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August 31, 2020

Dear Faculty,

This fall, the return of undergraduate and graduate students to campus has been staggered according to point of origin. Those traveling from any state except Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and New York and from outside the U.S. are moving onto campus August 26-30. To allow time for these students to remain in quarantine until they have received three negative COVID-19 test results, there will be a delay before their classmates from those seven in-region states arrive. Students coming to Tufts from the in-region states have been assigned a move-in date and initial COVID-19 test from September 8-13. They will arrive after classes begin on September 8. 

This move-in schedule is mandatory for students living in on-campus housing, and students living off-campus have been asked to follow the same schedule. In addition, some international students have also experienced delays in acquiring a visa and travelling to the U.S. 

If students experience an unavoidable conflict between a scheduled in-person class and their assigned move-in time and required COVID-19 testing, they have been instructed to inform their professor in advance via email and, if possible, attend class virtually. Students will be responsible for keeping up with any missed classes and with homework. We ask faculty to extend students flexibility. These circumstances are challenging, and scheduling conflicts and international travel delays are beyond students’ control.

Students on wait lists 

Students on wait lists will be told not to go to class in person, as classrooms have been set up for a set number of students to remain physically distanced. Wait-listed students will be instructed to email the professor to ask if they can attend class virtually while on the wait list. Instructors have the discretion to say no. Instructors need to manually add wait-listed students to Canvas if they permit those students to sit in while the wait list is resolved. There is the potential for a student to mistakenly believe they are enrolled in the class if they are added to Canvas and virtually sitting in while the wait list is being sorted out — that is not the case, and, as is normal, students must move off the wait list and be registered through SIS in order to be officially enrolled. Communications are being sent to students to clarify the wait list process this fall.

Further communication about wait lists will follow from the Registrar. Once again, we would like to thank you for your flexibility as we welcome students back to campus and begin the fall semester. If you have any questions or if you are looking for teaching resources, please visit our AS&E Teaching Resource page or


Carmen Lowe, Dean of Academic Advising and Undergraduate Studies, School of Arts and Sciences
Jennifer Stephan, Dean of Academic Advising and Undergraduate Studies, School of Engineering
Robert G. Cook, Dean, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Karen A. Panetta, Dean of Graduate Education, School of Engineering