In-Person Instruction Returns in Fall 2021

We at USF can’t wait to see you on campus in the fall. Classrooms, offices, and residence halls have been set up to best protect students, faculty, and staff. To help the whole community stay safe, we will follow the procedures and protocols set forth by health officials.

Please use this site as your single source for all announcements and actions related to in-person instruction this fall. And please note that all plans are subject to change.

Fall 2021 Campus Reopening FAQ

Course Delivery

We have several tools that will help us remain safe and healthy while resuming the in-person campus experience. An expanded schedule has been created for fall 2021 to allow courses that would normally meet during congested times to meet earlier in the morning, later in the evenings, or on Saturdays. The temporary change to the schedule will allow us to both reduce foot traffic that would impact offices and provide more options for identifying space for in-person courses. Campus services necessary to meet this expanded schedule will also make key adjustments.

We have also invested in new hyflex (hybrid-flexible) classrooms, portable equipment, and faculty training initiatives. We will be able to accommodate cohort models in which different groups of students join classes in-person on specific days, while participating remotely (either synchronously or asynchronously) on other days. Several non-academic spaces have been converted to classrooms and we are also studying the possibility of conducting classes outside. Deans will be able to make adjustments to course modalities for pandemic-related reasons during the transitional fall 2021 semester. Finally, faculty, librarians, and staff who are unable to teach and work in-person for documented medical reasons will be able to request an accommodation through the Office of Human Resources.

  • In-Person Socially Distanced Instruction is what we call formats in which a class meets on-campus in-person for every class session.
  • Hybrid instruction is what we call formats in which a class consists of a mixture of on-campus in-person and remote/online learning.
    1. The class does not meet on-campus every session. Some instructors may choose to deliver remote/online sessions through remote synchronous meetings (e.g., via Zoom) or through asynchronous work for all students in the class.
    2. The instructor is on campus for every class session. Half of the students in the class meet in-person on one set of days (cohort A) while the other half of the students in the class (cohort B) are asynchronous. The cohorts switch for the next class session. Like HyFlex instruction, the instructor always holds classes in-person for at least half of the class.

      Generally, curriculum content in hybrid courses is delivered less than 50%, but more than 0%, through remote/online learning and at least 50% of curriculum content is learned through on-campus in-person instruction. For fall 2021 only, up to 50% of instruction may be delivered through remote/online learning.
  • HyFlex instruction is what we call formats in which a class meets on-campus in-person for every class session, with synchronous remote participation for some students.
  • Remote instruction is what we call formats in which a course is taught basically the same way it can be as an in-person course, but every class session is delivered remotely with synchronous meetings (e.g., via Zoom). There could be some additional asynchronous learning. Emergency remote is a form of remote instruction that is implemented quickly in response to an emergency situation.
  • Online instruction is what we call formats in which a course has been designed (and approved) specifically to be taught completely online, primarily through asynchronous learning with some synchronous elements.

USF plans to resume substantially in-person curricular offerings in the fall 2021 semester. More than 70 percent of courses in the fall course schedule feature some in-person element, including traditional in-person instruction, hybrid, and HyFlex.

Possibly. If the situation with COVID-19, including vaccines, changes, or if public health guidance requires a change to our fall plans, we will quickly adjust. We are committed to communicating our plans as early as possible to all members of our community. While we cannot predict with certainty what USF will look like in the months ahead, we have made informed plans, are in regular communication with public health officials and other experts, and are prepared to adjust our plans as necessary based on the course of the pandemic and the availability of COVID-19 vaccines.

Deans are working with their faculty on options for students who must continue online, including offering remote sections of courses and the ability to join an in-person class remotely, also known as “hyflex” technology.

COVID-19 Prevention

USF is aligned with state and local guidance as we proceed with our previously announced phased reopening and a return to in-person instruction. As of June 15, there are no capacity limits in campus buildings and no physical distancing requirements. In addition, on June 25, the university announced that it will align with state and Cal/OSHA guidance and no longer require face coverings for fully vaccinated individuals on campus, whether indoors or outdoors. Details on this updated guidance and protocols is detailed in the June 25 announcement.

