Novel coronavirus information

March 18, 2020

UW spring quarter classes will be held remotely (Message to students)

This message was sent to students on all University of Washington campuses.

Dear Students,

Today we are announcing our path forward for spring quarter 2020. Thank you, again, for your perseverance and goodwill as we navigate difficult, uncertain and rapidly changing times in our country and the world.

Classes and instruction to be offered remotely throughout spring quarter

Spring quarter will begin as scheduled on March 30, with remote instruction that will continue through the end of the quarter. As country-wide social distancing requirements continue to increase and evolve daily, we believe this is the best course of action for reducing uncertainty and anxiety and establishing a reliable, high-quality method of instruction and academic progress for UW students through the spring.

At the outset of the quarter, you and your instructors will work together to establish class norms for teaching and learning remotely. They will offer a grace period with no written assignments due in the first week. Your instructors will also connect you with resources to support this transition, including online advising to support your questions about academic progress. As important, we will be developing online resources focusing on wellness and on how to maintain community and prevent isolation as we work together virtually to cope with the challenges of this ongoing public health crisis. Our faculty, staff and student leadership are here to help you both with your continued academic success and with new ways to engage in this uncharted chapter of your UW education.

The quarter will end as scheduled, after final exams conclude on June 12, 2020.

We recognize the nature of some courses precludes their being offered online due to the experiential nature of the content, or lack of access to required materials. We will be flexible with shifts in your schedule and hope to increase course offerings over the summer and fall to ensure access to classes required to meet major requirements. We will also provide, as much as possible, flexibility in requirements to support those nearing graduation, so as not to impede your post-graduation plans or opportunities. You can expect to hear more from your college or department soon about these and other issues. We also understand you likely have many questions. We have created a page with answers to many key questions about spring quarter and will be updating that frequently. Online student support services for advising, financial aid, libraries, counseling and career services will be available, and staffing adjustments are underway to expand our service capabilities. There will be no change in financial aid for full-time students enrolled in spring quarter who qualify for and planned to receive it.

It’s important to note that while there are many other practical details to attend to as we transition to a remote environment, a UW education, whether delivered in-person or online, is still an excellent UW education. Our faculty and staff are welcoming this quarter with a spirit of innovation and exploration, drawing on their scholarly and instructional expertise to create an active, engaging and experiential learning experience for students. We fully expect that for graduate and undergraduate students alike, research, vigorous inquiry, meaningful projects and a variety of programs and offerings will continue – online, but with the same creativity and commitment to quality that they do in person.

Housing, dining and campus operations

We expect that most students who returned home prior to spring break will remain there, and we encourage that. Housing and Food Services will send additional information directly to all students who currently have housing agreements with the University. We will provide those students with ample time to retrieve your possessions to ensure you have a smooth transition process.

Our residence halls, along with limited dining services, remain available to students who need to reside on campus. All students who remain in campus housing will be required to stay in residence halls or apartments with private bathrooms to limit shared hygienic spaces and encourage social distancing. As mentioned, more information will be sent directly to all students who currently have housing agreements with the university.

For those who do live on or near campus and wish to access campus services, modified operations will be in place. We continue to encourage all employees who can perform their work remotely to telework as per public health guidance. Those offices that remain open will have limited operations that minimize in-person interaction.

Thank you for your patience, flexibility and dedication to your education. We understand how profoundly disruptive and disappointing this crisis is to your academic and campus experience, and we share your sadness and appreciate your sacrifice on behalf of those who are most susceptible to this virus. We also recognize that the loss of in-person community and remote learning can feel socially isolating, and we encourage you to reach out and stay connected. Be assured that we will do the same.

As we deal with so much uncertainty, there is one thing about which I am certain – even from afar, we are a part of a great Husky family. Together, we will come through this, stronger, wiser and more deeply connected than ever before.


Ana Mari Cauce
Professor of Psychology