Information and reminders for the start of spring 2021 term (January 28, 2021)

Sent, Janaury 28, 2021, 11:01 AM; Updated 1:15 PM


Information and reminders about:

  • undergraduate quarantine requirements
  • spring semester break days
  • travel restrictions
  • campus access and research for undergraduates

To: FAS Faculty and other faculty teaching in Yale College and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences during Spring 2021

Dear Colleagues,

As the semester begins, we write to share information and reminders that may help you with your planning for the months ahead, about undergraduate quarantine requirements, spring semester break days, travel, and campus access and research for undergraduates.

First, though, a reminder, from the October 21 message to faculty: All courses for undergraduates should be designed with an assumption of remote delivery so that all enrolled students—whether in residence or not—may participate. In-person components will be authorized in exceptional cases. In the case of graduate courses, certain additional decisions about content and delivery may take place at the department level, in keeping with public health constraints. As in Fall 2020, all faculty and teaching fellows are permitted to teach from an off-site location if they choose to.

It may also help you to know that enrollment numbers in the fall, for undergraduates enrolled in residence and remotely, were approximately 4,700; the estimated enrollment numbers for the spring are approximately 4,900.

Undergraduate Quarantine Requirements [updated, January 28, 2021, 1:15 PM]

Undergraduate quarantine requirements may affect your course planning—particularly if your course has in-person components. undergraduates living on campus will be in quarantine in their residential colleges until 7:00 a.m. on Monday, February 15, at which time classes with in-person components will begin in-person meetings for both undergraduates and graduate students. All classes for undergraduate and graduate students begin remotely on February 1st. No undergraduate students will have access to campus during this period, including those living in off-campus housing. As a result, they will not have access to the library, laboratories, or other on-campus facilities. We encourage you to plan your courses and research activities accordingly. Between Monday, February 15, and Monday, March 1, undergraduates will continue to quarantine on campus: they will be able to leave their residential colleges, but they must remain on campus, without engaging with the broader New Haven community. For that reason, we ask that you not schedule until after March 1 any off-campus, in-person events or assignments that might require undergraduates to leave campus.

Spring Semester Break Days

As we wrote on October 21 and November 13, students will have five one-day breaks throughout the term in place of spring break. To ensure that these short breaks are as restorative as possible, classes will not meet, and administrative meetings should not be scheduled on those days. In addition, we ask that you avoid scheduling major assignments and assessments on break days or on the days after break days. The pairs of break days and post-break days for Spring 2021 are as follows:

  • February 22 and 23 (third Monday (break day) / Tuesday (post-break day))
  • March 9 and 10 (fifth Tuesday (break day) / Wednesday (post-break day))
  • March 24 and 25 (seventh Wednesday (break day) / Thursday( post-break day))
  • April 8 and 9 (ninth Thursday (break day) / Friday (post break-day))
  • April 23 (eleventh Friday (break day))


Faculty returning to Connecticut from other states must observe the university travel guidelines outlined here.

Some faculty have asked whether university-sponsored travel will be possible in the near future. Unfortunately, given the changing public health situation, we do not yet know when the university will be able to lift travel restrictions. Current restrictions on university-sponsored travel are outlined here. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this uncertain time.

Campus Access and Research for Undergraduates

In the spring 2021 term, only Yale College students enrolled in residence may participate in research on campus. Undergraduates enrolled remotely may not work on campus, but they may participate remotely. Undergraduates enrolled in residence this semester are typically seniors, juniors, and sophomores. Around 300 first-year students have special permission to enroll in residence and work on campus. Students on a leave of absence do not have access to campus.

In the summer of 2021, any Yale College student may participate in research on campus.

All students doing research on campus must observe the community compact and register any additional safety training required by their research activities.

For our many students studying remotely, please continue to offer remote research opportunities wherever feasible.

Students from other institutions are not permitted to work or conduct research on Yale campus this spring or summer.

* * *

As a closing reminder, COVID-19 communications and updates from our offices are archived online: FAS updates for faculty are available on the Faculty of Arts and Sciences website, YCDO updates for undergraduates are available on the Yale College website, and GSAS updates for graduate students are available on the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences website.

Thank you for your hard work, your creativity, and your dedication.

With gratitude and warmest wishes,

Tamar, Marvin, and Lynn

Tamar Szabó Gendler
Dean, Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Marvin Chun
Dean of Yale College

Lynn Cooley
Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences