Transitioning to On-Campus Fall

June 14, 2021


To the George Washington University Community:

We appreciate the sustained effort of many who have maintained physical presence on campus, and applaud the tremendous resiliency of our community through the past academic year. This summer, we hope you'll find time to relax and recharge. Thanks to the ever-increasing availability of vaccines, many of us feel safer reconnecting with family, friends and colleagues we may not have seen in person for a year or more. At GW, we are spending the summer preparing our campus and operations for a comprehensive, in-person living and learning fall experience for our students, faculty, and staff. Below are some updates regarding summer operations and our transition into the in-person fall semester. 

Vaccine requirement
As a reminder, GW will require students, faculty, and staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, unless they receive an approved exemption.  We are requiring the final dose to be completed prior to August 1 to assure that immunizations are complete by the first day of classes. Please find information regarding vaccine documentation verification, important dates, how to access campus this summer, FAQs, and the vaccination process here. We urge all members of the GW community to upload their vaccination documentation as soon as possible.

A comprehensive on-campus experience
We are remaining in a mainly virtual operating status for the summer terms and initiating phased re-opening of on-campus activity in preparation for the fall.

This fall, we will be excited to offer a comprehensive on-campus experience for our community. Our residence halls, classrooms, libraries, offices and other spaces will be safe and ready for our community members to occupy at full capacity. Our incoming first-year residential undergraduate students will start in-person orientation on August 22, with a limited number of select undergraduate and graduate programs hosting other orientation offerings. These programs will communicate relevant dates to students directly. Second-year undergraduate students will also have the opportunity to participate in a unique welcome experience to acclimate to campus starting August 24. These students received information in early June. International Student Orientation is scheduled for all new international students on August 24. The main university fall academic calendar will begin on August 30.

Courses will be in-person. Classroom assignments have been posted in the Schedule of Classes, including information on room locations and instructional mode. These assignments are subject to revision. Space assignments are also being made for instruction at the Virginia Science and Technology Campus and other off-campus GW locations.

Only those limited courses designated for hybrid or online modalities will have a remote component. The use of technology and other innovative instructional practices will be encouraged to support diverse course design and to supplement in-person classroom instruction. Students who have questions about course registration should contact their advisors, or contact their school or college Dean’s Office for additional guidance.

Study Abroad
Subject to travel risk and safety review and destination country risk and guidelines, in the fall, the GW Office for Study Abroad will offer limited programming through GW-branded programs. Please visit the Office of the Study Abroad for Academic Year 2021-2022 FAQs or contact [email protected] for individualized guidance for the 2021-22 academic year.

Undergraduate students in need of on-campus housing for the fall should have received relevant information, including move-in dates. Please contact [email protected] with any further questions.

After careful consultation with university stakeholders as well as public health and safety officials, GW has begun Phase 3 of its phased restart of research activities, effective now. Phase 3 is a total resumption of on-campus research activities. New on-campus research projects may be started, all research facilities will be reopened, and undergraduate researchers will be allowed back in laboratories subject to public health and safety guidelines. Research personnel may return to campus, even if they did not have access throughout the pandemic, so long as their supervisor approves, they are fully vaccinated or received an approved exemption, their vaccine documentation has been uploaded and verified, and they have completed their first COVID-19 test.

Non-essential travel
Through the summer, the university will continue to suspend non-essential, GW-affiliated international travel for students, faculty and staff, and will continue to require VP and/or Dean approval for essential travel. The interim travel policy and procedures remain effective for essential international travel. We are evaluating and expect to provide updates to interim travel restrictions that may be in place during the 2021-22 academic year.

Library and museum services
Gelman and VSTC Library: Seat reservations are no longer required to enter Gelman or VSTC Library. Patrons whose GWorld cards are enabled for campus access can enter the libraries during open hours by tapping their card. No one will be allowed to sign in without a physical GWorld card or enter if their GWorld card tap is denied. 

Gelman Library will resume regular, 24-hour operations for the fall semester on Monday, August 30.

Eckles Library: Eckles Library will remain closed this summer. It will reopen for the fall semester from 12pm-12am Sunday-Thursday and 12pm-6pm Friday and Saturday.

Himmelfarb Health Sciences Library: This summer, Himmelfarb will continue to operate under its new normal. Reopening plans for the fall are still being finalized.  

Jacob Burns Law Library: The Burns Law Library has announced a limited on-campus cohort for current law students and recent law alumni through the end of July. Reopening plans for the fall are still being finalized.

The George Washington University Museum & Textile Museum: The museum is hosting limited, appointment-only visits for faculty this summer. In the fall semester, members of the GW community can make an appointment to visit the museum Monday through Friday, including for meetings, classes, research, and more. The museum will also be open to the general public for limited hours during the fall semester. Public programming, including lectures and films, will remain virtual through the end of the year. The Brady Art Gallery, located within the Corcoran School’s Flagg building, will remain closed this summer but plans to host an exhibition beginning in the fall.


Koren A. Bedeau
Senior Associate Provost for Special Projects

Scott Burnotes
Vice President, Safety & Facilities

Lynn Goldman
Dean, Milken Institute School of Public Health

M.L. “Cissy” Petty
Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students