Novel coronavirus information

October 14, 2020

Most winter quarter courses to be offered remotely (Message to students)

This message was sent to all students at the University of Washington.

Dear Students,

We hope you’ve had a successful start to the academic year, regardless of where you are learning from. We know that having as much notice as possible is helpful to you in planning your academic path, so we are writing to give you an update on plans for winter quarter prior to the posting of the time schedule this Friday.

As mentioned at the Annual President’s Address on Monday, while we had hoped to offer more in-person courses this winter, we unfortunately do not expect significant improvement in the course of the pandemic by that time.

After consulting with the UW Advisory Committee on Communicable Diseases, as well as with student and academic leaders, we expect winter quarter to be similar to autumn quarter on all three campuses in terms of the number of courses taught remotely. Those courses held in person will generally be hands-on courses, such as clinical instruction, certain labs, and arts- and performance-based courses — always with appropriate safety measures and physical distancing in place.

All undergraduate, and most graduate, students continue to have the option to continue their academic progress through fully remote instruction. However, within UW Medicine and other graduate health sciences programs, for example, a large portion of instruction continues in person due to teaching and learning that must take place in hospitals and clinics.

The winter time schedule will be posted Oct. 16 and generally indicate whether classes will be taught remotely or in person, although some changes may occur as schools and colleges further refine their plans. Your academic advisors and course instructors can address any questions you may have.

We remain dedicated to providing you with an excellent education and look forward to the time when progress in stemming the pandemic means we can return to a more fully on-campus experience. Our faculty, teaching assistants and academic support staff are all committed to your success in your classes. And we’re equally committed to providing as many services — and as much of the college experience — as we can remotely, as well as to providing as many in-person activities and services as health guidelines allow.

Each of us has a role to play in stopping the spread of the novel coronavirus. We thank you for all the ways you’re doing your part, such as adhering to the Husky PACK Pledge, following the 3 W’s — Wear a mask. Wash your hands. Watch your distance. — and participating in Husky Coronavirus Testing.

As always, the most up-to-date information is on, which includes a summary of resources for students. UW Bothell, UW Tacoma and UW Medicine also have additional resources specific to their communities.

Together, through our individual actions and a concerted national and international effort, we can end this pandemic and return to a more normal way of living, learning and working. Thank you for the resilience and care for each other that you’ve shown throughout this pandemic, and best wishes for a successful autumn quarter.


Ana Mari Cauce
Professor of Psychology

Mark A. Richards
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
Professor of Earth and Space Sciences