Skip to main content

Expectations for an In-Person Fall 2021

August 6, 2021

A Message from Dean Cooley

Copied to: DGSs; Chairs; Registrars
In this message: Fall semester in person for all; mask and vaccination policies; Teaching Fellow expectations

Dear graduate students,

As Fall 2021 approaches, you may have questions about what to expect at the start of the new semester, especially as COVID-19 Delta variant cases are on the rise. The good news is that approximately 85% of staff, 82% of faculty, and 85% of students at Yale are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and have reported their vaccination status. We expect these numbers to increase still, as more students, faculty, and staff members continue to complete the vaccination and registration processes.

This fall semester will be in person for both teaching and learning, with policies in place to promote public safety and health:

Vaccination and testing
Vaccinating against COVID-19 remains the most important public health action we can take towards protecting our community. If you have not yet submitted your vaccination documentation, you must fulfill this requirement immediately in order to be allowed on campus or to register for classes.

In-person teaching and learning
All enrolled students must return to campus for in-person learning in the fall. While instructors may make short-term, individual arrangements for remote instruction for students who are in quarantine, isolation, or are experiencing a short-term delay due to immigration requirements, they may not approve such arrangements for a period of more than two weeks. Teaching during the fall 2021 semester will take place in person, on campus. Fall semester classes begin on September 1.

There will be no remote Teaching Fellows during the fall term. All TFs are expected to be in residence in the New Haven area when classes begin and teaching in person, whether as section leaders or grader/tutors. Instructors may not make ad hoc hybrid or remote arrangements with their TFs. TFs who must isolate or quarantine during the semester should contact their instructor and the Teaching Fellow Office to arrange accommodations:

Masks in classrooms
Since August 2 university policy has required that all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, wear masks in indoor campus spaces. We do not yet know if masks will still be required by the time classes begin.

Expectations for lecture and seminar courses
Both lecture courses and seminars are expected to meet in person. Transparent masks, which may facilitate conversation and communication in seminars, will be provided to both faculty and students on request.

Alert level
In anticipation of faculty, staff and students returning to campus, the university has temporarily raised the current alert level to yellow as of August 9, as it did this time last year.

As you know, public health conditions are fluid and the policies outlined here are subject to change, which may occur rapidly. I will continue to alert you to any policy changes that could affect your teaching or research activities as soon as possible. For now, I look forward to seeing you on campus again very soon.

With best wishes for Fall 2021,
Lynn Cooley 

Dean, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
C.N.H. Long Professor of Genetics
Professor of Cell Biology and of Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology