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UVA plans on bringing students back in-person for fall semester

The university announced the decision on Thursday, weighing in on what the new semester could look like for students.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
The Afternoon sun on the Lawn at the University of Virginia campus an iconic and historic university.

WASHINGTON — Students at the University of Virginia might be able to have classes face-to-face as soon as August when the fall term starts, university officials announced on Thursday. But students shouldn't expect everything to go back to normal at the Charlottesville campus.

On Thursday, faculty leaders sent out a note to families and students outlining their tentative plans on bringing students back, stating that in-person teaching will end by Thanksgiving. A final framework for UVA is still in the works and is planned to be finalized by mid-June.

As of now, undergrad classes are expected to kick off Aug. 25 in-person, with larger classes to remain online all semester as well as for faculty who have health concerns.

"To begin, our current plans are to start the fall semester as planned, with undergraduate courses starting on Tuesday, Aug. 25," the note read, stating that the decision pends on what state and federal health guidelines will allow during that time.

"We are still trying to determine how many students we can have safely back on grounds and living in dorms, and how many in-person classes we can host, given social distancing restrictions," the note continued.

Classes that are offered in-person, with the exception of some, are also available remotely and school officials said that students will still have the option to remain home in the fall and participate remotely.

One anticipated change is the length of the in-person fall semester. 

Students would not return to campus after Thanksgiving when the semester plans on ending. Instead, they would return in January, which faculty hope will help minimize risks associated with students traveling to and from Charlottesville.

"While the fall semester will start on time, we are planning to finish in-person instruction by Thanksgiving," the note to families read. "We are still determining if we can host exams before Thanksgiving or whether they will be offered remotely."

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - MARCH 26: An exterior view of the University of Virginia's Madison Hall in Charlottesville, Virginia on Thursday, March 26, 2015.

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