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Fall 2020 College of Science reopening

By Tamara Cissna

For the 2020-21 academic year, the College of Science is planning to resume in-person and on-campus learning to the extent that it is safe to do so. Our plans prioritize the health and safety of all members of our community while delivering a highly engaging and impactful educational experience. Our reopening plan outlines instructions for the safe reopening with modifications that enable physical distancing.

The plan follows the general guidelines in the University’s comprehensive resumption plan with modifications that fit our unique circumstances.

In the College of Science, there will be a mixture of onsite and remote delivery of services to reduce the number of people on campus. This is to maximize our community’s ability to practice physical distancing. All faculty, employees, students and visitors to campus are required to wear a face covering.

Which classes will be on-campus and which will be remote?

We are preparing to welcome students for several in-person instructional activities for fall term. Our phased resumption of classes and on-site activities prioritizes health and wellness. The determination of in-person vs. remote instruction is made not by course, but by sections of each course.

  • For class sections with enrollments 50 and below, instruction will be delivered with a mixture of remote and in-person learning. Some will be completely in person; some will be remote; and others will be offered in a hybrid mixture of in-person and remote activities.
  • Class sections with enrollments over 50 people will be delivered remotely.
  • The University’s Schedule of Classes lists what sections are remote versus in person. View schedule terminology here to learn search terms.
  • Class sections delivered in-person will, whenever possible, accommodate learners who need a remote option. Remote learning technology is being installed in many classrooms to accommodate this approach.
  • Face-to-face teaching for the fall term in Corvallis will end on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020. The final week of classes and fall term final exams and activities will be delivered remotely. This will prevent the need for students to return to campus after the Thanksgiving break, which will provide an additional measure of public health protection for students, faculty, staff and the Corvallis community.

Advising and student support

  • Advising in the College will primarily be offered remotely in fall. Limited in-person support will be provided when needed.
  • To limit the density of people in College of Science facilities, most administrative staff who can work remotely will continue to do so. Everyone with access to campus buildings will be required to comply with safety protocols.

Resuming research

Requests for essential travel should be made with the College travel form, which will be forwarded to Department Heads. The University is currently updating travel polices, so procedures could change in the near future. General questions about research and travel may be directed to

Our reopening plan involves carefully considered forecasts for this fall. As the situation evolves and more details roll out from state and local governments and the University, the plan will adjust accordingly. Both the University and College of Science resumption plans align with Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) Guidance for the Conduct of In-Person Instructional, Residential, and Research Activities at Oregon Colleges and Universities.

Naturally, the plan and our community’s shared safety depends on all of us – students, faculty and staff – continuing to pursue and promote a culture of care while protecting the health and well-being of all members of the OSU community.

The university has a comprehensive plan to support the health and safety of all members of the campus community. Visit the OSU COVID-19 Safety & Success website to learn more about what the university is doing to safeguard the health and safety of our community.


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