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Syracuse University announces Aug. 24 start date for fall semester on-campus instruction

By Eric Reinhardt (


Syracuse University on Wednesday announced plans for an “accelerated” fall semester of on-campus instruction beginning Aug. 24 and ending as students leave campus for Thanksgiving break. After the break, review sessions, reading days, and final exams will be administered virtually. (Eric Reinhardt / CNYBJ)

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Syracuse University announced that on-campus instruction for its fall semester will begin Aug. 24.

The school is also planning to follow an “accelerated” academic calendar for the semester that would wrap up on-campus classes before the Thanksgiving break.

Syracuse notes its plan is “subject to continuing and further guidance from New York State and public health officials,” per a Wednesday letter to the university community posted on its news website.

The school contends the accelerated schedule allows it to provide in-person instruction “in a way that safeguards the health and safety of all members of our campus and the Central New York community.”

Fall-semester schedule

On-campus instruction will begin Aug. 24, and students living in on-campus housing will receive notification of their move-in date. Classes will conclude Nov. 24 and the semester will finish the following day when students leave campus for Thanksgiving break. Students won’t return to campus after their Thanksgiving break, but the academic activity will continue.

Between Nov. 30 and Dec. 9, review sessions, reading days, and final exams will be administered virtually, Syracuse said.

In order to fulfill academic requirements and comply with public-health guidance, the schedule will “likely necessitate” some additional Friday classes and some weekend classes, Syracuse said.

The school will also be asking faculty to revise teaching plans accordingly, and to be prepared to transition to online teaching “for anyone whose learning might be disrupted.” Syracuse also plans to offer most of its in-person classes “simultaneously in an online format to accommodate the individual health circumstances of our students and faculty.”

The schedule “reduces the risks and exposures” associated with travel to and from campus, and it prepares the school for the possibility of a second wave of COVID-19 cases, Syracuse said.

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