Top 100 US universities and their plans for 2020

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The COVID pandemic has definitely ruined most of the arrangements we’ve made for this year. Now that the winter and spring semesters are over, every student is asking the same question—what are we going to do in the fall? Chances are that most of us will be able to return to living and/or studying on campus, or will very soon start as freshmen in the newly reopened colleges. However, each educational institution seems to have its own course of action for the next semester. Here are some important updates on the operation statuses of the most popular centers of academia in the country.

Plenty of colleges are starting to function both online and on campus

About 20% of the largest academic institutions in the US have decided to implement a hybrid system of studying. It means you can either take classes on campus or enroll in some online courses to continue pursuing your degree. In fact, the institutions will encourage their students to do both so as to prevent spreading the disease and keep up with the curriculum. See how the best American universities are working towards becoming as flexible as possible for their students:

Universities that have a hybrid system of teaching classes

Image taken from Microsoft Power BI

American River College. This community college in Sacramento, California, has already expanded the number of Pass/Fail courses available for students online. The school is looking forward to resuming in-person classes and going back to normal operations, but their Fall Class Schedule is already adapted for studying online.

Boston University. This institution is getting ready to work on campus as soon as this summer. BU intends to welcome many of their students back in several re-entry phases that will take physical distancing and other safety precautions into account. However, online classes will also take place in the fall.

Colorado State University, Fort Collins. For now, Colorado State University is operating online, but educators intend to preserve as much on-campus interaction as possible. All the courses will be available remotely, but labs, studios, and freshmen classes will take place offline. The academic day will be expanded till 8pm, and Saturday classes will be added if necessary.

Georgia State University. This university is waiting to receive guidelines from the Georgia Department of Public Health before continuing on-campus classes in the fall. As for the summer semester, it is being fully held online with only a few exceptions.

Houston Community College. Like many others, Houston is well-prepared to continue working online and to combine it with offline classes once the situation with COVID improves. Online classes for the fall semester will take place on schedule, and students can choose to combine them with on-campus events offered by the college.

Indiana University, Bloomington. The university has discontinued some of its services, while others are available online. In the fall, the school is planning to schedule some on-campus classes in a very limited capacity.

Ivy Tech Community College. This school will certainly offer traditional classes in the fall semester, starting on August 24. The tech college is encouraging students to make as much of a transition to online studying as they can. This will be necessary to provide an adequate amount of social distancing for those studying on campus.

North Carolina State University at Raleigh. NC State is attempting to provide maximum safety to their students, and for that reason, the fall semester will start on August 10. Most of the campus community is expected to have returned to its usual functionality by then.

Palm Beach State College. Instead of closing its campuses for the summer term, PBSC is providing assistance within compressed workweeks (Monday to Thursday) until August 17. The fall courses will be scheduled both online and offline.

Pennsylvania State University, Main Campus. Penn State is ready to have their students and staff back on campus this summer. Their return will be organized into several phases. For the fall semester, the university will provide maximum safety precautions. Online courses and flexible options will be available to those who need them.

Rutgers University, New Brunswick. Rutgers campus is staying open throughout the summer, and the administration plans on reinforcing safety measures to let students safely come back in the fall. However, the campus capacity will decrease, and not everyone will be able to attend classes in person.

San Diego State University. SDSU is ready to offer on-campus activities for students, but they will be cut to the minimum. The majority of students are expected to take online classes according to the university curriculum.

Tarrant County College District. TCC is currently trying to arrange a transition to online services for as many students as possible. Fall classes will mostly be held online, with very few exceptions.

Texas Tech University. The university intends to move a great deal of its curriculum online, however, activities such as performance studios and science labs will continue functioning on campus. Student visits and offline interactions will be limited during the fall semester.

University of Colorado, Boulder. CU is working to improve its efficiency in providing flexible online-based courses. Students will be welcome back on campus for the fall semester, starting August 24. The fall break will be shortened, and the semester will be over soon after Thanksgiving.

University of Nevada, Las Vegas. During the COVID outbreak, the university has fully transitioned to remote work. Nevertheless, the majority of courses are expected to take place in the form of in-person instruction. A few courses will be available online.

University of South Carolina, Columbia. The university is about to resume their activity on August 20. They will have no fall break this semester. Thanksgiving weekend will be the time for in-person instruction.

University of Texas at Austin. UT is about to announce the expected date of its campus reopening. In the meantime, the administration is completing safety requirements for students who will keep learning on campus.

University of Washington, Seattle Campus. The UW is planning a safe return to offline studying this fall. Though the university is used to traditional learning, there will be a few online courses for remote students.

University of Wisconsin, Madison. Their campus will be open for the fall semester on September 2. For now, the university is successfully functioning online, and a flexible schedule will be developed by autumn.

Utah Valley University. Like many others, this school aims to do their best with moving most of their classes into online mode. In-person learning will take place with consideration towards CDC recommendations.

Virginia Commonwealth University. Virginia Commonwealth has announced the start of the fall semester on August 17. The university aims at the better implementation of existing online courses for more efficient remote studying.

Best institutions that are going to keep teaching in-person

17 universities from our “Top 100” list plan on opening their doors to a limited number of students this fall. It’s most likely that their system will turn hybrid as well, however, these institutions aim to provide residential living and in-person classes to as many students as possible, taking into account the COVID situation.

Universities that teach offline

Image taken from Microsoft Power BI

Broward College. Because of the bad epidemic situation in the county, Broward College has decided to move almost all of its courses online, but its campuses will be open to teach programs in allied health sciences, arts, auto and marine, nursing, and public safety as exceptions.

Kent State University at Kent. While the summer semester is being fully-operated online, Kent State is getting ready to open its campuses for the fall semester, starting in August and ending before Thanksgiving, after which the university will go online again.

Liberty University. With all the proper protection measures, the university is planning to resume in-person instruction for on-campus students on August 24.

Lone Star College. One of the largest colleges in the country will welcome its students on campus for the fall semester starting August 24.

Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical. Like many others, LSU will gradually return to normal functioning in 3 phases. The fall semester starts as planned (August 24), but students will skip fall holidays and won’t return to campus after Thanksgiving.

Northern Arizona University. NAU will make an early start towards opening its campuses for the fall semester on August 12. A common practice this year, the semester will finish before Thanksgiving.

Oregon State University. OSU will open campuses and residential living for students in the fall, however, fewer people will be able to attend classes in person to maintain the necessary distancing.

Purdue University, Main Campus. Purdue offers flexible hybrid options to protect its students during the fall semester. Courses have now been redesigned and adapted for online learners. The campus will be open for in-person instructions.

Salt Lake Community College. SLCC is a large academic community that is still aiming to get as many students as they can host with all the COVID precautions in place. Here, the fall semester starts on August 25.

Texas A & M University, College Station. Despite the fall semester coming as planned, both the schedule and classroom instruction will be modified at the university during that time. Classes will begin on August 19.

Texas State University. Texas State is resuming in-person learning on July 6 and for the fall semester as well. A plan to create a safe on-campus environment is currently being developed.

University of Arizona. Like many educational establishments are doing this year, the university will be open for the fall semester starting on August 24. Studying will continue online after the Thanksgiving break.

University of Florida. UF is also currently working on their fall semester reopening plan, and all students are welcome to leave their comments. Their fall semester begins on August 31.

University of Houston. The university is providing extensive opportunities for remote learning until it’s safe to return to campus. The deadline for domestic freshman applications has been extended to July 17.

University of Iowa. This is another university starting the fall semester on August 24 and shifting to remote learning after Thanksgiving. The finals will take place online as well.

University of South Florida, Main Campus. The campus is getting ready to reopen for the fall semester. After the Thanksgiving break, the remaining classes and final examination will take place online.

University of Utah. This university has several different scenarios for operation in fall 2020. Most likely, it will be a hybrid system with online classes and some in-person learning.

