For Undergraduates: Returning to Campus and Classes

To Our Undergraduates:

I hope that you had a good break and are getting ready for the new semester. I know that some of you are already engaged in the spring semester by being enrolled in January classes. I hope those are going well.

As you know, most undergraduate courses will be offered remotely for up to the first two weeks of the semester. We say up to two weeks because we are committed to providing an in-person experience as soon as that seems wise in light of results of re-entry testing and the advice of our experts. 

At the same time, there will be some courses, particularly some labs, clinicals, performance-based courses, and other courses for which in-person instruction is critical to the pedagogy of the course, that will begin meeting in person either immediately from the start of the semester or beginning soon after that. You should expect to hear from the faculty of the courses in which you are enrolled about how the courses will be meeting next week.

Regardless of whether your courses will be meeting in person or remotely at the start of the semester, you are expected to return to campus for the start of classes on Monday, Jan. 10.

This is important for several reasons. First, you are required to begin your three weeks of surveillance testing during the week of Jan. 10. It is only with the results of those tests that we will be able to determine the timing of the return to in-person instruction.

Second, students who arrive later and need to quarantine or isolate cannot be assured of remote accommodations during that period once courses have returned to in-person instruction.

Third, based on the results of the surveillance testing, we may pivot to the kind of in-person instruction that we all value more quickly than two weeks; we need you to be here to be ready for that.

Finally, as noted at the outset, some courses have already been approved for in-person instruction.

We all know that managing everyone’s health and safety at this difficult time (after an extended period of difficult times) can be frustrating. Please know that we are doing our best to provide the kind of CWRU academic and campus experience that you expect and deserve as quickly as possible. We count on your cooperation and goodwill, as well as that of our faculty and staff, to make that possible by complying with all of the safety protocols that we have put in place.

I look forward to seeing you all back on campus very soon.


Jeffrey Wolcowitz
Dean of Undergraduate Studies