Six Harvard University graduate schools plan to hold their courses entirely online in the fall, amid continued uncertainty about what the public health landscape will look like in a few months.
The T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard Law School, Kennedy School, Graduate Scoool of Education, Graduate School of Design and Harvard Divinity School all made the announcements Wednesday.
Harvard officials announced in May that their entering classes of medical and dental students would begin their studies remotely in the fall 2020 semester. The Faculty of Arts and Sciences, which includes Harvard College, has not yet announced fall plans, nor has the Harvard Business School or Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.
The Kennedy School's Douglas Elmendorf said in a message to students that the two factors that "loomed largest" in making the decision were a "substantial risk" of a COVID-19 flare-up on campus and the degree of distancing expected to be required in the fall.
"We would need to severely limit students access to campus, teach a substantial share of class sessions remotely, and significantly constrain in-person gatherings, including in spaces such as the Forum and the dining area—which is not the campus life we value and seek to offer," Elmendorf wrote.
The state's reopening plan calls for colleges and universities to all develop their own restart strategies after shifting to remote learning this spring.