Provost details how campus will (mostly) return to normal in the fall

July 2, 2021, 4:52 p.m.

Stanford plans to return to nearly full in-person instruction this fall, Provost Persis Drell and Associate Vice Provost for Environmental Health and Safety Russell Furr announced in a comprehensive Thursday email outlining the University’s fall plans.

“With the return to higher density, campus safety will require continued vigilance,” Drell and Furr wrote.

Among the academic changes slated for fall are a return to “normal seating capacity without physical distancing” in classrooms and the official expiration of 2020-21’s special academic policies, including the option to take classes on a credit/no credit grading basis.

The announcement comes as the University attempts to encourage members of the Stanford community to get vaccinated and continues to roll back requirements for those currently on campus.

The University is prioritizing classroom space for course-related activities like lectures, discussion sections, office hours and exams and has outlined a revised classroom meeting pattern for course scheduling. Departmental functions such as guest speakers, thesis defenses, faculty and staff meetings and program activities will likely take place online unless they do not conflict with classroom needs, Drell and Furr wrote.

Unvaccinated students, faculty, staff and postdoctoral scholars will be required to undergo regular COVID-19 testing. The University wrote that they are still determining whether there will be any testing requirements for fully vaccinated students.

Libraries and recreational and arts facilities will be open and allow fully vaccinated individuals inside without masks in most instances. Stanford Live will resume in-person events at Bing Concert Hall Main Stage, Bing Studio and Frost Amphitheater at full capacity.

In addition, Drell and Furr outlined the following changes:

  • Beginning Sept. 1, Stanford will relax restrictions on visiting student researchers, scholars and other non-matriculated students.
  • The Bing Overseas Studies Program will restart activities in the fall and operate throughout the year.
  • Beginning July 15, the University will relax domestic and international travel restrictions on graduate students, staff, postdoctoral scholars and faculty who are fully vaccinated.
  • The University plans to announce more specific information related to international student travel to campus soon on the Bechtel International Center website.
  • The deadline for undergraduate students to confirm their vaccination status or seek an exemption is July 23. The deadline for graduate and professional students is July 30.

Sam Catania ’24 is the Volume 262 Editor in Chief of The Daily. Previously, he was Chief Technology Officer, the producer of the weekly video roundup, a news beat reporter covering COVID-19 on Stanford's campus and the assessment team leader of The Daily's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) team. Sam hails from Philadelphia and is studying Symbolic Systems. You can follow him on Twitter @sbcatania. Contact him at scatania 'at'

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