Increase of in-person students expected for spring semester at UMass Dartmouth

Nov 13, 2020

UMass Dartmouth expects to increase the number of in-person courses and students living in campus housing for the upcoming semester, officials announced.

In a letter written on Oct. 23, Acting Chancellor Mark Preble said that due to the “robust testing and contact tracing program,” officials believe that the university can “make incremental steps” toward having more students, faculty, and staff on campus come January.

“With lessons learned this semester and the proven capabilities of our testing program and other safety policies, we believe we can invite more students to live on campus safely,” Preble wrote.

According to University spokesperson Ryan Merrill, the university plans to offer a “modest” number of additional face-to-face courses for the upcoming spring semester so “students can persist and make timely progress towards their educational ambitions.”

Most students are currently taking classes remotely, with exceptions for labs, studios and clinicals since they require the use of on-campus facilities. After Thanksgiving, all instruction and exams will be offered remotely.

“We also anticipate inviting more students to live on campus safely,” Merrill said.

Around 800 students are currently living on campus — down from 3,268 students the previous fall. As for how many students will return to campus, Merrill said that is still to be determined, noting that the university’s Office of Housing & Residential Education is currently communicating with students about their plans for spring.

Students residing in dorms, as well as those taking at least one in-person class, will be tested for Covid-19 once a week.

UMass Dartmouth's spring semester starts Jan. 19, while UMass Law classes begin Jan. 4.