University of Chicago Hyde Park Campus

(Photography by John Zich)

Steps forward

As Autumn Quarter approaches during the COVID-19 pandemic, the University is making flexible plans for multiple scenarios.

Since March, when the COVID-19 pandemic caused the University to transition to remote learning for Spring Quarter, several working groups have been planning for the resumption of on-campus work and teaching with new health and safety measures in place to prevent the spread of the virus.

The working groups are taking into account a range of scenarios for Autumn Quarter, with flexibility to adjust as needed based on external conditions and trends in the pandemic. At press time, the University planned to hold Autumn Quarter classes both remotely and in person on an adjusted schedule and to provide undergraduate housing in University residence halls with reduced occupancy.

The groups’ planning is being done in close collaboration with public health experts and the University of Chicago Medicine, and is informed by guidance from the federal, state, and city governments. The University is also drawing on insights gained from the transition to remote learning and the housing of a limited number of students on campus during Spring Quarter. This summer a small number of research faculty and staff have also returned to campus, and UChicago Medicine has been open throughout the pandemic.

The University is asking members of the campus community to uphold a new commitment, called the UChicago Health Pact, to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to reinforce a shared culture of public health when returning to campus.

In addition to the UChicago Health Pact, everyone returning to campus must complete a short training program in advance and sign an electronic form affirming that they will comply with safety precautions.

“The health and safety requirements that we are adopting to minimize the spread of COVID-19 will necessitate a very different experience on campus than we have had in the past,” President Robert J. Zimmer and Provost Ka Yee C. Lee wrote in a June 30 message outlining the plans underway for Autumn Quarter. “But it is only through these steps and a shared commitment to maintaining public health that our return to campus this autumn is possible.”

For the most up-to-date details on Autumn Quarter plans and the University’s response to the pandemic, visit