Top universities oriented towards providing online classes, only

As the outbreak of COVID-19 is lasting for longer than expected, students are turning their attention to universities that function online by default. We have included the best ones in our list as well. In this section, you can also see a few universities that normally work offline but are going almost fully online this fall.

Universities teaching online in 2020

Image taken from Microsoft Power BI

American Public University System. American Military University and American Public University provide online programs by default, so you can easily continue studying military or public service in quarantine. Having arranged a virtual commencement ceremony to celebrate the graduation of the class of 2020, APUS is fully equipped to keep operating remotely.

Ashford University. As an accredited online university, Ashford offers more than 60 bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees to earn remotely. Courses last for 5-6 weeks, and classes start on July 7.

Capella University. This establishment teaches 100% of their classes online. Capella offers diverse schedules and flexible payment plans, both of which can be very important in the COVID-affected world.

California State University, (Long Beach, Northridge, and Sacramento). California State University has decided to move to providing remote instruction until the epidemic situation improves sufficiently. A few in-person classes will take place, but campuses in Long Beach, Northridge, and Sacramento aim to work with the majority of their students online.

Excelsior College. Excelsior is another place to get an online degree as fast as you need. Remote courses start every 8 weeks, and you can finish the courses faster or start with more credit to make your tuition cheaper.

Purdue Global, Davenport Campus. This university works online by default and offers interactive, user-friendly learning. Flexible schedules are perfect for busy, working students. Here, you can take an introductory Purdue Global undergraduate program for three weeks, paying no money beyond the application fee.

Santa Monica College. This institution has announced that it is moving its 3,000 class sections planned for the fall semester online. You can still access university services remotely and continue working to earn your degree.

Walden University. Walden currently teaches 52,000 students across the globe. This accredited online university has been operating for more than 50 years and can be seen as a great studying prospect in times of epidemics.

Western Governors University. If you are interested in studying at your own pace without being tied to class time or number of credits, consider looking into Western Governors University. This affordable institution offers flexible online degrees in business, health and nursing, teaching, and IT.

High-rank educational institutions with no decision on their operations this fall

It won’t be a surprise if we say that almost a half of the colleges and universities that deserve an applicant’s attention are still undecided about how they will operate in the fall semester. Their final statements on the matter will be made throughout the summer, but there is a great chance that any university you are interested in will keep you safe and sound through online learning. Many institutions are inclined to implementing a hybrid system of studying.

Institutions that are deciding how to work in quarantine

Image taken from Microsoft Power BI

If you haven’t decided where to submit your application yet, consider these institutions as well:

Arizona State University, Tempe. ASU plans to bring students back on campus for the fall semester starting August 20, but you should stay tuned for further updates.

Austin Community College District. The college is still in the process of planning its return to campus, however, most classes will likely be held online in the fall.

Brigham Young University (Idaho and Provo campuses). Both branches intend to return to campus and implement hybrid classes to meet all the necessary CDC recommendations.

California State University, Fullerton. One of the largest campuses of CSU has not announced the date for students’ return just yet, but hopefully we will be able to enjoy its famous academic and sports opportunities soon.

College of Southern Nevada. CSN currently remains closed, and no arrangements about the fall semester have been announced. If you are interested in gaining admission, check their update page.

Collin County Community College District. Сlasses are currently scheduled to be in-person, however, the campus may decide to change to a hybrid or online format.

East Los Angeles College. ELAC has given no specific information about the fall semester at this time. Regardless, the college has all the necessary means to keep functioning online.

Florida Atlantic University. FAU has compiled a long and detailed plan on reopening their campus, but no dates have been announced yet. The university is relatively well-equipped to teach in-person classes.

Florida International University. FIU has announced that it will be teaching both online and in-person classes. The fall semester starts on August 24.

Florida State University. Students are welcome to come back to campus in August as well. FSU intends to schedule in-person classes according to the required safety recommendations.

