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Fall 2020 Information For Parents Of Transfer Students

Dear Parents and Families of New Emory College Transfer Students,

Earlier today you should have received a detailed message from President-Elect Gregory Fenves and President Claire Sterk about the university’s revised plans for the fall. We also want to share the following message that was sent to your student providing some additional Emory College details from Dean Michael Elliott. Please see below.

To echo our dean, we know this unfortunate yet necessary change of course is difficult and challenging for your student and for you as a parent.

But despite these challenges, we are still very excited to welcome your student to Emory and are committed to helping them have a successful and meaningful start at Emory.

As parents and family members, also please note:

  • Parent and Family Orientation will be a short series of virtual events, and a calendar of programs will be available soon.

  • The Family Friday webinar scheduled for July 17 with representatives from Housing and Dining will now take place on July 24. More information about the Family Friday webinar series is available here.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team at with any questions you may have about the new fall start, orientation, or your child’s academics. For continuing updates on fall opening plans, please bookmark the Emory Forward website, which will feature frequent updates on university plans and detailed information on public health and safety protocols. You may also send your questions and concerns to


Shari Obrentz, PhD
Associate Dean
Office for Undergraduate Education
Emory College of Arts and Sciences


--- Begin Student Message

By now you have seen Emory University’s announcement about revised plans for the Fall 2020 semester that require us to greatly reduce the number of people in residence on campus and move nearly all of our classes online. As a new transfer student, you are among the students who will be invited to be in residence this fall.

As your dean, I am thrilled to welcome you to Emory! We know that this semester will be one that looks nothing like any of us imagined, but our commitment to your education and success remains constant. Despite the challenges we face, I am still excited about the academic year ahead. I can’t wait to meet you, whether you are on campus or elect a remote semester.

We must acknowledge that campus will be different than what you might have imagined it would be and none of you were expecting to begin your time at Emory this way. Planning for this fall has involved immense creativity, adaptability, and resolve to provide a great experience for you.

In making the difficult decisions for fall semester, we believed it was essential to give you the choice and opportunity to begin your time at Emory in person as the newest members of our community. Some of you will be committed to coming to campus and others may have already made the decision to remain at home for the fall semester. We support you in making the decision that makes the most sense for your own circumstances.

As we watched COVID-19 numbers grow exponentially in Atlanta and throughout Georgia this month, it was imperative to reexamine the plan we made just a month ago. We have again consulted continuously with the CDC, local health officials, and a team of internationally known medical and public-health experts from across the university, Emory Healthcare, and affiliated institutions to develop our plans. Please refer to the University’s email sent earlier today for more information about public health and safety protocols we will implement this fall.

If you are in residence, there are a limited number of in-person courses; with fewer students in residence, we will need to offer almost all of our courses as intentionally-designed online classes. This summer, more than 700 of your professors and other instructors have completed intensive training on course design and online teaching, allowing us to maintain the high standards of engagement, intellectual inquiry, and academic rigor inherent to an Emory College liberal arts education.

Their passion and dedication to providing the very best instruction possible for you has been remarkable. Though the medium of most instruction will be different, the academic excellence of the Emory faculty and their dedication to your success has not changed.

Below are additional important details for you to review as a new transfer student in Emory College.

Fall Courses and Services

  • You WILL NOT have to re-register for classes.
  • All College of Arts and Sciences courses currently listed as in-person will move online—with the exception of a few courses exclusively for first-year students, a small number of advanced laboratory and performance courses, and a very small number of other courses deemed necessary

  • If you have registered for an in-person course the course will move online and meet at the same day and time. Note that most online courses will meet synchronously only once a week, so there may be some slight variations in the online schedule.

  • Most of our courses will still offered online, giving all students flexibility in building their fall schedule, whether you choose to attend in person or not.

  • College programs and services will be available to you regardless of your location, including our advising team, academic coaches, peer tutors and others.

It is important that you continue to monitor your Emory email as we approach the return to campus and that you take all requested actions. Allowing you to return will require you to complete additional on-boarding processes as mandated by the University.


Orientation for incoming transfer students will occur on August 18, 2020. You should continue to monitor your Emory email for news and updates regarding Orientation. More information is available on the New Student Programs website.

Housing and Move-In

Transfer students with an active housing application for 2020-21 will be permitted to live on campus. You will receive an email directly from the Housing Office regarding your application. Be sure to read that email carefully and take appropriate steps. Broadly, Emory’s residence halls will operate at reduced density with one student per bedroom and Fall 2020 Move-In will take place August 13-17, 2020.

Students living on campus will be able to select their COVID testing and move-in timeslot. Dates and times will be determined by your assigned residence hall. We encourage students to wait for the COVID testing and move-in timeslot selection to open before making travel arrangements. You will also receive more information soon about public health safety protocols and expectations.

If you have general questions about this message, please contact our Orientation team at

We are prepared and committed to help you be successful in the coming fall semester that will be like none other in our history. Together, as a community, we will create the signature academic and campus experience for which Emory is known in new and creative ways, and again, we look forward to welcoming you into our community.


Michael A. Elliott, PhD
Dean, Emory College of Arts and Sciences
Charles Howard Candler Professor of English