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Fall 2021 at SLU

Saint Louis University has enjoyed uninterrupted, in-person, on-campus instruction for the 20-21 academic year and expects even more of a return to normalcy for the fall '21 semester. Whether you are a prospective student or parent, or already part of the Billiken family, we know this is of crucial importance to you. 

In the words of University President Fred P. Pestello, Ph.D., extensive human connection makes an on-campus Saint Louis University experience a life-changing one.  (Read Dr. Pestello's full message on a return to normalcy on campus.

Face-to-Face for Fall 2021

In light of the broad vaccine availability that promises to only get better, we have begun planning for as normal a fall semester as possible, where we are back to operating largely face-to-face. In fall 2021, we envision:

  • Full classrooms and labs
  • In-person study groups and advising
  • Guest lectures
  • Events, retreats, concerts and other typical campus social gatherings

Assuming the social distancing safeguard is reduced by public health authorities to 3 feet or less, courses for undergraduate students will be taught — and students will be expected to attend — in person, unless exceptions have been granted and/or a strategic decision has been made to offer specific courses online.  (This does not include courses traditionally delivered online through the School for Professional Studies, which will continue uninterrupted in that format.)

Widespread vaccine adoption on our St. Louis campuses will position us to implement updated CDC and St. Louis City Health Department guidance, anticipated to come later this summer. We expect such guidance to reduce or eliminate the public safeguards for vaccinated people — and, possibly, all of campus. 

SLU classroom with masked professor speaking to seated students

Planning for Next Semester

As SLU's provost announced earlier this semester, we have a working group of faculty, students, and staff developing recommendations for the kinds of changes that will get us as close to normal as possible next fall. And other working groups are being established to ensure we’re making the changes needed for in-person events and activities, to explore ways to increase vaccine uptake, and more.

Just as we did last spring and summer as we prepared to return to campus, we will continue to consult with students, staff and faculty every step of the way. Messages on the topic of fall 2021 are expected to be sent to the SLU community every two-to-three weeks going forward. 

How Can You Help? 

Remember: the more of us who are vaccinated, the more successful we will be at achieving our plan to get back to normal. Through this return to face-to-face operating across the campus, our community will reap a host of benefits. We need each and every one of you to do your part. If you still need to be vaccinated, or have loved ones who need to be, please schedule your vaccination.