Run-Down of Information for Fall 2020

A breakdown of available information about Fall 2020. This story will be updated as information becomes available. The Task Force on the Reopening of the Colgate Campus, chaired by Dean of the College Paul McLoughlin and Associate Professor of Biology Geoff Holm will be working on the fall and will reach a decision on the mode of fall instruction by June 30. The Task Force on Remote Instruction, chaired by Chief Technology Officer Niranjan Davray and Director of Colgate’s Center for Learning, Teaching, and Research James Watkins, will prepare for the possibility of remote instruction continuing into the fall semester. All COVID-19 related information can be found at this link. Updates from the Board of Trustees can be found at this link.


  • The fall semester will begin on August 27 and finish December 11, as planned.
    • A decision as to whether fall will begin online or in-person will be announced June 30.
  • Courses will have two grading periods that work similarly to semesters in terms of workload, evaluation and finals.
    • Period A: August – October
    • Period B: October – December
  • Two instructional periods will be added in the first two weeks of January and June 2021. These periods will offer flexibility for students who need it. 
    • January 4-15, 2021: This will be an instructional “flex” period for students to “reclaim elements.” Students will not take a full course during this period, rather make up lost time. 
    • June 9-30, 2021: Students can take a single course in “an intense block system” making up any credits students might miss due to coronavirus setbacks. This term will be remote if necessary.
  • Course offerings will be posted May 22 and registration will occur June 1-3.
  • All courses will have the capacity to be taken remotely for students who need it. 
  • Social distancing guidelines will be enforced in classrooms once classes return to an in-person format. 

Study Abroad:

  • All fall 2020 international study groups and one domestic group have been canceled.
    • Australia I, Cape Town, Madrid, Manchester, Singapore, Venice, Santa Fe and London Economics are canceled. Madrid and London Economics will most likely occur in spring 2021.
    • Approved programs have not yet been canceled but IFSA has canceled programs in New Zealand, Australia and South America, and CIEE has canceled programs in Senegal and Ghana
  • Students who planned to study off-campus in the fall will select housing during the housing lottery, even if their program has not yet been canceled. 


  • Existing housing placements will not change.
  • The housing lottery will occur:
    • June 8-12 for rising sophomores.
    • June 15-19 for rising juniors and seniors.



  • Students can take up to two online courses over the summer that will not count toward existing transfer course limits. 
    • These courses can come from any institution listed on this list but must be approved by the registrar. 
  • Summer research will move online and allow around 70 percent of student researchers to continue as planned.
  • Upstate Institute Summer Field School programs will occur remotely.


  • Graduation for the class of 2020 will occur Saturday, May 22 and Sunday, May 23, with a Torchlight ceremony and other celebrations.
    • A graduation Planning Committee has been assembled including members of the class of 2020 to plan the delayed ceremony. The list of individuals on the Planning Committee can be found on this website.

All information comes from emails to the community from Provost and Dean of the Faculty Tracey Hucks and Vice President and Dean of the College Paul J. McLoughlin and President Brian Casey on May 6 and previous Maroon-News reporting.