College Class Cancellations Skyrocket Amid Coronavirus Concerns
College Class Cancellations Skyrocket Amid Coronavirus Concerns

College Class Cancellations Skyrocket Amid Coronavirus Concerns

Dozens of schools across 11 states have announced emergency policies to help curb the spread of COVID-19.

Lisa Winter
Lisa Winter
Mar 10, 2020

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As changes are happening rapidly, please check with institutions’ websites for the latest policies.

As the number of coronavirus cases in the United States continues to climb, many universities are taking steps to protect their students and faculty by minimizing on-campus activity in favor of online-only classes and exams, even if there have not been any cases of COVID-19 on campus. The threat of the virus is exacerbated by the fact that most schools have spring break in the coming weeks and hordes of students will be traveling, many internationally.

Many institutions in countries such as Italy, China, and South Korea, which have been hit hard by the virus, have already moved students into online learning, and numerous life science conferences have either moved online, postponed, or canceled their events in light of the outbreak. The University of Washington was the first US university to call off in-person instruction, due to its proximity to the outbreak in Seattle. A rabbi who teaches at Yeshiva University in New York has tested positive for the virus and underwent a self-imposed quarantine. The school has canceled undergraduate classes this week.

Even with in-person classes moving online, most dining facilities, residence halls, and libraries are remaining open to provide necessary services for students who might not have any other place to go. Still, according to Forbes, there is a strain on students who rely on work-study programs to make ends meet.

Bryan Alexander, a senior at Georgetown University, has created a running spreadsheet of policy changes and class cancellations, Inside Higher Ed reports. Omitting smaller facilities that operate under the umbrella of a larger institution, cancellations include:

Arizona

Arizona State University - Effective March 16, all in-person classes will be held online for two weeks.

California

Palo Alto University - Beginning March 9, all in-person classes were transitioned online for the remainder of the winter quarter.

San Jose State University - Classes are canceled for the week of March 9 in order to transition to online instruction. Until April 19, planned events including 150 or more people will be postponed, altered, or canceled.

Santa Clara University - In-person classes will meet online March 10-April 13.

Stanford University - All in-person classes will be transitioned online through the end of the quarter. Events with a large number of attendees are asked to postpone or alter the event. Events for prospective students have been canceled.

University of California, Berkeley - In-person classes will be held online March 10-March 29. Some classes have been canceled March 10 and 11 to give professors time to create online learning modules. Labs and other classes that cannot be held online will still meet. Events with more than 150 attendees will be canceled or postponed.

University of California, Davis - Final exams during the week of March 16 will not be held in person. Effective March 12–31, events with more than 150 attendees will be postponed or canceled, except for classes of that size, which can still be held until March 13. In-person classes have not been officially suspended, but instructors are “strongly encouraged” to hold classes and office hours online. 

University of California, Irvine - Final exams to be delivered online. All spring quarter classes to occur online. One person connected to the campus received a coronavirus test, which came back negative.

University of California, San Diego - Through the end of the spring semester on May 10, events with more than 100 people are postponed or canceled. Fans will not be permitted to attend athletic events. Prospective student groups that are larger than 15 individuals are not permitted on campus.

University of California, Santa Cruz - Beginning March 11 until April 3, in-person classes will be held online. Lab courses will still meet. All events on campus with more than 50 attendees will be postponed or canceled.

University of Southern California - All in-person classes have moved online March 11–13.

Connecticut

Sacred Heart University - In-person classes are canceled March 10 and will resume online beginning March 11.

University of New Haven - In-person classes and exams have been suspended leading into spring break on March 14 as well as on March 23 and 24. 

Yale University - In-person classes will be held online March 23 through April 5. Students are asked not to stay on campus during spring break the week of March 15. Events with more than 100 attendees will be postponed or canceled.

Delaware

University of Delaware - One person connected to the campus is confirmed to have the virus. Classes are canceled March 12 and 13, leading into an extended spring break. Classes will resume online on March 23, with no end date set as of yet.

Florida

Florida State University - All in-person classes to be held online March 23-April 6. All university-related international travel has been suspended.

University of Florida - Classes will be held online March 16–30. Students are asked to stay off campus during this time, if possible.

Indiana

Indiana University - All classes will be held online from March 23 through April 6.

University of Notre Dame - All classes are canceled the week of March 16. Classes will be held online March 23 until April 13.

Iowa

Iowa State University - All classes will be held online March 23-April 3.

University of Iowa - All classes will be held online from March 23 until April 3. Certain large events have been canceled or postponed.

Maryland

University of Maryland - Classes are canceled the week of March 23. All classes will be held online March 30-April 10.

Massachusetts

Amherst College - In-person classes are canceled March 12 and 13 with online instruction beginning March 23, after spring break. Students have been asked to vacate the campus during the break. 

Boston University - Beginning March 16, all classes will be held online until April 13.

Harvard University - All in-person classes will transition online by March 23, after spring break. Students are asked not to come back to campus until further notice. Events involving more than 25 people will be postponed, altered, or canceled.

MIT - Classes have been canceled for the week of March 16 and will be moved online when class resumes. Prospective students who have not been exposed to the virus are still permitted to tour the campus. Undergrads are asked to move off campus by March 17.

Tufts University - Classes are canceled March 13 and spring break is extended until March 25. All classes will then resume online for the duration of the semester. Students are asked to vacate campus, if possible.

University of Massachusetts - All classes will be held online March 23-April 3.

Michigan

Central Michigan University - All classes will be held online beginning March 20.

Michigan State University - In-person classes will be held online from March 11 through April 20. Although not confirmed, a “probable case” of infection has been linked to the campus.

