Nearly all of UMass Amherst’s courses will be online this fall amid coronavirus

Students can live on campus or at home

AMHERST, MA – APRIL 8: 7-3 The University of Massachusetts at Amherst campus on April 8, 2019. (Staff Photo By Christopher Evans/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)
PUBLISHED: | UPDATED:

UMass Amherst students will have the option of living on campus or at home as nearly all of the university’s courses will be taught remotely this fall amid the coronavirus pandemic, the state’s flagship campus announced on Monday.

“Students who choose to attend UMass Amherst do so not only for the quality of the faculty and the academic programs, but also for the immersive experience, which offers opportunities for enrichment that can be undertaken with a diverse group of peers,” Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy said in a statement. “As best we can — and there are severe limitations in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic — we will strive to sustain the community connections that represent UMass at its best.”

Subbaswamy said, “It is important to understand that life on campus will not be anything resembling normal college life.”

Students on campus will be required to follow: strict physical distancing, wearing face coverings outside personal living spaces, limiting social contacts to a minimal number of people per day, the prohibition of guests in residence halls, subjecting themselves to virus testing on demand, daily self-monitoring and reporting, assisting with contact tracing, and limiting travel away from the immediate campus area for work and/or emergencies only.

A majority of the fall curriculum will be fully remote, with only essential labs, studios, performance and hands-on courses offered in-person. Some students who live on campus may have a fully remote curriculum.

Classroom capacities will be limited to adhere to social distancing guidelines. Additional sections of courses may be added to reduce class sizes. Course schedules will be adjusted to increase time between classes to reduce interactive foot traffic on campus, and provide time for increased cleaning of lab and classroom spaces when needed.