The University of Maryland released more details about what the fall semester will look like in an email Tuesday.
Classes will begin Aug. 31 and end Dec. 14, and Thanksgiving break will be held as usual, Provost Mary Ann Rankin wrote in the email. Class times will not be altered.
Classes with more than 50 students will be online, according to the email. Final decisions about course format are set to be released July 15, along with a FAQ regarding class scheduling. Students have until July 17 to cancel their on-campus housing without penalty.
In the event of a resurgence of the pandemic in the late fall, all in-person instruction will be moved online and students will not be expected to return to campus after Thanksgiving break. Dorms are expected to stay open, health conditions permitting, the email read.
About 20 percent of undergraduate courses are anticipated to be offered at least partially in-person, the email stated. Labs, performance courses, senior capstone projects, clinical instruction and internships will be prioritized for in-person instruction, according to the email.
Everyone returning to campus will be required to watch a health training video and pledge to follow CDC guidelines, the email said, as well as self-report their health status daily.
There will also be safety procedures in place for in-person classes. All students will be required to wear masks and practice social distancing while in university buildings, and students and instructors will be expected to sanitize their work areas before class, using sanitary wipes provided in each classroom. Additionally, professors will be expected to provide course materials digitally, to avoid the spread of the virus, according to the email. There will be “monitoring in place” to ensure compliance with these requirements, the email stated.
Faculty have submitted more than 300 proposals to redesign their fall courses, according to the email. Additionally, living-learning programs, student services and other programs are working to reimagine “community engagement beyond the classroom,” Rankin wrote.
Beginning this fall, students will also be able to enroll in courses offered by other Big 10 universities, the email said. There will be 6-10 elective courses with no prerequisites available from each university, the email said. Full-time students at this university can enroll in one course at no extra cost, according to the email.
“We are committed to making the fall semester as rewarding, safe and inclusive as possible and to striving for excellence no matter what the format of course delivery,” Rankin wrote in the email.