Accelerated Fall Calendar: The Path Forward

Dear RIT community:

We look forward to students, faculty, and staff returning to campus for a safe and productive fall semester. We’ve been working diligently this summer to design and implement innovative practices and new safety and health standards related to campus living, including how we learn, study, conduct research, collaborate and engage with one another. In this transition, we will capitalize on our attributes as a creative campus community that overcomes obstacles by working together.

The proposed schedule outlined below is contingent on guidance that we are awaiting from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo relative to the reopening of college campuses in the fall, as well as the direction of local and state health officials and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Once we have the official guidance from New York State, we will be finalizing our full reopening plan for review and approval as needed.

This is the start of an ongoing series of communications aimed at ensuring a dynamic on-campus fall semester. While many facets of the semester remain under discussion, we want to share some dates to help your planning for the Academic calendar. 

  • The first day of class will be Wednesday, Aug. 19
  • Expect scheduled move-in days/times for on-campus new and returning students as well as staggered orientation schedules for new first-year, transfers, and graduate students.  
  • In-person classwork will conclude on Tuesday, Nov. 24; students will depart for Thanksgiving break
  • Final exams will be held via remote modalities (e.g., online)

We realize you have other important questions. As noted in a previous communication, our Fall Planning Task Force has been overseeing and coordinating three committees, made up of students, parents, faculty, staff, health professionals and others, entrusted to study multiple aspects of a safe return to campus including:

  • Revising size limits on lectures, mechanisms for small-group discussions and projects, extended scheduling, and more.
  • Identifying best formats for lab, research, studio, and capstone experiences with appropriate social distancing.
  • Making improvements to campus infrastructure and processes, and new health technologies to help safeguard us.
  • Residence halls, dining halls, academic facilities, and public spaces all are being studied and potentially upgraded. Areas under examination include virus testing, daily monitoring, quarantine housing and related student comfort services, enhanced disinfection, new food service models, touchless technologies, sanitized air handling, and procurement.

We repeat our pledge that our efforts will strive to incorporate the best of what we all cherish about a campus experience. We thank you for your patience and understanding as we build out our plans.


David Munson
President, RIT

Ellen Granberg, Ph.D.
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

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