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March 25, 2021


Dear Students,

We appreciate the sacrifices you have made during this academic year to protect and preserve your own health and the wellbeing of others. Thanks to your ongoing efforts, we have been able to sustain and pursue learning and research amidst the interruption of everyday life.

While COVID-19 continues to be a serious threat in the United States and around the world, we eagerly await brighter days ahead. As effective vaccines become more widely available, and if COVID-19 safety protocol compliance remains high, many public health experts believe that the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 and the prevalence of serious illness will diminish, and we will be able to gradually move toward less constrained lives. Given these assumptions, and if public health guidelines allow, it is our intention to resume in-person instruction this fall. Some details are included below.

Planning for fall operations

The School of Arts and Sciences (including the School of the Museum of Fine Arts) and the School of Engineering plan to resume most academic, research, and campus activities in person on campus in September. Faculty have been asked to plan for in-person fall courses.


Contingent on the success of public health measures in containing the pandemic in the weeks and months ahead, here are our plans in the broadest of terms:

  • We look forward to welcoming all enrolled students to campus this fall and expect the vast majority of courses will be taught in person. For those students who cannot attend in person, there will also be a limited number of courses available virtually.
  • For School of Engineering graduate students that have to remain fully remote, courses will still be available in hybrid mode so they may complete their degree program.
  • Students will have in-person access to classrooms, laboratories, and studios.
  • We are currently planning for athletics, student organizations, and other campus activities to resume in-person operations in the fall.
  • The Tufts community will need to adhere to updated COVID-19 prevention and mitigation measures in the fall of 2021, which will be developed and shared with you during the summer. These measures will take into account guidance from the CDC, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, our host communities, and our public health experts. 
  • Our fall 2021 COVID-19 prevention and mitigation measures will also be shaped by several other elements, including the vaccination rate in our community, the effectiveness of the vaccines in reducing virus transmission, the effectiveness of the vaccines against new variants, and the results of studies on the long-term efficacy of the vaccines.

Final thoughts 

There are many details to be worked out in the coming weeks and months. You will undoubtedly have many questions. Please be patient. We will share additional information throughout the spring and summer.

We are cautiously optimistic about our plans and eager to resume full campus operations this September. 

With best wishes,

James M. Glaser
Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences
Professor of Political Science

Jianmin Qu
Karol Family Professor
Dean of the School of Engineering

Robert G. Cook
Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Science
Professor of Psychology

Karen A. Panetta
Dean of Graduate Education, School of Engineering
Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Nancy Bauer
Dean of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University
Professor of Philosophy