call-ahead or appointment only process, as needed.

In-person religious services would also be curtailed during a pause.

Further questions about a pause can be directed to the Coronavirus University Restart Team (CURT) on our Contact page.

View the University’s dashboard of COVID-19 cases (non-Medical Center).

See the plan for class instruction, campus operations, and more if 100 or more positive COVID-19 cases emerge among students, faculty and staff within a two-week period.

topics: Academics, All Students, Facilities, Housing, Human Resources, September 2020, Student Activities, Student Services,
August 25, 2020 | 08:01 am

StudyZone enrolling students for in-person and virtual services

Located within the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning on the River Campus, the StudyZone offers a quiet study location and accountability to meet your studying goals. Students commit to spending at least three hours a week in the StudyZone and benefit from peer support in planning effective study sessions. Those three hours can include in-person socially distanced hours in the physical space, remote hours in the Virtual StudyZone Zoom room, and 15-minute accountability appointments to fit any schedule or timezone.

The StudyZone will open on Sunday, September 13, and enrollment is on a first-come, first-served basis. Enroll online.

Meet your study goals and more. The StudyZone opens on Sunday, September 13, and is enrolling students on a first-come, first-served basis.

topics: Academics, All Students, August 2020, International Students,
August 13, 2020 | 08:01 am

Bookstore reopens but encourages students to purchase online

Bookstore encourages students to get course materials through its website: Barnes & Noble in College Town is open for business and ready for the back-to-school season. With limited hours of operation, reduced access to some areas, restricted customer capacity, and counter service only for textbooks, students are strongly encouraged to shop for their course materials, school supplies, and spirit items online through at

Standard domestic shipping via UPS is free, as is delivery to the Campus Mail Center. Contactless curbside pickup is now also available during store hours.

Barnes & Noble at College Town has reopened to customers but encourages students to get course materials through its website.

topics: Academics, All Students, August 2020, Facilities,
August 7, 2020 | 02:55 pm

How to find classroom assignments for fall 2020

The University has published a classroom assignments document to provide information on courses for fall 2020. The document identifies the course section, instructor, format (lecture, lab, recitation, workshop, etc.), meeting pattern, location, and indicates whether that section will be taught online or in-person. This information is current as of August 4, 2020.

The Office of the University Registrar will update room locations and other course information in UR Student starting August 10. Please use UR Student in the upcoming weeks to stay current on this information.

View classroom assignments (pdf)

The University has published a classroom assignments document to provide information on courses for fall 2020, including online or in-person format.

topics: Academics, August 2020, Fall 2020,
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