Fordham Plans to Return to In-Person Classes This Fall


Fordham students gather on Edward’s Parade last March after the university cancels classes as COVID-19 arrives in NYC. (Erica Weidner/The Ram)

The university announced its plan to offer “the full range of in-person instruction and on-campus activities” for the Fall 2021 semester in an email to the Fordham community on Tuesday, March 9. 

Rev. Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of the university, cited projections by the United States government that every adult will have access to a vaccine by the end of the summer. 

University officials anticipate widespread vaccinations will allow for relaxation of restrictions on in-person gatherings and other COVID-19 protocols the university introduced last semester. 

“Through the past year, the pandemic has upended virtually every aspect of our lives,” wrote McShane. “Yet hope is finally on the way, as safe and effective vaccines are rapidly being distributed locally, nationally, and globally.”

A year ago today, Fordham closed residence halls and moved all instruction online as COVID-19 spread across the country, causing mass infection and lockdowns. Since then, many courses remain online, with professors and students opting to remain virtual to avoid possible infection. 

In the last few months, some members of the Fordham community received their COVID-19 vaccinations, and Fordham plans to provide vaccines on campus as soon as it receives doses provided by New York State. 

McShane said health and safety will still remain a top priority next semester. “Please be assured that, as has been the case during the current academic year, our planning efforts will be fully informed by guidance from local and state Department of Health officials along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” he wrote. 

McShane also said the university plans to accommodate students with health concerns or immigration status that might prevent a return to campus for in-person instruction this fall. 

“I believe the finish line is in sight,” wrote McShane. “I ask you to be mindful of COVID-19 precautions for the next few months, to better prepare for fully repopulating the campuses this fall.”