To open safely this fall, USF following state and local public health guidance and is building upon current COVID-19 safety measures, including vaccinations, cleaning and disinfecting procedures, hygiene practices, symptom monitoring, and more. Classes, residence halls, and dining facilities have been set up to best protect students, faculty, and staff using the above guidelines. While we cannot predict with certainty what USF will look like in the months ahead, we have made informed plans, are in regular communication with public health officials and other experts, and are prepared to adjust our plans and procedures as necessary based on the course of the pandemic and the availability of COVID-19 vaccines.

The University of San Francisco will require all undergraduate and graduate students and all faculty and staff employees to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 for fall 2021. The requirement will go into effect at the start of the fall semester on Aug. 24. Vaccines are crucial to having a safe, healthy environment at USF and in our broader community. We encourage all students, faculty, and staff to get a vaccine as soon as possible. Read more about the vaccine requirement for students and for faculty and staff.

USF is targeting regular double occupancy in residence halls for academic year 2021–22. Triples will not be an option at this time to help ensure safety and maintain health and safety protocols, as outlined by the city and county public health officials.

We are continuously assessing testing procedures as vaccinations become more available and as testing requirements change based on vaccination rollout.

In addition to testing, USF will rely upon students’ self-monitoring of symptoms to limit the transmission of the virus. Students will self-monitor and report the presence or absence of symptoms of COVID-19 every day, beginning on the first day of return to campus. Students will self-report symptoms through the Dons Health Check online survey. All students must remain at home or in a designated isolation space if they test positive for COVID-19. 

The university is considering a number of options in regards to testing different segments of the USF community as needed. All testing plans and protocols will comply with San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) guidance for institutions of higher education. Residential students who self-disclose symptoms will be sent an in-home test kit to take and be mailed by the university.

Unvaccinated students arriving from outside of California to live in on-campus housing are expected to quarantine for 10 days. Students living in on-campus housing will quarantine either in their unit or in a room designated for quarantine as the situation dictates.  Quarantine accommodations will be provided for the 10 days prior to any orientation activities or the start of classes. While in quarantine, meal delivery service will be available. 

Unvaccinated students arriving from outside of California and living off-campus are required to quarantine for 10 days. They may quarantine in their off-campus residence. 

Fully vaccinated students will not need to quarantine.

Despite the many steps USF is taking to prevent the transmission of the virus, the presence and transmission of COVID-19 on campus is likely, if not inevitable, during the ongoing pandemic. Therefore, the university has developed protocols for contact tracing, isolating people who contract COVID-19, and helping people who become exposed to COVID-19 to self-quarantine.

  • Students who are diagnosed with COVID-19 will be required to isolate. Students living on campus will isolate in a self-contained space designated by USF and students residing off campus will isolate off campus.
  • Students who are diagnosed with COVID-19 will be asked to provide information about other people with whom they have been in close contact during the time when they may have been infectious and able to transmit the virus.
  • Campus isolation or quarantine procedures will likely require students to move to a different residence for the isolation or quarantine period. USF will provide food meal drop off, and trash pickup, and health and wellness monitoring for students isolating or quarantining.

For those who believe they qualify for an accommodation to their work, as required by law, USF will engage in the interactive process to determine if accommodations are necessary, reasonable, and feasible. The process for requesting an accommodation is detailed on myUSF. This process will determine if a reasonable accommodation can be made to remove barriers so the employee can perform the essential functions of their job. The objective of the process is to remove obstacles that keep employees from performing their jobs. Employees who want to explore this process can contact

If you would like to view the complete Facilities Planning Guide (PDF file), contact the Facilities Management team.

As part of a phased reopening of the USF campus, the Koret Center is slated to reopen to external community members on Monday, July 19 (complying with all public health guidance effective as of this date). Koret will have a soft opening for USF students, faculty, and staff beginning Thursday, July 15. One month prior to reopening, the Koret website will be updated with information on facility hours, pool hours, access, capacity limits (if applicable), reservation requirements (if applicable), safety/cleaning protocols, rules/policies, masking/physical distancing, locker rooms/showers, programming, services, and more.