Message from Executive Dean Peter March regarding Spring 2021

Dear Arts and Sciences Students,

We in the School of Arts and Sciences hope that each of you is staying healthy and safe during these very challenging times.

The Spring 2021 Schedule of Classes will be released Monday, Nov. 9th and pre-registration will begin Nov. 30. As you have heard from Chancellor Molloy, in an abundance of caution and concern for our students, staff, and faculty, the School of Arts and Sciences will be offering in-person instruction in only a very limited number of courses. For undergraduate students, in-person instruction will be confined to a small number of advanced lab courses. Likewise, most graduate courses will be remote with the exception of a few that involve lab work. As the Chancellor noted, all of the other New Brunswick schools will also only be offering a small subset of courses that require physical presence, such as upper-level lab research, studio courses, and clinical instruction.

As in the fall, our course offerings will include a mix of synchronous courses that will meet at specific times each week and “hours by arrangement” asynchronous courses. We are committed to providing some courses in an asynchronous format in order to serve students for whom meeting at specific times is difficult. There are a variety of reasons why some students need asynchronous courses, including issues related to internet connectivity, bandwidth, and shared technology; conflicting responsibilities resulting from the present economic upheaval and living at home with younger siblings and other relatives affected by modified K-12 schedules; incompatible time zones; and Zoom-fatigue. Our SAS Advising Centers are all open virtually and are ready to assist you in planning your spring schedule.

We are also closely monitoring what experiences students are missing while most lab courses cannot meet in-person, such as learning proper pipetting techniques and other similar technical skills, and we will arrange for you to acquire those physical skills once we can safely return to campus.

All of us in the School of Arts and Sciences had very much hoped that the pandemic would be controlled enough to offer Spring 2021 courses in-person. We share your disappointment with this news; however, our foremost commitment is always to the health and safety of our students, staff, and faculty.

We are very much looking forward to the time we can again all be together on campus. In the meantime, please observe the three W’s: Wear a Mask, Watch Your Distance, and Wash Your Hands.

We appreciate how difficult this is for you and we thank you for your resilience. You make us proud.


Executive Dean Peter March