Harvard College Students Will Live on Campus, Learn in Person in Fall 2021, FAS Announces


The Faculty of Arts and Sciences is “expecting a full return to campus” and a return to “in-person learning” for College students in fall 2021, FAS Dean Claudine Gay announced Monday.

Harvard will announce finalized fall 2021 plans in late May, according to Gay’s emailed announcement to FAS affiliates.

“Though final decisions will not be available until late May, we are currently expecting a full return to campus in Fall 2021 and our planning is focused entirely on how to restart all campus-based activities safely,” Gay wrote.

In late May, Harvard will provide affiliates with further information on fall planning, including “re-entry protocols to housing, public health protocols to financial aid, and more.”


Gay wrote that Harvard is planning to provide “regular, full density” on-campus housing as well as additional accommodations in off-campus “Harvard-affiliated housing” if necessary.

“Contingency planning is underway to enable this residential return even if reduced density is required,” she added.

“Our goal is to ensure that every student who wants Harvard housing will be able to live in Harvard-affiliated housing,” Dean of the College Rakesh Khurana wrote in a follow-up email Monday to College students.

Gay wrote that she anticipates all College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences students will be able to take in-person classes in the fall. Faculty, teaching fellows, and “other instructional staff” will teach on campus. University administrators announced earlier Monday that it plans to allow all faculty and staff to return to work in person Aug. 2.

“Should public health conditions necessitate adaptations to in-person instruction this fall, we will be prepared to support course staff in teaching safely, including limited teaching in other modalities, informed by the lessons learned from our spring hybrid teaching pilots,” Gay wrote.

Gay added that the FAS expects to offer a “full range” of in-person academic resources this fall, including through Harvard’s libraries, archives, museums, and research facilities.

Gay also addressed international students specifically in her announcement.

She wrote that international students “should confidently apply for visas knowing [Harvard] will offer in-person instruction.” The College and GSAS will support international students in their efforts to come to campus, she added.

Since Harvard only offered remote courses this academic year, federal visa restrictions barred international freshmen from coming to Harvard’s campus.

“We are eager to welcome our international students back to campus, but we also recognize that they may face particular hurdles,” she wrote. “We recognize that some students may confront delays in visa processing that impact their ability to come to campus and the College and GSAS will work directly with these students to help them navigate their program options.”

Khurana wrote in his email that Harvard Summer School will release an announcement regarding on-campus housing availability in mid-April. All students who studied away from campus for the entire academic year are eligible to live on campus and take two free courses at the Summer School, Harvard previously announced.

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