Category: Messages to the Community

Title: Main Campus Changes for Fall Semester 2020

Office of the Provost

Dear Georgetown Main Campus Undergraduate  and Graduate Students, Faculty and Staff,

I write to follow up on President DeGioia’s message earlier today regarding Georgetown’s plan for the Fall 2020 semester. We will begin on time, using the academic schedule previously announced. As noted in his letter, all courses will begin in virtual mode. Undergraduate and Graduate level classes will begin in a virtual mode, with in-person elements added as soon as public health conditions permit, with the intention that some programs will transition to a hybrid virtual and in-person format. We understand this may change our students’ plans for the semester. We will regularly announce updates, monitoring the public health circumstances which would allow for a return to the classroom physically as well as virtually.

In recognition of the impacts of this decision, all students in credit-bearing undergraduate and graduate courses, will be offered a tuition discount. This discount will apply to students regardless of whether the original modality of the program was on-campus or online.

All undergraduate students will be offered a tuition discount of 10%. Room and board reductions for undergraduate students on campus will remain in place. 

There will be a 5% reduction in the Fall tuition for all graduate and professional students at Georgetown. This discount reflects the changed access to some services for graduate students during the virtual experience. 

Undergraduate Students Approved for Residence Exception
Undergraduate students who were granted approval through the Housing Stability Application process, will be able to live on campus along with students who had been invited to return to campus because of academic requirements and a limited number of Resident Assistants to support this small residential community. Any students coming to the District of Columbia from states designated by the District of Columbia as high risk are required to self-quarantine for 14 days after traveling to the District. 

First-year students whose personal or family situation makes it impossible or unrealistic to pursue their studies at their permanent address may apply for a limited number of on campus spaces. More information on this process will be shared with the class of 2024 shortly. 

All students must complete the “Fall 2020 Affirmation” form by logging in to GU360. Any students who are on campus—as well as those students living in the surrounding neighborhoods—will be expected to adhere to our Community Compact. Students who fail to comply will face student sanctions.

Graduate Students
All classes will be online for at least the first four weeks of the semester. We will be re-evaluating regularly whether at some point after September 28 classes or other activities can be offered in a hybrid format, in which students and faculty may choose whether to be on campus or participate remotely. If we make a decision to resume classes in a hybrid format, we will give you at least three weeks notice so that you will have time to move to DC if you choose to participate on campus.

International Students
The University recognizes that this change may have a special impact on international students and it is working to create a rich learning experience for them. Faculty and students are planning ways to make it possible for students in distant time zones to engage directly with their professors and classmates. International students who are concerned about their visas should contact the Office of Global Services (OGS) with questions about their specific situations. In general, according to current guidance, continuing international students with existing visas can study online from any location (in the U.S. or abroad) and maintain their active visa status. 

Members of the incoming first-year class who are F1 visa holders will be invited to return to campus. Please contact the Office of Global Services with any questions. New international graduate students should contact the Office of Global Services to discuss their options. 

Our plans for restarting research on campus will continue as announced. We plan to expand our research capacity as testing and public health guidelines allow, according to our research plan submitted to and accepted by the District of Columbia. We will have more information about the restart efforts at our Research Town Hall on Thursday, July 30 from 11 to noon. Faculty should please watch email for Zoom information.

Courses Designed for an Online Experience
The University has developed an exciting array of courses to be offered in this online environment, building upon the foundation of online coursework offered in the Spring. Faculty have been working hard to design their courses for an online experience, and to engage students in new ways.

Classroom Renovations
For the past two months, we have been renovating classrooms to enhance teaching and learning technology. Specifically, we have been planning classroom upgrades with students in mind, preparing for students to return to campus and for the possibility of hybrid and other flexible modes of instruction. 

Library Services
The Library has been developing plans for enhanced services and will soon make detailed information available for faculty, staff and students. The Library plans will address graduate students’ needs as we look forward to a gradual transition back to on-campus learning.

Academic Staff Teleworking
Most academic staff members will continue to telework. Certain staff members currently eligible for telework may be expected to return to campus based upon their roles, the academic and research needs of our community, and the needs of students and researchers on campus. More information will follow from supervisors related to teleworking and timing of a return to campus.

Together, we must acknowledge that this is an unprecedented time of change at the University, in the nation, and across the globe. At Georgetown, we will continue to prioritize public health needs in our decision-making, and work assiduously to protect the health and safety of our community. You can find additional information on the Fall 2020 website and in the frequently asked questions which are updated regularly. We look forward to welcoming all in our virtual community in a few weeks – an environment that will explore the best of Georgetown, teaching and learning together, and caring for each other.


Robert M. Groves