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Fall 2020 Return to Campus Information for Graduate and Professional Students

This page was last updated June 16, 2020.

The information below applies to graduate and professional engineering students for Fall 2020 on-campus and online academic instruction.


University Return to Campus website:

Please check this site regularly as information will be updated with the latest details.

Fall Calendar Dates:

  • Start date:  Monday, August 24                          
  • Fall Break: None
  • End date for in-person classes:  Friday, November 20
  • Thanksgiving Break: November 21-29
  • After Thanksgiving Break, all classes held remotely (online): Monday, November 30 - Friday, December 4
  • Last day of classes:  Friday, December 4
  • Reading days and final exams (all online): Saturday, December 5 - Sunday, December 13

Fall Registration:

  • Registration for continuing graduate and professional students closes Monday, July 8, at 11:59 p.m.
    • It is essential that you register by July 8 so we can plan our classroom needs. Class caps may be adjusted, and not registering by July 8 may result in you being unable to get in a particular class.
    • This date differs from prior years. If you typically register yourself, do so by this date.
    • If you are registered by your program, please coordinate with the appropriate office.
  • After the initial close date, the Graduate School will communicate any specific or course-related adjustments to students by late July.
  • Registration resumes near the beginning of the semester (date TBA) and remains open through the start of the fall semester.
  • Registration for new and transfer graduate and professional students also will open just prior to the semester start. (date TBA)

Acknowledgment Form:

  • Students will be required to complete an acknowledgment form prior to returning for fall classes. Links to this acknowledgment will be distributed to you by email.

New Student Orientation:

  • Orientation for incoming graduate students will consist of online modules that students can address at their own pace prior to the start of the semester.
  • Orientation for incoming engineering graduate and professional students is TBA.

TA and RA Information:

  • TA orientation for graduate students who will be TA’s is offered by the Center for Teaching (online, tentative dates are August 17-19).
  • Anyone serving as a Teaching Assistant or Research Assistant during the fall semester should be expect to be on campus and ready to take on their responsibilities starting on August 17. 

International Students:

  • International students, who are not able to get to the U.S. or to Nashville by the start of the fall semester (August 24) due to visa or travel issues, should contact the Director of Graduate Studies in their program as soon as possible.

Research Ramp up:

Physical Distancing on Campus:

  • To practice physical distancing and other requirements for health and safety, students will sit farther apart and will wear masks or face coverings in classrooms. Faculty and teaching assistants also will adopt appropriate public health safety methods.
  • Course schedules may include some evening and weekend classes, a blend of virtual and alternative and in-person learning, and other approaches.
  • All courses will have options for delivery through virtual and alternative platforms to provide for students who cannot return to campus due to travel restrictions or health risks, and for those students who need to be in self-isolation or quarantine during the semester.