BERKELEY—On Wednesday, June 17, University of California, Berkeley announced its academic plans for the fall 2020 semester, which, pending approval from local health officials, will incorporate a hybrid of remote and in-person learning.
In-person classes will be offered only for those courses where the class size is small enough to allow for social distancing in order to comply with COVID-19 health measures. All students will have the option of taking their classes remotely, even for those being offered in person.
The university has also begun an initiative called “Semester in the Cloud.” This program is transitioning a host of introductory “gateway” courses to an online format. It intends to provide a model for remote learning and offer students an option for taking classes that are necessary to their majors online.
UC Berkeley had already announced in an April 23 email that tuition and university fees would remain the same regardless of how classes are conducted. The current cost of attendance for a student who lives in a residence hall on campus at UC Berkeley is over $40,000.
The university made sure to emphasize in its announcement that “should pandemic conditions worsen at any point before the end of fall semester,” it will be prepared to revert back to fully remote classes and restricting on-campus activities.
Classes will begin at UC Berkeley on August 26 and students will leave campus for the rest of the semester before the Thanksgiving holiday in order to prevent students returning from travel after Thanksgiving break and potentially bringing the virus to campus. Finals will be taken remotely.
The administration of the university has said that it will work with students to facilitate remote extracurricular experiences.
UC Berkeley noted in a statement addressed to students, “Our typical back-to-school mode will be altered, to be sure, but our commitment to your academic success and your personal growth is unwavering.”