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Visit the Return to Campus page for graduate and professional students for the most up-to-date information about Vanderbilt's plans for fall.

Fall 2020 Academics

As part of the Vanderbilt Return to Campus Plan, we are welcoming all students back to in-person classes in the fall. By resuming in-person classes for students and faculty, we have the chance to be together on campus under the new conditions that the pandemic requires. 

Classes will be delivered differently, either in-person, online, or a hybrid, and some may be offered at non-traditional times, like evenings and weekends.

At Vanderbilt, connections and collaborative relationships push our scholarship, research, leadership and creative expression even further. The graduate and professional student experience at Vanderbilt not only allows students to connect with faculty experts in their chosen field, but also develop friendships and professional networks with their fellow students.

Fall registration/calendar dates

  • Registration for all graduate students is currently open through September 9.
  • In-person, on-campus classes will begin Monday, August 24 and will conclude Friday, November 20.
  • The final two weeks of the semester, including final exams, will occur remotely.
  • The semester ends Sunday, December 13.
New student orientation
  • Graduate School orientation for incoming students begins Monday, August 17, as online, self-paced modules in Brightspace.
  • Individual programs will contact students with information on their specific orientation requirements.


Fall 2020 - Health, Safety and Compliance

The Vanderbilt community has rigorously implemented a series of required guidelines to minimize spread of COVID-19 on campus. The university has gone to great lengths to address safety in buildings and classrooms, and to provide critical navigation guides so that you can traverse campus in the safest possible way. With us each making the conscious and conscientious decision to commit to the public health guidelines, out of respect for the health and wellbeing of our colleagues and friends and in the self-interest of the progress of your own research and scholarship, we can and will make the fall semester successful.

Acknowledgement Form

All members of the Vanderbilt community, including graduate students are required to complete the COVID-19 Return to Campus Acknowledgement prior to participating in any on-campus activities, including in-person classes, work, or research. The Acknowledgment explains the university’s guiding principles and related plans associated with the return to campus, describes certain guidelines and protocols that campus community members will be required to follow, and requests each person to confirm that they will cooperate to protect the health and safety of our campus community.

Symptom Monitoring

Campus-wide approaches to safety and the practice of physical distancing are important because individuals can be without symptoms and still be COVID-19 positive. Individuals who have been authorized to return to campus must conduct symptom monitoring every day before coming to campus. Daily symptom monitoring is mandatory and it is the individual’s responsibility to comply. It is our shared duty as a community to act responsibly. Graduate students must be free of ANY symptoms related to COVID-19 to be on campus or participate in activities on campus. 

To facilitate the ease of self-monitoring, install the VandySafe app and use the self-assessment symptom monitoring tool.  Having problems with the app?  Contact during business hours for assistance. 

You can also access the self-assessment tool by going to from a computer or laptop.

Classrooms and Campus Protocols
  • 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.
  • Students must wear appropriate face mask/covering while in public spaces on campus, including during class.
  • Students and faculty must be appropriately physically distanced in the classroom consistent with the university requirement of six feet of separation

Remember to follow the safety guidelines listed in Anchor Down. Step Up. 

  • Mask Up:  Wear a face mast/covering in public settings
  • Back Up:  Maintain six feet of physical distance from others, and avoid large gatherings
  • Wash Up: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer
  • Check Up:  Monitor yourself daily for COVID-19 symptoms

These protocols are just as important off campus and in your personal life as they are on campus and in your educational activities. We ask you to resolve to the continued commitment of responsible behaviors both on and off campus that will keep you and others as safe as possible.