Fall 2021 information

We are preparing for a robust and exciting campus experience this fall. Life at VCU will feel more familiar, but also different as we incorporate new skills, new solutions and newfound appreciations for collaborative work and different ways of learning. The lessons we’ve learned during the pandemic have made us better together and continue to shape our plans for fall 2021, outlined below.

We will continue to update this page throughout the summer.

Vaccine requirements

  • Students: Vaccination will be required for all students who live, learn, work or will be on campus for any reason (excluding those with religious or health exemptions). The requirement also applies to students who are enrolled in virtual classes (unless the degree program is one of VCU's entirely online degree programs). Survey results show strong majorities of students, parents, faculty and staff support this requirement. Students attending fall classes must report their vaccination to University Student Health Services no later than July 15; Health Sciences students and those taking summer classes should receive and report their vaccinations sooner, if possible. Students who receive a two-dose vaccination must report completion of both doses. This requirement will allow our students to safely learn, live, gather and experience college at its best. For more information about full vaccination, documentation requirements, religious and health exemptions, confidentiality and vaccine manufacturers, see the student vaccine FAQ.
  • Employees: All VCU faculty and staff will be required to report COVID-19 vaccination or, if applicable, submit requests for medical or religious exemptions by Sept. 15. If you have already reported your vaccination to the university, there is no action required on your part. Employees who are dually employed with VCU Health System must report vaccination to both the university and the health system (information about health system requirements can be found through the VCU Health System intranet). This decision aligns with Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s Executive Directive 18, which directs state employees, including university employees, to be vaccinated (with allowances for medical and religious exemptions). For more information, see the vaccine FAQ for faculty and staff.

Campus facilities will be open

Both the Monroe Park and MCV campuses will be fully operational. Capacity in most buildings may still need to be reduced to some degree, as circumstances warrant. Common spaces, such as the VCU Libraries, University Student Commons, Hunton Student Center, Larrick Center and all VCU Dining facilities will open with more capacity.

Classes and academic resources will be in person (with virtual options)

Course modalities

The Fall 2021 Schedule of Classes is available online, and registration opened April 26. Student responses to the fall 2021 planning survey indicate that students desire options, and we are excited that the fall 2021 schedule will provide a variety of course modalities.

The fall semester will see a substantially higher percentage of in-person classes, with a mix of hybrid classes (in-person and online) and online-only classes. Many courses, regardless of the modality, will likely be technology-assisted through the use of Canvas, the learning management system. 

Student support

Offices providing academic, career and financial support to students will be open for in-person appointments but will also continue to offer virtual appointments. Some of these units have been offering in-person appointments for limited hours during the 2020-21 school year but will be expanding to offer more in-person hours in the fall. Hours and other details will be available on each office’s website.

Faculty resources

The Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence, Academic Technologies and Online@VCU/ALT Lab will continue to provide in-person and virtual resources for instructors.

Campus life will be supportive and engaging


Many in-person events are planned for the fall semester. Masks are required for all indoor for events and are required for outdoor events with more than 50 people or where physical distancing of more than 6 feet is not possible. More information is available in the public health measures FAQ.

Residential housing

Residential Life and Housing is currently accepting applications for on-campus housing, which can be found on the Housing Application page. Residential Life and Housing works closely with the university concerning safety precautions related to the residential experience. The most up-to-date information on safety guidelines can be found on the Residential Life and Housing website.

Dean of Students office

The Dean of Students office (including Ram Pantry and Off-Campus Student Services) will be available to meet in person or online with students who need assistance.

Recreational Sports

Recreational Sports will continue to serve the VCU community to the fullest extent permitted by the advice of university health experts. They anticipate resuming their normal hours of operation at all of their facilities and expanding in-person group exercise, intramural sports, sport clubs, challenge course and team-building initiatives, outdoor adventure trips, swim lessons and personal training. Additionally, they plan to continue new practices adopted during the pandemic, such as virtual fitness, fitness on demand, eSports and virtual escape rooms to meet the varying recreational needs of the university community.

University Counseling Services

University Counseling Services will be available to provide services to students both in-person, consistent with CDC and university guidelines, and virtually for counseling services.

University Student Health Services

University Student Health Services will offer both telehealth and in-person clinic visits when appropriate. COVID screening and testing will continue to be available for students.

VCU Libraries

Both James Branch Cabell Library and the Health Sciences Library will be open, providing access to support student and faculty needs. In-person assistance, services and physical collections will be available. VCU Libraries will also continue to offer robust online support through chat, text, online consultations, and librarian led webinars and tutorials, plus access to streaming media, e-books, online articles, databases, and more.

We will balance a flexible workplace with student needs

In a recent survey about the fall semester, about two-thirds of faculty and staff who completed the survey said that, if pandemic conditions are favorable and safety precautions continue, they are agreeable to a mix of in-person and online work. With input from faculty and staff, we will consider how to balance the future of remote work with the need to provide students an engaged and impactful campus experience. Over the next several months, we anticipate new, revised guidelines for work arrangements.

Your health and safety continue to be a priority

Health and safety measures, including face coverings and daily health monitoring, are likely to continue. We will continue to follow applicable CDC, state and VCU Health System guidance.

More information will be coming

During the coming months, we will monitor the state of COVID-19 and vaccinations as well as the advice of public health experts (including our own at VCU). We will continue to update the VCU community as plans develop or change. This summer, we will launch a virtual town hall series on a variety of topics related to the fall semester.