George Mason University. A mix of in-person instructions and online classes is expected this fall in GMU. The semester will start on August 24.

Grand Canyon University. GCU is implementing a blended model that will allow only 50% of students to attend classes in person. Studying after Thanksgiving will go fully online.

Harvard University. Harvard is currently planning its reopening. The university also encourages students to consider their online courses and to enroll in getting remote instructions this fall.

Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis. IUPUI has decided to offer a hybrid system of studying. Make sure you have the technical capabilities to take online classes here.

Iowa State University. Fall classes begin on August 17 at Iowa State. Lectures will be taught online while small classes will take place in-person.

Kennesaw State University. The university plans to return to campus for the fall semester, however, you should be ready to take online classes if you enroll.

Michigan State University. This is another institution planning to bring its students back to campus in fall. Get ready to wear masks and keep your distance from your peers every day.

New York University. NYU has had almost no difficulties teaching classes remotely this summer, so you should prepare for getting more online instruction during the fall semester.

Northern Virginia Community College. NOVA is still thinking about how to arrange their fall classes best. Going back to campus life is extremely important to their students and faculty members.

Ohio State University, Main Campus. Like many universities, Ohio State is ready to resume in-person classes this fall. Some online learning is also expected.

South Texas College. STC is returning to campus and starts classes on August 24.

Southern New Hampshire University. This institution has decided to extend remote learning through the fall semester in order not to put students at risk.

Temple University. Temple is planning to return to campus in the fall, with all the necessary precautions and safety measures.

University at Buffalo. The university is getting back on campus with a modified in-person format. Face-to-face classes will be mixed with online instruction.

University of Alabama. UA is planning to return to campus life as well, however, no dates have been announced yet.

University of California (Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, San Diego). UC intends to resume in-person classes on all campuses, however, this option will be limited to only those students who cannot study online.

University of Central Florida. UCF is currently planning a safe return to campus. Classes will likely take place both in-person and online.

University of Cincinnati, Main Campus. The fall term will start on August 24. The university is going to blend online and in-person classes to ensure safety on campus.

University of Georgia. UG is currently preparing to bring students and staff back to campus, so stay tuned for further updates.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. A mix of in-person and remote classes is expected this time at the University of Illinois. The fall semester starts on August 24.

University of Kentucky. This institution is about to start teaching in-person classes on August 17. The semester will end before Thanksgiving.

University of Maryland. UM is currently functioning as an online university. You can choose one of 90 programs to start on August 19 remotely.

University of Massachusetts, Amherst. The university reopens for the fall semester on August 24. Still, almost all courses will be also taught online.

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Fall classes will be taught in different formats here. It will be possible for part of the student population to return to studying on campus. With no fall break, classes will end on November 20.

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. The university will reopen its campus and residence halls for the fall semester. Classes will be taught on campus and online.

University of Missouri, Columbia. Fall classes here are starting in person on August 24. Further adjustments will be made if necessary.

University of North Texas. UNT also plans on reopening its campus and providing as many classes in-person as possible while taking safety rules into account.

University of Phoenix, Arizona. The university is likely to continue giving online instructions, taking into account the negative COVID situation.

University of Southern California. In-person classes will resume in August, but students are encouraged to enroll in online courses.

University of Texas at Arlington. The UTA community is expecting to return to campus in August.

Valencia College. Most courses here will remain online with only a few exceptions taking place in-person.

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. The fall semester will take place on campus through in-person learning starting on August 24.

Washington State University. The WSU community is getting back to campus in August, so expect a blend of in-person and online classes.

As you can see, plenty of universities are becoming totally flexible. You can choose to apply and study on campus, or remain at home and take online classes at almost any high-ranking American school. No damage will be done to your degree if you choose not to return to campus. Therefore, take care of your health, and stay tuned for further updates from your institution.

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Mark is a pro in education and science. He writes about opportunities for studying in the best schools across the US and abroad. Also, Mark is a devoted sociologist always ready to explain the latest trends in the community.