Michigan Technological University - Beginning March 16, all classes will be held online until April 17. Events with more than 25 people are to be canceled, postponed, or altered.

University of Michigan - Classes are canceled March 12 and 13. All in-person classes will be held online until April 21. During this time, all events with more than 100 attendees will be postponed or canceled.

Western Michigan University - All classes will be held online March 16 until April 3. All events with more than 100 attendees will be postponed or canceled.

Minnesota

University of Minnesota, all campuses - Classes will be held online from March 18 until April 1 at the earliest.

Nebraska

Midland University - Classes are canceled the week of March 9.

New Jersey

Monmouth University - All classes are canceled the week of March 9. In-person classes are likely to take place online beginning March 23, following spring break.

Princeton University - In-person classes will be transitioned online beginning March 23. Students are asked not to return to campus following spring break until April 5. University-related travel for staff and students is to be minimized.

Rowan University - Spring break will be extended another week. Following the break, in-person classes will be held online through April 5.

Rutgers University - Classes are canceled March 12 and 13 ahead of spring break. In-person classes at the Camden, Newark, and New Brunswick campuses will be held online until April 3. Students asked to move off campus if possible.

Stevens Institute of Technology - Classes are canceled March 10. In-person classes to transition online through March 13.

New York

Columbia University - Classes are canceled March 9 and 10, giving professors time to transition to online instruction beginning March 11. Facilities including dining halls and libraries will remain operational.

Cornell University - Beginning March 12, all in-person classes in the New York City area will move online. The Ithaca campus will begin online-only courses April 6. Students are asked to move off campus, if possible. Events with more than 100 attendees will be postponed or canceled.

CUNY and SUNY campuses - All in-person classes will move online beginning March 19 through the end of the spring semester.

Hofstra University - In-person classes are canceled until the end of spring break and will resume March 23.

Fordham University - Classes are canceled March 9 and 10, giving professors time to transition to online instruction beginning March 11.

New York University - In-person classes are to be conducted online until March 27.

Skidmore College - In-person classes are suspended and spring break is extended another week. Students will return March 22.

St. John’s University - All classes are canceled March 10 and 11 with in-person classes moving online until March 27.

The New School - Classes are canceled March 23–27 while alternative arrangements are made.

Yeshiva University - Undergraduate classes are canceled the week of March 9, with the possibility of shifting online beginning March 16. Graduate students will resume courses online beginning March 11. A rabbi who teaches on campus has tested positive for the virus.

North Carolina

Duke University - In-person classes will be held online through the end of the semester. Spring break has been extended, with classes resuming March 23. Students are asked not to return to campus after the break, if possible.

Ohio

Case Western Reserve University - All classes are canceled March 16 and 17. Classes will resume online from March 18 until April 6. Students are asked to vacate campus over spring break and not return until April 6.

Kent State University - All classes are canceled March 10–15. In-person classes will be held online until April 13.

The Ohio State University - All in-person classes will be held online until March 30.

University of Dayton - All classes are canceled March 11–13 ahead of spring break, with students living on campus asked to stay elsewhere, if possible. In-person classes will be held online for at least two weeks, beginning March 23.

University of Toledo - In-person classes will be canceled March 16 and 17. Classes will be conducted online March 18–30. Until April 30, all events with more than 100 attendees have been canceled.

Pennsylvania

Penn State University - Beginning March 16, all classes will be held online until April 3. Students asked to vacate campus, if possible.

University of Pennsylvania - Spring break has been extended by one week. Classes will resume online March 23 until the end of the semester. Students are asked to vacate campus, if possible.

Tennessee

Vanderbilt University - In-person classes are canceled the week of March 9 and will resume online March 16–30.

Texas

Rice University - In-person classes and labs are canceled the week of March 9. University-sponsored travel has been suspended.

University of Texas, Arlington - Spring break will be extended by a week. All classes will resume online on March 30 until further notice. Campus visits for prospective students have been canceled.

Virginia

University of Virginia - Classes will be held online March 19 through April 5, at the earliest. Students are asked to stay away from campus, if possible. Events with more than 100 attendees will be postponed or canceled.

Vermont

University of Vermont - All classes will be canceled on March 16 and 17. Online instruction will begin on March 18 and continue until further notice. Students are asked to leave the campus

Washington

Cascadia College - Most in-person classes will be conducted online through the end of the current quarter.

Everett Community College - Following a three-day-long closure to disinfect the campus, many in-person classes will transition online.

Lake Washington Institute of Technology - In-person classes are moved online until the end of the quarter on March 20. A limited number of tablets with cellular data are available for students in need.

Pacific Lutheran University - In-person classes will be conducted online March 10–30.

Seattle Colleges - Following a March 9 closure for disinfecting campuses, in-person classes will transition online March 10–25.

Seattle Pacific University - Beginning March 9, all in-person classes and exams will be held online through the end of the quarter. Visits for prospective students are suspended until April 3.

Seattle University - All in-person classes will be conducted online through March 20. Many events expecting a large number of attendees are canceled or postponed.

The University of Puget Sound - In-person classes will be held online March 10 through the end of the winter quarter on March 25.

The University of Washington - In-person classes will be held online until the end of the quarter on March 20. Currently, classes are expected to restart March 30 for the new quarter.

Washington State University, Everett - All in-person classes will be held online until March 13.

Washington DC

Georgetown University - All in-person classes will take place online beginning March 16 and will continue until further notice. Students are asked not to return to campus after spring break, if possible.

Wisconson

University of Wisconsin - Classes will be held online March 23 until April 10, at the earliest. Students are asked to clear the university until April 10, if possible.

Lisa Winter is the social media editor for The Scientist. Email her at lwinter@the-scientist.com or connect on Twitter @Lisa831.