COVID-19: University Response and Planning

Returning in Fall 2020

University of Richmond officials are actively planning for the fall semester and continuing to respond to the challenges presented by COVID-19. As new information becomes available, the University will send updates via email and post to this site.

Latest Update: July 14, 2020

Current Stage: RED

The University intends to resume in-person instruction and the residential educational experience this fall, and recently released an update on fall class plans, including the option to study remotelyRead the latest messages.

The University remains in the Red Stage to provide time to implement the health and safety measures identified through our resilience planning. Learn more about what this means in our abridged Physical Distancing Framework. A fuller, more detailed version of the Physical Distancing Framework is also available, and will serve to guide our approach to gradually resuming operations on campus.

Read the latest messages to the campus community

A view of fall foliage through the windows on Ryland Hall.

Fall 2020 Schedule

The University intends to resume in-person instruction and the residential educational experience at the beginning of the fall semester, as originally scheduled. Consistent with the published academic calendar, fall semester classes will begin August 24 and the semester will end December 18.

In the background, a man sits outside of a residence hall. In the foreground is a sign instructing people to maintain six feet of separation.

Returning to Campus for Students

In addition to resuming on-campus instruction and safeguarding the health of our community, we also set a goal of safely housing as many students on campus as possible, given the University’s commitment to offering a meaningful residential education experience.

Interior of a classroom where the desks and chairs have been spaced out to provide at least six feet separation.


In our planning, we have sought to preserve the hallmarks of a Richmond education — dynamic instruction in small classes organized around robust discussion, group problem-solving, and personal faculty attention — while making necessary adjustments to conform to public health guidance to promote health and safety.

A staff member wipes down a table.

Health & Safety

As we continue to prepare for the fall, the health and safety of the campus community has been of paramount importance in our planning efforts. Ensuring the health of the campus community is a responsibility we all share, and it will require a sustained commitment from all of us as we modify the way we live, learn, and work together.

Student holding face coverings required sign

Our Shared Responsibility

This semester will be unlike any other, but the reward for embracing our shared responsibility will be great: a return to our treasured residential and academic community where all members can thrive.

Recommended Health Precautions

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer;
  • Cover your cough;
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands;
  • Don’t share food or drinks;
  • Get adequate rest and maintain healthy lifestyles (e.g. proper nutrition, exercise) to help ensure health;
  • Avoid close contact, including handshakes and hugging; and
  • If you get sick, stay home and rest.

Interim University Policies