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Fall 2020 FAQs


  • Fall Course Plan

  • What is the plan for fall?

    Emory College of Arts and Sciences will offer courses in both in-person and online formats. Students will be able to choose whether they wish to return to campus or undertake courses from their current location.

  • When will the fall semester start?

    Fall semester classes will begin on Wednesday, August 19.

  • When will fall semester classes end?

    Classes will end before the Thanksgiving Break (which begins on November 25). At this time students will depart campus and finals will take place remotely following Thanksgiving Break

  • When will final exams happen?

    Final exams will take place remotely after Thanksgiving Break.

  • Class Scheduling Decision

  • What is the course pattern for fall semester in person courses?

    The basic course schedule is based on a 75-minute meeting time on either a M/W or T/Th pattern with a 25 minutes break between classes. There is no 50-minute class meeting time, and alternative non-standards schedules are not permitted.

  • What is the course pattern for fall semester online courses?

    The basic course schedule is based on a synchronous 75-minute meeting time one day a week, with other course material delivered asynchronously. Some online senior or first year seminars that rely on class discussion may meet in 2 75-minute class meetings, and should use the same M/W or T/TH pattern as in-person courses.  Online courses will use the same starting/ending times as in-person courses because most students will have a mix of course-types.

  • Are there set class start/end times?

    Yes. All classes will begin at the following times:

    • 8 a.m. – 9.15 a.m.
    • 9:40 a.m. – 10.55 a.m.
    • 11:20 a.m. – 12.35 p.m.
    • 1:00 p.m. – 2.15 p.m.
    • 2:40 p.m. - 3.55 p.m.
    • 4:20 p.m. – 5.35 p.m.
    • 6:00 p.m. – 7.15 p.m.

    These meeting times will be observed for both in-person and online course offerings to increase student flexibility.

  • What will happen with 1-credit and 2-credit classes?

    1 credit and 2 credit class should meet on Fridays at one of the approved start times.

  • When should I schedule my three-hour (non-lab) class?

    Due to physical distancing concerns, three-hour non-lab classes should meet online on Fridays. If you would like to meet in-person the course must be broken up into two 75-minute sessions.

  • What about lab classes?

    STEM Lab courses will meet over two class meeting blocks, using the same start times as other classes.  For example, a lab starting at 8 a.m. will end at 10:55 a.m. so a student can be available for an 11:20 a.m. course.  Labs may meet any day in the week, but departments and programs are encouraged to spread lab times over the week as much as possible.

  • Are there enrollment limits for in-person class sizes?

    Yes. The maximum enrollment for an in-person course is 35

  • Are there enrollment limits for online class sizes?

    There is no limit to the number of students you may choose to enroll in an online class. Given the nature of online learning, ideally synchronous sessions should be capped at 25 students.  Online courses with an enrollment greater than 25 should divide students into sections of around 25 students or less for synchronous meetings. Online courses will deliver about half of the course material asynchronously, while synchronous sessions should be used for student engagement activities.

  • Does my online class need to meet for 75 synchronous minutes or 150 synchronous minutes?

    In most cases, online courses will only meet for one 75-minute synchronous session with the rest of your content delivered asynchronously. For courses with larger enrollments, faculty may consider dividing the class into smaller synchronous meeting groups that will each meet during one 75-minute session per week.

  • Can I specify which room I want to teach in?

    No. In order to satisfy physical distancing requirements, the Registrar will assign classrooms based on the size of the class. Faculty may teach in unfamiliar or more distant classrooms to achieve this aim.

  • Do I have to be in Atlanta if I plan to teach all of my courses online in the fall?

    No. If you are teaching a full online course load you would not be required to be in Atlanta. Please note that course meetings times are listed in Eastern Time in both OPUS and the Course Atlas.

  • Am I allowed to overload students into my in-person course?

    We ask that faculty remain cognizant of the physical distancing requirements and reduced classroom capacities and refrain from these types of actions. If there is a compelling need (such as a major requirement for a graduating senior), please consult with your department leadership to consider alternatives.

    Should I use the waitlist function?

    We encourage faculty members to use the waitlist function to manage demand for your courses (both in-person and online). Please talk to your department scheduler to request or enable this functionality.

    Note:  If your course uses tiered enrollment to distribute seats across year groups, waitlisting for students will only be available during the Add/Drop/Swap period.

  • Advising and Support

  • Is it true that you are dropping all returning student schedules and having them re-enroll?

    Yes. Due to the complex nature of the changes we are making, all students in Emory College courses will be dropped and allowed to re-enroll during their appropriate advising window.

  • Am I expected to advise my students over the summer?

    We will be asking departments and programs to develop a plan for answering questions from their majors by using either staff or faculty to do so during the July registration periods.

  • How will this affect first year students?

    First year students will meet with a pre-registration advisor from the Office for Undergraduate Education in late July/early August. They will be block enrolled into PACE, HLTH and either their first-year seminar or first-year writing class. They will then fill out the rest of their schedule in mid-August before arriving on campus.

  • How does this affect Orientation?

    The New Student Program team in the College is working closely with the university to ensure that onboarding is the best experience it can be for our students. More information will be shared with faculty and staff in July.

  • Will OUE provide their regular range of services (advising, tutoring, etc.)?

    OUE will offer all of our regular services —advising, academic coaching, peer tutoring, learning assistants – as in any other semester. Many services will likely be offered online, and students can schedule using College Connect.

  • Health and Safety

  • I don’t feel it is safe for me to teach in-person. Will I be able to teach all of my classes online?

    Yes. Your department course scheduler will be in touch to take your preference, and will schedule your courses accordingly.

  • I will be teaching in person. What protocols are in place for physical distancing and cleaning?

    Based on the guidance the University has drawn up (in consultation with public health experts), all classroom capacities have been reduced to meet the new requirements. Class meeting times have been set to allow for appropriate entrance and egress by students and faculty, and cleaning time has been built into the schedule.

  • What will be expected of students in regards to public health and safety? Will everyone be tested for COVID-19 before returning to campus? What is the protocol for health screenings?

    COVID-19 testing will be mandatory for all students living in residence halls, along with those taking in-person classes, upon or shortly before returning to campus, and will be available at any time during the semester for those who are symptomatic and for their close contacts. Faculty and staff will have access to testing on demand.

    Testing of symptomatic people, as well as those in close contact with people diagnosed with COVID-19, is currently underway on campus and will continue in the fall. Testing, contact tracing, isolation, quarantine, and other measures will be implemented to limit transmission of COVID-19 in our community. We cannot guarantee students, faculty or staff will not get sick, but together we can support each other in our academic pursuits, in community and in health.

    All members of the Emory community who come to campus will be required to self-monitor on a daily basis for signs of COVID-19. Trained university staff will conduct random temperature checks across campus each day. Those with fevers will be required to have a clinical evaluation and to be tested, as appropriate.

    The University is developing health education programs and materials to ensure community awareness and understanding of indications of illness as well as risks that lead to the spread of the disease. They will also clearly delineate what we expect from members of our community to maintain health and cleanliness standards including face covering, distancing, cleaning protocols and general health guidance. Students may not opt out of community expectations for health and safety