These Colleges Plan to Reopen for In-Person Classes in the Fall

The coronavirus pandemic forced every college in the U.S. to move to online instruction, but a number of them are already planning for in-person classes for the upcoming fall semester

The Chronicle of Higher Education currently has a running list of over 630 colleges across the country that have either disclosed their plans for the fall semester or have set a deadline for deciding.

Among the colleges that The Chronicle is tracking, a majority, or 68 percent, are currently planning for in-person classes in the fall. Comparatively, 10 percent are considering a range of options, 10 percent are still waiting to decide, 6 percent are proposing a "hybrid model," and 6 percent are planning for online learning.

According to The Chronicle, some of the prominent colleges across the country that are planning for in-person classes in the fall include, Auburn University, University of Alabama, University of Arizona, University of Miami, Cornell College, University of Notre Dame, Boston College, University of North Carolina, Manhattan College and New York University.

"NYU is proceeding on the basis that it will resume in-person operations in New York City for the fall semester, cognizant though we are of challenges and changed circumstances caused by the coronavirus," NYU President Andrew Hamilton wrote in a letter to the university's community.

Some colleges that are considering a range of different scenarios include Columbia College, Indiana University, Harvard University and Duke University.

In a letter, Alan M. Garbery, Harvard provost, wrote that the school will be open for "fall 2020" but the university "cannot be certain that it will be safe to resume all usual activities on campus by then."

"Consequently, Garber added, "we will need to prepare for a scenario in which much or all learning will be conducted remotely."

Michael Schoenfeld, Duke University's vice president for public affairs and government relations, made similar remarks during the school's weekly "Coronavirus Conversations," organized by the Duke Initiative for Science & Society.

"We're looking at a range of options. Those options could be business as usual on one end, to not at all usual on the other. It's impossible for us to predict today what things are going to look like a month from now," Schoenfeld said. "We hope to have some clarity by the middle of June. When the stay-at home orders get lifted on May 15, it does not mean everyone come to the office on May 16."

Coronavirus in U.S.
Students at the University of Washington are on campus for the last day of in-person classes on March 6 in Seattle. The school expects to have some in-person classes in the fall. Karen Ducey/Getty

On the other hand, colleges including the University of San Diego, Wichita State University and the University of Missouri are currently planning a hybrid model for the fall. According to, colleges define hybrid courses differently, but classes of this type generally meet between 25 percent to 50 percent of class time online, and the remaining 50 to 75 percent is conducted in person.

"I'm becoming less optimistic about the fall to open fully," University of Missouri System President Mun Choi told the MU Faculty Council, according to the Missourian. "Maybe we can have some hybrid. It's still important for all of our faculty members to prepare for the worst case, which is fully online."

4/21/20, 10:33 a.m.: This story has been updated to correct a reference in the fourth graf to Cornell University to Cornell College.