On June 3, 2020, six Harvard graduate and professional schools announced that they would continue conducting classes online at least through the Fall semester due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic and the possibility of new quarantines should there be a resurgence of the disease. This brings the total number of Harvard students who will be learning remotely this Fall to more than 6,000.
Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) announced it would offer a “fully online experience” for the entire academic year. HGSE Dean Bridget Terry Long comments, “Our decision largely centers on continued disruptions to residential learning in the wake of COVID-19. In addition to the strong likelihood of intermittent periods of quarantine (orders to remain at home), we expect distancing measures will need to be in place through the entire academic year to continue to mitigate the spread of the virus. This scenario presents many challenges and likely multiple interruptions to an on-campus program, which would result in a severely altered experience that could compromise the HGSE learning experience.”
Five other schools – the Divinity School, Graduate School of Design, Harvard Kennedy School, Law School, and T.H. Chan School of Public Health – plan to extend their current practice of remote teaching through the rest of the calendar year. They join the Harvard School of Dental Medicine and Harvard Medical School, which announced in May that they would utilize remote classes for incoming medical and dental students in the Fall, but hoped to hold “in-person research and clinical experiences for our returning medical and graduate students.” Schools’ administrators said they were announcing their decisions now so that students would have enough time to plan for the coming months.
Harvard Business School and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, which includes Harvard College, the Division of Continuing Education, and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, have not yet announced plans for the Fall semester. Provost Alan Garber, in an April message to the Harvard community, confirmed that Harvard would be open in the Fall, but said that each school would determine its own approach to courses, programs, and activities for the term.
For more information about how Harvard is handling COVID-19, visit the school Web site.
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