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Fall 2020 Return to Campus Information for Undergraduates

This page was last updated August 10, 2020.


The information below applies to undergraduate engineering students for Fall 2020 academic instruction.

Student Travel Policy Update:

As always, please visit the university return to campus website for the most up-to-date information.


Students are required to stay in the Nashville area and not travel away from campus for weekend trips through the end of in-person classes on Friday, November 20. In extenuating circumstances (e.g., to receive medical treatment or to attend a family wedding or funeral), if a student decides that they must leave the Nashville area during the semester, the student must not attend in-person classes or other on-campus activities for 14 days after their return to Nashville and should limit personal contact with other Vanderbilt community members during that time. This is because travel to/from locations outside of Nashville and participating in events with individuals outside the Vanderbilt community can increase the risk of introducing the virus to the campus community. No refunds for tuition, housing costs, or other relevant fees will be issued if a student finishes the semester through online participation in coursework for any reason – including if a student chooses to leave Nashville for personal reasons after being on campus.

In addition, there will not be any University-sponsored travel during the fall semester, including for registered student organizations.

July 20 Community Update:

The information posted July 20 for undergraduates includes information on housing assignments, pre-arrival testing, post arrival testing, symptom monitoring, contact tracing, quarantine/isolation protocols, move-in information, classroom protocols, etc.

FAQ for International Students:

As additional information becomes available, ISSS will update  this page  accordingly. ISSS sent an email out to students letting them know it’s available. They also have expanded walk-in hours to include two morning blocks from 7-9 am, CT, on Tuesdays and Thursdays. 

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
  • All classes held remotely (all 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

You may opt to stay home and take all your classes remotely. More information is available on the university return to campus website. If you wish to choose this option, you must apply through YES between June 16 and June 26.

For engineering classes, the schedule may shift because the time between all Vanderbilt undergraduate classes will be longer. Also, there will be some changes in elective courses in the College of Arts and Science and Peabody College.

Updates for those already registered for fall courses may be made beginning July 22.

Learning Technology:

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 entering first year students in the School of Engineering will include both online and in person components just before classes start.  A schedule for this will be provided after the main university orientation timeline is determined.
  • Transfer student orientation will be conducted online in mid-August.  The schedule for this will be sent via email to your VU address.

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.

University-sponsored Travel for Undergraduates:

  • University-sponsored travel for undergraduate students outside of the greater Nashville area is prohibited during the fall 2020 semester.
    • This comports with the current university travel policy and its restrictions. It is also designed to be broad enough to cover UG student teaching and practicums as well as internships, course-based travel, Immersion experiences and possibly even Career Center-facilitated internships.
    • Vanderbilt UG students in the Nashville area for these purposes are still expected to comply with on-campus guidance OR a higher standard as determined by the travel destination or sponsoring faculty (but never less than VU protocols) regarding COVID-19 prevention.
    • The exception is UG student-athletes participating in SEC away games/competitions.  Please note that this travel occurs under highly supervised conditions including on-site availability of medical attention.